What's The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology

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Difference between Vedic and Western Astrology

  1. Vedic Vs Tropical Astrology Comparative
  2. What's The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology Libra
  3. What's The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology Sign
  4. What Is The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology

The difference between vedic and western astrology is related to the way the astrological chart is calculated, the elements they take into account, the interpretation, and the importance they give to predictions factors vs. personality.

The major difference between Vedic and Western astrology is that one uses the fixed zodiac while the other uses movable zodiac to decide the starting point of the zodiac. Western Astrology uses the tropical Zodiac, which considers earth to be the center and the celestial bodies to be revolving around it. The most important difference between Vedic and Western lies in the choice of Zodiac. In Western astrology, the Tropical Zodiac is used while Vedic astrologers use the Sidereal Zodiac. Western astrology uses planets in signs extensively, but Vedic astrology uses signs in a different manner. The House System. The biggest difference between Western astrology and Vedic astrology is that they use two different systems to divide up the 12 zodiac constellations within a year.

The way of calculating the chart

Even if both systems take the positions of the planets in the sky and at the moment of birth, how they calculate this positions is different for each of them. Thousands of years ago, both systems coincided. But there was a fact that the western or tropical system didn’t take into account. The groups of stars, year by year, move in the sky in relation to the Earth. Very slightly, but they move. So what thousands of years ago mathematically indicated the point of Aries for both systems, for the tropical one still remains to be Aries. But according to the vedic or sidereal system, that point is not Aries anymore, because the stars moved slightly backwards. So basically what was Aries would now be Piscis.

Thus we can say that the vedic system calculates a horoscope according to the true position of the stars or constellations in the sky. On the other hand, the western system does it according to a fixed or symbolic position of the constellations, which is equal to what was there some thousands of years ago.

So normally, when the western system talks about a Full Moon in Sagittarius, the vedic system is considering a Full Moon in Scorpio (the sign previous to Sagittarius). If someone has their Sun in the sign of Gemini in the Western system (the Sun sign is what is normally consider “your sign” in this system), it is actually in Taurus in the Vedic one.

The elements they take into account

There are many differences regarding the elements they take into account and we are going to focus here on three important ones.

The western or tropical system takes the Sun sign as a predominant element in a horoscope. For the vedic or sidereal system it’s the Ascendant (the constellation that rised in the horizon at the moment of birth) that is a key factor.

For vedic astrology, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto don’t play any role. They consider that there are so many planets in the universe that even if they would all be in synchronicity with our own inner energies, we can only relate to the closer ones in a significant way. Western astrology does consider them when casting a horoscope.

What vedic astrologers do give a major importance to, which does not happen in the western system, is the two intersection points of the orbits of the Moon and the Earth. Because it is in these two mathematical points that eclipses occur, they are consider of great importance. They are called Rahu and Ketu and are symbolically represented by the head and a tail of a dragon, which from time to time “eat” the Sun or the Moon.


Each of the two astrologies has their own set of rules, which is a very important difference between vedic and western astrology. Even if the meanings of the planets have much similarities, in each system they take specific qualities that differ from the other one.

The same thing happens with the “houses” or the areas in which a horoscope is divided. Even if the meaning of the houses have some similarities, they are not the same.

Furthermore, the way the planets relate to each other and to each house is also different.

Prediction vs Personality

The importance of prediction in vedic astrology is much more than the one they give to personality. As a result of the specifics of this system, prediction can be really quite accurate. It is possible to predict the timing and qualities of major events in the life of a person, such as for example important relationships and breakups, health complications, job changes, improve or decline in finances, traveling, moving, relationships with family, accidents, etc.

Vedic Vs Tropical Astrology Comparative

On the other hand, the Western system is very good at defining someone’s personality traits.

In the practice of astrology, there are two main types: Western, also known as tropical astrology, and Vedic, also known as sidereal astrology. This article explores the main differences between the two traditions.

Calculating the Positions of the Planets and Stars

The Sidereal Method

Although Western astrology traces its roots to the cultures of Ancient Egypt and Greece, the practice of astrology was going on in India long before these civilizations came into being.

