Introduction to Vedic Astrology

Introduction to Vedic Astrology

Many Moons ago, way back in the 70’s, while still in my single digits, I recall going to the gas station where they had what were called Starscroll vending machines. All one had to do to retrieve their horoscope was add coins, twist the knob, and out popped the horoscope for the month in the shape of a crayon without the pointy tip. I could not read the scroll well, but I did pretend they were cigarettes (back then even cigarette candy was cool). Obviously time has passed, Starscroll vending machines no longer exist, and candy cigarettes aren’t cool. One thing did not change for me, however, and that was my fascination with horoscopes and other occult sciences. I was in high school when I purchased my first Western or Tropical Astrology book. It was big fun to see what the stars had planned for the week, month, year, or my love life. Though some aspects of my Sun sign (what most Westerners know as their sign) seemed spot on, it seemed lacking in certain details to me, not as personalized. I considered it “just for fun ” and never took it too seriously.

Fast forward to my late twenties, around 11 years into my on again off again yoga studies, I discovered Vedic or Sidereal Astrology. I was told any serious yoga practitioner should have their birth chart read using the Vedic Astrology method. Being the over-achieving and diligent student I am, I signed up and sat in amazement, as the astrologer seemed to look through to my very soul. She seemed to validate parts of my inner workings others could not see and accurately provided details and timings of events in my life, both past and future. More astounding to me, was the information pertaining to my Karma. This is where I learned about the patterns I kept finding myself in and why I kept repeating them. This is also when I realized astrology to be a powerful tool for self-knowledge. With this self-knowledge, I thought maybe I could free myself of these patterns I kept repeating.

Great Sages have said, “Self-Knowledge is the basis of all knowledge. ” Vedic Astrology or Jyotish (joe-tish), is translated as “the science of light’. Our very essence is considered light. As a limb of the Vedas (sacred texts of India), vedic astrology is said to be the eyes of the Vedas (Veda, roughly translated means “true knowledge “). Jyotish is like a lens through which we can view true knowledge of life, not only from our own lives, but extending to the bigger picture, in the material, as well as the non-material, through the light of our heart/soul.

So how are the Tropical and Sidereal systems different? While both systems are useful and have many similarities, there are some key differences. The Tropical or Western system is Solar based, meaning your sign is determined by which constellation the Sun is in at the time of your birth. However, ancient astrologers did not realize the Earth wobbles around its axis, slightly changing degrees, about 1 ° every 72 years. This event is called precession. The zero point for the beginning of the zodiac is in Aries and is called the “first point of Aries “, the first sign of the zodiac. In the Western system, this starting point never changes. Simply stated, the Western system does not take into consideration precession; therefore, by the time we are born, there are differences in degrees, which does affect the validity of our Sun sign.

In the case of the Vedic or Sidereal system, it is based on the fixed and observable constellations as we see them in the sky. Rather than using the Sun sign as the key point in a chart, we use what is called the “ascendant, ” the constellation rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of a person’s birth. This is considered what is observable to the outside world, as far as an individual’s personality. We also consider the Moon sign, as this represents the mind and inner landscape of a person, often not as visible to others. As mentioned earlier in the article, this system also considers our Karma. What we here to do and the lessons we are to learn to achieve it.

When it comes to Astrology, I like to remind people not to depend on it for answers, but only as a guide to understanding or self-knowledge. Think of Astrology as a big case study spanning thousand of years. Through my years of chart reading, much of the reading does resonate with my clients, and though most information will apply, some will not. Chakrapani D. Ullal, often known as the father of Vedic astrology in the West, said, “Astrology is a science of indications only, it is not fatalistic. Therefore, people should have the idea that they have the power, if they want to, to bring amendments and changes, to modify the influence by their effort and their willingness. When I give a reading, I say, ‘By using the willpower, by gaining the grace of God or guru, we can change everything.’ Otherwise, people misunderstand astrology by thinking ‘Oh, it is in the stars.’ It is in the stars only for those people who do not want to take responsibility for their life. Jyotish is a science of self-revelation. Through Jyotish, one begins to understand one’s own nature; and one of the fundamental rules of spirituality is self-acceptance. Jyotish tells you what you really are, and that understanding enables a person to accept. That moment of acceptance is the beginning of spirituality. As long as we don’t accept the outer nature, we cannot transcend to the inner nature. ”

Should you wish to find your Ascendant and Moon sign, please follow the link to my website where you will find a Vedic Astrology calculator, as well as basic information regarding the Signs, the Planets, as well as the Houses & Four Aims of Life. Following articles will go deeper into these. If you would like to schedule a birth chart reading, contact me and let’s do it!