Feeling A Little Less Leo Today? Blame The Wobbling Earth (Updated)

A Minnesota astronomer confirms what most people already knew: Your horoscope has been lying to you your entire life. But even those who believe in astrology — that’s 31 percent of Americans, according to a Harris Poll — were duped, because astrologers have apparently been misreading the earth’s alignment because they failed to take the earth’s wobble on its axis.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune speaks to an astronomer who says the moon’s gravitational pull has made the earth wobble on its axis, throwing off zodiac signs as they’re currently understood by about a month.

The Star Tribune reports these are the “true” signs:

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. 23-29. Ophiuchus:* Nov. 29-Dec. 17. Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.
* Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.

Thus the Magic 8-Ball remains the most reliable predictor of the future.

Update: CNN talks to astrologers who disagree with the astronomers.

The stars might not actually be aligned in your favor [Minneapolis Star Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So, this looks like it only shifted by about a 1/2 month. Which covers most of the “cusp” duality that already exists in Astrology. Solid Capricorns might now be Capricorn/Aquarius hybrids, and the hybrids are now no longer ambiguous.

    That being said, I had never heard of Ophiiuchus.

    Also, I don’t really care, this is just an observation. I’m still a Leo, rawr!

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Right, so it just switched the cusp to a different date, which makes what you say make absolutely no sense. There’s always been two zodiacs, it just depends on which part of the world you live.

  2. VeritasNoir says:
  3. meske says:

    Well, this changes nothing.

    • JoJack82 says:

      exactly, now instead of not reading the my Aquarius Zodiac thingy I wont read my Capricorn Zodiac thingy.

  4. world-inferno says:
    • palfas says:

      Unless you subscribe to the sidereal zodiac, in which case you probably already knew your proper sign. It’s not false, just misleading

  5. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Man that stinks. I am a Capricorn now. I am so not a Capricorn. Changing my personality to fit my horoscope is going to take a lot of work.


  6. jtheletter says:

    This has already been debunked on CNN. Good job researching your stories.

    While the science is true what this article fails to account for is that most Westerners folly what is k own as the Tropical Zodiac which was laid out by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The signs and their dates are set by the eqinoxes and NOT by where the sun is in regards to constellations.

    Long story short, if you follow Western zodiac horoscopes then NO YOUR SIGN IS NOT WRONG.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      …the point that you’re missing is that anyone who puts even the tiniest amount of belief into astrology is a CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.

      • veritybrown says:

        So I guess those scientific studies about how one’s season of birth can affect one’s future health are also bunk?

        Like it or not, a lot of people have personality traits that correspond eerily with their zodiac sign. I’m not a believer in predictive “horoscopes” as such, but I’m pretty good at guessing a person’s zodiac sign just from familiarity with their personality. Considering that the traditional zodiac is linked with the seasons, not with the stars, it would make sense that weather, rather than mystical astral influences, might actually have an effect on an infant’s mental development. It would also explain why there are some people who don’t “match” their zodiac sign very well. For example, one the signs I have the most difficulty identifying (based on personality) is Aries. And weather-wise, March is a very unpredictable month.

        So perhaps there’s more to this than skeptics think (as well as less than true-believers do).

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          If there are proper scientific studies that show the season of birth affects children, then that’s all well and good – but it hasn’t got the slightest thing to do with astrology. Nothing. Not in the slightest.

      • jtheletter says:

        How do you know I missed that point? Did I defend astrology? Did I state my beliefs? Or did I correct a fallacious premise in the original article?

        Stick to the facts and what was said, not what you project onto others. For the record I’m an engineer and I don’t care a fig about astrology but all the idiots in my life who do are up in arms over this “revelation” and what little facts they do have (dates of equinox) they still manage to screw up which is why this caught my attention at all.

        Your response to me here was a CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          You just came out and made an explanation of how this “news” did not, in fact, invalidate existing astrology practices. Which any way you look at it, is a act of defense to protect astrology. Hence…catastrophic failure.

    • jebarringer says:

      So really what you’re saying is that if you’re going to believe in the bunk that is astrology, may as well throw all semblance to actual science out the window.

    • Emaewest says:

      Too bad. I wouldn’t mind being an Ophiuchus for a change.

    • palfas says:

      You know how I know you didn’t read the article.

      If you follow the sidereal zodiac, then you sign has changed, but you probably already knew that.

  7. LBM says:

    F That NOISE. I am in now way, nor have I ever been a Capircorn. I am an Aquarius through and through. Wobble my butt….the only wobbly thing is this ridiculous “discovery” Blech…

    • incident_man says:

      The “wobble” the astronomer speaks of is actually a real astronomical, not astrological, phenomenon. It’s called the Precession of the Equinoxes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession_of_the_equinoxes . It is a slow “wobble” caused by the gravitational effects on earth exerted by the sun and the moon because the earth is not a perfect sphere, rather it is an oblate spheroid, slightly flattened at the poles and bulging slightly at the equator.

