Ophiuchus the Mindful Serpent-Bearer

ophiuchussymbolThe Oracle’s Library takes on the hidden zodiac sign—Ophiuchus. The astrological sign Ophiuchus is often considered the 13th sign, and its origins and disappearance remain a mystery. Though, its position in the sky gives us much to consider, as it holds the densest region of the galaxy—the Galactic Center. Ophiuchus is the ‘Serpent Bearer’ in Greek—the odd one out of the Tropical Zodiac. Ophiuchus spans from 15° to 30° Sagittarius on the Zodiac Belt, as the Sun passes over the Galactic Center of the Milky Way Galaxy each year.

Ophiuchus Zodiac Sign Profile

ophiuchuspicAlthough Ophiuchus is not used in Sidereal or Tropical Astrology, the Sun and planets do pass across this constellation in the sky. Those under this sign are said to be born between November 29th and December 17th, when the Sun transits this constellation at the Serpent Bearer’s feet.

Ophiuchus is an Aether Sign in that it contains the nucleus of our galaxy—the Galactic Center where resides a colossal object that holds together the entire Milky Way. It is often theorized that the Galactic Center is the site of a super-massive black hole. Ophiuchus falls just before the Winter Solstice when the dark hours of winter give brilliance to the bright star blanket of the Milky Way Galaxy in the sky. At this time, the conditions of the Earth cause us to slow and quietly glance up to admire our own place in the universe. The 13th sign Ophiuchus is not traditionally assigned a planet of rulership. Those born under Ophiuchus, like the sign itself, take on a ‘lone wolf’ persona—often misunderstood by the rest of the zodiac. Ophiuchans use introspection as a source of debating thoughts not satisfied in a social setting. The Serpent Bearer is a natural healer with an all-encompassing and open mind which they get lost within while abstracting the rational.

For a more in depth look at the zodiac personalities, planetary archetypes, astrological aspects and twelve houses download a free copy of the first two chapters of Cosmic Astrology The Book of Answers Chapter 1 and 2 (I. Introduction to Astrology & II. Natal Chart Basics).

The Myths and Legends of the Serpent-Bearer

In ancient Greek myth, Ophiuchus is associated with the ‘healer’ Asclepius. It is often thought that Asclepius was the demigod son of princess Coronis and Apollo who was taught the art of medicine by a Centaur. Though, an alternative legend tells of an actual man named Asclepius who was a gifted physician. That is why the symbol of Asclepius—the staff with entwined snake is still being used as a medical symbol today.

Ophiuchus is also featured in the story of the great hunter Orion. When Orion was stung by the giant Scorpion, it was Asclepius who came to cure him of the poison. Asclepius succeeded in healing Orion, but was struck down by Zeus’ lightning bolt—for he had offended the natural order of life by bringing Orion back from the dead. At this time, Asclepius was raised to the stars and became the constellation Ophiuchus. Now, when Orion appears on the horizon, Ophiuchus is sent to the Underworld. Upon the death of Orion, Ophiuchus once again rises at the opposite end of the Zodiac Belt. In Babylonian astronomy, Ophiuchus was the place of the ‘Sitting Gods’ or Nirah—the serpent-god depicted with the body of a snake. In a former time, Ophiuchus was named ‘Serpentarius’.

Stargazing the Constellation Ophiuchus

The constellation Ophiuchus is located where the Milky Way Galaxy crosses the Zodiac Belt. Ophiuchus holds Barnard’s Star—one of the closest stars to our place on Earth at only six light-years away! Another rare object is the Ophiuchus Superbubble, discovered by the Green Bank Radio Observatory in 2005. It holds many notable stars and objects such as RS Ophiuchi a rare recurrent novae that increases in magnitude hundreds of times in just a few days. It is said to be on the brink of supernova. The supernova of 1604 was born out of Ophiuchus near Theta Ophiuchi first seen, studied and named after the astronomer Johannes Kepler. Ophiuchus also holds the Galactic Center where a super-massive black hole is theorized to exist. That is why this constellation is rich with stars and bright objects. The Galactic Center is found between the arrow of Sagittarius and pointer of Ophiuchus.


From May 21st and June 16th, the May Ophiuchids meteor shower seems to radiate from Ophiuchus peaking with about eight to twenty meteors per hour. The constellation Ophiuchus is located between Scorpio and Sagittarius. To spot Ophiuchus, look east of the bright star Antares in Scorpio where the Milky Way Galaxy shines brightest. Ophiuchus is best seen during the summer months of the Northern Hemisphere.

Thank you for reading at the Oracle’s Library! Is Ophiuchus your sign? Please comment and share your thoughts on the Serpent Bearer.


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