Western astrology has gained considerable popularity recently, but its counterpart, Vedic astrology, has been in practice for thousands of years and is supported with documented evidence that backs up its methodology in ancient texts like the Vedas.
As a result, Vedic astrology offers a rich and diverse understanding of the subject, making it an invaluable asset to those seeking insights into their lives.
Astrology is a fascinating field that has been studied and practised for more than 5 Millenniums.
Astrology studies the positions and movements of the planets, asteroids, stars other planetary bodies and their influence on human affairs and events on Earth.
In modern times, astrology has evolved into a complex system that uses the positions of the luminaries- (sun & moon) and planets at the time of a person’s birth to determine their personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, and even their future.
A lot of people turn to astrology for guidance and understanding in their personal and professional lives.
The origins of Vedic astrology can be traced back to the ancient Vedic era, where the sage Bhrigu compiled the first treatise on Jyotisha – the Bhrigu Samhita.
This revered sage, also known as the Father of Hindu Astrology, is regarded as one of the seven Vedic sages, or Saptarishi.
His contributions to the field of astrology have had a significant impact on the development of Vedic astrology as we know it today.
Vedic astrology, also called Jyotish or Hindu astrology, is based on the astrological belief that the positions of planetary bodies at the time of your birth can provide insight into their character and life path and future events.
This system uses the sidereal zodiac, which is based on the fixed positions of the stars and galaxies the tropical zodiac, which is based on the Earth’s relationship to the Sun.
Vedic astrology uses various techniques, such as charting the planets’ movements or calculating planetary periods, to provide readings and predictions.
It is still widely practised in India and other parts of the world, and many people find value in its insights into their lives and experiences.
The origins of Western astrology date back to Mesopotamia around 3 BCE, and ancient civilisations such as the Babylonians and Egyptians used it to predict agricultural seasons and events.
However, it was during the Hellenistic period in Greek civilisation that astrology developed its Western form in ancient Greece from 323 BCE – 32 BCE.
Interestingly, Islamic culture also adopted western astrology techniques due to its involvement with the Greek tradition, and it was through Arabic teachings during the Middle Ages that European culture was reintroduced to the practice of astrology.
Astrology is still studied across the western world in modern times.
Although both the western and Vedic systems use the position of celestial bodies to make predictions, they differ in many ways; read on to find out more.
Okay, so Western astrology is all about you and your personality, you know? Like, what’s your sign, what’s your rising sign, what’s your Moon sign, blah blah blah.
But Vedic astrology is, like, so next level. It’s all about your karma, like, how does what you did in your past life affect you now? And get this, Vedic astrology is based on the belief in reincarnation! Like, you could come back as a butterfly or something.
Vedic astrology focuses on your soul-higher consciousness journey across all of its lifetimes.
In contrast, western astrology emphasises your current life and personality, concentrating on your material -earthly rather than your ethereal- eternal existence.
Additionally, Vedic astrology uses the Moon’s position as the primary factor in determining your horoscope, while Western astrology uses the Sun’s position.
It’s like comparing a night owl to an early bird – they might both be birds but have different habits.
And that’s not all, folks! Vedic astrology also has this thing called “nakshatras” – like mini-zodiac signs that the Moon passes through each day.
Meanwhile, Western astrology still has its trusty 12 zodiac signs that we all know and love.
But seriously, who wouldn’t want to add a little extra astrological spice to their life with some nakshatras?
It’s like adding sprinkles to your ice cream cone, Yum!
In a nutshell, the differences between Vedic and western astrology are like comparing apples to oranges, or more accurately, samosas to burgers.
One is spicy and full of flavour, while the other is greasy and satisfying.
But which one is better? That’s like asking if a unicorn or a dragon is cooler.
They’re both awesome in their own way.
So, let’s just appreciate the unique quirks and differences of each and embrace the fact that we live in a world which embraces both Vedic and western astrology.
While western astrology primarily focuses on the position of the Sun relative to the Earth, Vedic astrology considers both the position of the Moon and the lunar nodes.
This results in a difference in zodiac signs between the two systems.
The western zodiac is based on the 12 constellations that align with the Sun’s path through the sky throughout the year, with each constellation corresponding to a specific time period.
In contrast, the Vedic zodiac is divided into 27 lunar mansions, or Nakshatras, with the Moon passing through each Nakshatra for approximately one day each month.
