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TINY RITUALS BLOG

Vedic Astrology vs Western Astrology: All You Need to Know

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From tracking your daily horoscope zodiac sign to mapping birth charts and divisional charts and forecasting the full swing of your season, those who follow astrology are likely to be familiar with the more western elements. But, astrology isn’t a singular thing and there are other starlit systems out there also such as Vedic astrology or Indian astrology. Vedic astrology can also be known as Hindu astrology and uses a different zodiac system than the one more associated with western astrology. Here, we take a look at both Vedic and western astrology to help provide a deeper understanding of each. From origins to signs and all your burning bright questions, let’s dive into the fundamentals of Vedic vs western astrology…

Western Astrology Details and Origins

Western astrology seems to lead back to the 2nd century and bases itself on Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos. It has roots in Babylonian and Hellenistic tradition and was shaped under Greek influence. Western astrology deals more with the tropical zodiac and assigns houses based on birthdays, sun signs, and even location. There are 12 signs in western astrology and it takes its approach as looking at an individual person’s birth using the placement of stars and planets on that date but uses earth to gauge that perspective rather than looking at it from space or elsewhere in the cosmos. 

Vedic Astrology Details and Origins

Vedic astrology has been traced as far back to an ancient Indian text although its also been found to date back to around 10,000 BC. The Sanskrit name is Jyotisa or Jyotish which can be translated into a heavenly body. While the western zodiac and astrology use the tropical zodiac, Vedic astrology is more concerned with the physical placement of constellations and applies the sidereal zodiac. There are 12 signs in Vedic astrology and they are similar to those of western astrology although the dates of the houses are different. Vedic astrology is believed to be tightly bound to spirituality and was born from sages and seers and the Four Vedas which are centered around mantras, rituals, philosophy and divine revelations. 

What is the difference between Vedic astrology and Western astrology?

the night sky

While Vedic and western astrology shares some similarities they do have key differences. By understanding how both zodiac approaches differ, you may be surprised to find that any attachment to a certain star sign or reading can be shaken by a Vedic reading. Take a look at the main differences between the two astrological systems. 

Signs

In western astrology, there are 12 zodiac signs and in Vedic astrology, there are also 12 zodiac signs. Both astrological systems even share the same names and meanings although the dates will differ. So if you are a flighty and fun Gemini under western astrology, you may find that you have shifted into being a stubborn but loving Taurus under Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology also considers your rising sign to be of high significance whereas in the western version it’s all about the sun sign. 

Calendar

The calendars used by both western and Vedic astrology differ. In western astrology, it’s the four seasons and the tropical calendar that serves as the marker for working everything out. In Vedic astrology, the calendar uses the sidereal system which pays attention to planetary position based on constellations rather than the fixed method that applies to the western version. 

Planets

Western astrology connects more with the sun whereas Vedic astrology is considered to be closer to the moon. This is because western astrology is mapped around the solar system and linked to the seasons which are heavily influenced by the position and the movements of the sun. Vedic astrology takes in other wider aspects of the galaxy as a whole. Vedic astrology also takes into account the visible planets and their lunar nodes (aka the points of orbit around the earth) whereas western astrology will fold all the major planets into their calculations. 

Houses

There are similarities and differences when it comes to mapping out the houses under the western and Vedic astrological systems. Both branches of astrology believe that the ascendant house (the zodiac rising in the east during our birth) plays a major role in defining who we are. However, the difference between measuring these rising houses is different. In western measurements of these houses, it’s based on the longitude of the first house and then everything is mapped from that point and divided unequally. In Vedic, each house is mapped at an equal size which potentially changes where your ascendant house would fall. 

Birth Charts

When it comes to birth charts there are key differences driving each. In western astrology, the birth chart is based on a circle with the houses and signs mapped out in a counterclockwise fashion. In Vedic astrology, the birth chart takes a different shape and instead of a circle it’s a square that is divided into 12 different sections. 

Other Vedic Astrology FAQs 

astronomical clock

Is Vedic astrology more accurate?

Vedic astrology can be a little more complicated and less fixed in place than western astrology which some people think makes it more accurate. As Vedic astrology is more detailed and consults a lot more moving pieces, it is decidedly less generic in its nature than western readings. 

What does Vedic astrology tell you?

Vedic astrology is based on the placements of planets, stars, and motion during the time of our birth. It is also believed to be a map of our karma and our dharma. It can help shine a light on our life path, big important events, and our relationships. All this information can be useful when riding the waves of life’s ups and downs. 

Why is Vedic astrology so different?

Vedic astrology is different from western astrology as it is based on the sidereal zodiac rather than the tropical zodiac. This means that while the western (tropical) zodiac is fixed, the Vedic zodiac is much more dynamic and calculates based on constellations which change the outcome.

Is Vedic astrology the real astrology?

Arguably because Vedic astrology takes into account all the planets and their movements it is considered to be a much more accurate branch of astrology. While both Vedic and western astrology has similar planets and interpretations, the calculations within Vedic are more detailed and this potentially makes them more reliable. 

How does Vedic astrology work?

Using the sidereal zodiac, Vedic astrology takes the planets and constellations into account when calculating your horoscope. This is different to the western zodiac which uses the fixed tropical reading. Because Vedic takes into account the changing patterns and the universe as a whole rather than just the earthbound position, this arguably makes it more detailed and accurate.

What are some of the different astrological signs?

The twelve astrological signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. 

What is the meaning of astrology?

Astrology is a form of divination in which astrologers use the planets and the stars and their position and consider how this impacts human behavior, moods, and the effect on the natural world. A person’s personality, character traits, and how they deal with things can all be affected by astrology and planetary positions. 

What are the main principles of Vedic astrology?

There are four main principles of Vedic astrology and they are based on earth, air, fire, and water. There are also four goals of human life - dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Vedic astrology is our map for understanding these things and helps us to navigate our destiny.

Vedic Astrology vs Western Astrology – The Verdict

Vedic and western astrology are equally fascinating and can be used to shine a light back on the ways in which we move through and metabolize life. Horoscopes, birth charts, and the like are all truly useful tools in helping guide us. As mentioned, Vedic astrology is considered to be more detailed and a more in-depth and complex reading of the two different astrological methods. It also takes a more flexible approach as it acknowledges that the universe is ever moving, turning, and changing rather than being a fixed entity. Because of this, it is considered to be more attuned to the natural world and maybe a closer reading of where we are at spiritually and emotionally. However, both hold merit. If you want to find out more about your zodiac and find ways in which you can support your wellbeing in accordance with our house, check out our guide to crystals and the zodiac.

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