Traditionally, Indian astrologers calculated planetary positions based on the fixed locations of the stars in the sky. In the same way that the pole star has always been used to determine true North, various constellations were used to measure the movement of the planets along the ecliptic.

However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, Indian astrologers adjusted their calculations to keep in sync with the stellar positions. Thus, their system is known as sidereal, or star-based.


The Tropical Method

Around 285 B.C, the Greek astronomer Ptolemy introduced a simplified method of calculating the movements of the planets. He noticed that each planet moved in a fixed rate relative to the Sun. By noting the precise times of the fall and spring equinoxes, and the winter and summer solstices, Ptolemy was able to derive the positions of all the other planets.

In this way, Ptolemy conceived what is now known in Western astrology as the tropical method, or judging planetary positions based on the Sun’s movement from the equator to each of the tropics.

At the time, it so happened that in India, there was a perfect alignment between the Sidereal and Tropical methods. Nowadays, however, the corrective adjustment used in Sidereal astrology is about -24 degrees, or almost an entire sign of the zodiac.

Another major difference between Vedic and Western astrology is which planets and stars are included in a horoscope. Here’s a list showing what is commonly considered in each of the two systems:

  • The Sun
  • The Moon
  • Mars
  • Mercury
  • Jupiter
  • Venus
  • Saturn
  • Rahu
  • Ketu
  • 27 different Nakshatras, or Lunar Mansions
  • The Sun
  • The Moon
  • Mars
  • Mercury
  • Jupiter
  • Venus
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto
  • Asteroids such as Ceres, Juno, and Vesta, and the comet Chiron

Notice that the list starts to diverge after the planet Saturn. The Nakshatras, for instance, are a unique feature of Vedic astrology. These are the “lunar mansions,” or specific sets of stars that the moon passes through in its orbit around the earth. Each one is said to possess a different personality, as well as different strengths and weaknesses, much like the individual zodiac signs themselves.

In addition, Vedic astrologers track the movement of “shadow planets” Rahu and Ketu, which are believed to cause eclipses.

In Western astrology, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are used in place of Rahu and Ketu to signify such qualities as obsession, rebellion, and chaos.

Both Western and Vedic astrology split a chart into twelve houses, with the first house located on the eastern horizon. However, beyond this point, the traditions each take their own approach. In this section, we’ll look at two aspects of the houses: measurement, and planetary lordship.

How the Houses are Measured

In Vedic astrology, each house is assigned an equal 30°. Generally, Vedic astrologers use what is known as the Whole Sign method of determining houses. This means that if Cancer is the predominating sign in the third house, then a planet that falls anywhere within Cancer’s thirty degree range will be considered a tenant of the third house.

By contrast, in Western astrology, there are several competing ways of measuring out the twelve houses, and they may not all be given an equal number of degrees. Some astrologers follow the Vedic method of equal division, while others adjust the size of the houses based on various factors, such as latitude and the number of daylight hours.

Which Planets Rule Each House

Here is a breakdown of which planets rule each sign according to both systems:


The Moon
The Sun

The Moon
The Sun

Note that in the Western system, Scorpio, Aquarius, and Pisces are assigned to Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune respectively, whereas in the Vedic system, these planets aren’t included at all.

Virgo money horoscope today

Another significant difference between Western and Vedic astrology is in how each offers predictions of a person’s future life. First we’ll take a look at the core philosophical differences which undergird each system, and then at the methods of predictions themselves.

What's The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology Libra

Different Philosophies

For most practitioners of astrology in the western world, Vedic astrology is viewed as a rather harsh system. Traditional Vedic astrological texts often list terrible outcomes for specific planetary positions and combinations, and a person unfamiliar with the system might be understandably put off.

For example, the textbook outcome of a somewhat common planetary combination known as Daridra Yoga is that the person will “contact huge debts, will be very poor, will suffer from auditory troubles, and will commit sinful and criminal deeds.” (see B.V. Raman’s book, 300 Important Combinations)

However, a skilled astrologer does not take one single piece of information alone, but is instead very careful to analyze the chart as a whole in order to see the overall tendencies of the person.

Vedic culture in general takes what could be termed a “realist” approach to human life — the Vedas do not encourage blind optimism. It is considered far better to have a sober assessment of one’s risks and weaknesses than to naively pretend such things simply aren’t there.