This means that the Vedic zodiac signs are calculated based on the position of the Moon at the time of a person’s birth rather than just the Sun.
As a result, individuals who identify with a certain western zodiac sign may find that their corresponding Vedic sign is different, with some signs having different dates entirely.
In Vedic astrology, the ascendant – rising sign is also seen as necessary because the rising sign is believed to reveal crucial information about an individual’s personality, behaviour, and life path.
In Western astrology, the houses are measured based on the longitude of the first house, following which they are divided and mapped unequally from that point.
This method contrasts with the approach of Vedic astrology, which employs a whole sign house system.
Under this system, each sign of the zodiac is assigned to a specific house, and the entire sign fills that house, whereas, in western astrology, you can have a sign covering two houses.
In Vedic and western astrology, the house the rising sign- Lagna, is in is the first house, so if you are ascendant- lagna rising sign is in the 8th house, which is Scorpio; this means your 2nd house will be in which is normally the 9th house which is Sagittarius.
The cusps of astrological houses may change positions between the two systems, further impacting the interpretation of a person’s birth chart.
i.e. you may have Gemini on your first house cusps in western astrology, but in Vedic astrology, the cusp sign could be Taurus.
* House cusps play a significant role in western astrology cusps; they define the boundaries of the houses and the planets that fall within them.
When a planet is located near a house cusp, it can influence the energy of that house, which in turn affects the individual’s life. Vedic astrology tends not to use cusp signs, although some systems, like the KP system, take cusps into account.
In Vedic astrology, the zodiac signs are referred to as Rashis. The term “Rashi” is derived from the Sanskrit language and means a “group” or “cluster”.
Each Rashi or zodiac sign is assigned to one of the 27 Nakshatras or lunar mansions.
In this system, the position of the Moon at the time of one’s birth determines their Rashi or zodiac sign.
The term “zodiac” is derived from the Greek word “zodiakos”, which means “circle of animals”.
It refers to the 12 constellations that lie along the ecliptic, the ecliptic is the path takes around the Earth across the sky over the course of a year.
In the western system, the dates used for the spring equinox determine the Sun sign and the astrological new year, which western astrology says happens when the Sun is in aries, so this fixed calculation determines the start of aries and the other signs.
The Vedic birth chart, also known as a Janam Kundali, is similar to the Western astrology chart in some respects.
But they vary in look; the methodology used in western astrology to construct a birth chart involves using a circular diagram that has the houses and signs arranged in a counterclockwise direction.
Vedic astrology birth charts are square; the square is divided into twelve distinct sections,
Each square or triangle in both systems represents a house and holds vital information about the individual’s life experiences and potential outcomes.
The Vedic birth chart also includes many additional points that are generally not part of the Western system, such as lunar nodes and the South Indian-style chart that emphasises the rising sign.
In short, Western astrology is based on a set of fixed positions that do not consider actual astronomical observations.
In contrast, Vedic astrology considers the actual positions of the planets in the sky at any given time.
Some people say because of the fact that Vedic astrology uses a moving zodiac based on actual positions of the luminaries (Sun and Moon) and the planets, that is more accurate.
These fundamental differences between the two systems can lead to variations in the interpretation of astrological charts and predictions. Still, both systems have value.
As discussed, Western astrology and Vedic astrology are two of the most prominent astrological systems in the world, yet they differ greatly in their approach to interpreting the cosmos.
Vedic astrology and Western astrology differ significantly in their approach to calculating planetary positions.
Western astrology tends to emphasise the personality- psychological aspects of an individual’s life, while Vedic astrology focuses more on an individual’s karma, which is based on the belief in reincarnation.
This means that Vedic astrology considers an individual’s past lives and the effects of their actions in those lives.
In contrast, Western astrology is more focused on a person’s present circumstances and personality traits.
Both systems have their own unique strengths and can offer valuable insights into an individual’s life and future.
As a wholistic karmic astrologer, I use western astrology to show where the soul- higher consciousness is stuck at-, and Vedic astrology shows the direction.
Your higher consciousness needs to go, and the things your soul needs to learn to work out- to break free of its karma using free will.
Vedic astrology is rooted in the sidereal zodiac system, which determines the planetary placements based on their actual celestial positions in relation to the constellations in the sky.
Conversely, Western astrology employs the tropical (fixed) zodiac system, where the Sun’s movement and the Earth’s tilt on its axis during the equinoxes and solstices of the four seasons serve as the foundation.