      Precession manifests itself as the slow retardation of the constellations of the zodiac by 1 degree every 71.6 years, making a full circuit once approximately every 25920 years. For example, during Ancient Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty, the sun rose in front of the constellation of Taurus at dawn at the vernal equinox; today it rises against the backdrop of Pisces, soon to be Aquarius, on the same day, hence the meaning of the phrase, “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”

      Modern science attributes the discovery of Precession to Ptolemy, however some evidence suggests that the Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians were aware of the phenomenon as early as c. 3700 BCE.

    • lucky13 says:

      Well your rant certainly confirms your claim to Aquarian traits!

  8. Thassodar says:

    Lucky for me I’m still a cancer!!!
    Now get ready for the influx of NEW astrological sign books… I honestly think this is a money grab by the astrological…sign…people. If anything this move will lessen their hold on those who actually depended on their horoscope for how their day will go. If they can add signs all willy nilly it kinda makes it seem phoney.

  9. Mighty914 says:

    Or, you know, it doesn’t really matter anyway…

  10. NashuaConsumerist says:

    Although this story may be a sham zodiac astrology is a sham in itself. So this is just another non-issue.

  11. Mulva says:

    Glad this was debunked – now I can get back to stressing out about our income tax increase in IL. The distraction was nice though.

  12. arilvdc says:

    after being thoroughly annoyed with all of my non researching facebooking friends losing their minds over this FALSE story I came over to Consumerist only to find the same thing!!

    I expect it from my friends but not from a news blog. do your research instead of following reiterate trend and stop spreading incorrect information. I rarely comment here but I felt I had to because this story is just so ridiculous.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      False? What the hell is false about it? This isn’t exactly news…astrology has been off in this manner for a few thousand years.

      It’s just that, astrologers never bothered to adjust anything because, you know, IT’S ALL ABSOLUTE BULLSH*T!

  13. arilvdc says:

    after being thoroughly annoyed with all of my non researching facebooking friends losing their minds over this FALSE story I came over to Consumerist only to find the same thing!!

    I expect it from my friends but not from a news blog. do your research instead of following reiterate trend and stop spreading incorrect information. I rarely comment here but I felt I had to because this story is just so ridiculous.

    • arilvdc says:

      ugh double post, sorry. I’m on the train, commenting from my phone.

      • jefeloco says:

        The double post apologizing for the double post takes the cake. Tip for the future, one “submit” click is more than enough, even when you don’t think it is.

        • arilvdc says:

          I only clicked once, thank you. consumerist is having an issue with the mobile browsers and I’m not the only one having it. this post will probably double as well.
          thanks for the snark though.

        • arilvdc says:

          I only clicked once, thank you. consumerist is having an issue with the mobile browsers and I’m not the only one having it. this post will probably double as well.
          thanks for the snark though.

    • arilvdc says:

      ugh double post, sorry. I’m on the train, commenting from my phone.

  14. lifesmyplaypen says:

    Step one: Already visited CNN so knew it was false
    Step two: Read comments to see how many people freak out
    Step three: Check and find out…. It’s a Phil article

    • SixOfOne says:

      Step Four: ???
      Step Five: PROFIT!

    • veritybrown says:

      I’d say that step one is realizing that it MUST be a Phil article, just based on the idiotic content (sorry, I’ve been hearing about this issue for literally YEARS).

      Step two…well, I don’t see a lot of “freak out,” unless you count the large number of commenters who found it absolutely vital to assure the rest of the world (in the strongest terms possible) that THEY have never believed in that loser astrology stuff.

    • Cetan says:

      This has… what…? to do with consumers?

  15. Fett101 says:

    The irony of debunking a story about a field that is complete bunk to start with makes my head spin.

  16. Supes says:

    I learned this in an “Intro to Astronomy” course probably 6 or 7 years ago. I imagine it’s been well-known in these circles for a long time.

    And, of course, this affects absolutely nothing.

  17. Dollie says:

    It’s a false story in the sense that it does not affect those who turn to the comics page for their horoscopes in the US part of the world. However, it will affect those born since last week. Or something like that.

    The sign that I flash at people will not change as my middle finger has not moved.

  18. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Meh, us Leos doen’t believe in astrology anyway.

  19. Admiral_John says:

    Once a Libra, always a Libra.

  20. MaliBoo Radley says:

    What is all this? You can’t just up and change the signs of the zodiac like that! Why, it’s almost like there’s no science fact to this stuff at all!

  21. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Yay I’m still a leo! But now I’m cusping with Cancer.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      And damnit, now my Boyfriend is a Libra. He’s sooo not a libra. Though he isn’t really scorpio either. Hm.

  22. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Not too big a deal for me: I pretend all of The Onion horoscopes apply to me.

  23. Bort says:

    To those of you who doubt the power of the magic eight-ball, I say behold, my “F”

  24. Nighthawke says:

    Just don’t tell Leo Laporte that. He might get miffed at the deal.

  25. CrankyOwl says:

    Good to know that I’m still a Scorpio. Now can we get to work on reinstating Pluto as a planet?

