Getting to know Ophiuchus

Firstly, an apol­ogy: I’m a bit of a space geek. OK, that apol­ogy didn’t really sound like I meant. Which I guess I don’t. But it’s a fact, a dis­claimer per­haps, which I thought I should begin this post with. And my space geek­i­ness doesn’t usu­ally extend to astrol­ogy, but I couldn’t resist read­ing all the recent news reports about how we need to add a thir­teenth star sign to our astrol­ogy guides.

The story is basi­cally gumpf see­ing as this new ‘rule’ only applies to peo­ple born after 2008 and any­way the cur­rent astro­log­i­cal sys­tem owes more to tra­di­tion than the actual zodiac of the sky.

But the thing that inter­ested me was the so-called ‘thir­teenth star sign’ itself – Ophi­uchus (pro­nounced Oh-few-cuss). Who is Ophi­uchus? If I were to adopt Ophi­uchus as my star sign, what exactly would I be get­ting myself into? We all know that Leos are stub­born and cre­ative and that Pis­ceans are empa­thetic and pop­u­lar and that Capri­corns com­plain about hav­ing their birth­days so near to Christ­mas. But what does Ophi­uchus mean for the Ophi­uchuses out there?

It may be the most disgusting-sounding of all the zodiac signs (chest infec­tion, any­one?) but as far as con­stel­la­tions go it’s kind of boring.


If any­thing it resem­bles a badly-drawn house with the crap­pi­est veran­dah you’ve prob­a­bly ever seen. Luck­ily, how­ever, most con­stel­la­tions sig­nify some­thing that they don’t in any way visu­ally resem­ble. And this is the case for Ophi­uchus because Ophi­uchus is not a rec­tan­gle with a pointy top but a mus­cu­lar greek-god-looking war­rior dude wrestling a giant unruly snake. Yeah!

Ophi­uchus means busi­ness. He is a war­rior who’s not afraid to get all tan­gled up in ser­pent. Not unlike this guy:

Now before you decry poor old Ophi­uchus as being just another guy obsessed with the phal­luses of life, you should know that he is based on the Greek god Ascle­pius, who was the healer and med­i­cine man back then. Ophi­uchus is wrestling with the ser­pent because snakes rep­re­sent anti­dotes (as well as poi­son, but this guy was a healer so we’ll put the empha­sis on the med­i­c­i­nal sym­bol­ism). So really, Ophi­uchus is not so much about Hollywood-style snake wrestling and much more about heal­ing the sick. Visu­ally, he’s more like this guy:

Which gives us a clearer under­stand­ing of what Ophi­uchus stood for and what the star sign might mean for any­one will­ing to dump the tra­di­tional zodiac and go with the alter­nate (and sci­en­tif­i­cally accu­rate) ver­sion. Although it’s impos­si­ble to tell from all this what char­ac­ter­is­tics peo­ple under the sign of Ophi­uchus might dis­play. But if they’re any­thing like para­medics they’ll be  incred­i­bly decent human beings who are pro­fi­cient at what they do and who look awe­some in a jump­suit. That’s right, a jump­suit! And sud­denly you’re a lot more inter­ested in being an Ophi­uchus, aren’t you?


Just saw this:
and loved it :)

Amaz­ing idea…almost lost my cam­era the other day and I’m going to try this now too! Although, with­out the bath picture.

Ophi­uchus doesn’t lie in the eclip­tic, so is not one of the zodi­a­cal signs. Oh, yes, his foot touches upon it, but stick­ing your big toe in the water doesn’t mean you are swim­ming. It is, how­ever, fas­ci­nat­ing that our celes­tial sub­con­scious would be mak­ing a very big huge deal about it right now. Why? Because this con­stel­la­tion just hap­pens to point directly at our Galac­tic Cen­ter, which plays a very impor­tant part in the Mayan prophe­cies of 2012.

Chris Gordon

My son loves this and has claimed it!