Debbie Keil-Leavitt:'Is Ophiuchus Important in Your Chart?' or Jen Tartaglione:'Is is the 13th Sign?'

Is Ophiuchus Important in Your Chart?


A funny thing happened on the way to the modern age. Astronomers separated Scorpio’s claws from its constellation, making them the scales of Libra. The great constellation of Ophiuchus, which was known as the wise serpent bearer, was split into three constellations, separating out the serpent. Ophiuchus now has more stars along the path of the sun than Scorpio does.

This, along with the Precession of the Equinoxes, was the basis for the recent media frenzy about a 13th sign.


Our zodiac “shifts” from our point of view, one degree every 73 years, roughly. But since Western astrologers base their zodiac on the change of the seasons – equinoxes/solstices – you Scorpios and Sagittarians are still just that to Western astrologers.

Both the dazzling, huge and glorious constellations of the scorpion and the great centaur warrior, Sagittarius, are deeply imbedded in our genetic memory and are still there, dominating much of our summer skies in the Northern Hemisphere, winter skies down under. You are no less a Scorpio or Sag than you ever were.

Yet I suspect that those of you born from the beginning of Sagittarius, through December 25, will feel the effects of the great healer Ophiuchus, as the sun was amongst these stars. The stars in the body of Scorpio were most certainly interacting with the sun when Scorpios were born. Ophiuchus’s stars are also mingling with the sun at that same time, as they are nearby as well. Ophiuchus, the great healer and educator, does have an influence on those born at this time.

So what do you do with Ophiuchus if you’re comfortable with the Western zodiac and your sun sign? We just integrate his mythology with that of our Sun signs. So for fixed Sagittarians, like the eye of the great Archer on a higher path, you often find that your path includes an interest in healing and education – long incorporated into Sagittarius descriptions, yet not reflective of the constellation itself. Scorpios could look within the depths of your soul and discover that you’re a psychologist whose former “wounds” allow you to heal others.

You should also pay special attention if the star Ras Alhague, a prominent star in the head of Ophiuchus, is your heliacal rising or setting star. Ras Alhague is the heliacal rising star for those born in Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa between January 12 and February 5.

If you were born in the mainland US, much of Europe, China or Japan in mid to late July, you will have Ras Alhague as your heliacal setting star. These stars are very important in describing your life path. Your heliacal rising star is the special gift that you bring into life, guiding you to share yourself. Your Heliacal Setting Star is the purpose you are seeking through life.

To get to know Ophiuchus and Ras Alhague better, we can look at the Greek god Asclepius, his name during life. He had been the ship surgeon on the Argo and became so good at his craft that he developed the ability to bring people back from the dead, so the gods “took him out” and placed him in the sky. Gods apparently don’t like competition. The caduceus, the symbol of Western medicine, is attributed to both Mercury and Asclepius.

The serpent that Asclepius handled, and those entwining the staff of the symbol for medicine, reflect the ancient wisdom of the goddess cultures, as the blood of Medusa ran in Asclepius’s veins. Given that a feminine/lunar view of the zodiac would have 13 “moonths” in its annual cycle – this is where the term month came from – a 13th sign might well be valid from a feminine view. Ras Alhague can also be prominent through relationship with your Moon or planets.

Interestingly, a modern example of Ras Alhague as the heliacal setting star is J.K. Rowling, whose magical characters reflect the ancient wisdom of Asclepius/Ophiuchus and the Goddess culture, with its natural medicinal arts and magic. Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy also had Ras Alhague as her heliacal setting star.

So if you are drawn to healing with the magical wisdom that is within you, whether it is individuals or society as a whole, Ophiuchus is well worth your study. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of our psychics have a strong Ras Alhague or Ophichus in their charts, as they are looking to help you with their special gift. We’d love to hear your comments about this.


What is the 13 the Sign? 


You were born a Taurus, but you exhibit more of the flightiness of an Aries than an obstinate bull. Maybe you’re supposed to be a chatty Sagittarius, but boy do you brood like a scorpion.

 Not everyone identifies entirely with their Sun sign – and one of the reasons why is already written in the stars.

 It’s a 13th sign!


Number 13
For the sake of simplicity and neat mathematics, 2300 years ago, astrologers divided the Sun’s path into 12 neat slices affording each constellation 30∞ of the heavens. That’s all well and good, but some constellations are far larger than others, and they left someone out! Ophiuchus (funny name, we’ll get to that later) is the forgotten sign of the zodiac. We know that astrologers (all the way back to the days of Ptolemy) knew about Ophiuchus, however, due to the ever changing heavens, the sky we see today isn’t the same as the skies of yesteryear.

Enter Ophiuchus
Taking up 18∞ of the Sun’s path, and sitting comfortably between Scorpio and Sagittarius is Ophiuchus (O-fee-Yoo-cuss). According to Greek tradition, Ophiuchus or “snake holder” was Asclepius, the half mortal son of Apollo. After killing Asclepius’ mother in a vengeful rage, Apollo sent the boy to be raised by Chiron. Chiron taught Asclepius the secrets of healing and medicine. Worried that Asclepius’ knowledge would lead to the immortality of humans, Zeus killed Asclepius and gave him a place in the heavens as thanks for his noble deeds.

True empathy
Those born between November 29 and December 17 may see in themselves a natural empathy toward others and are particularly drawn to the healing of the mind, body and soul. They are kind to the point of naiveté and are blessed with dramatic powers – this however can be to their detriment if they allow themselves to empathize too much with the pain of others.

Star power
Some notables born under Ophiuchus: Winston Churchill, Woody Allen, Jim Morrison, Walt Disney, Jane Austen, Bette Midler, Ludwig van Beethoven and Emily Dickinson.

Now that the myth of the 13th sign has been dispelled, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t the same person that you were before. It’s important to remember that while our Sun sign tells us something about our ego, we were born with all of the planets in our charts – we have a little bit of everything all at once!   

By Jen Tartaglione


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