Ophiuchus 13th Zodiac Sign? ~ Nov 22 to Dec 21


Ophiuchus is the Serpent holder or the snake charmer. The snake part is a constellation in it own right called Serpens. Another name for this constellation is Serpentarius, which I think is a far more evocative and pleasant sounding name, apart from it being easier to spell! The myth surrounding this constellation is that of Aesculapius, a medicine man, so gifted that he was able to perform the miraculous feat of bringing the dead back to life.


Zeus was so enraged by this mere physician playing god that he destroyed him with a thunderbolt. Apparently however, it was Hades that provoked Zeus’s wrath, complaining that fewer souls were being sent down to the underworld as a result of Aesculapius’s talents. The centaur Chiron raised Aesculapius as his own son. His mother is said to be Corvus the crow, which is interesting as the Corvus constellation hasn’t got a great reputation either.

Ophiuchus Mythology

It is suggested Aesculapius as its other derivative Asklepios, came from words meaning “applying” and “making limbs gentle”. It is also associated with the words hermit, gentle, kind, calm and soothing.

Medicine comes from the same root as Medusa, the name of the sorceress Medea also comes from this root. The blood from Medusa’s left side was poisonous and the right side was used to heal. You could say that Aesculapius used this blood as medicine.

The coiled up snake can also be seen as the Kundalini, the word itself in Sanskrit means “coiled up”. The igniting and harnessing of this life force is the aim of witch doctors and shamans. This will be done through the use of drumming, trance and hallucinogens. This takes us back to this constellation being known as the snake charmer. The snake is hypnotised by playing a musical instrument, the ancient version of trance music.

Ophiuchus Snake Wisdom

Of course integral to the shamans role is inducing altered states of consciousness by the use of entheogens. Some have said these are the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and of course the snake as Lilith was the temptress there.

The snake is said to represent wisdom. But this is occult (meaning hidden) wisdom for a reason. Just like they say that sudden igniting of the Kundalini can send you mad, then also too much of this wisdom flooding the brain can do the same.

Together this is enlightenment. Sex and spirituality is a powerful force, it hits us like a thunderbolt.  The tarot card associated with Ophiuchus is the one that most people fear. “The Lightening Struck Tower”, but a thunderbolt can either kill us or in the case of Frankenstein, bring us back to life. This is why western society is desperately in need of a modern medicine man now. We need the guidance and the soothing hands to help us get over the collective PTSD.

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Ophiuchus Fixed Stars

Ophiuchus spans all of Sun sign Sagittarius. Precession means the star moves forward through the tropical  zodiac at one degree every 72 years. The positions below are for the year 2000.

09°14′ Sagittarius. For HAN “It brings trouble and disgrace“. [3]
17°58′ Sagittarius. For SABIK we get “perverted morals and success in evil deeds“. [2]
22°27′ Sagittarius. For RAS ALHAGUE it “gives misfortune through women, perverted tastes and mental depravity“. [5]
29°45′ Sagittarius. For SINISTRA it’s associated with depravity and with the Moon “Lustful, wanton, infamous, scandalous, addicted to sorcery and poisoning“. [4]

Ras Alhague


The most important star is Ras Alhague in the head, followed by Sabik in the right leg, Han in the left knee and Sinistra in the right hand. Not much has been written about it’s smaller stars apart from the few quotes written above.

Out of these, the sinister Sinistra seems to get the worst deal because it also ” gives an immoral, mean and slovenly nature“. [4] In Italian sinistra means left, so it’s odd that it is given to the right hand. This could be a reference to right brain thinking.

“It has a Saturn like character, and some of the undesirable Venus qualities are also present. Connected with these are Neptunian tendencies, making the native especially prone to infectious contamination caused by toxins.

People thus influenced are easy going in the use of medical drugs, hallucinatory drugs stimulating foodstuffs, too much good living and overindulgence in tobacco and alcohol. …. Besides the lower emanations, there are supposedly higher influences attributed to this star, ‘though only very few people are able to attune themselves to these influences’.” [6]

I would say its higher influences are those I have already mentioned while talking about the constellation as a whole.

Ras Alhague & Planets

Ras Alhague Sun

“Reserved, thoughtful, studious, suspicious, solitary, reputation for athletics, little wealth, careless of public opinion” [5]. The Sun brings great creativity and takes away some of the shady edge of the serpent. It also brings great sexuality and charm. There could be a mental health handicap which has to be overcome. Still the wisdom of the snake creates innovators, but also brings notoriety, wanted or unwanted. The subjects may be uncomfortable and secretive in public, and may forever slither out of grasping hands.

Singer Dionne Warwick; American singer also became TV show host and Ambassador for health. Coquettish Vanessa Hudgens; High school musical actress whose topless and nude pictures appearing on the internet did not please her Disney bosses. George VI; Reluctant King, suffered from a stammer, hated public speaking.

Kenneth Branagh (Sabik); Acclaimed British actor known for his modern film adaptations of Shakespheare’s plays. Connie Francis; Italian/American singer wanted to study medicine but pushed into singing by her domineering father. Was raped in a hotel room and almost killed. The mafia killed her brother.

Diagnosed manic-depressive and was at times suicidal. Connie continues to sing today and is known for her tearful, emotional vocal style. Frank Sinatra; Italian /America crooner, suffered with manic depression. Sought solitude but then felt lonely. Osho (Sabik); Indian mystic sex Guru. Contraversial, contradictory yet spellbinding.

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Ophiuchus The 13th Sign?

Is Ophiuchus the missing 13th sign? Absolutely not! The tropical zodiac is based on the 12 months and the seasons, so it is a solar calendar. To have a 13th sign would mess up the whole system. However Ophiuchus does fall very close to the ecliptic and the symbolism of this sign being left out of the zodiac does fit into the meaning of the constellation as a whole. Ophiuchus is a sign in exile, an outsider and just wasn’t accepted into the gang of twelve.

Ophiuchus also corresponds to the archetype of the 13th fairy in the fairytale, the Sleeping Beauty. This fairy was called Eris, which is also another Lilith/dark goddess archetype. Eris just like the Roman myth was not invited to royal party, in this case the christening of the new princess.

As you can see from the interpretations of this constellation, there is definitely a supernatural, otherworldly and shamanic quality to Ophiuchus. If you really want to claim this wanton witch or wizard as your Sunsign, then its position by degrees simply mirrors that of Sagittarius. Ophiuchus falls between 1º to 29º Sagittarius, so this is birthdays from November 22 to December 21.

1,2,3,4,5. The Fixed stars & Constellations in Astrology. Robson. p.54, p.199, p.172, p.208, p.193.
6. Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.72-73.

Image Ref: Nemesis Inc Getty Images