Tag Archives: zodiac


Ophiuchus is the constellation of the healer, he is also known as Asclepius. A constellation is different from a zodiac sign. Constellations are star groupings, signs are archetypal energies based upon numerology, seasons, and constellations. There can be a little confusion about the two, as there are 12 signs, and they match the 12 main constellations on the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the path that it appears to us the sun travels around in a solar year.

Those who have planets in the healer’s constellation of Ophiuchus may be touched by his mythology. That however does not mean you were born under his sign. That is a different thing in general. But the mythologies of the constellations do hold meaning personally, and it is worth reading about the mythologies of the constellations that play a large part in your life.
Ophiuchus  was the son of Apollo and Coronis. Apollo killed Coronis for being unfaithful to Apollo and threw her into a funeral pyre, but the unborn child was pulled forth from her womb, when he realized she was pregnant. From this he received the name Asklepios “to cut open”. Apollo could not bear raising this child, so he gave it to the Centaur Chiron. Here we find the common myth of the development of qualities out of suffering. So we can speak to the idea that if you have this Constellation in your chart, you are going to suffer, from the beginning, and out of this suffering will come wisdom, or a gift. Lets get onto that before we get too morbid.
Chiron taught Asclepius the art of healing. According to Pindar, Asclepius learned how to heal through the use of the knife, or surgery as we know it, as well as herbal. He also learned how to make love potions and use spiritual mantras to effect reality. He became a real alchemist or sorcerer, witch doctor, or shaman…however you want to term it.

Now he was a child of the gods, and they do tend to take care of their own so the Goddess Athena gave Asclepius a boon. This boon was  a magic potion made from the blood of the Gorgon. The blood of the Gorgon is very interesting, it has this unique quality of having a different effects depending from which side the blood was taken. When it comes from the  right side of the Gorgon, miraculously brings the dead back to life, however when taken from the left side it is a super toxic deadly poison. This is also like magic, when done for positive happiness for all, it has a good result, but when you have negative intentions, its results are bad for you and others. Thus we can see here that we are talking about a constellation whose effects are very magical, very helpful or very Poisonous. One can ponder here, who are you poisonous too? Who are you helpful too. Look at planets placed in this constellation, how is that energy being used to help others or help others.  For instance, I know a lady who has Mercury in this location in the Zodiac. She is young, and always getting hurt by others speech. She is very sensitive to this, Speech comes to her as a poison, but likewise she can be really up lifted by encouragement. Due to the as above so below nature of life, her mouth really creates this effect on others too.

Asclepius really went beyond what man was supposed to be able to do according to legend.

Another version of the story tells of Asclepius being giving a job to heal Glaucus. While he was in Glaucuses house contemplating how to bring this dead man back to life, a snake slithered towards him. He killed the snake with his staff; then another snake came along with an herb in its mouth and placed it on the body of the dead snake and it came back to life.  Asclepios took this same herb and laid it on the fellow Glaucus, who too then came back to life himself.  A hah, he thought in amazement. This is another way that it is said he gained the capacity to bring the dead back to life. This is why Ophiuchus (which means serpent holder) is shown in the sky holding a snake, he holds the power of the vital spirit, which is represented by the snake.
He became a real master, and this always upsets the Gods in western mythology. He offended Zeus by accepting money in exchange for raising the dead.  Which is really bordering on modern day pharmaceutical practice, back in those days, it was not allowed. For Zues this was very wrong, it was an affront to the natural order of the universe – a mere mortal helping man evade death.  Hades became upset to, you know the god of the dead really wants his souls, it was no good that all these men who should be dead were walking around living. So Zues and his brother Hades conferred and Zues threw down a thunderbolt and killed Asclepius. After Asclepiuses death, Zues put him up among the stars as the constellation Ophiucus(“the Serpent Holder”).

A cult of Asclepius formed. People thought that by praying to him one could gain healing powers. It is said that Hippocrates was born near such a temple. The original, ancient Hippocratic Oath begins with the invocation “I swear by Apollo the Physician and by Asclepius and by Hygieia and Panacea and by all the gods …”

Perhaps the myth of Ophiuchus is a good one for our times, as we are entering a crisis of healing, but it is not a new sign, it is a part of sky lore that brings meaning into our lives, which is different than a sign. The sun passes through Ophiuchus between Nov. 30th and Dec. 17th. Or between 8 degrees Sag. And 25 degrees sag.

