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Ophiuchus Mythology & Lore


Athen Chimenti

29 November 2023

Ophiuchus: Beyond the Thirteenth Sign

Old books on the shelf

Ophiuchus, often referred to as the 'thirteenth sign', is a constellation that lies along the ecliptic. While it is not traditionally recognized in the twelve-sign zodiac system, its presence and influence cannot be denied. The constellation represents a man holding a serpent, which has led to its association with Asclepius, the Greek god of healing and medicine.

Although Ophiuchus is not normally included in horoscopes or zodiac readings, its influence in life is significant. The Sun, Moon, and planets all pass through this constellation, making it by definition a zodiac sign.

Despite being overlooked in modern astrology, Ophiuchus holds a rich history and mythology. Its lore can provide valuable insights for those seeking a deeper understanding of their astrological profile. Let's delve into the ancient lore of Ophiuchus and explore its significance in life.

The Mythology of Ophiuchus

Rod of Asclepius

The constellation Ophiuchus is often associated with the Greek mythological figure Asclepius. Asclepius was a renowned healer, known for his ability to bring the dead back to life. This power alarmed Hades (Pluto), the god of the underworld, who persuaded Zeus (Jupiter) to kill Asclepius with a thunderbolt. Zeus then placed Asclepius in the sky as the constellation Ophiuchus.

The association of Ophiuchus with Asclepius brings themes of healing, transformation, and rebirth into its astrological significance. Those with strong Ophiuchus influence in their chart may find themselves drawn to the medical field or possess a natural ability to help others heal.

It's also worth noting that the constellation's depiction as a man holding a serpent further reinforces these themes. The serpent is a universal symbol of transformation and rebirth, mirroring Asclepius's ability to restore life.

Ophiuchus In Astrology

Ophiuchus in astrology

Healer and Transformer: Ophiuchus carries the energy of healing, not just in physical terms but also in spiritual and emotional realms. This sign is often associated with individuals who have healing abilities or are drawn to professions in medicine, therapy, or holistic health. This attribute also extends to a metaphorical level, where Ophiuchus signifies deep emotional and spiritual healing, guiding individuals through transformative experiences.

Seeker of Knowledge and Truth: The archetype of Ophiuchus is often seen as a seeker, one who is always in pursuit of knowledge and truth. This aligns with the story of Asclepius, who was a relentless pursuer of medical knowledge. Astrologically, this translates to a personality that is intellectually curious, always searching for the deeper meaning in life, and often engaged in philosophical or existential exploration.

Bridge Between Life and Death: Drawing from the myth of Asclepius, Ophiuchus embodies the thin line between life and death. This aspect makes Ophiuchus a sign of profound transformation and change, often associated with significant life transitions, rebirth, and deep psychological change. This is also seen by how Ophiuchus makes up the same part of the sky as the galactic center. The galactic center is a highly energetic point in the sky that when planets pass over go through a death and rebirth.

Connection to the Serpent Symbolism: The serpent is a powerful symbol across many cultures, often representing wisdom, power, and rebirth. In the context of Ophiuchus, the serpent symbolizes the potential for renewal, the shedding of old skins, and the emergence of new perspectives and realities. It signifies wisdom that is both ancient and continually renewing itself, which is reflected in the personalities of those who resonate with Ophiuchus.

Balancing Scorpio and Sagittarius Energies: Ophiuchus sits between Scorpio and Sagittarius in the zodiac, and astrologically, it is thought to blend the qualities of these two signs. From Scorpio, Ophiuchus inherits depth, intensity, and a passion for exploring the unknown. From Sagittarius, it borrows the love of freedom, optimism, and the quest for higher knowledge. This makes Ophiuchus a complex and multifaceted sign, embodying the mysteries of Scorpio and the wisdom of Sagittarius.

The Serpent Bearer's Influence

Influence of Ophiuchus

The influence of Ophiuchus extends beyond those born under its sign. As a constellation that the Sun, Moon, and planets pass through, its energy can be felt by all when it's activated in transit. For example, every month the Moon passes through Ophiuchus symbolizing a time of personal rejuvenation.

During these time periods healing, transformation, and rebirth become major themes of our lives. These times are great opportunities for spiritual growth and development. This energy can manifest in various ways, such as a heightened interest in health and wellness, a desire for personal growth, or a propensity for helping others.

Moreover, the influence of Ophiuchus can also be seen in global events, particularly those related to health and healing. For example, significant advancements in medicine or healthcare may occur when significant planet passes such as Jupiter and Saturn pass through Ophiuchus.

Embracing Ophiuchus

Ophiuchus constellation map

While Ophiuchus may not be traditionally recognized in Western astrology, by definition it is a zodiac sign. Like all constellations that the planets pass through it should be considered in astrological interpretation. By exploring its mythology and understanding its influence, we can gain a richer and more comprehensive understanding of our astrological makeup.

Whether you're an Ophiuchus native or experiencing the Serpent Bearer once a month as part of the lunar cycle, embracing the energy provides a great opportunity for transformation and healing.

Since we are only now reconnecting with Ophiuchus energy collectively it's important that we all pay attention to its influence so that we can better understand and work with its energy. It's important that we all delve into the ancient energy of Ophiuchus, explore its influence, and embrace the healing power of the Serpent Bearer.

To see where Ophiuchus is in your natal chart you can use our true sidereal chart calculator.

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