What All Astronomical People Need To Know Now That A 13th Zodiac Sign Exists

What All Astronomical People Need To Know Now That A 13th Zodiac Sign Exists

People everywhere are praying their tattoo is accurate.

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In 2016, anyone who knew anything about astrology was thrown for a loop when Ophiuchus was discovered to be part of the zodiac. People everywhere were scouring the internet for their new zodiac sign and praying their tattoo would still be accurate.

Since then, people have been coming to terms with their updated horoscopes as well as continuing to check up on the old ones, but why, all of a sudden, did the zodiac change? And did it actually shift? These are the answers you never knew you were looking for.

What makes it the zodiac?

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Traditionally, the zodiac consists of 12 constellations - Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aires, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius.

These constellations exist along the ecliptic (the path of the sun across the sky). Ancient astronomers and astrologers identified these signs and their dates based on how long the sun passed in front of each constellation. It takes about a month for the sun to shift from one constellation to the next. Their dates are as follows:

Capricorn (The Goat): December 22nd - January 19th

Aquarius (The Water Bearer): January 20th - February 18th

Pisces (The Fishes): February 19th - March 20th

Aires (The Ram): March 21st - April 19th

Taurus (The Bull): April 20th - May 20th

Gemini (The Twins): May 21st - June 20th

Cancer (The Crab): June 21st - July 22nd

Leo (The Lion): July 23rd - August 22nd

◊ Virgo (The Virgin): August 22nd - September 22nd

Libra (The Scales): September 23rd - October 22nd

Scorpio (The Scorpion): October 23rd - November 21st

Sagittarius (The Archer): November 22nd - December 21st

So whats new?

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In recent astronomy,the constellation Ophiuchus has inched it's way onto the ecliptic, forcing its way between Scorpio and Sagittarius in the zodiac. This is due to the movement of objects, specifically stars, in our galaxy.

"[...] the stars, including the Sun, travel in their own separate orbits through the Milky Way galaxy. The stars move along with fantastic speeds, but they are so far away that it takes a long time for their motion to be visible to us."
- NASA

This shift in the sky has caused there to speculation of a "new" zodiac that includes Ophiuchus. However, since modern astronomy considers constellations to be not just the connect-the-dot figures in the sky, but also the space and additional stars around it, Sagittarius and Ophiuchus tend to overlap. This creates discrepancy in the dates associated with this new piece of the zodiac, but the general consensus seems to be that the sun is in front of Ophiuchus from November 30th to December 18th.

Did anything actually change?

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According to NASA, no. Experts say that about 3,000 years ago, 13 constellations were identified to be part of the zodiac, but since the calendar the Babylonians were creating at the time only fit 12 ranges of dates, Ophiuchus was chosen to be omitted from the zodiac. NASA also made a statement that the traditional zodiac would not be altered, and that anything astrology did in terms of creating a "new" zodiac has nothing to do with astronomy.

On that note:

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It is totally up to you what sign you choose to identify as! Choosing to include Ophiuchus is no more right or wrong than omitting it; there are valid points for both sides, which is good news (especially if you just got that tattoo!).

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To The Baylor Professor Equating LGBTQ And Women's Rights To 'Barbarianism,' Keep That Out Of The Classroom

Unless someone asks for your political opinion, don't talk about it. It's simple courtesy.

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Politics are a touchy subject. They're a notoriously banned conversation topic at family reunions, Thanksgiving dinners, first dates, meeting the in-laws... the list goes on.

Understandably, people will have a certain preference to a political party that defines their stance on certain issues in politics. The bottom line is that it's important to have political discussion without enmity across party lines.

The moment we demonize the opposing party is the moment we all fail as a society and stay stagnant in our pursuit of a progressive nation.

Unless someone asks for my political opinion, I won't talk about it. It's simple courtesy. Therefore, you can imagine my shock when my professor outwardly expressed his far-right, offensive political opinions in an obviously diverse classroom.

As I was sitting in my economics lecture listening to my professor explain Natural Law, I realized something sinister developing. On the board, he had graphed a downwards curved line representing the evolution of society as it approaches "Neo-Barbarianism."

