Admit it. He rocked your world a little, didn’t he? Even you, Mr. Practical, Mr. Seeing is Believing, Mr. That Stuff’s For Hippies And Morons. Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle came in and upended everyone’s identity just a bit when he announced that everyone’s zodiac sign had shifted.
Admit it. He rocked your world a little, didn’t he? Even you, Mr. Practical, Mr. Seeing is Believing, Mr. That Stuff’s For Hippies And Morons. Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle came in and upended everyone’s identity just a bit when he announced in the Star Tribune that everyone’s zodiac sign had shifted. Like a horribly unsettling game of musical chairs.
You see, the zodiac periods that we modern people all know and love were established long ago by the Babylonians. Kunkle, who teaches astronomy courses at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, said that the Earth has moved on its axis since then, creating about a month of difference in zodiac periods. He goes on to say that astrologers have also been ignoring a 13th constellation, Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer, for those born between November 30 and December 17. Therefore, you aren’t who you think you were. Contrariwise, you are who you think you weren’t.
When news of the astrological snafu broke, the Internet exploded. Not literally, as I’m not even sure where the real, physical internet is located. China, probably. But the World Wide Web really got their collective knickers in a twist about the fact that the zodiac signs may have been wrong all along. “But how will I explain my uncontrollable temper?” lamented Aries. “Am I still deadly sexy and also fond of bending the truth?” worried Scorpio. “What about my kickass shoulder tattoo?” wondered Cancer.
Even those who don’t care about things like astrology know their sign — and most know something about the traits associated with that sign, both positive and negative. While I don’t live my life according to it, I’ll admit that I consider my zodiac traits from time to time. When waffling on some decision, as small as what to have for breakfast or as big as whether or not to get married, I’ll sometimes think to myself “Leave it to a Libra to be wishy-washy.” Or, when someone asks me how, exactly, I racked up 100 bad dates, I’ll shrug and say “Libras are in love with love.” I wouldn’t choose or reject a mate based upon it, but I must confess I have looked at zodiac compatibility while still in that giddy phase of getting to know someone — the same way I’ll consider how their last name sounds with my first or what we should name our first child or where on their body they should tattoo my portrait.
But even I didn’t get riled up when I heard the Internet whining that black was up and white was down and Miss Cleo had led us all astray. You know why? Because I read further. It turns out that Western astrology doesn’t even USE the stars as its guide. Eric Francis of PlanetWaves.net (tagline: Daily Astrology & Adventure) writes: “Kunkle is describing what is called the sidereal zodiac: the backdrop of the stars. It’s not the zodiac used by most Western astrologers; it’s the one used by Vedic astrologers, the kind in India, and a few in our part of the world. Here in the West, we use a zodiac that follows the seasons. It’s called the tropical zodiac. It’s based on the position of the Sun’s rays and the tropics — that’s why it’s called tropical.” Look, it’s the dead of Winter and my sign is the perfect excuse for my bad behavior, so I say we stick with this tropical thing.
As for my “new” sign? “Virgos have an inborn talent to handle details. They love neatness and order but should guard against being over-critical and curb a perfectionist trait.” Neatness? Order? Perfection? As if! I won’t be trading in my “Libras Do It Vaguely And Then Resent You For Misunderstanding” bumper sticker anytime soon. I will, however, spend some time doodling Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer. He’s got all kinds of sexy possibilities.