Are There 13 Zodiac Signs?
Wondering what’s the T on the supposed 13th Zodiac sign?
Have you been left confused by someone insisting there are 13 Star Signs and not 12 as you always thought?
Even worse, have you doom-scrolled through some post somewhere that tried to tell you your Zodiac sign had changed, but was being kept secret by some unidentified elite?
Here we break it down – sharing a question from one of our readers in the hope that you too can finally be free from any doubts that might exist about the 13th Zodiac sign and what that (doesn’t) mean for you
Thank you for the work you do! Learning astrology has certainly helped my understanding of the world and the tools and insight you provide are invaluable.
Last year I learned about the different (and notably older) perspective of the thirteen signs in contrast to the twelve. Since then, I have written down the differing dates and considered these differences when thinking about birthdays.
I’m not sure if I’m just being influenced by some Barnum effect but personalities have been making a lot more sense to me when some Pisces are seen as Aquarius, Aquarius as Capricorn, and so on.
Being born July 26, my sign had also changed from Leo to Cancer. What are your thoughts on this system and could it have any impact on your moon and rising signs?
Thanks for all you do!
The 12 (not 13) Astrology Signs
This issue of 13 signs is one that concerns a lot of people, and I will do my best to try and demystify it for you, as well as everyone else!
The most important thing to understand is that the Western Zodiac system is based upon the turning of the seasons as the Earth orbits the Sun. The Earth orbits the Sun in perfect symmetry, completing a CYCLE every 365 and 1/4 days.
Simple geometry tells us that a circle (cycle) is made up of 360 degrees, and these degrees can be equally divided into 12 segments (the Signs) following the natural order of the seasons as the length of day/night increases and decreases throughout the year.
For example, the symbolic start of the Zodiac is the first degrees of Aries. This point in the cycle is marked by the March equinox – the exact point in time/space when the seasons change in both hemispheres and day/night are of equal length.
The next major point comes in June with the solstice point when day is longest in the north and shortest in the south. After that we have September with the next equinox and of course December with another solstice point.
What I’m trying to get across here is that the Zodiac is a symbolic model for understanding biological systems that is built on observable fact.
Astrology is in fact based on rhythm, timing and observation – not a mystical belief in constellations that has fallen foul of some modern day esoteric skullduggery.
The essential idea astrology explores is that there is some kind of connected pattern underlying both the structure of the cosmos as well as the human psyche…. How it works no one knows, but astrologers consistently prove that it does.
Please believe me! There is no conspiracy afoot seeking to conceal anything from anyone, nor is there a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of astrologers who apparently don’t realize there is a difference between the location of the constellations against the celestial sphere and signs of the Zodiac.
If you want to read more on this topic then go here
You Are More Than Just Your Sun Sign!
What is far more likely is that the personality differences you are noticing are due to the fact that your Sun sign is only part of the overall puzzle.
Almost all those “critics” who attack astrology because there are thirteen constellations along the ecliptic but only 12 signs actually haven’t bothered to take the time to understand the foundations of the Western system.
Because they don’t know anything about what they are critiquing we don’t need to listen to their opinions. After all, would you denounce the foundations of physics if you hadn’t bothered to learn anything about it?
For those of us who are actually engaging in informed debate (and I’m sure this is you) then there is certainly room for exploration.
But instead of insisting that one method cancels out the other it may be more fruitful to consider how different lenses allow a different view – much the same way as an X-ray scan shows a different perspective to an MRI…
Medical science does not waste valuable hours nitpicking about whether one tool is more correct than the other. It understands the inherent differences and uses them to gather useful information as required.
We astrologers would do well to do the same.
So in answer to your question –
Yes, the 13 sign system may have some validity.
But let’s work hard to explore its potential (if there is any) rather than rush to denounce a perfectly valid way of understanding the world ( based on 12 signs) that has consistently proven itself to be reliable across the span of time.
Personally I have found the 12 sign model of the Zodiac to be so astoundingly and unerringly useful that I would be very reluctant to throw it away without a better approach.
Anyone who has spent time testing astrological theory in the realm of real-life experience with a statistically significant number of subjects seems to agree – the cosmos is extraordinary and there is far more beneath our understanding of reality than what we can currently explain based on mechanical, evolutionary or chemical models.
So let’s keep learning. Why denounce a system that has withstood the test of time and appeared in every significant world culture? Isn’t it hubris to insist it doesn’t work when we have no idea about why it might?
The truth about compatible Zodiac signs is that you can’t tell anything based on someone’s sign alone. Whilst your Sun Sign does NOT dictate who you are most compatible with, your birth chart can give you a lot of food for thought in terms of which partners you are most suited to and why. Learn more about synastry and chart comparison
I’m a professional astrologer, coach, and Ayurvedic consultant, originally from Australia but now travelling the world. At Stars Like You, the focus is on happiness. We publish great astrology articles, as well as well-researched pieces on nutrition, wellness and Ayurveda drawn from years of clinical experience.