Updated: Nov 5, 2022
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.)
The death and rebirth cycle of Scorpio is simply explained as Scorpion --> Eagle --> Phoenix. But, actually, the journey of a Scorpio is 7-fold. A Scorpio must learn various lessons in order to die as one totem and rebirth into another. Scorpio's true evolution line is as follows:
Spider - fear, selfishness, cruelty, solitude. This is often when one weaves webs of deception, or are constantly caught in them. Looking "scary" may be a theme.
Scorpion - jealousy, temper, impulse, poison. This is when self-sabotage and isolation is most common. A scorpion in nature will sting itself when cornered by a predator and die by its own venom - this doesn't allow the predator satisfaction of the kill and also the predator can no longer eat the scorpion because it has poison running in its body. Behavior can be like this - self-sabotaging and hurtful, constantly in a predator-prey dynamic. There is an emphasis on the soft interior vs. hard exoskeleton and general self-preservation. Poisoning one's own emotional body, the emotional bodies of others, and allowing others to poison oneself is common through very toxic emotional connections. This is the "Scorpion sting."
Lizard - revenge, cold-blooded, selfishness, abandonment. Lizard spirit functions on an ectothermic reptilian frequency (the inability to produce one's own Light (heat) and needing to absorb it from another source.). Energy vampirism is common, as is attracting those who feed energetically. Lizards typically abandon their young and have no sense of family or loyalty. The emotional body is typically mute and uncaring of others emotions. Furthermore, one may feed off of negative emotions in general (fear, shame, hatred, etc.)
Snake - Kundalini, sexuality, trickery, healing - similar to the lizard lessons, but begins to have a more cognizant use of poison (compared to the impulsive scorpion) and energy utilization (kundalini.). This is still a reptilian frequency and often involves vampirism - but usually from a higher perspective and understanding one can feed off of anything (not just low vibrational emotions). Snake spirit is a trickster so often deception leads to divine information of some type. The ability to "shed one's skin" of a situation is highlighted. Sexual energy is often heightened here, which can manifest as promiscuity, sex addictions, or orgasm obsession. [If Ophiuchian energy is utilized here (the snake grappler) one can heal. This requires the understanding of how poison becomes antidote and transcending the reptilian frequencies of feeding off of others.]
Wolf - strength, wisdom, protection, home, community. The Wolf emanation typically begins as a lone wolf - mostly because they just emanated from snake. This is the stage where one begins to understand the importance of the "pack" and how it is healthy to have others in one's life. The isolation life no longer is appealing and the Wolf embodies loyalty to those worthy of their kinship. They recognize who/what is worth fighting for/hunting for/protecting. Family and community become more and more important.
Eagle - seeing from a higher perspective, detective-like sleuthing, "Eagle Eye" precision, hunt for truth. The Eagle soars above the "BS" in order to spot truth from a mile away. This is the "lie detector" emanation of Scorpio where they do not deal with deception in others. This emanation is extremely curious and busies oneself with deeper questions of life and refuses "small talk." Investigating darker topics or hunting for the truth is often. This also usually leads to the esoteric and taboo.
Phoenix - transmutation, transformation, alchemy, commune with Spirit. This emanation masters the shamanic fires of alchemy - able to die and rebirth with intent. There is a deep understanding of the laws of nature and the universe, from experience and study. One understandings the infinite and is often a guide for others during their spiritual awakenings. The Phoenix masters transmuting energy that does not serve them into energy that does.
So - we see that the snake (which Ophiuchus grapples in the sky) is also part of Scorpio's journey. Perhaps Ophiuchus is the healing element necessary for Scorpio to die and rebirth out of the Snake phase and into the higher-consciousness phases of life (Wolf, Eagle, and Phoenix). This can be likened to getting out of the "reptilian frequency" of vampirism.
Ophiuchus is also known as "the Serpent Bearer" which also ties into the healing qualities Ophiuchus represents. Although serpents have gotten a terrible reputation from Western cultures as tricksters (in Christian mythology it is responsible for reminding Adam and Eve of their Free Will), serpents are known as healing totems in many other cultures for their ability to shed skin and their venom's medicinal properties. Even in modern day, the "staff of Aesculapius" is a widespread symbol for the medical community (a snake intertwined around a staff.)
This shamanic ability to heal has been associated with Scorpio - but it appears that Ophiuchus is the actual shaman of the zodiac - and Scorpio represents the cycles that we have to heal from. And perhaps we may not break certain cycles until we are able to utilize Ophiuchus’ healing, immortal power. Additionally, Ophiuchus represents the rebirth (resurrection) whereas Scorpio represents death itself. (After all - Hades/Pluto rules the underworld where the dead reside). However, one cannot adequately describe death without the underworld dimension/reality, and the potential of rebirth.