Western astrology, on the other hand, prefers to focus on positive messages and outcomes, emphasizing a person’s strengths, rather than shining light on their weaknesses. Unlike Vedic astrology, which classifies both planets and houses as either “malefic” or “benefic,” Western astrologers prefer to take a neutral view.

Methods of Prediction

In Western astrology, personal predictions rely primarily on what are known as planetary transits. A transit refers to when a given planet passes through a specific sign. In a person’s horoscope, each house is occupied by a single sign. When a planet crosses into that sign, then it will exert greater influence on that house.

In Vedic astrology, predictions follow what is known as the vimshottari dasha system. This system divides a person’s life into nine planetary periods based on their birth nakshatra. For example, if a person is born under Hasta nakshatra, then they would begin life in their Moon period, because Hasta is ruled by the moon. The dasha periods always follow a specific order, and each period lasts a set number of years:

  • The Sun (6 years)
  • The Moon (10 years)
  • Mars (7 years)
  • Rahu (18 years)
  • Jupiter (16 years)
  • Saturn (19 years)
  • Mercury (17 years)
  • Ketu (7 years)
  • Venus (20 years)

Vedic astrologers analyze the positions of each planet in the birth chart in order to determine what major life events are likely to take place during a specific planetary period.

What's The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology Sign

In addition to the major distinctions between Vedic and Western astrology covered above, here are a few more differences which play a significant role in interpreting an astrological chart:


A planetary aspect occurs when one planet is directly across from another planet in the chart (180°). They can also occur when planets are a set angle from one another, such as 60°, 90°, or 120°.

In Western astrology, aspects are measured based only on degrees. For instance, if Jupiter is 15° into Leo, and Venus is 16° into Scorpio, then it would be considered a strong aspect.

In Vedic astrology, aspects are measured by the entire house. It doesn’t matter how many degrees a planet has traveled through the sign. For example, if Saturn is in the first house, and Mercury is in the third house, then Saturn would aspect Mercury. In addition, Vedic astrologers only consider certain aspects, depending on the planet. The following table shows the houses over which each planet has full and partial aspects:

Planet100% Aspect75% Aspect50% Aspect25%
The Sun7th4th and 8th5th and 9th3rd and 10th
The Moon7th4th and 8th5th and 9th3rd and 10th
Mars7th, 4th, and 8thN/A5th and 9th3rd and 10th
Mercury7th4th and 8th5th and 9th3rd and 10th
Jupiter7th, 5th, and 9th4th and 8thN/A3rd and 10th
Venus7th4th and 8th5th and 9th3rd and 10th
Saturn7th, 3rd, and 10th4th and 8th5th and 9thN/A


In Vedic astrology, an important element of judging the strength of a chart and the overall quality of a person’s life are planetary combinations, known in Sanskrit as yogas. These are special combinations are believed to produce positive or negative results in a person’s life. Some yogas indicate material happiness, others foretell spiritual growth, while some warn of obstacles that may impact different spheres of life.

Western astrology does not incorporate this feature of Vedic astrology.

Directional Strength

Another element of Vedic astrology that doesn’t appear in the Western practice is what is known as directional strength. Each planet performs at its best on a certain side of the chart. Below you can see the table of where each planet is at its strongest:

The SunThe Tenth HouseThe Fourth House
The MoonThe Fourth HouseThe Tenth House
MarsThe Tenth HouseThe Fourth House
MercuryThe First HouseThe Seventh House
JupiterThe First HouseThe Seventh House
VenusThe Fourth HouseThe Tenth House
SaturnThe Seventh HouseThe First House

This is up to you! Different people prefer Vedic or Western astrology for different reasons, and the debate over which one is “correct” is unlikely to be conclusively resolved anytime soon.

What Is The Difference Between Vedic And Western Astrology

On our website, we provide astrological information based on the Vedic approach, as we find it to be more accurate, more in-depth, and more consistent across practitioners. This is because the tradition of Vedic astrology has remained intact for thousands of years, whereas Western astrology only regained popularity in the early 20th century.

Luke Vanderlinden

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