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Vedic Astrology vs. Western Astrology

This post was written by Anna
on May 26, 2010 | Comments (17)

Being born and raised in the Midwestern portion of the United States, I grew up with the Western astrology with which most of us are familiar. As I grew more interested in astrology, however, I began to hear more and more about the predictive power of Vedic astrology. My first thought was, “What is Vedic astrology, and how can it be different from my astrology?” If there was a way to better use the stars to predict my future, well then, I wanted in on it.

Vedic Astrology refers to Indian/Hindu astrology, which originated in ancient India and was noted by ancient sages in the Vedic Scriptures. This system is also known as “Jyotish.” Vedic astrology, the “science of light,” deals with cosmic patterns that are thought to determine our destiny.

What’s the Difference?
This belief that cosmic star and planetary patterns determine our karma and our destiny is the same that is held by those that practice Western (Tropical) astrology. So what is the difference? The main discrepancy between the two types is that Vedic astrology uses the fixed zodiac, while Western astrology uses the moving zodiac. (Because the earth tilts on its axis—known as the Precession of the Equinoxes—the zodiac appears to be moving at about 1/60th of a degree per year, which would make the current relative/movable zodiac almost an entire sign of the zodiac off from the the fixed zodiac. Because of this difference, you will most likely be one sun sign back in Vedic astrology from the one you have in Western astrology.)

Is it possible that it is more predictive?
It is entirely possible that Vedic astrology is more predictive than other types of astrology (such as horary or electional), but as with any predictive system, it depends largely on the knowledge and accuracy of the astrology. The premise behind why Vedic astrology might be more accurate lies in the concept of “dashas;” dashas are predictive timelines based on the positions of the planets in the fixed zodiac. Because these “planetary ruling periods” are unique to Vedic astrology, it is possible that Vedic astrologers can be more accurate when predicting trends and changes in your life.

As far as I’m concerned, there is little difference between Vedic astrology and Western astrology; it seems to me that the only difference is whether you ascribe to the idea that using the fixed zodiac is more accurate than using the movable zodiac, and all else depends on the astrologer.

So readers, here is my $64,000 question: Which do you use—a fixed zodiac or a moving one?

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on May 26th, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

Hi, Anna.

Thanks for a great post! My answer, though, is a bit of a cop-out. But before answering, let me draw a comparison:

I have lots of Tarot decks. I use different Tarot decks for different purposes. Some I use for giving readings. I’ll use different decks for the way I feel about the reading, the person I’m reading for, or I’ll let the person I’m reading for choose. I use other decks for meditation and still other decks for magick. Of course, there’s a crossover between them.

So the answer to your question: I use both Jyotish and Western astrology. I choose one or the other depending upon why I’m going to be using a chart.

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#2 
Written By Astro
on May 27th, 2010 @ 5:22 am

To answer your question, I use sidereal or Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology is very precise in it’s definition of the characteristics of planets and houses. Also, Vedic astrology is not only a predictive tool, but also prescribes remedial measures.

Horary astrology also exists in Vedic astrology, it is known as Prashan Shastra/Lagan.

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#3 
Written By AarTiana
on June 2nd, 2010 @ 12:52 am

Excellent post! Actually, I am a Western Astrologer who uses the Tropical Zodiac because it works. However, I want to point out that it isn’t only Vedic Astrologers who use the Sidereal Zodiac – there are a handful of Western Classical Astrologers who use Sidereal also. However, I have a theory as to why the Tropical Zodiac works so well, and it is because of another measurement: Declinations! In fact, I am aware of astrologers who ONLY use Declinations in their readings, and they are very accurate. I do know some things about Vedic Astrology, but if I were to use that system, I would not deviate from their use of Sidereal because it isn’t made to do so. As far as being more predictive, I think we are speaking of culture here, because most Western minds want to embrace free will, rather than fate (which to me, is free will that was practiced before incarnation anyway). The best is using each of these separately, and then combining the results to get a larger picture. It has been said that Western Tropical is like the outside of the hand, and that Vedic or Jyotish is like the inside of the hand. Just different points of view!

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#4 
Written By V K Shridhar
on June 4th, 2010 @ 11:42 am

Any branch of knowledge must have three ingredients: predictive, preventive & prescriptive. Vedic astrology does have all these ingredients.

