- Vedic Astrology
- Best House System For Sidereal Astrology
- Vedic Sidereal Astrology Chart
- Vedic Sidereal Astrology
- Sidereal Astrology Chart
Many people turn to astrology to find out more about themselves, their future, and even to find their ideal partner. Astrology helps us better understand our personality and behaviors and can even be a guide that allows us to reach our goals.
- Usage of the Sidereal zodiac is from an era when practitioners had an inadequate understanding of the realities of our planet and solar system. It was already developed (in a very rough form) before the origins of horoscopic astrology.
- Ancient Indian Vedic Astrology in India, more popularly known as Jyotish, relies more on the sidereal (according to the stars) positions of the planets, just as one sees them in the sky, against the positions assigned to few relatively fixed stars.
- Books on Jyotish are as old as 3,000 years. There are many ancient books on Jyotish written by Indians and Greeks as well as others. There are two main systems of Astrology on Earth, the Indian and the Greek. The Greek uses the Tropical Zodiac and the Vedic uses the Sidereal Zodiac.
Although there is some debate over whether to classify astrology as a branch of science or not, most believers find their astrological predictions eerily accurate.
As per Vedic astrology – Sidereal zodiac, the individual is a Leo. Another important point is – 3,000 yrs. From now, the individual born on Sep 7 would definitely be Virgo as per the Tropical Zodiac. However this might have shifted as per the Sidereal Zodiac! The reason can get very technical in terms of physics/ astronomy. Create a Free Birth Chart – Sidereal / Vedic Create a free birth chart wheel with interpretations. The following birth chart calculator uses the Sidereal Zodiac with Lahiri ayanamsa and Whole houses, which is far different than the Western astrology practice with the Tropical Zodiac.
But did you know there are different types of astrology? Find out which one is more accurate in the battle between Vedic vs Western astrology.
The Main Differences in Vedic vs Western Astrology
So which is more accurate, Vedic astrology or Western astrology? To determine that, we need to understand the differences between the two types.
Although both are types of astrology, certain methods may make one more accurate.
Source of Origin
Vedic astrology is also known as Hindu astrology and originated in ancient India. Vedic astrology comes from the Vedas which contain the oldest Hindu scriptures.
Western astrology can trace its origins back to the Babylonians. They taught the Greeks astrology around the 4th century B.C. At this point, astrology became regarded as a type of science.
Many believe the zodiac used in Western astrology originated in ancient Egypt before it reached the Babylonians.
Western astrology uses twelve signs, each corresponding to one of twelve constellations. It uses a movable zodiac also known as the tropical zodiac, based on the Earth’s orientation to the sun. The signs in the tropical zodiac correspond to the cycle of seasons.
Vedic astrology uses a fixed system and is also called the sidereal zodiac. Both types of astrology measure a year. A sidereal year is the time Earth takes to orbit around the sun using fixed stars as a reference.
A sidereal year is twenty minutes longer than a tropical year because of the precession of the equinoxes.
Number of Planets
There are a total of nine planets in Vedic astrology. These include the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Rahu and Ketu are two nodes of the moon.
The sun and moon were once considered planets and are still included because they behave like planets. They are also known as the two lights.
Besides the nine planets, Vedic astrology also uses lunar constellations known as Nakshatras.
Western astrology uses the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Planets discovered in modern times and also used by western astrologers include Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Vedic astrology does not consider these planets.
Using the Sun vs Using the Moon
Vedic astrology focuses on the moon whereas Western astrology focuses on the sun. So what does this mean exactly?
In astrology, the Sun sign covers your personality and forms the basis of your ego. In psychology, the ego is the part of your personality that makes up your “self”.
Your Sun sign is easy to figure out since all you need to know is the day and year of your birth. When people ask what your sign is, they’re asking for your Sun sign.
So what about your Moon sign? The Moon sign determines your emotions and mood. Sensitive people may relate more to their Moon sign than their Sun sign.
You can determine your Moon sign with your birth date, place, and time of birth. It’s a little more complicated than your Sun sign, but knowing your exact Moon sign can tell you a lot about yourself.
Determining your Moon sign can get complicated. If you want to find out more about horoscope readings, an astrologer can guide you.
How Math Plays a Part in Accuracy
One of the main differences in Vedic astrology vs Western is the math they use. Both systems use math to make astrological predictions, but Vedic uses more complex math.
Astrology is all about projective geometry. This means that it focuses on the differences in a celestial body’s angular distance from the Earth. In the zodiac, each of the twelve signs measures 30 degrees on the celestial sphere.
Although often used interchangeably, constellations are not the same as signs. The size of a constellation varies, unlike signs because signs are constructs.
But why 30 degrees?