You are still a Scorpio, a response to the crazy media.

I have been asked by many friends and clients to write about the “new discovery” of the “new Zodiac”.  So to start with, there is no new zodiac, and nothing about astrology has changed. That there are two Zodiacs, the tropical and the sidereal, has been dealt with extensively by professional astrologers for over 2 millennium, and the current misunderstandings are what happen when pop media gets hold of an idea they don’t understand, and fail to ask professionals about its meaning. First of all, the processed zodiac, which has been used by Sidereal astrologers, and Vedic astrologers continuously for over 2 thousand years, is a well known phenomena within astrology.

Around 2500 years ago, astrologers decided to peg the symbolic zodiac to the seasons. Thus the first day of spring, the spring equinox, is always Aries, the 365 days in the year, are roughly divided into equal periods around 30 days long, this is the 12 symbolic zodiac sections known as the Tropical Zodiac. This Zodiac does not change. It is based on the temperament of the seasons in the northern latitudes of the planet. We divide by 12, because there are 3 modalities and 4 elements that make up the Zodiac. The three modalities are Cardinal, Mutable, and Fixed. The four elements are Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. If we throw in Ophiuchus the entire numerological basis for the perfection of astrology falls apart. Remember, Astronomy is the study of stars stripped of meaning and just observed for their physical characteristics. Astrology is the study of Orbital Bodies, Stars, and Esoteric mathematical relationships between the two to infer meaning, and messages from the divine that our applicable to our daily lives and experience.

For this reason, even though Ophiuchus is sticking his foot in the Zodiac right now, the constellation of the serpent bearer’s foot has always been in the Zodiac circle. This has been known since the existence of astrology to astrologers, they have not included him in the sacred symbolic geometry of the Zodiac, because it is only a foot, and does not accord with the sacred numerology of the stars.

The Sidereal Zodiac acknowledges the Precession of the Equinox. That is how the constellation the first day of spring the ecliptic points to is shifting, moving backwards in the zodiac by about 1 degree every 72 years.  This is the Zodiac used by Vedic and Sidereal astrologers. They reject the description of the Zodiac archtypes as being based on season and peg it to the actual location of the stars. Both Zodiacs have their uses. It is said the real master astrologers use both.

But alas, do not take my word for it, here are a couple of excellent blog posts on the subjects by others that I received in an email recently:

Richard Nolle has a full page on sidereal zodiac on his web site here
http://www.astropro.com/features/articles/zodiacs/precessA.html (excerpt)

“They have criticized something without bothering to investigate it. Anyone
who took the time to study astrology would certainly be aware that modern
astrological tradition in the Western world descends directly from the Greek
astrologer Claudius Ptolemy. In his Tetrabiblos, written in the 2nd Century
CE – that’s 2nd Century AD, for you non-ecumenical types – Ptolemy clearly
laid the signs versus constellations question to rest. “The beginning of the
whole zodiacal circle,” he affirms, “is therefore assumed to be the sign of
Aries, which commences at the vernal equinox.”3 Just to make sure even the
astronomers wouldn’t miss it, Ptolemy repeats the point: “The beginnings of
the signs,” he writes, “are to be taken from the equinoctial and tropical
points.”4 Ptolemy didn’t make this up out of the blue, all by his lonesome:
“This rule,” he notes, is “clearly stated by writers on the subject.”5
Ptolemy had access to the Great Library at Alexandria (where he lived), and
therefore can be assumed to have had a nodding acquaintance with the
astrological literature of his day. And far from being an original writer,
all he did was summarize and organize the astrology of that era – an
astrology that was by then already centuries old. From this it is evident
that astrologers before and during Ptolemy’s time were working with a zodiac
of signs – not a zodiac of constellations. (As early as the 5th Century BCE,
some Greek and Babylonian astrologers were working with a zodiac divided
into twelve equal segments based on the equinoxes and solstices: a zodiac of
signs, not constellations, in other words.)

