What Constellation was the Sun In at Birth? Illuminating the 13th Sign Misunderstanding

by Cayelin K Castell

This article on the 13th sign created quite a stir a few years ago. So here is the short answer from the Shamanic Astrology perspective. Signs and Constellations are NOT the same.

Plus here is a YouTube mini-teaching on this issue with great visuals

2010 Dec Solstice Event 032Below is the Article in question with comments from Cayelin in parathensis and/or bolded or italics

Your “Real Sign” ????

(Note: This Title and article is based on constellations not signs (or the seasons) and is also based on the astronomers redrawing of the constellational boundaries that happened in 1928)

The table below lists the dates when the Sun is actually within the astronomical constellations of the Zodiac, according to modern constellation boundaries and corrected for precession (these dates can vary a day from year to year).

You will most likely find that once precession is taken into account, your zodiac sign is different.
(Note: again this is a misunderstanding because signs or seasons have the same name as the constellations but are not the same as the constellations are the star patterns and the seasons relate to Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall)

And if you were born between November 29 and December 17, your sign is actually one you never saw in the newspaper: you are an Ophiuchus! The eliptic passes through the constellation of Ophiuchus after Scorpius.
(Note: this is only because the boundaries of the constellations were redrawn in 1928 and Ophiuchus is a constellation NOT a seasonal sign so from the Tropical system (or seasonally based signs) Ophiuchus doesn’t even figure in because its not one of the 12 seasonal signs)

Check out your “real” zodiac sign below and see what the sky looked like on your birthday by going to the Birthday Sky application.
(Note: I have included the tropical signs and the dates the Sun is moving through them based on our seasonal experience along with the alternate name of the constellation. So for example if you were born on March 1 the Sun was in the constellation of the Waterbearer but the seasonal sign of Pisces, or if you were born on March 21 when the Sun was at Zero Aries marking the Spring Equinox the Sun was located in the constellation of the Fish.

The first bolded sign name is what the article listed with the dates the Sun is in that constellation. I have given the alternate constellation names and the dates the Sun is in the seasonal or tropical sign.)

Capricorn/Goatfish – Jan 20 to Feb 16 This is the constellation also known as the Goatfish or Seagoat
The Sun is in seasonal  sign Capricorn December 21 to January 20. From the tropical sign based system calibrated from a seasonal perspective the sign Capricorn starts with the Winter Solstice (or December Solstice) when the Sun reaches the coordinate that marks the longest night and shortest day. If we call the constellation by its alternate name, the GoatFish, then the Sun is in the Goatfish from Jan 20 to Feb 16 but it is in the seasonal sign of Capricorn marked by the Winter Solstice…on Dec 21…for the next 30 days.

Aquarius/Waterbearer – Feb 16 to Mar 11 This is the constellation also known as the Waterbearer.
The sign or season of Aquarius begins 30 days after the December Solstice and  is from January 20 to February 20 but the Sun travels through the Waterbearer Feb 16 to Mar 11.

Pisces/Fish – Mar 11 to Apr 18 This is the constellation also known as the Fish.
The sign or season of Pisces begins 60 days after the December Solstice and is from February 21 to March 20 when the Sun reaches the Spring Equinox point of Zero Aries

Aries/Ram – Apr 18 to May 13  This is the constellations also known as the Ram.
The sign or season of Aries occurs when the Sun reaches a balance of equal day and night usually around March 20 and is in the season of Aries until April 19.

Taurus/Bull – May 13 to Jun 21 This is the constellation also known as the Bull.
The sign or season of Taurus starts 30 days after the Spring Equinox around April 20 to May 20

Gemini/Twins – Jun 21 to Jul 20 This is the constellation also know as the Twins.
The sign or season of Gemini begins 60 days after the Spring Equniox on May 21 to June 21

Cancer/Crab – Jul 20 to Aug 10 This is the constellation also known as the Crab.
The sign or season of Cancer begins on the day of the June Solstice when the day is longest and lasts for 30 days from June 21 to July 22

Leo/Lion – Aug 10 to Sep 16 This is the constellation also known as the Lion.
The sign or season of Leo begins 30 days after the June Solstice on July 23 to August 22 as the days are beginning to shorten.

Virgo/Virgin Priestess – Sep 16 to Oct 30 This is the constellation of the Virgin Priestess.
The sign or season of Virgo begins 60 days after the June Solstice on August 23 to September 22

Libra/Scales – Oct 30 to Nov 23 This is the constellation also known as the Scales.
The sign or season of Libra begins when the Sun reaches the balance point of equal day and night on September 23 and lasts for 30 days until October 23.

Scorpius/Scorpion – Nov 23 to Nov 29 This is the constellation of the Scorpion.
The sign or season or Scorpio begins 30 days after the Autumnal Equinox on October 23 and lasts for 30 days until November 21

Ophiuchus/Serpent Bearer – Nov 29 to Dec 17 This constellation only has a foot on the ecliptic and that only happened in 1928 when astronomers redrew the constellational boundaries.

