Kuwaiti astronomer fuels controversy over 13th zodiac sign

January 17, 2011
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A Kuwaiti astronomer has deepened the controversy over adding a new sign to the traditional 12 Zodiac sign calendar.

Adel Saadoun, a well-known Kuwaiti meteorologist and astronomer, confirmed the accuracy of the new Zodiac calendar and said that it had been debated throughout the world of astronomy, but had not been accepted because it would cause chaos and confusion for astrologists.

“It’s been debated in the world of astronomy but the 12 Zodiac signs stayed because we only have twelve months in a year,” Saadoun said, quoted by Kuwait Times daily.

“Looking at it from a real astronomical point of view, the new Zodiac calendar follows accurate mathematical calculations. I know it is true. There are 13 signs in the constellations and I added Ophiuchus 10 years ago on my own calendar. Believe me, it’s the most accurate.”

Saadoun, who has published his own calendar annually since 2000, said that people who do not believe in the new zodiac calendar may not have enough knowledge about the proper mathematical calculations or may follow astronomers that are committed to believing that there are only 12 zodiac signs.

“At first I did not believe that it was possible, but when I studied the constellations and stars, with my own instruments, I found that it was indeed true. I based my study on the suggestion that Scorpio only has seven days. I critically examined and studied it carefully and I can attest to it; Scorpio only has seven days. The mathematical calculations are true; they are not lying,” he asserted.

The debate has so far raged between whether to accept or throw out the assertion made recently by Parke Kunkle, a US astronomer, who suggested that the traditional zodiac calendar that dates back thousands of years, may be all wrong.

A US newspaper quoted Kunkle as saying that, “Astronomers knew about this information 2,000 years ago. This is not new news. I have no idea why it went viral this time. Almost every astronomy class talks about it.

With the addition of Ophiuchus as the thirteenth Zodiac sign, many zodiac calendar followers have been left completely confused.

An Australian living with her diplomat husband in Kuwait said that he will “forever be a Scorpio.”

“I cannot accept this new calendar that has me jump back two zodiac signs to a Virgo! It’s ridiculous! There’s no way I can allow anyone to change my Zodiac. My three sons’ Zodiac signs were also changed. I don’t think they are reliable astrologers,” he said, quoted by the daily.

Ruben, a Filipino dental technician, laughed and said he was sorry for some Zodiac sign believers.

“The moral lesson of this new development is to not believe in something that tries to tell you about your own personality. It is always about you and nothing else,” he said. “Now that its real inaccuracy is revealed people should reject believing in these things.”

Ahmad, a Palestinian teacher of English, said he was stunned to find out that his Zodiac sign was changed from Aries to Pisces, but added that he did not care that much.

“All I know is that I was born Aries and I love being an Aries. If they changed that, it’s okay, I don’t mind. I am not a Zodiac fanatic anyway,” he said.

A 52-year-old Syrian man who was born a Capricorn said he does not want to have his new sign be the Ophiuchus.

“After 52 years now I’m an Octopus? What was the name again, Octopus? No way, I cannot be Octopus, I was born Capricorn and I will die Capricorn,” he said, confusing the new sign Ophiuchus with the word octopus.

The new Zodiac calendar, which Adel Saadoun also subscribes to, is as follows:

Capricorn: Jan 20 – Feb 16, Aquarius: Feb 16 – March 11, Pisces: March 11 – April 18, Aries: April 18 – May 13, Taurus: May 13 – June 21, Gemini: June 21 – July 20, Cancer: July 20 – Aug 10, Leo: Aug 10 – Sept 16, Virgo: Sept 16 – Oct 30, Libra: Oct 30 – Nov 23, Scorpio: Nov 23 – Nov 29, Ophiuchus: Nov 29 – Dec 17, Sagittarius: Dec 17 – Jan 20.

Facts about Ophiucus

Ophiuchus (pronounced off-ee-YOO-cuss) represents a man with a snake coiled around his waist. He holds the head of the snake in his left hand and its tail in his right hand. The snake is represented by the constellation Serpens.

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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