So there you have it, straight from the historical figure who is universally
acknowledged as the Father of modern Western astrology: it’s the signs, as
defined by the equinoctial and tropical points (and specifically the vernal
equinox), that count – not the constellations. You might think that anyone
who’d criticize astrology on account of the discrepancy between signs and
constellations would bother to get acquainted with some basic history before
going on the warpath. But then you’d be making the mistake of assuming that
a propagandist has any interest in the truth in the first place. And that’s
just what anyone who attempts to debunk astrology on the grounds of the
signs-versus-constellations argument is: a propagandist, one who aims to
sway the minds and hearts of people without regard for the facts. In a word,
that whole red herring has no basis other than ignorance. (I’m ruling out
malevolence because the astronomers I’ve met seem to be pretty decent

Vaughn Paul Manley, M.A., Vedic Astrologer, say however that both systems
are relevant. He also wrote: “Interestingly, due to the precession of the
equinox, the Sun will be at the 1st degree of Libra at the spring equinox in
about 11,200 years! Mark you calendars! Then we’ll really have a lot of
explaining to do with regards to the two systems because they’ll be exactly
opposite one another!! The ayanamsha will be 180 degrees 0 minutes!! I’d say
it’d be worth it to incarnate at that time just to join in the debate!” and
“….this is why I think Western astrology makes sense even though it uses a
symbolic zodiac. Our day to day life on earth is integrally effected by the
seasons and so to transpose the zodiac over the seasons – works. The
essential qualities of the signs of the zodiac do line up with the Sun
passing through the seasons. For instance, the Sun passing into Aries
conveys the qualities of Spring – active, energetic, vigorous creative new
life etc.” read more on the debate here

The Ascendant Meditation

The ascendant is the point in the chart where zodiacal sign and degree was ascending on the eastern horizon at the specific place and time of your birth. In astrology it is what gives you your original personality nature. for the ascendant is different for everyone, and distinguishes us, from someone who was born at the same time in China, or India, or Brazil, at the same moment we were born. Thus, the ascendant, more than any planet defines what it is in the astrology chart that makes us a unique being in a vast sea of interdependent incarnating souls. The ascendant defines our time and place. As the ascendant defines our time, from it the archetypal zodiac which is 12 signs in number are split into twelve houses.  The 7 traditional planets then are placed into these twelve, and from this our fortune and destiny is foretold.

This point falls at a degree in the circle. That degree marks our personality, our individuality, our body type, and becomes a marker for our quest and our power in the world. Traditional astrology measures this degree in relation to its place in the circle. Which sign rules this degree. What planets aspect this degree. Is this in a feminine sign or masculine. Is it in a feminine degree or masculine. What element rules the sign that the degree is in. Also, consider that if the ascendant degree is early in a sign it is considered stronger. Thus the personality will be stronger and less likely to bend from its shape and intentions. The planet that rules the sign of the ascendant speaks a great deal about personality purpose of a person. The triplicity rulers of the ascendant speaks about the life experience of the persons chart in a way that is broken down into large thirty year swaths.

A key to living a healthy life psychologically is to integrate your personality with your soul, thoughts, emotions, and life conditions. Coming to know your ascendant, and its meaning then is a tool for integrating yourself with your circumstances.  An interesting exercise is to sit down, breath in and out a few times to quiet the mind, and then think of the archetype that rules your ascendant. Meditate on it for a few moments and then write down four qualities of this archetype that are beneficial to you and others, then four that are harmful to you and others. No need to worry about whether these are true to your personality or not. By the mere fact that they come to mind then they are part of your own matrix. Contemplate these eight modes of personality action. Do not judge them, just let it be, with acceptance for a few moments. Then rest the mind in simple meditation for a few moments. After that, vow to work to make yourself and others happy through all of your interactions.

You will find this rich, rewarding and deepening.

Here are 12 Key Polarities for the Ascendant in each sign to help with the meditation.

Aries: Initiative/ Impulsive

Taurus: Enjoyment/ Slow

Gemini: Intelligent/ Ungrounded

Cancer: Nurturing/ Self Pity

Leo: Bright/ Self Centered

Virgo: Methodic/ Critical

Libra: Balanced/ Passive Aggresive

Scorpio: Daring/ Vindictive

Sagittarius: Jovial/ extreme

Capricorn: Dependable/Pessemistic

Aquarius: Independent/Contrary

Pisces: Compassionate/ Careless