Is there a 13th zodiac sign?

by | Jul 15, 2020

Written by Sarah Cornforth

Sarah Cornforth, The Magickal Creatrix is a UK artist and Moon addict with a love of the natural world. Other obsessions include hoarding tarot and oracle cards, creative journaling and making magick. At some point in her future there will be Llama's!


Inside this article I talk about something that does the rounds on social media again and again. Is there a 13th sign of the zodiac? 

We take a look at:

  • This isn’t ‘new’ news
  • Why is the Earth no longer in alignment with the zodiac? 
  • What is the 13th Sign?
  • Does it matter that we are no longer in sync?
  • Who is right? 
  • Are you who you think you are? 


Welcome to the Magickal Moments Podcast. Check out my episode about the 13th sign of the Zodiac. 

Is there a 13th Sign of the Zodiac

There is a bit of a kerfuffle going on right now about the signs of the zodiac. 

  • Is it true that there are 13 signs and you may have been reading the wrong horoscopes all this time? 
  • Does this mean that you’re not who you thought you were?

Perhaps hearing this is causing you to defend the sign and identity you always believed you were.

Let’s dive a little deeper and I will share my personal thoughts on this one.

This isn’t ‘new’ News

Firstly, I just want to say that this ‘news’ isn’t NEW news. In fact, this little snippet of information has been released many times over the past few years. Sometimes it turns into a media frenzy and other times it fizzles out pretty quick.

The thing to remember is that astronomy and astrology are different things. It is true that the Earth is no longer in alignment with the constellations the way it once was when the ancient system of astrology and the zodiac that we know and love was created. 

  • Yes, we are out of sync. 
  • Yes, there is a constellation which could be a 13th sign of the zodiac 
  • But, does this mean that we’ve got it all wrong and that things have to change? Keep reading to find out more……

Why is the Earth no longer in alignment with the zodiac? 

Astrology dates back to Babylonian times around 2400 years ago and a lot has happened since then.

A big factor is something called planetary procession which happens over geological time.

Planetary procession is the change in the direction of the axis of the Earth which causes the North and South poles to tilt. This results in the position of the stars and planets relative to the Earth to move. This movement means that the Sun now appears to travel through the constellations on different dates to those we know and love.   

What is the 13th Sign

The 13th sign is known as Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer and it isn’t an astrological sign but instead a constellation in the zodiac (astronomical). 

There is a point when the Sun crosses this constellation which could provide a time of the year for this to be an astrological sign, but most people choose to continue to use the ancient 12 zodiac system and Ophiuchus isn’t recognised as such and also has not been allocated an element (Earth, Air, Fire, Water).

The zodiac as used by astrologers is based on an invisible ecliptic (band) of constellations which as a physical planet we are no longer in sync with due to planetary procession I mentioned above. 

Does it matter that we are no longer in sync?

Many (including myself) believe that astrology is all about the natural cycles of the planet, the natural world and of flow of energy through the cosmos. This describes a fixed system of astrology known as the tropical system which is generally worked within the Western Word. Tropical Astrologers believe that the qualities associated with the signs are linked to the seasons rather than to fixed stars and therefore the precession of the equinoxes and the growing distances between the signs and their constellations are of no consequence. 

Who is right? 

In astrology, there are multiple systems to read the stars which all produce different interpretations. While the classical tropical astrology system works with the orientation of the Earth relative to the Sun and planets of our solar system, sidereal astrology deals with the position of the Earth relative to both of these along with the stars in their current position. So sidereal astrology takes into account planetary procession. 

Are you who you think you are? 

Astrology is an ancient system which won’t be changing anytime soon but some astrologers do use the addition of Ophiuchus in their readings. This information doesn’t mean you’re getting the Sun sign you’ve grown to know and love taken away from you. It also doesn’t mean that you have believed yourself to be someone who you are not. 

What’s the real question we should be asking? 

The real question is: Why are we so attached to a label such as our Sun sign to define who we are?

Our natal charts include every sign of the zodiac, every planet in our solar system and other astrological bodies and features if you want to work with those too. 

We are part of every sign and every sign is part of us. Some will feature more dominantly, others may be a blessing while some are a challenge, but what we have available to us is a structure to help us explore who we are deep down inside.  

The magick happens when we do ‘the work’ and I don’t need to be told by NASA that I am a Leo to be able to work towards living my best life and evolving into the best version of myself. Do you? 

What comes up for you with this one? 

Let me know in the comments below as I would love to hear your thoughts on it. 

Sarah x

Where next?….

Where would you like to explore next?

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