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.