Ophiuchus: ‘new’ zodiac star sign explained, traits, dates, how to pronounce it – and if your horoscope changes

The zodiacal talisman that has defined you for years has probably changed – here’s what it means

Whether you believe their mystic powers hold real sway over the events in your life or not, it’s likely you've paid at least some attention to your star sign over the years.

Maybe you've checked a horoscope when desperate times call for life guidance? Or maybe you've butted heads over your superior status as an Aries when compared to your friends' signs?

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Either way, you'll likely be shocked to know that some are now claiming that the zodiacal talisman that’s defined you all these years has changed.

The new star sign shifts the others around a little bit, so even if you're nowhere near being an Ophiuchus, you may have a new sign (Photo: Shutterstock)
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    It's all to do with the introduction of Ophiuchus (prounounced “o-few-cus”), a 13th house that shifts the position of the other zodiac signs in the calendar significantly.

    Here's everything you need to know.

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    What is the new sign?

    The new sign is called Ophiuchus, which nestles between Scorpio and Sagittarius, so every other sign’s must move to make way for it – if you choose to accept it into your beliefs.

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    Ophiuchus shares many of the same characteristics as Sagittarius, and people with its sign are described as “healers and light-bearers”.

    Despite the buzz surrounding Ophiuchus’ allegedly 'new' inclusion among the stars, the idea for a new sign seems to have originated as far back as 1970, when astrologer Stephen Schmidt proposed a new, 14 sign zodiac.

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    Why has Ophiuchus been introduced?

    While astrology and the signs of the zodiac may be rooted in pseudoscience, the reason for the addition of Ophiuchus is at least the result of some evidence-based fact.

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    In the thousands of years that have passed since the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of the zodiac, the positions of the constellations have changed slightly when viewed from the Earth.

    But while additional signs have previously been the realm of astrologists and soothsayers, this is the first time Ophiuchus' inclusion has been 'officially' recognised by the scientists at NASA.

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    That being said, NASA did pair their announcement with a pithy statement, saying: “We study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.”

    So my star sign has changed?

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    Yes, and no. To include Ophiuchus in the zodiac is to confuse star signs with constellations.

    The signs of the zodiac are a 12 fold division of the ecliptic - the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun - devised by the Babylonians more than 2,500 years ago.

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    Each sign spans 30 degrees of celestial longitude, which is the approximate distance the sun travels in a month.

    However, constellations are unequal in size and are only loosely associated with the signs of the zodiac.

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    They do not generally coincide with the existing signs they are associated with anyway, so if you're outraged by the 'change' in your star sign, don't worry. It hasn't really altered.

    What traits does an Ophiuchus have?

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    Those with Ophiuchus as their star sign are said to have a mixture of traits from Scorpio and Sagittarius, the star signs which sandwich the new house.

    They are described as insightful and curious, and seekers of wisdom and knowledge, open to change and easily bored with routine.

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    They can be very passionate people, happy, and with strong charisma – we also found one source claiming they are “sexually magnetic”, so read into that what you will.

    It’s not all good news though; Ophiuchuses are prone to jealousy, can be short tempered, and are great at procrastinating when they’re not being restless and critical.

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    What are the 'new' star sign dates?

    If you're after a change though, the new zodiac dates as proposed by NASA are as follows:

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    Capricorn: January 20 - February 16

    Aquarius: February 16 - March 11

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    Pisces: March 11 - April 18

    Aries: April 18 - May 13

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    Taurus: May 13 - June 21

    Gemini: June 21 - July 20

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    Cancer: July 20 - August 10

    Leo: August 10 - September 16

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    Virgo: September 16 - October 30

    Libra: October 30 - November 23

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    Scorpio: November 23 - November 29

    Ophiuchus: November 29 - December 17

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    Sagittarius: December 17 - January 20