One morning you open a newspaper and learn that you are not who you think you are. You, and millions of other people. Is Apocalypse coming?

People woke up to the horrible news when the newspapers published the discovery of Minnesota astronomer Parke Kunkle. It was announced that due to changes in the Earth's alignment the dates of many zodiac signs have changed. And not only in Minnesota, but throughout the globe. If this was not enough to freak people out, there is also a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

What on Earth…?! Actually, not on Earth, but in remote outer space... What just happened?! Some kind of esoteric extraterrestrial commotion, something-something with the Moon's gravitational pull, constellations touching the ecliptic and wobble of Earth’s axis. But who cares? We lived our entire life affiliated with false Zodiac! And what now? You, smart-astronomers-people, where were you looking for 2000 years? “Oops” - say astronomers – “Our bad. Kinda missed, overlooked, did not see it coming, sorry. It is complicated. It is very, very far from here, you know. Please, review the adjustments to Zodiac schedule. And we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Let’s review the adjustments.

Capricorn used to be Dec. 22 – Jan. 19 now Jan. 20 - Feb. 16

Aquarius used to be Jan. 20 – Feb. 18 now Feb. 16 - March 11

Pisces -“- Feb. 19 - March 20 -“- March 11- April 18

Aries -“- March 21 - April 19 -“- April 18 - May 13

Taurus -“- April 20 - May 20 -“- May 13 - June 21

Gemini -“- May 21 - June 20 -“- June 21 - July 20

Cancer -“- June 21 - July 22 -“- July 20 - Aug. 10

Leo -“- July 23 – Aug. 22 -“- Aug. 10 - Sept. 16

Virgo -“- Aug. 23 – Sept. 22 -“- Sept. 16 - Oct. 30

Libra -“- Sept. 23 – Oct. 22 -“- Oct. 30 - Nov. 23

Scorpio -“- Oct. 23 – Nov. 21 -“- Nov. 23 - Nov. 29

Ophiuchus Never been there now Nov. 29 - Dec. 17

Sagittarius used to be Nov. 22 – Dec. 21 now Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

You see, just a handful of us have lucky birthdays and get to keep their Zodiac. For the rest, the original sign fell victim to the tilt of the Earth’s axis. And now the innocent population should deal with this lost star track.

The sexy Scorpios are now faltering Libras, the cuddly, earthy Capricorns are unpredictable Aquarians, the bullish Taurans are sensitive Geminis and sociable wise Sagittarius are mysterious Ophiuchus.

You are no longer good looking and witty, while you should be very practical with money, neat and tidy.

All those years you thought you were secretive, vague, and easily led, and it turns out, you are impulsive, selfish, and intolerant!

From a God-like being that others bow down to, you become a blushing hand-shaker that must avoid elevators.

Instead of cuddling your sensitivities under a sun lamp, you should go out and do brassy, take-charge things.

Now you need a leadership-driven-teamwork-position-thing, and you don't even understand what that means.

You always wondered why you are so bossy. And messy. Finally you understand why.

And you understand why you never won a lottery. While you were using someone else’s lucky numbers, someone else was taking your jackpot.

Now, what about our love-life? What if we were looking for a mate in a wrong pool? What if after years of marriage our spouse turns out to be totally incompatible? And if your relationship just miraculously started to work, what about years of marital bliss, wasted under pretense Zodiac?

All our stars-inflicted misery needs to be somehow compensated. Sessions with private astrologers should be reimbursed. Zodiac paraphernalia, like jewelry, coffee mugs and framed pictures of Liza Minnelli, should be returned and refunded. Tattoos should be removed and replaced with a new sign. For free. Plus bonus for pain.

But can our moral damages be ever reimbursed? Can our sanity be restored? Who can cure an epidemic of multiple personality disorder? Who will help a brainsick Virgo trapped in the body of Leo?

And what about these unfortunate people, who happened to be Ophiuchus? All their lives they were an undercover Zodiac and now they need to come out of the closet and announce to everyone “I am an Ophiuchus.” This probably will make people scared and suspicious. Definitely not recommended at workplace.

So, what is this Ophiuchus? And how, for Pete’s sake, should it be pronounced? Of-ee-yoo-kuh s? O-fee-a-kus? O-fju-kus? In plain English – something like oh-fee-you-cuss. With emphasis on YOU. With a warning of CUSS. With a metaphor of FEE.

Scientifically, Ophiuchus or Serpent Bearer is a constellation on the celestial equator between Libra and Aquila, alongside with Spider and Orion. It was sitting there forever. But never received a Zodiac membership. He is kinda touching the ecliptic, but doesn’t hold on it strong enough. So the Sun kinda travels through it, but not really. Ophiuchus was sort of an astrology orphan. The Sun was moving directly from Scorpio to Sagittarius, leaving the poor guy out. And suddenly his usurpation of the whole 19 days left the Scorpio with one miserable week and screwed up the entire Zodiac cycle. So who the heck is he?

Ophiuchus-the-snake-holder is a heavily muscled person hysterically holding on to a full-size anaconda. Ophiuchus’s profile: a healer, a doctor of medicine or science. Seeks higher education and enlightenment. Expected to achieve a high position in life. Interpreter of dreams. Envied by his peers and favored by authority figures. Very curious, sexually magnetic, extremely jealous, passionate, good-humored, irresponsible, rebellious, secretive, egotistical. Likes to wear clothing of vibrant colors, especially plaids.

Some cool stuff there. You may actually fall for the idea of successful clairvoyant plaid-wearing doctor.

Yet, most of us want our old Zodiacs. We are used to them. They are like family members.

Maybe, we are just the casualties of the star wars between astronomers and astrologers?

Astronomers say “Astrologers are fake. They make stuff up. They use twelve random Zodiac signs just for convenience. It is easy: twelve months – twelve signs, six masculine, six feminine, four elements with three signs in each element. They wouldn’t accept the challenge of dividing the 360-degree circle by very indivisible 13.”

Astrologers say “Astronomers are delusional. They make stuff up. That’s how they  make a bear out of 4 stars and a satellite. There are actually about two dozen constellations kinda touching the ecliptic. Will they keep adding orphans to the Zodiac? We are giving you the twelve most credible signs. Keep them. Be true to your roots.”

Whom to trust? The ordinary people, who don’t make living of stars, need to choose what to believe. Most of us already accepted that the Earth is round and parallel lines cross someplace there. Should we also consent to the thirteen’s sign? Thirteen is kinda a bad number.