ON ANOTHER NOTE
Herbalism, shamanism, and healing have been historically associated with matriarchal power and femininity, as traditionally there were more medicine women than men (the witch population also suffices here in comparison.) So yet again, we see a hyper-masculine approach to astrology when we ignore Ophiuchus and ascribe to the tropical and western sidereal systems in general.
Ophiuchus is known as "the 13th Sign" (even though it technically is number 9 in the zodiac order). In western tradition, 13 is an unlucky number. In matriarchal traditions 13 is a sacred, lucky number - as it represents the number of moon cycles (menses) within a year. Yet this fixation on the number 12, equally cutting the sky into 12 equal pieces of 30 degrees, etc. continues to be the hyper-masculine approach of the western world. Some say that the ignorance of Ophiuchus is another example of patriarchal forces whitewashing away the power of shamanism and the numeric power of womanhood.
Ophiuchus' story is shrouded with conspiracy - and we must be discerning when researching deeper into its history and making meaning of the information we collect!
Ophiuchus Season is upon us and we will collect data together in the forum of my website. Please go visit it to share with the community and read what the community has to share as well!
Ophiuchus Themes I noticed during Venus’ transit through Ophiuchus (10/21-11/1):
1. Conspiracy – it’s hard to even talk about Ophiuchus without acknowledging the conspiracy that surrounds his existence. I noticed that the collective began to talk more about global conspiracies during this transit and also people in my personal life began sharing information on various “conspiracy theories.”
2. Gaslighting – aka denying one’s lived reality. This goes hand-in-hand with the conspiracy, because part of the conspiracy with Ophiuchus is blatantly denying that it exists at all. When, in reality, if you look at the sky, you can see it plain as day (well…night, anyways!) This transit, I was gaslit by strangers and potential dates. I noticed more gaslight-y posts online by the collective as well – others trying to attempt denying the reality of others based on limited perception.
3. Stolen Identity – As you know, Scorpio “stole” the gifts ascribed to Ophiuchus. During this transit, I saw many people on the online community have fake pages created. On a personal level, I was robbed and had my ID stolen. My partner had her IG page stolen and someone pretended to be her.
4. Healing – Without going into too many personal details of my journey, I went through a deep healing phase where I began to confront and integrates part of my shadow that stop me from accessing Love. Beautiful healing energy in my personal partnership as well.
5. Death & Murder – Granted, this transit did encompass Halloween time. But it seemed like there was death energy around, murder was “normalized” and celebrated, political issues around murder were in the media, and personally I was included to watch the Walking Dead (which is weird because I avoid all gore.) Myself, my partner, and clients of mine all had dreams of dead people we know visiting us.
6. Immortality – As we all know, the Metaverse was dropped during this transit. This merge with technology is ultimately part of being able to “live” forever through technology by downloading your consciousness to the metaverse, etc. You’ll see more of this begin to be mainstream
7. Snakes – Personally, I was seeing snake symbology quite often. I also had three dreams about snakes during this time, and I had 2 clients who also dreamt about snakes. One of my dreams was specifically about extracting venom from a snake and being a snake handler.
8. Herbalism and Medicine – Open enrollment for healthcare in the U.S. started on the last day of this transit. Personally, my herb garden came in handy many times during this transit. I also caught a cold and utilized an ancient tincture/tea to get better.
Ophiuchus is the 9th Sign - not the 13th.
If we go in order of the zodiac emanations, Ophiuchus is number 9, positioned between Scorpio (8) and Sagittarius (tropical 9, True Sidereal the 10).
When we consider the numerology of 9, the shift of considering Sagittarius number 9 to Ophiuchus as number 9 is profound.
9 represents how we end cycles within ourselves. It’s a number of going inward into our own being and concluding, ending, and completing. (After all, 9 is the last number in our number system: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) - 10 is a representation of two numbers coming together for completion (and represents Masculine and Feminine energy coming together to end a cycle - or personally, ending a cycle with another person.)
So - now the way we end cycles within ourselves is through the journey of Ophiuchus- healing.
Ophiuchus forces us to not allow mainstream thought to brainwash or gaslight us into lying to ourselves, see through conspiracy that attempts to hide truth, and to allow ourselves to die & rebirth in the shamanic fires of healing medicine that Ophiuchus represents- aka shed our snake skin.
This process is personal. No healer can heal you. A healer teaches you how to heal (which is also Ophiuchus’ story, who was taught how to heal by Chiron.) And thus, 9 represents the healing we must do within if we truly want to break cycles.
