What's your sign? It's complicated

By Joseph Neese - email

NEW YORK (RNN) - Contrary to what you may have seen trending on your Facebook page, your zodiac sign is not changing. And the idea is nothing new.

"Nothing's going to be happening," said Susan Miller, a famous New York-based astrologist. "Everything's going to be just fine."

Reporter Bill Ward caused quite a storm when his "Star Tribune" article went viral, alleging that everyone's zodiac signs were off by about one month.

In part, Ward is right. But the change is nothing more than cosmetic.

The 13th Sign

There are 13 zodiac signs under a system proposed in a "Star Tribune" article. They are, as follows:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11 - April 18
Aries: April 18 - May 13
Taurus: May 13 - June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20 - Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 - Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 - Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 - Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 - Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 - Jan. 20


Miller doesn't think you went to sleep last night as a Taurus and woke up an Aries.

"Remember this: Every sign is ruled by a planet," Miller said. "And that planet takes care of you and gives you all of your loveable characteristics."

Ward quoted astronomer Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, who spoke of Earth's "wobble." Over time, the earth's axis shifts.

So, as Kunkle pointed out to the Star Tribune, "When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it's really not in Pisces" anymore.

Calls placed to Kunkle were not returned Friday. But Miller believes his quotes were taken out of context.

"I know the scientist ... was shocked," she said.

Since the time of the ancient Greeks, Miller said, the human race has known about this phenomenon. Around 125 BC, Hippachus discovered Earth's top-like "wobble." So, astronomers have known this was coming for thousands of years.

It's important to remember that astronomy and astrology are two very different sciences. Miller said just because the constellations move, doesn't mean your sign moves, too.  They are simply a measuring device.

Think of it like wearing a belt, Miller said. You buckle your belt on the front of your waist, and by the end of the day, it may have shifted to your left side, after wobbling from your stride.

"Your hips didn't move," Miller said. "You're still the same person."

Or, think of it like wearing a dress.

"That's like saying my dress gives me my personality," Miller said. "No. It doesn't."

Millers advice: Do not start reading the wrong sign. You'll be getting the wrong readings.

"People who read the wrong sign will never believe in astrology again," Miller said.

The tape measure has moved - in this case 23 degrees - but the essence of your sign hasn't changed.

Earth rotates in a 360-degree circle, so you would rotate 23 degrees backward to get your new sign. That's a change of about one month. So if you were a Taurus, you'd most likely be an Aires under the new system proposed by Ward.

The best solution: Ignore this new information.

"What you should be concentrating on is finding your rising sign," Miller said.

If you are a Taurus, but you feel like you may also be a Gemini or a Virgo, you might not be too far off. You aren't looking at your whole chart if you are only looking at your birthday sign.

This is accomplished by finding your date and time of birth, as close to the actual minute as possible. This will help you identify your sun sign, which is the constellation rising on the eastern horizon at the time you were born.

For example, if you were a Taurus born on April 21 at 12:30 a.m., you are a second-degree Taurus with a Capricorn rising.

Astrologists like Miller can put together the complex formulas for you. It's when you read your Taurus with your Capricorn that things start to make sense. Before, you only had half the information.

So if you're like this writer, there's no need to swap your Taurus horns for that Aries bow and arrow. Rather, you should see what the big bull and the small goat can learn from one another.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Susan Miller operates the website Astrologyzone.com. She writes for Elle magazine, Vogue Japan and has written seven books. The latest, "The Year Ahead: 2011," is available exclusively on her website. She can be followed on Twitter @astrolgyzone or on her mobile application, Astrology Zone Premiere.

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