Early astrologers determined your sign by figuring out which constellation the sun was in on your day of birth. Astronomers calculated that the sun would travel through the signs over one year, spending roughly 30 days (or a month) in each. So they figured each sign measured 30 degrees on the ecliptic.
How the Zodiac Has Changed
The motion of the planets varies and not all planets are visible to the naked eye. Most of the time, planets move eastward but occasionally they move westward. When this happens, it’s called a retrograde movement.
Best House System For Sidereal Astrology
The tropical zodiac uses the vernal equinox as a starting point. The sidereal zodiac relies on fixed constellations. At one point, constellations aligned with the divisions.
However, when the Earth wobbles on its axis (called precession), it creates a shift that affects the vernal equinox. This means that the stars align differently according to our perspective from Earth.
Due to precession, the western divisions of the zodiac no longer line up with the constellations they were named for.
Vedic astrology accounts for precession. It isn’t as affected by the shifting of the planet on its axis because of what it’s based on.
Vedic astrology measures the sidereal year and also uses Nakshatras, Dasha System, and Divisional Charts. This makes Vedic astrology more complex, but also more reliable. Many claim that the sidereal zodiac provides deeper insight.
Which One Is More Accurate?
So when it comes down to Vedic vs Western astrology, which one should you rely on?
Many people prefer the sidereal system because it’s more accurate and covers many areas of your life. The Vedic system accounts for precession and tends to be more reliable.
However, don’t write off tropical astrology. Even though the signs have shifted over the years, Western astrology isn’t based entirely on your sign aligning with your constellation. It’s based more on the seasons at the time you were born in relation to solstices and equinoxes.
Western astrology is still reliable especially if you rely on aspects and houses to make predictions. Both forms of astrology have their advantages, though many people claim Vedic is more reliable.
Vedic Sidereal Astrology Chart
In the end, you should explore both types of astrology to see what resonates best with you.
Did you enjoy learning about astrology? Be sure to check back on our website daily for more interesting facts, tips, and more.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked, especially in the ‘West’ is the difference between the ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ schools of astrology or in other words Tropical vs. Sidereal Astrology?
To clarify all the discussions here on this website are based on Vedic Astrology which utilizes a Sidereal zodiac as opposed to the Tropical zodiac. Even the “astrology illiterate” probably understands the outcome of the difference between Sidereal vs Tropical. The entire zodiac shifts which changes the signs/ houses and hence planetary positions. Venus horoscope. As an example, as per the Western – Tropical zodiac, a person born on September 7 is a Virgo. As per Vedic astrology – Sidereal zodiac, the individual is a Leo.
Another important point is – 3,000 yrs. from now, the individual born on Sep 7 would definitely be Virgo as per the Tropical Zodiac. However this might have shifted as per the Sidereal Zodiac!
Vedic Sidereal Astrology
The reason can get very technical in terms of physics/ astronomy. The difference is due to a frame of reference with respect to an observer on earth, in a simplified way – where exactly does zero degrees of Aries start and hence starts the zodiac with 12 signs (30 degrees each).
Without getting into any technical details or complications, the simple explanation is that the tropical zodiac does not incorporate the fact that the earth not only has a rotational axis, but the axis itself is slowly rotating. A phenomenon described in Physics as ‘Precession of the Equinoxes’.
One rotation around the earth’s axis obviously takes about 24 hrs., One rotation of the axis itself takes about 26,000 years.
The Tropical year will be approximately 20 minutes shorter than the Sidereal year.
The two systems will be the same every 26,000 years approximately (25,772 years to be precise). However in between these years, the systems will continue to have a divergence. This divergence will cause the relative start and end points of the zodiac signs to be different.
The astrological scriptures described this Precession by a Sanskrit word called as ‘Ayanamsa’ (translated as AYAN = movement, AMSA = component) or Movement Component. Vedic astrology takes into account this difference in its calculations and Ayanamsa is the longitudinal difference.
Sidereal Astrology Chart
In the Vedic astrology scriptures these difference in calculations is explained in detail and the Tropical system is called ‘Sayana’ & Sidereal system is called ‘Nirayana’.
One very important point to note is that the sages who wrote the earliest known vedic astrology texts (Bhrigu Parasara Hora Shastra) mathematically quantified the Ayanamsa (Precession of the equinoxes) at least 2500 yrs before Hipparchus (the Greek astronomer) studied and quantified it in astronomy/ physics by observing the relatively ‘fixed’ star SPICA in the constellation Virgo around 190 BC.
The above is simplified to a large extent for the casual reader to understand. There is a lot of research in this field and to be noted is the fact that lately the Western school of thought has many modified versions too which incorporate this movement in one form or another.