Sagittarius/Archer – Dec 17 to Jan 20 This is the constellation also known as the Archer.
The sign or season of Sagittarius begins 60 days after the Autumnal Equinox on November 22 and lasts 30 days until the December Solstice usually on December 21.

Final Note: Hopefully this gives a sense of the difference between the constellations and the signs and the confusion that occurs because they are named the same names. If we use the alternate names for the constellations it helps to sort out the difference between the tropical signs and the sidereal zodiac.

Again, highly recommended is viewing this YouTube explaining with visual images the seasonal signs and how they move through the constellations one degree every 72 years. It is this slow movement that was forgotten and the signs or season were named the same names as the constellations back in the dark ages when the difference was forgotten. Unfortunately,  the confusion continues to this day and that is why in Shamanic Astrology we use the alternate name for the constellations as a way to keep them separate because the signs and constellations are entirely two different things.

Here is the listing again naming the Constellations
The constellation Capricorn a.k.a The Goatfish – Jan 20 to Feb 16
The constellation Aquarius a.k.a. The Waterbearer- Feb 16 to Mar 11
The constellation Pisces a.k.a. The Fish – Mar 11 to Apr 18
The constellation Aries a.k.a. The Ram – Apr 18 to May 13
The constellation Taurus a.k.a. The Bull – May 13 to Jun 21
The constellation Gemini a.k.a. The Twins – Jun 21 to Jul 20
The constellation Cancer a.k.a. The Crab – Jul 20 to Aug 10
The constellation Leo a.k.a. the Lion – Aug 10 to Sep 16
The constellation Virgo a.k.a. The Virgin Priestess – Sep 16 to Oct 30
The constellation Libra a.k.a. The Scales – Oct 30 to Nov 23
The constellation Scorpius a.k.a. The Scorpion – Nov 23 to Nov 29
The constellation Ophiuchus a.k.a The Serpent Bearer – Nov 29 to Dec 17
The constellation Sagittarius a.k.a The Archer – Dec 17 to Jan 20

Here is the List of the Seasonal Signs
Capricorn (December Solstice) December 23 – January 20
Aquarius (First Cross-Quarter) January 21 – February 19
Pisces (Right before March Equinox) February 20- March 20
Aries (March Equniox) March 21 – April 20
Taurus (Second Cross-Quarter) April 21 – May 21
Gemini (Right before June Solstice)  May 22 – June 21
Cancer (June Solstice) June 22 – July 22
Leo (3rd Cross-Quarter)  July 23 -August 21
Virgo (Right before the September Equinox) August 22 – September 23
Libra (The September Equinox) September 24 – October 23
Scorpio (The 4th Cross-Quarter) October 24 – November 22
Sagittarius (Right before the December Solstice) November 23 – December 22

This article http://shamanicastrology.com/articles/the-difference-between-signs-and-constellations also explains the difference.

Comments

  1. It makes sense that there would be 13 signs given that the Lunar cycles are 13 per year meaning there are actually 13 months.

    I am curious how you come upon the dates for the signs? Given that nothing is linear. Earth’s rotation and orbit are irregular. The lunar cycle is changing, shifting about a day per year. Our relationship to the heavens change.

    There is an interconnection in the flow of the signs. Under the 12 signs, Aquarius is at it’s maxium energetic or Yang influence on the 4th or 5th of February. It is Yin about the 19th/20th of January in relationship with Capricorn. On February 19th/20th it is Yin again in relationship with Pisces. It is an osilating flow rather than a linear march.

    How do you see this in relation to the 13 signs?

    Richasu

    • Thank you for your questions Richasu. First of all your comment about the Moon cycle is only partially correct. From New Moon to New Moon or Full Moon to Full Moon (the synodic Moon cycle) there are typically only 12 times the Moon reaches these phases in a year. That is because it takes 29.5 days for the Moon to return to the same phase. When you divide that number into the days of the year the closest whole number is 12…hence the 12 months (moonths).

      The Moon will return to any given sidereal position every 27.3 days (the sidereal Moon cycle). If you divide that number into the days of the year the closest whole number is 13. So this means the Moon will pass by a star, we will use Antares as the example, 13 times in a year. So both the number 12 and 13 are sacred to the Moon. See the Article on Understanding the Blue Moon for more details about how this works.

      The dates for the signs or seasons are determined by the Solstices and Equinoxes as explained in this video YouTube

      You are correct in saying the seasons are not a linear flow but rather cyclical coming back around each year. I think when you are saying the “12 signs” have maximum Yin or Yang energy during certain times it is really the constellations you are speaking about.

      So again there are NOT 13 signs (or seasons) in our current system as the seasonal Calendar is divided into 12 Months related to the Synodic Moon cycle and the Solstices and Equinoxes.

      Just to be clear, I am not advocating for our current calendar as it has many flaws primarily because it was set up to focus our awareness in the material world by disconnecting the dates from the seasons as defined by the Solstices and Equinoxes. However, the 12 signs or seasons do work and over time every season will be with every constellation and that doesn’t change no matter what calendar you use. I hope this helps!!!

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