or those who let the stars be their guide, the universe just turned upside down. Astronomer Parke Kunkle shocked devout horoscope readers by claiming that the date-range associated with each sign is off by weeks because the Earth's axis has wobbled since the system was originally created. Thought you were an endearingly arrogant Aries? Tough luck: You may actually be a soggy, conflicted Pisces. Even more disorienting: Kunkle's revised calendar includes a mysterious 13th zodiac called "Ophiuchus." (Watch an MSNBC report about the new sign.) Other astrology authorities were quick to refute Kunkle's claim (one they've confronted before), but commentators are reeling from the news, albeit rather sarcastically. A sampling of reactions:
"I have spent hours likening myself to a limpid turquoise lagoon when I should have been out identifying with fire and goats," says Alexandra Petri, an erstwhile Pisces, in The Washington Post.
"Turns out all these years, I've been living a lie," says John Cave Osborne at Babble. "But boy did I buy into the whole Sagittarius deal.… All those years I thought I was free spirited? Turns out I was just super irresponsible."
"So you're a planner who hoped your hubby's sign was a guarantee he'd add a little bit of spontaneity to balance out your kid's life? Yup, you're screwed," says Jeanne Sager at The Stir.
Just when I got used to the meaningless of astrology...
"It's like thinking your hair was naturally blonde when really your pageant-mom has dyed it since you were three," says says Jen Doll at The Village Voice. "It's like finding out, unexpectedly, that your birth name was Boris. It's like realizing that something that never really mattered anyway doesn't matter even more. Which is heartbreaking, really."
A bright side
"If you're going to believe that all the people born on your birthday are imbued with certain traits similar to your own in some mystical, ancient manner, you might as well believe it does not matter where the stars are in the sky to begin with," says Melissa Bell at The Washington Post. "On the flip side, if you've never liked your sign, here's your chance to switch."
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