Last Sunday, while I was enjoying a much-deserved afternoon siesta, my cell phone rang abruptly. It was my uncle calling. Without so much as a greeting, he straight away shot a question at me "Have you read today's newspaper?" I hadn't actually since my daughter had kept me busy since morning. He then said that he wanted my opinion on the news that had appeared in the paper. Apparently, the International Astronomical Union had announced that there is a 13th zodiac sign. There had been a lot of debate on this for years and it had finally been made official. He then proceeded to tease me, as is his wont - "Now your astrology has gone for a toss. Due to the introduction of this new sunsign, I and your father belong to the same zodiac whereas we are poles apart in nature. How do you explain that?" I told him that I would get back to him on this as I had yet to read the paper.
On googling the net, I discovered that there was indeed a 13th zodiac sign called Ophiucus that appears between the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. Infact, I found that I belonged to this new sign. Well, well, well! I was so used to identifying myself as a Sagittarian that this came as rather a shock. It was like having a new identity altogether! On reading the traits for people belonging to this new sign, I, of course, liked it (they're all good and enviable traits, you see!) But the hard-to-digest fact was that people whom I had known as Capricorns were now really Saggis; Aquarians were really Capricorns and so on. That meant that I (and a lot of other folks) would have to re-orient ourselves to our new signs.
You might wonder why all this is so upsetting to me. Well, I've always been interested in the study of astrology ever since my college days. But I've never found the opportunity to study the nitty-gritty of it in a formal manner. Hence, it'd take me some time to understand the astronomical implications of this change. And I plan to study it soon. However, the incident brought home the realization that all the established facts of life are really transient. We cannot base our interpretations of people on these facts alone. We have to understand people in the right context & environment and not slot/compartmentalize them into categories/sunsigns etc. It is true that Leos display certain traits, but not all Leos do. As a student of astrology I do understand that one must take into consideration the position of ALL planets in a person's horoscope and not just the sun's or moon's. And each horoscope is unique - even twins'. So, I still do believe in astrology and someday will complete my formal education in it. But, the lesson learned here is that what we believe to be astrology - which is 12 zodiac signs, is not that much alone...but much, much more. Also, people need to be understood as individuals and not as part of some community, sunsign or class.