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The Story of The Serpent Bearer, Ophiuchus ( The 13th Zodiac Sign?)

There is a recent news that caused people around the world to panic, in shock, and in different reactions, about Ophiuchus, as the 13th Zodiac Sign, changing and realigning dates covered by the 12th Zodiac Signs. 

I wont talk so much about it, but for me it is a welcome astrological development. Astrologers suggesting it, thus favoring Ophiuchus to rule as the 13th sign has  basis or thesis to support it, based on the movement of the Earth nowadays in the constellation of stars.

Although some or most of the astrologers do not accept the whole idea about Ophiuchus. But some people believes in  the new idea, including me, about Ophiuchus as the 13th zodiac sign. Some even suggests that the application of Ophiuchus, as the 13th zodiac sign, is prospective. Meaning, for year 2010 and below, people born under the twelve (12) zodiac signs, their zodiac remains the same. For year 2011 and above, people born under, Ophiuchus, as the 13th zodiac sign, and the readings and forecast under it, applies prospectively. 

As of now, I haven't seen any readings or forecast for Ophiuchus in horoscope section of major news papers and magazines.

Because of Ophiuchus phenomenon or rumors, I wondered who is Ophiuchus anyway? Why he is entitled to the 13th post of the zodiac signs? Why his name was put on the constellations of stars? Because of these questions, I made some research of story about him and his origin in the constellation of star, which is worth sharing.

And the story begins... " Once upon a time..., Ooops!, not the usual and proper way of telling the story of Ophiuchus because it is not a fairy tale but of a Greek Mythology. So, the story goes like this...

- The Myth of Ophiuchus, The Serpent Bearer -

"Asclepius (or Aesculapius) is the Greco-Roman god of medicine who's sons fought for Greece in the Trojan War. His extraordinary birth is told in The Metamorpheses of Ovid. 

Asclepius is the son of Apollo, who shot an arrow through his lover, Coronis, while she was pregnant with Asclepius. He did this because he found out that she had lain with a Thessalonian youth.

Regretting his decision to kill Coronis, Apollo "turned in vain to useless remedies, / the arts of medicine--as if he could / inflict defeat on death". While Cornis laid upon her pyre, Apollo cut the child Asclepius from her womb, and delivered him to Chiron the centuar.

When Chiron received Asclepius as an infant from Apollo, he "swelled with pride: / he now was foster-father of a child of godly stock" . Chiron taught Asclepius the arts of medicine, and when a plague threatened to exterminate Rome, Asclepius came to save them. Ovid writes that "he held a rustic staff in his left hand;'"  saying "'Fear not; I'll go with you--I shall give up my sanctuary. But observe this serpent / that coils around my staff: do not forget / just how he looks. For I myself shall change myself into this serpent, but I shall be larger...'"

Those that were suffering gathered at the temple the next day, and after they had prayed, the giant serpent-form of Asclepius appeared to them. It is for this reason the the cult of Asclepius traditionally gathered inside his temple to cure their sicknesses.

Zeus was threatened by the healing abilities of Asclepius, fearing that human beings would achieve immortality. To keep Asclepius from curing the mortal disease, Zeus struck Asclepius with a bolt of thunder, killing him. Apollo was enraged by this offense to his blood, and appealed to Zeus. In an act to appease Apollo, Zeus resurrected Asclepius as the constellation Ophiuchus, serpent-bearing god of medicine".

It is said that the Staff of Asclepius, a rod with a snake coiled around it, has become a symbol of medicine. It represents health and life. This is an interesting contrast to the symbol of the serpent in Christian mythology, which is generally a symbol of evil. In Book III of Plato's Republic, Socrates discusses the practice medicine in relation to Asclepius. This appears to be part of the origin of the philosophy of medicine, which is symbolized by the serpent-coiled staff of Asclepius.


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