It is impossible to talk about Astrology without talking about the position of the planets / Sun / Moon in certain signs. A very important element at the beginning of its study is to understand the systems that are used to calculate the above-mentioned positions. How do you know what sign the Sun is in, for example? How do you know where it used to be? There are different systems for calculating this phenomenon, but I will talk about two in this article: the Vedic (sidereal) system and the Western (tropical) system. Where do you find these two systems and when did each of them originate?
WESTERN (TROPICAL) SYSTEM:
It is very popular in Western countries (USA, UK, Europe) and is used by most astrologers in these countries. It was created about 2,000 years ago.
VEDIC SYSTEM (SIDEREAL):
This is a system mainly used by Vedic Astrologers, but is gradually gaining popularity in the Western World. It was created 7 to 13 thousand years ago and there are indications that it comes from the Gods from Heaven (perhaps an alien extraterrestrial civilization).
I. ZODIAC AND ZODIAC SIGNS
Before I delve into why I think the (Vedic) sidereal system is better, more accurate, and closer to the Truth, let me give you some facts. Let's start the debate by understanding what the Zodiac is. On Wikipedia we can read:
The zodiac is a belt-shaped region of the sky that extends approximately 8° north and south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The orbital paths of the Moon and major planets are within the belt of the zodiac. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into the following twelve signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each occupies 30° of celestial longitude and roughly correspond to the astronomical constellations with the same name. These astrological signs form a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude and the Sun's position at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.
In the above passage, we see that the Zodiac is a celestial belt in which the Sun moves throughout the year against the backdrop of various constellations. It's worth noting that the division of the Zodiac into Zodiac Signs in the Western system was established at the beginning of this system's existence and does not align with the actual (astronomical) positions of the constellations in the sky. In the tropical system (Western), a planet enters the sign of Aries when it reaches the part of the Zodiac defined as the Aries Sign, whereas in the Vedic (stellar) system, a specific part of the Zodiac always begins in the same place as the constellation of the respective sign.
Let's now talk about the two types of Zodiac - sidereal and tropical. These are two ways of dividing the Sky through which the Sun travels during the year from our planet's perspective. Why are there two Zodiacs? At the outset, it is worth saying that both types of Zodiac divide this belt into 12 Zodiac Signs (although there are 13 constellations in this area - Sagittarius includes the constellations of Sagittarius and Ophiuchus). The difference is not in the division itself, but in where the First Degree of Aries begins, which marks the beginning of the Astrological Year (more about it in a separate article).
WESTERN (TROPICAL) SYSTEM:
The first degree of Aries is marked by the Spring Equinox (March 21). Hence, the beginning of the first season coincides with Aries. Aries symbolizes new life just like Spring. It is a symbolic connection. The signs of the zodiac, their qualities and elements match the successive changes in natural phenomena associated with the Seasons. Each subsequent sign also represents the relationship of the Sun and the Earth, and thus is a reflection of the seasons and the processes taking place on it. When Western Astrology originated, the vernal equinox actually coincided with the location of the constellation Aries in the sky. This is no longer the case, because due to planetary precession, the sky shifts the position of the stars in a slow, 26,000-year cycle. This zodiac is symbolic and fully focused on the solar system as the source of all astrological energy. The influences of the signs do not come from the stars, but from specific periods of time and seasons from an earthly perspective.
VEDIC SYSTEM (SIDEREAL):
The first degree of Aries is determined by the Sun and its position against the background of the constellation Aries. When the Sun begins to be in front of this constellation, it enters this Zodiac Sign. This coincides with the astronomical (real) location of the stars of the Aries constellation. It has nothing to do with the seasons, but rather stems from the belief that each Star is a center of consciousness that, by sending its light, affects our reality. When the Sun is in the background of the Stars of Aries, it shines with light filled with the Aries Constellation Consciousness (Aries Archetype). This system is based on the actual location of the Stars, not the Seasons. The Sidereal Zodiac is not symbolic, but assumes that observable reality and its spiritual influences are one and the same. This zodiac is in agreement with the astronomical position of the stars.
In my opinion, Vedic Astrology demonstrates that Spirituality, the Universe we discover, and Psychological Archetypes are interconnected and unified. They are One. Western Astrology, however, suggests a more Geocentric perspective from which everything happens only on Earth. While Zodiac Signs, their qualities, and their alignment with the seasons indeed correlate well, I believe this has more to do with facilitating the memorization of these signs and certain mathematical-geometrical patterns (the elements reflecting Platonic Solids) and philosophical influences (Plato and Aristotle) present during the time when Western Astrology was developed. Therefore, I assume that it was filtered through the lens of the people living during that era.
II. EQUINOX PRECESSION
The remarkable thing is that the ancient Vedic clerics were aware that the Earth tilted around its axis. They knew this centuries before Europeans debated whether the Earth was flat. Vedic astrology has known and studied this phenomenon for many thousands of years. This phenomenon is responsible for the change in the angle of the Earth's inclination and, as a result, the movement of the entire Zodiac gradually over the course of 26,000 years (this is how long the cycle of the Earth's Precession lasts). Even though the ancient Vedic civilization did not have telescopes or modern technology, they calculated the exact rate at which the Zodiac moves. This is 50.3 seconds per year (1 degree in 72 years). Such great astronomical and mathematical skills show how advanced the ancient Vedic civilization was (or that Astrology actually came from an alien, extraterrestrial civilization).
