Getting to know Ophiuchus

Firstly, an apology: I’m a bit of a space geek. OK, that apology didn’t really sound like I meant. Which I guess I don’t. But it’s a fact, a disclaimer perhaps, which I thought I should begin this post with. And my space geekiness doesn’t usually extend to astrology, but I couldn’t resist reading all the recent news reports about how we need to add a thirteenth star sign to our astrology guides.

The story is basically gumpf seeing as this new ‘rule’ only applies to people born after 2008 and anyway the current astrological system owes more to tradition than the actual zodiac of the sky.

But the thing that interested me was the so-called ‘thirteenth star sign’ itself – Ophiuchus (pronounced Oh-few-cuss). Who is Ophiuchus? If I were to adopt Ophiuchus as my star sign, what exactly would I be getting myself into? We all know that Leos are stubborn and creative and that Pisceans are empathetic and popular and that Capricorns complain about having their birthdays so near to Christmas. But what does Ophiuchus mean for the Ophiuchuses out there?

It may be the most disgusting-sounding of all the zodiac signs (chest infection, anyone?) but as far as constellations go it’s kind of boring.


If anything it resembles a badly-drawn house with the crappiest verandah you’ve probably ever seen. Luckily, however, most constellations signify something that they don’t in any way visually resemble. And this is the case for Ophiuchus because Ophiuchus is not a rectangle with a pointy top but a muscular greek-god-looking warrior dude wrestling a giant unruly snake. Yeah!

Ophiuchus means business. He is a warrior who’s not afraid to get all tangled up in serpent. Not unlike this guy:

Now before you decry poor old Ophiuchus as being just another guy obsessed with the phalluses of life, you should know that he is based on the Greek god Asclepius, who was the healer and medicine man back then. Ophiuchus is wrestling with the serpent because snakes represent antidotes (as well as poison, but this guy was a healer so we’ll put the emphasis on the medicinal symbolism). So really, Ophiuchus is not so much about Hollywood-style snake wrestling and much more about healing the sick. Visually, he’s more like this guy:

Which gives us a clearer understanding of what Ophiuchus stood for and what the star sign might mean for anyone willing to dump the traditional zodiac and go with the alternate (and scientifically accurate) version. Although it’s impossible to tell from all this what characteristics people under the sign of Ophiuchus might display. But if they’re anything like paramedics they’ll be  incredibly decent human beings who are proficient at what they do and who look awesome in a jumpsuit. That’s right, a jumpsuit! And suddenly you’re a lot more interested in being an Ophiuchus, aren’t you?

3 thoughts on “Getting to know Ophiuchus”

  1. Ophiuchus doesn’t lie in the ecliptic, so is not one of the zodiacal signs. Oh, yes, his foot touches upon it, but sticking your big toe in the water doesn’t mean you are swimming. It is, however, fascinating that our celestial subconscious would be making a very big huge deal about it right now. Why? Because this constellation just happens to point directly at our Galactic Center, which plays a very important part in the Mayan prophecies of 2012.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top