What is Vedic Astrology?
Vedic Astrology has evolved over time from Jyotishya, the traditional Hindu system of Astrology. Vedic Astrology is different from Western Astrology, as it measures the Sun in relation to the planets and celestial bodies. On the other hand, Western Astrology, otherwise known as Tropical Astrology, looks at the relationship between the Sun, planets and celestial bodies from the vantage point of your location on earth. Western Astrology also follows a movable zodiac. Vedic Astrology follows the teachings and underlying principles of Sidereal Astrology, or the fixed zodiac. There are arguments and opinions as to which Astrological school of thought is superior. At this point in time, we can say that each school of thought brings its own unique perspective and astrological knowledge.
Vedic Astrology Birth Charts
Vedic Astrology Natal Birth Charts focus more on karmic soul principals as opposed to Western natal birth charts. This is not to say that aspects of karma cannot be analyzed by your tropical birth chart, but rather, Vedic birth charts act more like a karmic map of your past, present, and future. One striking difference between Western Astrology birth charts and Vedic Astrology birth charts is their shape.
Vedic Astrology birth charts are square, while Westerns are round. Western birth charts start at one degree of Aries. Vedic birth charts start at twenty-four degrees ahead of one degree of Aries. This pushes your Sun sign in tropical Astrology back by one sign. For example, if you are a Capricorn in your Tropical Astrology chart, you are a Sagittarius according to your Vedic Astrology chart.
Some Significant Differences in Vedic Astrology Vs. Western Astrology
You will find different terms within the Vedic birth chart than in the Tropical one. For example, the planets are called “grahas” and the planetary cycles are called “dashas. Let’s look at some other notable differences.
The Lunar Nodes- There are much more significance and study given to the lunar nodes in Vedic Astrology than there is in Western Astrology. Vedic Astrology considers the lunar nodes to be the most malefic forces within the birth chart. On the contrary, Western Astrology recognizes the North Node as exhibiting benefic, Jupitarian energy. In Vedic Astrology, the north node is called Rahu. The south node is called Ketu. Rahu represents Saturn, the Greater Malefic, and Ketu represents Mars, the lesser malefic.
The Sun- The Sun is viewed as the center of the Universe in Western Astrology. In Vedic Astrology, the Sun is not given this significance. However, in Vedic Astrology, the Sun represents your soul.
The Moon- The Moon and its lunar mansions, or nakshatras, are analyzed as the primary source of significance within Vedic Astrology. Vedic Astrology teaches that the Moon represents the mind and that it was the Moon that gave birth to the human mind.
The Houses of the Zodiac- In Vedic Astrology, the zodiac houses are called “bhavas.” Four significant bhavas are; Dharma (which represents duty); Artha (which represents resources); Kama (which represents joys and pleasures); and Moksha (which represents freedom and liberation).