Change in zodiac signs leaves horoscope fans in frenzy

Change in zodiac signs leaves horoscope fans in frenzy

Change in zodiac signs leaves horoscope fans in frenzy

All of which left professional prognosticators seeking to calm their followers, and astronomers chuckling at the fate of their more metaphysical brethren.“Don’t panic,” Lawrence Grecco, who has worked for 20 years as astrologer and life coach in Manhattan, assured his clients. “Your sign is your sign.”

Cosmic kerfuffle
But such assurances did little to quell the cosmic kerfuffle after the “Star Tribune” in Minneapolis innocuously reported on Monday that a naturally occurring wobble in the direction of the earth’s axis—technically known as a “precession”—had altered the alignment of stars’ overhead from their traditional star signs, which date back several millennia.

The report, citing Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, quickly went viral. Kunkle, suddenly cast as the “Man Who Changed the Zodiac”, said he had just been commenting on a well-known fact about the stars in relation to astrology. Reports of the shift resulted in existential, and occasionally grammatical, crises among Aries, Leos and even Ophuchices (more on this later) around the nation and online. “My zodiac sign changed,” wrote one upset Twitter user on Friday morning. “Does that mean that I’m not anymore who I used to be?!?”

According to the report, Capricorn, which astrologers say begins its month-long term in December, actually starts on January 20, based on the actual position of the stars. Aquarius, meanwhile, would be bumped to February. And so on.

Scientists say an ancient Greek astronomer was the first to recognise the precession of the earth’s axis, caused by the gravitational tug of the moon and the sun on a not-quite-round earth. So it is, said Joe Rao, an associate and guest lecturer at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Hayden Planetarium, that “over time the earth’s north pole is pointing towards different stars.”

Which means, in turn, that “all of the zodiac positions which astrologers use as the foundation of their studies are inaccurate,” he said.As are, of course, any predictions made from them, he added. “This is, after all, the 21st century,” Rao said.
But such scorn from skeptics is to be expected, said Rob Brezsny, the author of a syndicated weekly horoscope column, who added that the idea that the zodiac was shifting was just another attempt to discredit astrology, in which one in four Americans profess to believe, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center poll.

Brezsny and other astrologers say they have long known that the pairings of constellations and astrological signs don’t match, but that Western astrologers don’t deal with stars —as some other branches of astrology do—but rather the planets and solar system.

“If they’re going to question its foundations,” he said in an e-mail, referring to scientific skeptics, “they should at least learn it well enough to know what they’re talking about.”
Brezsny said the argument that the zodiac was off kilter was old news but he was shocked how fast the “Star Tribune” article — inspired by a blog item on the LiveScience web site — caught fire.

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