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Vedic vs Western Astrology

Vedic vs Western AstrologyThe Vedas are the oldest scriptures known to exist; they are well over 5,000 years old. The vast ocean of Vedic knowledge encompasses both material and spiritual knowledge; it is perfect knowledge that was revealed by Sri Krishna (The Godhead) to the Rishis, the sages of Vedic culture. Astrology is part of the Vedic literature, and has been preserved and handed down in the guru parampara, the chain of apostolic succession, since time immemorial. Vedic Astrology is the original form of astrology that existed thousands of years ago in what are now known as the Indian sub-continent. It gradually spread by diffusion into other cultures such as the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Chinese, etc. The major differences between Vedic Astrology and modern Western Astrology are threefold:

First of all, Vedic Astrology is technically called a Sidereal system whereas Western Astrology is Tropical. What this essentially means is that up in the sky there are stars which make up the various constellations of the Zodiac such as Virgo, Aquarius, etc. Vedic Astrology is based upon the actual stellar constellations (sidereal) whereas Western Astrology is based on a fictitious zodiac that slowly moves backwards in space as a function of time (tropical). These definitions can be found in any good dictionary. As of this writing, Oct 22, 1993, the beginning of the Western imaginary zodiac, their first point of Aries, begins at 6.25 degrees of the constellation Pisces. This is called the “Age of Pisces” in Western Astrology. This first point will move in a retrograde (backward) motion at a rate of about one degree per 72 years until it enters into the constellation of Aquarius. That will be the beginning of the famous “Age of Aquarius” that we have all heard about. At the rates of motion of 72 years/degree X.

6.25 degrees it will take 450 years before the so-called “Age of Aquarius” takes place. Out of ignorance of astronomy, the New Age community has jumped the gun by almost half a millennia in declaring that we are already in the Age of Aquarius. Secondly, Vedic Astrology, as already mentioned, is based on a very old unbroken tradition since time immemorial whereas Western Astrology has had a much checkered history. Astrology for all intents and purposes disappeared in the West during the Dark Ages; it resurfaced during the Renaissance only to fall out of favor during the so-called Age of Reason. In fact, it totally disappeared from the European continent until about 100 years ago. It had been kept barely alive in England during that time. Western Astrology as we know it today has only been around for 130 years. The point being that the Vedic tradition is very strong and vibrant with the heritage of many millennia of accumulated knowledge, whereas Western Astrology is a chaotic mish-mash of New Age ideas; the “new kid on the block.”

Thirdly, Vedic astrology being an appendix to the Vedas is thoroughly soaked in Vedic thought and philosophy. This necessitates that the practioner of the science must have earnestly assimilated the Vedic philosophy and lived the life of a Vedic Brahmin, with all its attendant spiritual practices. By contrast, modern Western astrology is a reflection of permissive Western culture where anything goes. Western astrology has no real consistent philosophical basis; what passes for a basis is watered down, distorted, third hand Vedic philosophy. The Western Astrologer has (in comparison to the Vedic Astrologer) no philosophical training, nor does he know what it means to follow a spiritual discipline. The combined effect of genuine philosophical knowledge coupled with an authentic spiritual lifestyle cannot be overestimated when it comes to developing the divine vision and ability to properly guide that is so necessary in becoming an astrologer.

I have hardly done justice to the subject of comparing and contrasting Vedic and Western Astrology, but hopefully what I have said will give you an inkling of the differences which exist. The differences are not just technical but depend on a whole different world view. Now that we have finished our digression let us return to the main objective of this report.

The birth-map or horoscope is a symbolic representation of the Earth, planets, and stars at the time of your birth. It is a divine language, a mystic cryptogram by which God has communicated what a person's destiny will be; knowing which a wise person will exercise his freewill to optimize the result.