Planetary precession causes the Sun to gradually change its position over the course of 26,000 years (in fact, the Earth changes the angle of looking at it), and as a result, during the vernal equinox, the Zodiac moves backwards. The current difference between the Vedic system and the Western system is almost 24 degrees! As a result, when Western Astrology says we have a Full Moon at 23 Leo, in the light of Vedic Astrology we have it at 29 Cancer (in fact, the Moon is then located at the tip of the Cancer constellation).
If you still can't understand the phenomenon of Planetary Precession, I invite you to watch the videos below. Links with videos explaining and showing the phenomenon of precession:
The mathematical difference between the tropical (Western) and sidereal (Vedic) positions is referred to as "Ayanamsha", which means "portion" + "precession." This concept indicates the degree difference between the vernal equinox and the first degree of the Aries constellation. There are many subsystems for calculating the positions of stars in the sky, but the Lahiri subsystem, which I also use, is the most well-known subtype of the Vedic system. To conclude our discussion on precession, it's worth mentioning that these two systems (Western and Vedic) sometimes align with each other. This occurs once every 26,000 years and lasts for several hundred years. The last time this happened was in 285 AD when Western and Vedic Astrology described the Zodiac in the same way. The First Degree of Aries coincided with the vernal equinox. For example, in 11,200 years, the Sun will be in the First Degree of Libra during the vernal equinox. At that time, these two systems will be in opposition to each other. It can be said that over the course of several centuries, it will become clear which system is truer. This will be possible when these two systems diverge far enough for a fair assessment of which one is closer to the truth.
III. WHY DO I CHOOSE SIDEREAL SYSTEM?
In both systems, the Sun represents consciousness, the soul, the self. The Sun is a star. It seems obvious to me, then, that other stars in the sky can also signify centers of consciousness in their own systems, and their light may be marked by that specific, archetypal consciousness typical for their system.
For some reason, we see stars in the sky. There are no superfluous things in the Universe, and everything has its purpose or reason. For some reason, radiation can affect our DNA, mutate it, or gradually change it (depending on the strength of the radiation). For some reason, the light coming from stars is also a form of electromagnetic radiation and theoretically can carry some information for our physical avatar.
In the Sidereal System, the Zodiac Signs align with the constellations with the same names. Science does not conflict with Astrology, and Astrology is not just pure abstraction but is related to the physical aspect of stars. Astrology, spirituality, and science meet in the middle, showing that everything is Unity, and it is the Human Mind that creates divisions.
From my experience, astrological forecasts based on the sidereal system are much clearer and truer than Western forecasts. The aspects that arise in both systems are the same, but the archetypal energies of the signs are very different. This is particularly noticeable in the case of full moons when it's easy to distinguish, for example, a Full Moon in Libra from a Full Moon in Scorpio. The former is more emotionally and mentally subtle, while the latter can be very intense and requires a deep dive into oneself. I really dislike it when Western Astrology stretches interpretations to fit the level of "Since it was intimate and close, it must be about the relationships represented by Libra." Not at all! If it was deep and intimate, it's Scorpio!
The sidereal system comes from Vedic Astrology, which has existed for thousands of years during which it could verify its effectiveness and make adjustments if necessary. Western Astrology was inspired by Vedic Astrology, and it's understandable that it wanted to build something better. However, in this case, I must say that Vedic Astrology is simply closest to the truth.
According to some beliefs, Vedic Astrology was passed down to humanity by Higher Beings. If that was indeed the case, their level of technological development and consciousness is high enough to be relied upon.
There are theories suggesting that Western Astrology emerged as a simplified form of Vedic Astrology during times when the planet's vibration began to decline. According to these theories, the positions it delineates describe more of the physical and mental levels, whereas Vedic Astrology and the Sidereal System delve deeper into emotional, astral, subtle, and spiritual realms.
It's publicly debated that the Sidereal System is often considered better at describing the nature of the soul and predicting actual events, while the Western system excels in personality and psychological work. Personally, I prefer to work at deeper levels, which is why I choose the Sidereal System.
The Sidereal System places more emphasis on stars, the Ascendant, and the Moon, while the Western system places the Sun on a pedestal. Personally, I prefer to view the individual holistically, as a multidimensional being, and identifying solely with the Sun (which is quite common among those who read Western astrology) is quite limiting. You are not just a Zodiac Sign; you are connected with a Soul marked by its archetype.
Remember that with this article, I'm not trying to convince you to choose one of the two systems above the other. I'm simply explaining why I personally chose to work with the sidereal system. I've written this article to help those who haven't encountered Vedic Astrology before to gain a better understanding of the topic. I also emphasize that by working with the tropical system, you can also learn a lot about a person. It all depends on the astrologer's experience, their alignment with a particular system, as well as their intuition and guidance. Ultimately, no matter which system you use, you'll find many answers within it. If you've been using the tropical system up to now, I recommend testing the sidereal system for at least a few months and then evaluating which system resonates with you more. As humans, we are creatures of habit who seek to build a comfort zone, which is why we sometimes persist with something that may not necessarily be good, consistent, or true for us. In such cases, it's worth approaching something with an open mind, giving it time, and evaluating it for yourself at the right moment. I hope you now understand why I use this system and that I've inspired you to explore it together with me.