Ophiuchus is the new and the 13th Zodiac sign, which has been added between Scorpio and Sagittarius and is the sign for all born between Nov 29 and Dec17. We are told that an addition of a new sign is because of the shift of the earth’s axis. In technical terms, the earth has been on its axis for several thousand years and such a shift is not unexpected. But we will leave science here and move on to the mythical reference of Ophiuchus.
Ophiuchus in Greek means the Serpent bearer and that is why the sign is also sometimes known as the Serpentarius. The figure represents a man wrestling with a giant serpent ultimately dividing it in to two.
Ophiuchus was the illegitimate son of the god Apollo and the nymph Coronis. When Coronis was pregnant with Apollo’s son, she began courting a human. This got Apollo’s sister furious and she shot arrows at Coronis for cheating on her brother. When Apollo came to know about it, he managed to save the unborn child before the arrows hit Coronis. Apollo then took the child, named him Asclepius, and gave him to a centaur Chiron. Chiron was a wise and a kind centaur who excelled in the art of medicine.
Chiron then trained Asclepius in medicine, who went a step beyond his teacher and Asclepius soon mastered the art of raising people from death. This worried the god of the underworld, Hades, who did not want mankind to be immortal. He convinced his brother, Zeus, the King of Gods, and Zeus, hurled a thunderbolt at Asclepius and killed him. Later to honour Asclepius, Zeus put him in the sky and named Asclepius, as Ophiuchus.
The Egyptians believe that there lived a person by the name of Imphotep in the Ancient Egypt. Imphotep was a healer by profession and he introduced the concepts and the techniques of healing to mankind. The serpent or the snake symbol which today is used to symbolise the medical profession was used to represent Imphotep. According to the Egyptians, it is the same Imphotep, whom the Greeks later named Ophiuchus. The serpent symbol is also known as the Rod of Asclepius.
It is also said that the Hippocratic Oath that the physicians take, named after Hippocrates, was supposed to be the descendant of Asclepius.
Finally, Ophiuchus is the 13th Zodiac sign, so does it bring bad luck to all born under this sign? Astronomers do not think so, rather, they feel that people with this new sign, are those who seek wisdom and knowledge and the year 2011, is going to prove to be a very good year for them. There, that does it. So keep your doubts at bay and move on the Serpentarians! This year belongs to you!!