Ophiuchus (English pronunciation: /ˌɒfiˈjuːkəs/ or /ˌoʊfiˈjuːkəs/) is a rarely used astrological sign and is not included in most versions of the Zodiac. It is also known as Serpentarius. The eponymous constellation is situated behind the sun between November 29 and December 17.
Ophiuchus and some of the fixed stars in it were sometimes used by astrologers in antiquity as extra-zodiacal indicators (i.e. astrologically significant celestial phenomena lying outside of the 12-sign zodiac proper). An anonymous 4th century astrologer, often known as Anonymous of 379, seems to have associated "the bright star of Ophiuchus", likely α Ophiuchi, with doctors, healers or physicians (ἰατρῶν).
Based on the 1930 IAU constellation boundaries, a few 20th-century sidereal (Eastern) astrologers such as Walter Bergin The 13 Signs of the Zodiac (1995) have considered the Sun to be in the "sign of Ophiuchus" when it is in the constellation Ophiuchus, which is November 29 to December 17. Tropical (Western) astrologers and most sidereal astrologers do not recognize Ophiuchus as a sign.
Two symbols have been proposed for Ophiuchus, one based on the Rod of Asclepius (Unicode ⚕, U+2695) and the other in general use in Japanese astrology (Unicode ⛎, U+26CE). Since Ophiuchus is identified with Asclepius, the Rod of Asclepius is often used as a symbol for Ophiuchus. Berg's The 13 Signs of the Zodiac has been published in Japan in 1996 and became a bestseller. Berg's astrological symbol for Ophiuchus came into widespread use in Japan as a consequence; the symbol is sufficiently common to be included in emoji, and appears in the Final Fantasy video game series.
The constellation, Ophiuchus, has been known since ancient times, and is better known as Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder. It is included in the list of 48 constellations described by Ptolemy. Ophiuchus is depicted as a man handling a serpent; his body dividing the large snake into two parts, giving way to the symbol used today as an Asclepius - the medical staff. Astrologers have not included Ophiuchus in the wheel of Astrological signs because the Sun spends only about nineteen days in this 13th sign of the Mazzaroth. Not that there wasn't a 13th sign in the Heavens, but as far as Astrologers were concerned, the Sun traveled from the constellation 'Scorpius' and then proceeded directly into the sign of Sagittarius. In reality, this was not the case. The Sun, for 19 days of the year, travels through the star constellation 'Ophiuchus' before entering Sagittarius from Scorpius - see chart below. thus The sign of Ophiuchus is patterned after the original 'Serpent Holder', Enki, a Sumerian god.
The signs of the Zodiac are for the most part, the highway, or path on which the Sun takes it's yearly journey across the heavens - as it would appear to Earthlings. These signs are actually star constellations occupying space in which the Sun appears to travels in an earth year. The original twelve signs/constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces are quite familiar to everyone, however, the thirteenth sign and constellation, [Ophiuchus], is in fact, not well known. To acknowledge a 13th sign now would seem awkward for astrologers, who like the tidiness of 12 signs that rule over the 12 houses of the Zodiac. The heavens are alive and they do change after a few thousand years and the astrologer who wants to maintain accuracy must change along with the signs in the heavens.
The constellation of Ophiuchus is the only sign of the Zodiac which is linked to a real man. This man lived in ancient Egypt around the 27th century BCE, and his name was Imhotep [again patterned after Enki]. Many of the same attributes of Imhotep can also be found in the Biblical Hebrew man Joseph, son of Jacob - [see comparison chart for these two men in separate article]. Imhotep is credited with many accomplishments including the knowledge and use of medicine. It is said of Imhotep that he brought the art of healing to mankind. The symbol of a serpent [or snake], which is still widely used today to represent the medical profession, was used to represent Imhotep. Imhotep was also known as 'Aesclepius' to the ancient Greeks, but by any name the attributes are still all the same. The attributes listed below describe the Serpent Holder, Imhotep, i.e. the Hebrew Joseph, and Aesclepius. The keyword descriptions seen below, originated with Betty Rhodes, and are the attributes for the 13th sign of the Zodiac - Ophiuchus:
OPHIUCHUS (THE SERPENT BEARER)
Pronounced 'o-few-cus', this is one of 13 constellations that both our sun and moon pass through during the year yet mysteriously, having originally been identified by Ptolemy, it does not feature in either the tropical or sidereal zodiacs that are used by astrologers today!!
Considering that this constellation is at the centre of both the divine cross in the heavens, formed by the galactic equator and the ecliptic, and the terrestial mundane cross formed by the equinoxes this is quite a serious omission especially since these two crosses align every 13,000 years and are about to do so once more in 2012.
On October 17, 1604 Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astrologer and astronomer began observing a supernova and studied it because he knew it was highly important. As of 2011 it remains the only visible supernova we have seen in our era. What startled Kepler the most was the location of this historic event - inside the 13th sign of the zodiac (the word zodiac literally means animals and it refers to the patterns or configurations of creatures that can be seen or traced in the twinkling stars of night. Ophiuchus is the only one that is depicted as a human - a man crushing a serpent or snake) and this supernova was located right in the heel of Ophiuchus. The supernova lies about 13,000 light years away from Earth, and it is the last such object seen to explode in the Milky Way galaxy. A recent image of the supernova is shown to the right. Click on it for more details.
Astrology and astronomy were originally indistinguishable as subjects but over a relatively short period of time the former has been relegated to a lesser science which is referred to as Judicial astrology or stromancy rather than natural astrology which is synonomous with astronomy.
The table below compares the different zodiacs and illustrates how, like our calendar, modern day astrology is out of synchronisation with the universe because it has been 'homogenised' - divided into 12 equal 30 degree segments when in fact the sun occupies each sign for considerably varying lengths:....Thanks to; http://gelageo.com/ophiuchus.aspx