By September 30, 2016 No Comments
Download PDF

Could it be a sign?

Many people have asked me about the 13th constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder, situated between Scorpius and Sagittarius.  It’s located opposite Orion and is depicted as a man grasping a serpent; the interposition of his body divides the snake constellation Serpens into two parts. In mythology Ophiuchus is associated with Asclepius, an ancient physician and healer.

A sign is different to a constellation. A zodiacal sign occupies 30 degrees, or 1/12th of a circle (360 degrees). The zodiacal signs have their origin in the sixth century BC. Constellations vary in size and are a visual image superimposed upon a cluster of stars by human imagination e.g. ram, bull, crab, serpent holder etc.

Around 190BC Hipparchus realized that the astronomical/astrological systems in use at the time were changing. One such system was a “sidereal” zodiac based on the fixed stars, those stars that remained in the signs for a long time. The other was a “tropical” system because of its relationship to the tropics, solstices and equinoxes. At this time the two systems coincided.

2000 years ago Graeco-Egyptian astrologer, Claudius Ptolemy, along with others, created the currently used tropical zodiac of twelve signs. The signs were developed as a measuring system for tracking planetary movements. They were also used to keep track of the seasons for agricultural purposes. They are a counter-clockwise twelve fold symbolic system. As the system developed observations and correlations were made as to the attributes and qualities relating to the different kind of divisions. They have nothing to do with the stars located in each.

Current commonly used astrological ephemerides and computer programs work with the 2000- year old tropical zodiac referred to as such because of its relationship to the latitudes of earth. It does not correlate to the current position of the constellations.  The sidereal system is based on the constellations of stars and is unrelated to the solstices, equinoxes and seasons. The earlier astronomers/astrologers (they were both) decided it was more valuable to develop a system that was relevant to earth. The Indian national astronomical ephemeris is the only one of which I am aware that gives the positions of the planets in a sidereal zodiac. There may be others.

Orphiichus is a constellation of stars and not a zodiacal sign. Many of the constellation images will eventually change due to the movement of the stars situated within them. The seasons will not.

As the earth moves around the Sun the seasons change and depict the circle of signs ‘coming to life’ on earth. They show where we are in the flow of life in relationship to the heavens. This system is used by many cultures upon our planet. During its developmental life it has evolved into a symbolic measuring system of human attributes, strengths, weaknesses, psychological propensity, gifts and talents.  It is a collective thought form, an incredibly accurate tool for deciphering how the cosmic energy interacts with individuals according to their personal blue print, their birth chart. It signifies how we humans can also ‘come to life’ during the seasons of our life to harvest our potential.

What really excites me is the discovery by astronomers of many new planets in our solar system. Esoterically when a new planet is discovered it is time for a leap in human consciousness evolution. The discovery of so many planets indicates humanity is evolving at an accelerated and probably unprecedented rate. A monumental shift in consciousness is taking place.


February 2011


Ref. Robert Hand (article in February 2011 Acrux astrology magazine)

Nicholas R Mann & Philippa Glasson: The Star Temple of Avalon

Download PDF