The practice of astrology has existed in various forms for thousands of years. About 2000 years before our era, our ancestors observed, studied and mapped the movement of constellations of stars and planets as these celestial bodies appeared to rise above the eastern horizon and move around the sky in the manner assigned to them. What at first must have appeared as random occurrences or chaos began to appear as intentional patterns.
Fundamental differences between western and Vedic astrology
The first difference lies in the determination of the signs of the Zodiac.
The most fundamental difference between Western and Vedic astrology lies in the choice of the zodiac by each system. Western astrologers use the tropical zodiac, where the beginning of the twelve signs is determined by the Sun’s apparent orbit around the Earth, i.e. the beginning of the four seasons, i.e. when the Sun crosses the equator (going from North to spring which defines Aries and South). Autumn indicating the beginning of Libra) and its highest and lowest points (the summer and winter solstices).
While western astronomers use planets in the signs extensively to define the expression of a planet, Vedic astrology uses the signs differently and is described in my article In addition, most modern western astrologers use one of the many house systems that place the degree of Ascendant at the beginning of the First House, with houses of equal or equal size. Vedic astrologers, by and large, use whole sign houses, where the Ascendant can fall anywhere in the First House, and each house has a single sign. Many also use the Bhava / Shri Pati houses for part of their work.
Differences in approach and methodology
In western astrology, retrograde planets are considered weak, but as Vedic astrology is oriented towards the way the planets appear in the current sky, retrograde planets are considered strong (because retrograde planets are closest to the Earth, and therefore brighter and larger).
Western astrologers also see the planets occupying the opposite sign to the sign they point to as weak (which they call weakened), while Vedic astrologers do not see these sign positions as weak. (This confuses western readers of Vedic texts, because Vedic astrologers see the planets opposite their sign of exaltation as weak and call these planets either weakened or falling against each other).
Modern western astrologers rarely use the concept of combustion (i.e. when a planet is close to the Sun), but Vedic astrologers use combustion as a fundamental principle: a planet is weak within 6 degrees of the Sun (and very weak within 3 degrees of the Sun).
The current place of astrology in society today
Western astrology remains a controversial science, praised and praised by some, denied by others. However, history demonstrates its universal appeal in determining its future. Like all tools, astrology is best in the hands of experienced and trusted practitioners. The good news is that there are many of them. The other good news is that astrology can seem complicated and you won’t argue with me. However, it can be easy to learn this ancient tool, especially when you’re close to it, like peeling an onion – one layer at a time. Each layer can be rewarding and enrich our lives many times over. With the rapid development of the internet, astrology is within everyone’s reach, especially in Europe.