All About Ophiuchus
Updated: 6 days ago
Seeing Ophiuchus in Astrology posts used to be alarming. The mainstream astrological community defaults to teaching us that Ophiuchus doesn't exist and is not part of the zodiac. However, the truth is - all of the planets transit through the constellation Ophiuchus. Since Astrology is supposed to be the study of the movement of the planets within constellations, Ophiuchus cannot be ignored in this light.
True Sidereal Astrology includes Ophiuchus in the zodiac because planets transit there. After all - when the Sun is within the constellation Ophiuchus - what "season" would you call it? Tropical & Western Sidereal ignores the Sun (and all planets) moving through Ophiuchus and groups it into Sagittarius, basically.
But we're not here to talk about True Sidereal Astrology, per se - we're here to talk about Ophiuchus! Who is he? What is his story? And what may Ophiuchus Season look like?
Who is Ophiuchus?
Ophiuchus is associated with Aesculapius in Greek mythology. He was born of Apollo (father) and Coronis (mother). His mother fell in love with a mortal man, causing Apollo to become jealous and angry. He sent a white crow to spy on Coronis, who did not report back to Apollo, and to punish the crow, Apollo turned him black. Artemis (Apollo's sister) learned of Coronis' love affair with a mortal, and decided to kill Coronis with an arrow. Apollo thought his sister may also kill Aesculapius (his child) so he took Aesculapius and brought him to Chiron. Chiron was known as a wise centaur and a medicine man, who was able to heal others but could not heal himself. Aesculapius grew up with Chiron and learned medicine. (Chiron is also an astrological node associated with the constellation Ophiuchus and is shown in most astrological charts - tropical included.)
In one story, Aesculapius saw Glaucus, the son of King Minos of Crete fall into a jar of honey and drown. Aesculapius saw a snake nearby die - and another snake brought over herbs to the dead snake, and the dead snake rose from the dead! Aesculapius brought these herbs to the Glaucus' dead body and he was resurrected - which pleased King Minos of Crete! In another story, Aesculapius is gifted the head of Medusa. He realizes that the blood on the left side of her head was poison, but blood on the right side of the head was able to bring others back to life.
Orion, the great hunter (which you probably know from Orion's belt in the sky) was stung by a Scorpion - to which Aesculapius was able to heal him from that poison. Aesculapius began to get quite the reputation! He was healing people and also continued to raise people from the dead (including human royalty.)
Hades (Pluto) noticed that Aesculapius had been resurrecting people from the dead - which was yanking people out of the underworld - the realm that Hades himself ruled. This concerned Hades, as it was basically "bad for business" (and Hades had control over less souls) - so Hades went to Zeus (Jupiter) and pleaded for help. Hades convinced Zeus that if Aesculapius continued to raise the dead, and teach others the art of healing & resurrection, that humans could attain immortality. And in order to preserve the hierarchy of the gods, humanity should not gain immortal life.
[Kind of sounds like the Garden of Eden dilemma of the gods, huh? This flavor of story is standard in the creation myth of Christian biblical texts. Adam and Eve are put in a terrarium called the Garden of Eden, told not to eat of the two trees in the Garden (one called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and one called the Tree of Life). "And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'" Genesis 3:23 - This basically says that since humans ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (understanding duality), they should not have the ability to eat of the Tree of Life (which would make them immortal - and so the gods/the Lord god banished humanity from Eden.) Probably worth it to mention that "the LORD god" in the Christian text would be considered Hades in Greek tradition.]
Anyways - Hades kept pleading to Zeus, and eventually Zeus reluctantly agreed that Aesculapius should be killed. Zeus murdered Aesculapius with a lightning bolt, but out of respect, put him in the sky for all to see. This is the constellation known as Ophiuchus, which is depicted as a man grappling a snake.
Let's Break This Down
Ophiuchus is the victim of murder and conspiracy. Other gods decided that he was too helpful to humanity since he held the elixir of life, decided to kill him, and then the astrological world just decided to....ignore his existence? There is plenty to research about this (especially as it relates to the True Sidereal system, western Sidereal, and the tropical algorithm) but we will focus on Ophiuchus and what his story represents.
Funny enough, Ophiuchus is situated between the constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius. Pluto (Hades) rules over Scorpio and Jupiter (Zeus) rules over Sagittarius. So physically, Ophiuchus is between his conspirators. And it appears that Scorpio acquired characteristics that are naturally ascribed to Ophiuchus. And insodoing, the tie between Scorpio and Ophiuchus becomes almost a partial stolen identity of a murder victim.
Scorpio rules death and rebirth - but Ophiuchus rules the ability to transcend death. He is the actual medicine man who is able to raise the dead (whereas Scorpio is merely the cycle of said death and rebirth.)