Surely you must have studied about the planets, the stars, the constellations, and the role they can play in your life. And do you know what your zodiac sign is? If these are some things familiar to you, then you must know a bit about astrology. But while many of us know our Western or Chinese zodiac signs, there are less people who have heard about Vedic astrology before. So, why do Vedic teachings have a special place in astrology? Let’s find out.
What is Vedic astrology?
Vedic astrology comes from the Vedas, which are one of the oldest Indian spiritual scriptures, dating back to around 1,000 BCE. Vedic astrology means ‘the science of light’ and also goes by the name ‘Jyotish.’ The scriptures were written by 18 great sages, the Rishis. The wisdom of the Vedas not only encapsulates the astrology system, but it commands a special place in the pantheon of great scriptures, because it allows us to see into our beings and our lives more clearly.
The Vedas carries a belief that everything can become known and enlightenment be achieved through self-knowledge and self-realization. Through these qualities, we can find our purpose and realize our connection to something bigger, to the vast expanse of the universe. The Vedic astrology system is based on karma and reincarnation, connected to the planets. Karma stands for the good or bad things we did in our previous lives which are bound to return to us. In Vedic astrology, it is believed that the remedy to bad karmas can be found with the help of the planets and spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, mantras, and Ayurveda medicine.
Do you know about Vedic charts?
If you are interested in astrology, you might have heard the phrase “natal chart” or a “birth chart.” In astrology, charts are very important, and they actually take center stage in the Vedic system. Charts are designed based on a certain moment and a certain place. So, your birth chart, for instance, is cast based on the moment at which you were born, along with your place of birth. Interesting, right? But there is more to these birth charts than meets the eye.
Your birth chart can convey a lot of information about you to the astrologers who read it. They take the positions of the planets in your zodiac constellation and make predictions about your present and future. Most of the times, your chart reflects your life, so when the astrologer looks at it, her or she can read your personality and predict the good and the bad life events awaiting you. The astrologer then would figure out the ‘dashas’, which are the planetary periods that tell you when different events will happen.
Making predictions based on the planet in the charts – the sign, aspect, house, strength, and lordship – is a fascinating experience. By analyzing these characteristics, an astrologer can tell what might happen to you during a certain planetary period. And smaller events can be predicted during sub-periods, which are between 1-3 years. Predictions about events in a planetary period and sub-periods can tell a lot about a person’s career, love, and family future. They can explain why a person experiences success or failure at work, when he or she will marry, and when their health will be at its peak condition, among other things.
The sun vs. the stars
In Western astrology, the relationship between the earth and the sun is very important because all the planets in the solar system rotate around the sun. Because of this importance, Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac. It measures the relationships between the sun and the tropics of the planet. For example, in Western astrology, the new year starts on March 22, the day of the vernal equinox. As a result, the first zodiac sign, Aries, starts on this date, with the other signs following.
In Vedic astrology, the situation is quite different. Instead of tropical zodiac, it uses the sidereal zodiac, which relies on the stars and the planets in space. Unlike Western astrology, Vedic astrology does not rely on the relationship between the sun and the earth for its zodiac. It takes into account the natural movement of our planet and every 72 years the zodiac signs in the Vedic astrology move back one day to preserve astronomical accuracy.
Vedic astrology vs. Western astrology
- The main difference between Vedic astrology and Western astrology is in the use of the moving vs. fixed zodiac. Because the earth naturally tilts on its axis in space, zodiac is moving, although very slowly, at about 1/60 of a degree, even less, each year. This moving nature of zodiac does not correspond to the fixed zodiac signs and is different by almost one whole sign.
- Vedic astrology uses the actual constellations, while Western does not. So, if you use Vedic astrology, you will be surprised to find out that your zodiac sign is different. It is the sign that comes just before your zodiac sign. For example, if you are a Taurus in Western astrology, your sign will be Aries in Vedic astrology.
- Another difference lies in the history of the two branches of astrology. Vedic astrology has been around for thousands of years, and its traditions remain unchanged and unbroken. Western astrology, on the other hand, has experienced its ups and downs, disappearing during the ‘Age of Reason’ and coming back into prominence in the late 19th century. As a result, Vedic astrology has a much longer tradition, with the heritage of knowledge dating back many centuries.
- Vedic astrology also has a strong philosophical background behind its traditions. Because Vedic astrology is rooted in the Vedas, its practitioners follow the Vedic philosophy and attend other spiritual traditions mentioned in the scriptures. Compared to the Vedic system, Western astrology does not have such a long history of philosophical and spiritual traditions. As a result, a true Vedic astrologer has a very powerful ability to guide other people because of his or her spiritual lifestyle and years of acquiring philosophical knowledge.
Hopefully, you have now gained a deeper understanding of the basics of Vedic astrology. Seeking out answers in the stars is an ancient practice and it can give you the peace of mind and right pointers to move your life in the desired direction.