  26. kylere1 says:

    Not a consumerist issue, stop trying to be digg, digg sucks.

  27. TooManyHobbies says:

    This has been known for decades. Astrologers waved it away years ago. It makes no difference at all, of course. I assume the astrologers know that so they don’t bother rewriting their BS into different BS.

  28. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Wow. I learned about this over 15 years ago in High School. I also learned from James Randi years earlier that it’s all a sham, and if you give an entire room full of people the same exact “forecast”, but tell them it is tailored to them, pretty much everyone will rate it 7 out of 10 or higher on how accurate it is.

    • jefeloco says:

      JREF for the win!

      I wanted to go to TAM last year but couldn’t afford it (my wife losing her job and having to go to school depleted funds too much) so I’m hoping to make it this year! I’m hoping for another P & T combo special to pop up for added awesomeness.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      The internet is no place to be demonstrating your ability for rational thought.

  29. JulesNoctambule says:

    Personally, I’m very fond of stories that get the usual suspect whining about how it’s such a non-story that they were forced to take time out of their busy-busy lives to read it and comment on it.

  30. Just_A_Guy says:

    I live in Minneapolis, and can say that the Star Tribune is becoming only slightly better than a tabloid, which seems to be their response to dwindling sales. They’ve “broken” way too many stories that turned out to be false, and frequently publish speculation as fact.

  31. AllanG54 says:

    My birthday is April 18th. I wonder if I’m a Pisces or an Aries. Or maybe I have two signs. I wonder how that’s differentiated.

  32. exscind says:

    31% of Americans are idiots?

    On second thought – yes, at least that many.

  33. Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

    Before, and now after the shift, it is all still just a bunch of bullshit.

    • denros says:

      Even more comic was the “response” article in CNN, which is basically like saying “Dude Unicorns could TOTALLY kick a mantacore’s ass” “Nah UH! The mantacore has more magic!”

  34. jason in boston says:

    Just like religion, this is a bunch of bullshit.

    And Phil, nice last line. I believe “thusly” would be appropriate.

    • jason in boston says:

      And it looks like I ripped off “don’t-rip-me-off”. Well played Jason.

      • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

        The difference is the astrologers aren’t trying to persuade public policy or teach their “theories” as viable alternatives in school.

  35. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Someone mentioned this in my chat room last night. I thought it was pretty stupid.

  36. DrLumen says:


    I think I’ll just stick with the year of the Tiger. The Chinese calendar has to be more accurate. :)

  37. Pig_Farmington says:

    If you believe is this crap, to deserve to waste your time arguing about how why this quackery is still valid.

  38. denros says:

    “This story is born periodically as if someone has discovered some truth. It’s not news,” Best. Unintentional. Irony. EVER.

  39. MarsVolta187 says:

    Thank god Astrology is bullshit, otherwise this retarded story might mean something.

  40. RandomHookup says:

    I’m now a Virgo? That’s wrong on so many levels…

  41. Shadowfax says:

    What a load of taurus.

  42. PupJet says:

    LOL…this is funny.

    It changes nothing about the person. If they were born under a certain sign, then they are STILL that sign, regardless of whether or not it’s ‘changed’ after you were born. Sheesh…a big hoopla over nothing really.

    The only thing is, who is Ophiuchus person *and* how do *they* know what the ancient Babylonians wanted? Were we there? Did they use psychic-mediums to speak with ancient Babylonians? Seriously….how do we know?

  43. fubar784 says:

    Dang, now how am i going to explain the giant tramp stamp of Pisces now that I am an aquarius. On the bright side, increased business for tattoo removal?

  44. Bdog59600 says:

    Looks like astrology as we know it, the idea that people are affected by the position of celestial bodies, is saved by the fact that western astrology no longer takes into account the actual position of celestial bodies. *facepalm*

  45. MNGirl says:

    I am an Aries and a Taurus! Somehow May 13th lands on both I guess.

  46. DEVO says:

    Doesn’t this just mean that the description and personality traits associated with a sign just were wrong. If you were an awesome scorpio, now scorpios are lame and libras are awesome. It’s all the same. Libras are now the most sexy

  47. gman863 says:

    Does this mean The Floaters have to redo their touchy-feely disco hit?

    “Ophiuchus…and my name is Larry. I love all the forgotten women of the world. Wonem who sit home at night watching Lifetime and The Oprah Winfrey Network…”

  48. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Well, that Pisces tat was worth the money, I guess. DOH!


  49. massageon says:

    Can you imagine all the people out there with their astrological sign tattooed on them? LMAO

  50. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    In my astronomy 101 class, first day, a pretty cheerleader type rases her hand: “When will we learn to tell our horoscopes?”. She, and her five friends, were gone the next day.

    The most interesting part of this – other than the fact that nobody has listed to these facts for millenia – is the comments on various websites. Mostly crazy women: “F- this! This is such F-ING BULLSHIT! What do these F-ING “SO CALLED” scientists know!”

    I invite you to tour several web sites today and read the varied comments. It’s hilarious.