The calculations of western astrology are based on the idea that the Sun returns to the same position in the sky in relation to the Earth’s vernal equinox after completing a full orbit around our planet.
The vernal–spring equinox marks the moment when the Sun is directly overhead the equator, dividing the Earth into two hemispheres of equal size.
This event is typically observed on March 20th-22nd each year, with day and night being of equal duration.
According to Western Astrology, this marks the transition of the Sun into Aries, although it is worth noting that the Sun is actually in the Pisces constellation at this time, currently when this happens.
But in reality, at the time of the vernal equinox, due to the gradual shift in the Earth’s orientation position to the fixed star constellations.
The Sun’s position on the first day of spring (also known as the vernal equinox) gradually moves westward across the sky.
So the Sun does not return to the same position in the sky at the time of the spring equinox every year, exposing a big fault in the Western astrology’s system.
This shift of the Earth’s axis in relation to the fixed star constellations is known as the precession of the equinoxes or ayanamsa, which happens at a pace of approximately 50.26 seconds of curve- arc per year.
The reason for this is linked to the Earth’s axis rotation, which completes a full cycle every 26,000 years; in simple terms, this means the constellations move ever so slightly each year.
Vedic Astrology acknowledges this subtle shift in the Earth’s position, yet so far, western astrology does not.
Due to this shift, the vernal equinox point of the sidereal zodiac has shifted roughly 25 degrees west from the 0 degrees vernal equinox of the western system during the past 2000 years.
As mentioned earlier, the western astrological sign of Aries has gradually drifted away from its corresponding point in Vedic astrology at a rate of one degree every 72 years.
The last time the Aries points of western and Vedic astrology aligned was roughly in the year 285 AD.
It is also noteworthy that the fixed zodiac system of astrology is called Sayana, while the movable zodiac system is known as Nirayana in Vedic astrology.
Due to the constant movements and expansion of the Universe, many individuals perceive Vedic Astrology as a more rational and dependable system.
Although the interpretations and symbolic meanings of signs and planets in both Vedic and Western Astrology are comparable, Vedic Astrology involves more precise calculations and intricate techniques, contributing to its increased reliability.
As discussed, Vedic astrology is based on the ancient Indian text the Ved shastra- also known as the Vedas uses the concept of Sidereal year as its basis, rather than the commonly known Tropical year.
A Sidereal year is a time our planet takes to orbit around the Sun, relative to the fixed star Chitra, which lives between the Virgo and libra constellations at around 26 degrees Virgo to the 7th degree of Libra.
Interestingly, the sidereal year is about 20 minutes longer than the standard- Tropical year, based on the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.
Vedic astrology is based on Sidereal time; Sidereal time is a measurement of time-based on the stars’ position in the sky.
It is used by astronomers and other scientists to track the movement of celestial objects accurately and to determine their relative positions in the sky.
Unlike standard time which western astrology is based is based on the rotation of the Earth around its axis.
Sidereal time is based on the rotation of the Earth around the Sun.
This means that one sidereal day is slightly shorter than one standard day by around 4 minutes because the Earth has to rotate slightly more than 360 degrees to return to the same position relative to the stars.
Vedic astrology stands out from the western system due to its dependence on precise astronomical principles.
It is important to note that the planets move in the sky according to the Nirayana system.
Vedic astrologers analyse not only the birth chart but also the dasas, which are the periods of various planets passing through different zodiac signs and their impact on the present time.
This comprehensive approach enables Vedic astrology to provide in-depth insights into an individual’s life beyond the birth chart alone.
Western astrology relies on the fixed zodiac to determine the planets’ impact on our lives.
So, for example, when western astrology says that Pluto is in Aquarius, it is actually in the constellation of Capricorn, meaning western astrology zodiac sign placements are not based on the present moment.
However, the aspects that the planets make to each other as they transit the sky are the same in both systems; aspects in astrology refer to the relationships or geometric angles formed between two or more planets.
The most common aspects studied in astrology are conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines, and oppositions.
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that both Vedic and Western astrology have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Vedic astrology focuses more on spiritual and karmic factors, while Western astrology focuses more on personal psychology and the individual’s life path.
Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and what resonates with each individual.
Both systems offer valuable insights and can help you understand yourself and the world around you.
It’s up to us to decide which one speaks to us more deeply and provides the most meaningful guidance.