Page 23 - The 'X' Chronciles Newspaper - June / July 2018 Edition
P. 23

True Stories Of The Zodiac                                                                               23



          The next time someone ask, “Lie, wow,
           man, what’s your sign?” Hit ‘em with
              this stack of information on your
             zodiac sign. Or just hit them. Your

          So, what’s your sign?  You know what we’re
          talking about here.  Whether you believe in
          astrology or not, you almost certainly know
          whether you’re a Taurus, a Virgo, or one of the
          nine other classical sign of the zodiac. But here’s
          a question for you:  What  is the zodiac?If the
          only good answer you can think of is”It’s where
          they keep those signs, man,” then it’s time to get  attributes of zodiac signs with the proverbial considers that in the legend, the bull heads to the
          up close and personal with the zodiac and all the  grain of sale.                              sea with Europa on his back and swims to Crete,
          signs in it, from Aries the Ram to Pisces the fish.                                            a fair distance away). But Europa recovered her
                                                         ACCURACY REARS ITS UGLY poise well enough to bear Zeus three sons. One
          THE DAY YOU WERE BORN...SORT                   HEAD                                            presumes (indeed, fervently hopes) Zeus
          OF                                             Be that as it may, each zodiac sign is still    switched out of his bull suit for that.
          The zodiac is a series of 12 constellations that  interesting from both a cultural and scientific  Astronomical sights:  Not much going on in
          coincide with the ecliptic, the path that the Sun  point of view. To prove that, let’s take a quick  Cancer, whose stars are rather dim and
          takes in the sky. The word “zodiac” itself derives  tour through each sign to fill you in on the  uninteresting. But there is M44, which is a nice
          from the ancient Greek word that means         actual, verifiable details of your sign.  This  open cluster of stars; its also known  as the
          “animal,” because most of the constellations of  information may or may not be any more useful  Beehive Cluster,  which is a rather nicer name
          the zodiac are animals: ram, fish, bull, lion, and  to you in a day-to-day sense than your     than the one given to it by ancient Chinese
          so on. Over the course of a year, the Sun spends  horoscope might be, but there’s no doubt that it’s  astronomers: “Exhalation of Piled-Corpses.”
          time in each of these consellation. During that  more accurate. In addition to the traditional  Really, that’s just icky.
          time, the Sun is said by astrologers to be  in that  dates associated with these signs, we’re also
          particular   constellation’s   “house.” Your   adding the actual dates that the sun can now be  LEO (THE LION)
          astrological sign is determined, sort of, by the  located in the constellation.                Traditional dates: July 23 - August 22
          constellation the Sun is in the day you were                                                   Actual dates: August 10 - September 15
          born.                                          ARIES (THE RAM)
                                                                                                         The story behind the sign: Another animal
                                                         Traditional dates: March 21 - April19
          THE 13TH SIGN                                  Actual dates: April 19 - May 13                 fatality related to Hercules.  This was Nemean
          “Sort of?”  What does that mean? Well, two                                                     Lion, which Herc was required to kill as one of
          things. First, although there are 12 signs, the Sun  The story behind the sign:  In Greek      his famous 12 labors (offering the Hydra was
          actually moves through 13 constellations - the  mythology, this sign represents the flying ram  one of them, too). The catch here was the lion’s
          zodiac 12 and then also Ophiuchus, known as    that had golden fleece, the famous fleece that  skin was impervious to arrows, so Hercules had
          the serpent bearer (and in fact the constellation  Jason and his Argonauts made off with. While  to wrestle the thing to the ground after which he
          is attached to the constellations Serpens, so there  this ram was still unskinned, it was assigned the  choked off its air supply until it expired. Herc
          you have it). Ophiuchus is wedged in there     role of rescuing the tykes Helles and Phryxus   later famously wore the lion skin as armor, and
          between Scorpio and Sagittarius, and in reality  from their evil stepmother, who was planning to  one has to wonder how he managed to skin the
          the Sun spends rather more time in Ophiuchus   kill them (evil stepmothers go back a long way).  thing if the hide was totally puncture proof. It’s
          then in Scorpio. But you never hear anyone     The rescue was a limited success because        probably best to gloss over that little bit of
          saying they were born under the sign of the    midflight Helles fell off, splashed into the water  inconsistency and just move on.
          snake handler, although about half the people  off the coast of modern-day  Turkey, and        Astronomical sights: The star Algeiba is a very
          born in December (and a few in November)       drowned.  The area where she supposedly         attractive double star under a telescope. Be sure
          should be saying just that.                    drowned if known t this day as the Hellespont.  to check out galaxies M65 and M66, as well -
                                                         This is not a recommended way to become         two tilted spiral galaxies that seem to be crowd
          OK, EVERYBODY MOVE BACK  A famous.                                                             up against each other in your field of view.
          MONTH OR SO                                    Astronomical sights: In terms of astronomy,
          Second, the traditional astrological dates in  Aries isn’t much to look at, but there are two  VIRGO (THE VIRGIN)
          which the Sun is supposed to dwell in any      things of note: the star Mesartim, which        Traditional dates: August 23 - September 22
          constellation’s house aren’t accurate.  A      revolves into a very nice double star in a      Actual dates: September 16 - October 30
          “wobble” in the Earth’s movement, known as     telescope, and the spiral galaxy NGC 722, also
          precession, shifts the constellations eastward  viewable in a telescope.                       The story behind the sign: It’s supposed to
                                                                                                         represent Astraea, the goddess of justice, who
          over time, so the traditional astrological dates no
          longer correspond to where the Sun actually is TAURUS (THE BULL)                               was also, you know, a virgin.  Astraea,
                                                                                                         incidentally, the daughter of Themis and (wait
          during those dates. On January 1, for example,  Traditional dates: April 20 - May 20
                                                                                                         for it) Zeus. Legend has it that when the Greeg
          the traditional zodiac sates say that the Sun is Actual dates: May 14 - June 19
                                                                                                         gods abandoned humanity, which was beoming
          supposed to be in Capricorn, but it’s actually in
          Sagittarius. Compound these fuzzy numbers that The story behind the sign: The sign represents  increasingly wicked, Astraea was the very last of
          this very article you’re reading has far more the striking white bull that the Greek gos Zeus  gods to go. Fine then. Just leave.
          influence on you (gravitationally, at least) than turned himself into in order to make off with  Astronomical sights: The constellation Virgo is
          any of the stars in any of the signs of the zodiac, Europa, princess of Phoenicia. One would think  utterly packed with galaxies - indeed. the Virgo
                                                                                                         Cluster has more than 2,000 of them,
          and you’ll understand why, entertainment value that being abducted by livestock would be a
                                                                                                                                (Continued on Page 24)
          aside, it’s best to take those astrological traumatic incident (especially when one
   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28