In fact Electional (Muhurt) astrology is the best known branch of Vedic astrology. And western astrology have recently introduced it in their scope.
Those who are interested in it may like to go through blog:

Electional Astrology – http://hinduelectionalastrology-shridhar.blogspot.com/

related to Vedic electional astrology.

…. V K Shridhar

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#5 
Written By sri
on August 12th, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

Hi all people who think that vedic ways believed in fate needs to understand that in vedic culture it is always said everything is your karma(means everything is your action) , please tell me where does fate fit in here? Now coming to astrology it means that there are several external forces influencing us , but if you transcend it consciously through meditation or pure will it will not leave a trace of karma within your self(externally may be but within you you are absolutely still and unfettered).
Thanks
sri

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#6 
Written By Soumya
on October 2nd, 2012 @ 4:47 am

Vedas are the creator of this Astrology …. Different saints added their observation relating to their experience of the efffects in human life. Western astrology ia just a derivation from it which fails to understand the deep message , logic & meaning of vedic astrology. Western astrology only deals with parts of vedic one… like without understanding of dasas ,i dont understand how can one predict th enxt course of action. Vedic astrology is a pure logical derivation understanding the effects of planets & their degree of impact. Western astrology fails to capture the crux of the matter.

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#7 
Written By Kevin M.
on January 15th, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

This is for me like a shock , i would say… I remember taking a western astrology class and my teacher kept telling me about my sun sign cancer and i would always reject that . I never felt like a Cancer , i do have my venus there in Vedic Astrology but my Sun , mars and mercury are in gemini . I guess is time for me to take a good look at vedic astrology .

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#8 
Written By Shivdave
on February 23rd, 2013 @ 6:00 am

these articles are very usable and gracefull thanks for contacting us.

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#9 
Written By Astrolger KK
on March 27th, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

Hi,

I am a Vedic Astrologer. I have read your post and it has portrayed the difference of both types of astrology methods very nicely. I have studied both types of astrology and then decided to persue vedic astrology as it gives more accurate picture. However, the difference between both forms of astrology is very small.

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#10 
Written By Ushaji
on April 10th, 2013 @ 1:03 am

Vedic astrology has been there for years. Its precise and traditional approach of prediction. It depends on different astrologers and their method of approach to choose between fixed or a moving zodiac sign.

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#11 
Written By Haris12
on June 22nd, 2013 @ 6:36 am

Excellent post!!My belief is on vedic astrology as it is predicted with the alignment of planets and the word “Guru” which is the mostly used word in vedic astrology.Guru is the head of all the planets.It determines a man’s life “time”.

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#12 
Written By Sumitra
on August 19th, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

I am not adept at any astrology but am trying to learn.
Why is it that in my Jyotish chart I have the Sun, Ascendant,Mars,and Ketu in the first house and Venus and Mercury in the 12th house. But when you look at my Western chart it places my Sun in the 12th house with Venus and Mercury. I am really confused. Any explanation would be appreciated. Thank you!

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#13 
Written By Books on Astrology
on September 26th, 2013 @ 1:46 am

Excellent Post. I have read your post. your post is very useful. A good astrologer knows that to simply look at one aspect of a chart such as a Sun sign, will giving you only a glimpse of one aspect of the person.

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#14 
Written By mystik astrology
on January 8th, 2014 @ 7:20 am

Fabulous post… Referring to the above post,,I feel that Vedic astrology takes us more close to self being as Vedas are into existence from ages. On the other hand, western astrology is more about the sophisticated world that we live in and illustrates what we can have in this imaginary world.

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#15 
Written By Jennifer W.
on March 1st, 2014 @ 6:32 am

I recently decided to look further into Vedic astrology after finding that western astology seemed to leave a gap in some instances. Vedic astrology is more solid and comprehesible to me. Then again you may end up missing a few insights by ignoring western astrology all together.
When it came to trying to understand myself and my whole life, Vedic astrology cleared a lot of confusion up and answered some long standing questions for me. In western astrology my I have Sagittarius sun with 3rd Decanate Sagittarius rising. The really didn’t seem to fit. When I learned about Vedic astrology it shed a whole new light on my life. I had Sagittarius sun with 3 rd Decanate Scorpio rising! NOW I had some answers and my whole life and things I have gone through made sense. And I got clear, consice answer as to what I need to work on in this life.

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