I’m sure most of you have heard that your star sign has changed. I’m equally sure that most of you don’t know why it’s changed, because the media made this sound like a magical astronomer conspiracy of doom, rather than something that no human being has anything to do with. They also made it sound like news, which it definitely isn’t. More on that later.
First though, and I want you to listen very carefully when I tell you this, astrology is horseshit. All of it. I don’t care how accurate you think yours is, or how “Oh mine totally works for me, it’s right most of the—” NO. Stop that. Here’s a detailed explanation of why, so you can read that. Now on to the current issue.
Basically, the sign you are is based on which constellation the sun is in when you’re born. The earth always points the same direction relative to the stars, so that varies by which side of the sun we’re on, which is a basic definition of the different times of year. Different times of year = different sign. The problem is that when I say the earth “always” points the same direction, I don’t really mean that. In reality, the Earth wobbles on its axis like a top about to fall over.
The axis describes a circle in the sky every 26,000 years, so it’s a very slow process, but it’s there. Now, the constellations of the zodiac were drawn out by the Greeks 2000 years ago, which is a long-ass time. Some rough math reveals that 2000 years is about a twelfth of 26,000, so it’s off by a twelfth of a year, which OH HEY is a month. So now (and when you were born) the sun was one sign off from where it was 2000 years ago.
This is not a new thing. The Earth has been precessing FOREVER, and by forever I mean since there has been an Earth. There has never been a non-wobbling Earth. So the horoscopes, totally aside from being entirely bullshit when they were invented, were off by a day a mere 70 years after they were put together.
Another thing that has come up is this new sign, Ophiucus (o-fee-YOU-cus). That’s been there the ENTIRE GODDAMN TIME as well. For whatever reason, the people who made all this up didn’t like the idea of 13 signs, so they ignored Ophiucus and fudged the margins on the other ones. So they weren’t even right then, come to think of it.
Astronomers have known about precession for longer than there have been Zodiac signs, as have astrologers. The only reason it came up is that a planetarium director from somewhere in the Midwest casually mentioned that the signs don’t even line up anymore, and everyone panicked that their love life projections for 2011 would be off, and maybe they shouldn’t be “seeing the big picture” or “thinking about what’s really important” or “communicating with the world at large” or any number of maddeningly vague instructions. Those are all real, by the way. This story is neither novel nor important. It is meaningless.
And the next person that tells me that they “just don’t feel like a Pisces” is getting dickpunched.