No 13th zodiac sign, says astrologer
British astrologer Steve Judd rolled his eyes when he heard there was an alleged 13th zodiac sign.
He couldn't believe people were buying into Nasa's claims that Ophiuchus, a previously overlooked star, was now relevant.
The Londoner reads horoscopes in Bermuda regularly, and has 3,000 clients worldwide.
“This is just another attempt by scientists to discredit astrology,” he told Lifestyle. “This is just Nasa rehashing old stuff that's been around for hundreds of years. I'm not going to do anything different because of this. I have 3,000 active clients and half of them come back to me every year. I must be doing something right.
“If you went by the constellations this has us working with, Libra would be five or six weeks long, Scorpio four or five days long, and [Ophiuchus] three weeks long. That doesn't work for Western astrology. We prefer things to be more regular and orderly. You try telling someone who has been a Scorpio all their life they are not and see what happens.”
The controversy didn't actually start with Nasa's January revelation, but with astronomer Parke Kunkle five years ago.
He claimed that the stars were in a different position when viewed from earth than when the zodiac was drawn up 2,000 years ago. According to Mr Kunkle, it meant that people born between November 29 and December 18 were not Sagittarians as previously thought. Based on his classification, they fell under the star Ophiuchus, also known as Serpentarius.
His interview with Minneapolis Star-Tribune went viral.
When Nasa came out with its claim that Ophiuchus was part of the Zodiac until the Babylonians gave him the boot, critics argued the space agency had “revised” the Zodiac.
Astrology followers were particularly upset. If they weren't “wise” Sagittarians, who were they? Should they get their zodiac tattoo removed?
Mr Judd, who has been studying astrology since the 1970s and has been devoted to it full time since 1999, offered a word of advice: relax.
He said there are 88 constellations in the sky including the 12 that the zodiac is based on.
“At first my family didn't know what to make of me taking up astrology,” he said.
“Now that I am successful, they are very proud, especially since I got my astrological degree.
“Ophiuchus is sometimes seen as the healer. There is something a bit dark about him, but not in a negative way.”
He said he's seen little to suggest Ophiuchus impacts personality or events at all.
“Astronomers measure the movements of the planets and stars in the heavens,” he said. “Astrologers measure the effects of those movements.
“Not everyone believes in astrology, but those people that do investigate it normally come out of it very satisfied.”
He said his clients were very set in their ways, so he hadn't had many questions about the 13th zodiac sign.
Mr Judd started visiting Bermuda three years ago on the invitation of My Sereni-Tea Holistic Centre. He makes annual visits, usually in March.
“I love it,” he said. “I have a horoscope for Bermuda calculated from the time Bermuda was settled. I know there are elections coming up. I have done up Premier [Michael] Dunkley's horoscope [based on his birth date].”
The premier was born on June 18, making him a Gemini. Astrologers believe Geminis have a volatile temperament and that their strength lies is their versatility.
“His horoscope was interesting,” said Mr Judd. “He is someone who, over the next couple of years, will either really change the whole of Bermudian attitudes towards politics and economics and make it a thriving state, or he will try and keep it exactly the same as it has been with possibly disastrous results with an ever more political divide growing.”
We live in interesting times, astrologer Steve Judd believes.
He has calculated the horoscopes of both American presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
His verdict: Hillary Clinton will win by a landslide — maybe.
“That’s if everything goes the way it should,” he said. “But I am not convinced it will go the way it should. It may not be as clear cut as people are saying it will be. I do expect further developments involving Donald Trump and his craziness.”
He believes the strong personalities of both can be understood through the prism of astrology.
Mr Trump is a Gemini.
“He was born with the planet Jupiter rising on the horizon at the exact moment he was born,” said Mr Judd. “Jupiter is the biggest planet in the sky. This is what makes him think he is God. Everything about the guy is big. It always has been and always will be. Everything about him is much bigger than it needs to be; his hair and his attitude towards women.”
Mrs Clinton, on the other hand, is a Scorpio.
“If you upset her, she forgives, but she never forgets,” he said. “That is why her husband is so in her power. She has Bill exactly where she wants him. I think she will make a great president if she gets in. But, whichever one of them wins, I suspect neither will serve a full term. They are both equally hated by a large proportion of the population in America. America is in a funny space at the moment. Never known it to be so volatile in almost 60 years.”