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History And Definitions Of Zodiac Signs

1326 words - 5 pages

The starry night sky is a vast and beautiful realm that appears every night. It has fascinated humanity since the dawn of time. Coupled with our wonderful gifts of creativity and imagination, the night sky was our ultimate canvas and perhaps the oldest storybook. The sky has provided a place for us to draw mythical creatures and commemorate epic heroes. Our first record of the constellations date to approximately 6000 years old and were written in cuneiform (Coder, 2012). These texts were found in the valley of the Euphrates River and are simple constellations of animals (Coder, 2012). The question is why? It could be that human brain often seeks patterns in randomness. That humanity will see images in the sky to help our brains deal with the unorganized nature of the universe. However, I feel that this sells humanity short. The constellations are much more than the brain grabbing patterns and creating something it recognizes. These groupings of stars and stellar objects now hold our history. We have been passing along the stories of the constellations for thousands of years. After all, the sky is the perfect medium. It can store pictures and help tell stories and lessons that have lasted throughout time. As a small girl I remember vividly the Legend of the Dipper. How the little girl, in search of water for her ill mother, was compassionate on her journey. For her compassion she was rewarded and a reminder of this compassion is fixed in the night's sky (Bennett & Hague, 1995). I never forgot the story, or its message. How could I? That diamond encrusted dipper appears in the sky each night! It is wonderful how the constellations reach across time, culture, and beliefs. The most recognizable constellations usually originate from the Greeks. The Greek Zodiac is a wonderful compilation of constellations, myths, and fortune telling. To some, these signs help define their personality and guide their daily lives. The Zodiac uses the time you are born and the placement of the constellation, or planets. The current position of your sign can help explain the current state of your life. It can explain personality traits and even predict the future. The 12 Zodiac signs are well known, even if you do not follow your Zodiac sign.
In 2011 the news was a buzz about a "new" Zodiac sign, but in actuality it was just a long forgotten sign. The 13th Zodiac sign is Ophiuchus , covering births from November 29th and December 17th. Many reject this change and stick to the 12 sign Zodiac. Ophiuschus is known as the "snake bearer" and this constellation consists of a man with a snake wrapped around his body or wrapped around his staff. An interesting fact is that the snake is its own constellation, Serpens. There are many stories surrounding this constellation. Stories range from Heracles to Carnabon the king of Gata (Coder, 2012). The most widely accepted thought is that it represents Asclepius, the healer. He is also Apollo's son, who Chiron raised. Asclepius...

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