Upon the line, he plotted points at which the line began to slope downwards, signifying the causes of the deterioration of society:

Akanksha Tyagi

What shocked me to my core was the fact that in his mind, revolutionary Supreme Court decisions like Roe v. Wade and Obergfell v. Hodges that granted people civil rights were something "barbaric."

These were the points he plotted on the curve, proclaiming that society had been damned with Supreme Court decisions that showed complete disregard for Christianity and its values our nation was founded on.

I was in disbelief that an environment as innocent as a classroom was used as a vehicle to spread political agenda and offensive ideology justified by religion:

"Homosexuality is a sin. It says so in the Bible. It's impure."

"Gay has become the new black."

"No matter what society thinks is right, it is a lie. The only truth you know to be true is your Bible, so hold onto that."

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a pretty face, but she's really not that smart. Does she have a dad? Someone needs to put that girl in her place."

How can anyone sit through a lecture where their professor is freely offensive in every way?

Politics are something to be kept especially separate from professional environments, and this is exactly why. A classroom is no less an inappropriate environment to discuss politics than a job interview. Young minds are highly impressionable, so for such strong political ideology to be broadcast with a religious appeal is highly inappropriate.

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7 Philosophical Ways In Which Winnie The Pooh Understands Food

Short easy words like "what about lunch?"

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Despite being a "Bear of Little Brain," Pooh really gets food. He honestly and wholeheartedly does. His philosophy behind food shines through the entire Hundred Acre Wood.

Here are 7 quotes I have found that prove this "Silly Ol' bear" may not be quite as silly when it comes to food.

1. A highlight of the day is food.

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?"

Pooh doesn't cut any corners with his simple love of food. To him, the highlight of a day is when he eats, what he eats, and with whom he eats it. Food is easily accessible to many of us living in the Western world, and viewing food as a source of joy gives us at the barest minimum several moments of happiness every day.

2. Food brings motivation and joy.

Routines have a comfort and an excitement in their own selves—food can be a consistent bright spot in your day. Having a routine or something you look forward to with your eating habits can make even the most stressful days positive. For Pooh it's honey. For some, it might be a piece of chocolate, or something green, or always eating breakfast. For me, it's a cup of tea.

3. Food eases loneliness.

Friends are important. And food is important. And the two can physiologically be correlated. Studies show that if a person is lonely, holding a hot cup of tea can make them feel less alone.

There will always be times in our life that we are alone, even just physically, even just for a night. Something to smile about can make the difference between being alone, and being lonely—and comfort food is comforting for a reason. When you're feeling a bit eleven o'clock ish, a bit of honey can be just the thing.

4. Food bonds people.  

"What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."

Food is embedded in our lives every day. Our eating patterns form in relation to other people and is integrally linked to social groups. Sharing food with other people is one of our oldest forms of connecting with other people and creates an instant, natural bond.

5. Food has its own spiritual power.

Milne's cognizance of the spiritual nuances behind food is easily seen in this exchange between Piglet and Pooh. This moment, so simple, speaks volumes. Piglet recognizes that food brings comfort to a distressed emotional state, and food offers support to help Pooh find himself again.

Food (or its routines, or its comfort) can help bring us to a balanced, centered, more spiritual state. Also who hasn't been hangry? It's very difficult to be zen when you're hangry.

6. Food feeds the imagination.

The internationally famous chef Anthony Bourdain viewed food as a powerful storytelling tool. Some native American cultures believe food tells you where you've come from and where you're going. It can empower you to reassert control over your own self and your own life; it reunites you with your spiritual or imaginative self. ("For Bourdain," 2018).

Milne here captures the je ne sais quoi behind food—where food has not only a physiological and emotional influence, it also has an imaginative influence as well.

7. Food exists to nourish and fill us.

We need to eat to survive, and it doesn't take a Bear of Little Brain to tell us how wonderful it is that something we need is also something we find so much delight and joy in. Pooh got how beautiful it is to enjoy a good meal--and thankfully, with a yummy snack or a home-cooked meal or a trip out to eat, you can too.

8. Bees only exist for one reason. 

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