Sorry, honey, you’re not a Gemini anymore.
That’s the conversation I’m not exactly looking forward to having with my six-year-old daughter. No, sun signs aren’t terribly important to her. But just like birthstones, they’re one of those things the kids know are special about the day or month they were born in. How can something as fixed as the qualities of your birthday change?
I lucked out with the new zodiac sign dates. My sign doesn’t actually change. I’m just pushed off the cusp of Cancer and Leo, solidly into the middle of Cancer. My younger daughter is right there with me, also a Cancer. But my older girl gets bumped from Gemini to Taurus. That hardly seems fair.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Taurus, mind you. But explaining this change to a little kid is going to be tricky.
It’s also educational. To do it, we’ll have a chance to break out a calendar and look at dates. We can also get out our star charts, or even borrow a friend’s telescope and do some amateur stargazing. We can talk about constellations, and the history of astrology.
Even better, we can talk about how mutable human nature is. We’re not bound to any particular sign, or the set of personality traits that supposedly go with it. The kids are free to be whoever they want to be, whatever sign they were born under.
Here’s the breakdown on those new zodiac dates, in case you missed them before:
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.