Molly Hall About.com
"The New Zodiac" - Hot Story Spun into Orbit
Saturday January 15, 2011
From what I've seen so far, the mix-up about the "New Zodiac" seems to be the result of sloppy and sensationalist reporting, not an attempt to debunk astrology. The sparking source of this controversy, astronomer professor Parke Kunkle was describing precession of the equinoxes, and that constellations have shifted in relation to the Sun, since they were first mapped on the sky. There is an astrology based on where the constellations are now, and it's called sidereal (used in Jyotish/Vedic and by some Western astrologers.) Sidereal means "of or pertaining to the stars."
I've been a reporter, I know it's a thrill to find an explosive story. It seems to me, this was spun by journalists that ran with the false idea there was a New Zodiac! In this article from the Star Tribune, the reporter writes breathlessly, "Countless people were astonished by the "news" in Monday's Star Tribune in which Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle affirmed that the Earth's "wobble" has shifted the zodiac signs. The buzz has raced across the Web like a shooting star."
But the same link has a video, in which the kindly Mr. Kunkle says he was born when the Sun was in Aquarius, by where the stars actually are. If he were to consult a sidereal astrologer, they would agree with that. I find it an interesting convergence of intelligences, with Mr. Kunkle being science minded. And yet, the new sciences like quantum physics show us our perception and the myths we hold energetically are just as real.
Though in some people's minds, this stirred up the astrology vs astronomy debate, since there are traditions based on sidereal, why should it? Nothing has been debunked here. Still, I did find this a clever line from Eric Francis, "When astronomers make fun of us, they're making fun of the human suffering that leads people to seek answers," he said. "People do get comfort and wisdom from astrology -- and science gives us Prozac."
With Jupiter-Uranus in chaotic and illusory Pisces, the scientific perspective offered by Mr Kunkle was spun beyond recognition. And yet, Jupiter rules potential to grow and learn, and Uranus evolution. It could inspire a new generation of stargazers to revolutionize astrology, especially when Uranus meets reformer Pluto in a square. Though its shocking to find your area the subject of media-driven hysteria, it could lead to something expansive, revolutionary, and utterly new. Mr. Kunkle says he hopes people will look more to the stars, from all this hoopla. As as someone who finds great meaning in the stars, I'd wish the same.