Whereas the philosophical, academic, and perception-based energy that Sagittarius represents no longer rules the way we complete cycles internally. Now, we end cycles with others through these schools of thought and sharing & shifting our perceptions. This is our 10. (10 is no longer Capricorn, where we end cycles with others through work, climbing uphil, or authoritarian discipline.)
It is through sharing our culture, geopolitical stances, academic training, and ontological approaches on a social scale that we begin to break cycles by accepting a multi-faceted society. We see different perspectives to accept them. Or we physically travel away if we cannot accept them 🐎 which ultimately leads us to a different perspective regardless.
Element and Modality
When we consider that the 12-sign zodiac has an order of 4 elements (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water) and 3 modalities (Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable), the thought of including Ophiuchus is disturbing to some astrologers and astrologists because it “messes up“ the clean-cut order of elements and modalities. Some believe that Ophiuchus becomes a Fire sign, pushing Sagittarius into Earth, Capricorn into Air, etc.
However, this is not the case. If we consider Ophiuchus as a totally different element and modality, there are no issues with its incorporation.
Ophiuchus can be considered the element “spirit” which is a widely accepted element throughout various spiritual, mystic, and esoteric schools of thought.
It follows logic that Ophiuchus would be the spirit element considering that healing can only take place of the spirit is able and willing. Additionally, the use of Ophiuchus itself is a matter of spiritual will/choice. We accept or reject the use of Ophiuchus, just as our own spirit accepts or rejects its own healing.
In terms of it’s modality, let us first review the common modalities: Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable.
Fixed: This modality has one direction and will not stop moving in this direction. When it hits a wall, it will continue to hit itself against that wall until the wall crumbles. A Fixed Sign does not divert from it one-way path. (This can be considered a “solid” modality.)
Cardinal: This modality has a direction, but is able to move when things get in its way. It wants to go in one directions, but knows that it is necessary to move in another direction in the face of obstacles. When it hits a wall, it will decide to move around the wall or choose another path. A Cardinal Sign has a sense of the direction it wants to go to complete its goal, but knows it has to compromise its movements to reach its ultimate goal. (This can be considered a “liquid” modality - moving to the path of least resistance.)
Mutable: This modality has no particular direction, and moves in many directions. It moves based on its environment but does not like to be contained. When it hits walls, it bounces right off and moves in a completely different direction. It is highly adaptable and can change any moment. (This can be considered a “gas” modality.)
When we consider Ophiuchus, we can rightfully assume that it is some other modality - just as it is a different element than the rest of the zodiac: its modality is plasma.
Plasma is the fourth state of matter accepted by mainstream science, which can now easily be applied to the spiritual when understanding Ophiuchus. In physics, plasma is created when atoms or molecules have at least one orbital stripped of electrons, causing an electrical charge - which can be likened to a “gas of ions“ or a “soup of electrons and protons.”
Spiritually, electrically charged energy can be utilized for…just about anything. In spirituality, we use “the energy” or “the vibe” (aka the vibration of the ions) to describe its quality of its nature, essence, etc. (definitely hard to find a synonym for “energy”). Considering Ophiuchus as plasma follows logic considering that the way to utilize spirit as an element is directly linked to the energetic charge that we hold, emit, receive, etc.
In biochemistry, plasma is the “fluid-like” or portion of our lymph and blood. I carries salts and enzymes though our body (salts and enzymes have electrical charges), therefor controlling the energetic gradients within our bodies.
The quality of our plasma in our body is also directly associated with our health. After all, the lymphatic system (where lymph is) is a major player in our immune system and ridding our body of toxins. Plasma also helps transport the non-plasma part of our blood to necessary parts of the body: red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. The transport of RBCs is responsible for oxygen (air) distribution. Whereas WBCs and platelets are how we heal physically when we are injured (WBCs fight infection at the wound source and platelets help with blood clotting to stop us from bleeding out.)
Considering Ophiuchus as a plasma sign also helps us tap in to the innate healing ability of our spirit to work with our body to heal itself, and understand the power that our electrical charge, energy, or “vibe” has on our own ability to heal.
As the healer, shaman, and medicine man of the zodiac, Ophiuchus represents the Spirit within us all, its willingness to heal, and the body’s innate power to self-heal (biologically and spiritually.) As the sign that also represents immortality, Ophiuchus further characterizes spirit, as the spirit is eternal energy that cannot be created or destroyed. When we utilize Ophiuchus’ essence in our lives, we connect with parts of ourselves that always have been and always will be. And it is this connection that Spirit has to Source that can accelerate our own healing journey.
Stay in Love.
Warm Hugs & A Kiss To Your Third Eye,