AKA The Procession of the Equinoxes and the Fixed Zodiac
When it comes to divination and such, I’m pretty firm in all roads leading to Rome. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about astrology and how it maps our life, draws on our blueprint, it gives us a bit of an outline of our adventures, and can even be seen as the what-to-look-for manual.. so I don’t let anyone tell me there isn’t one.. But what’s the deal with Sidereal and Tropical?
In Vedic astrology my Sun, Moon, Rising are completely different than what they are in Western astrology where I’m Cancer, Pisces, Pisces. In Vedic I’m Gemini, Aquarius, Aquarius! A whole sign difference. That’s because Vedic Astrology uses the sidereal calendar and Western astrology uses the Tropical calendar.
The Sidereal calendar is determined by the movement of the sun through the zodiac, fixed stars. The Tropical calendar follows the seasons, the equinoxes and the solstices.
I tend to pay attention to Tropical because I resonate with that information about myself more. That being said, I had a Jyotish or Vedic chart done and it clearly talked about my mom’s mental and physical illnesses years ago, way before I realized what was going on. They are both worthy and different.
The primary difference between the two systems is where the signs are placed in the sky. The sidereal system used in Vedic, is based on the current position of the constellations while the tropical system is based on the seasons and the sun’s rise to summer and descent to winter throughout the year.
The start of each season marks the start of the four Cardinal signs in the Tropical Zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Aries starts Spring Equinox, Cancer starts Summer Solstice, Libra starts Fall Equinox, and Capricorn is the start of Yule, Winter Solstice.
Vedic Astrology also doesn’t use outer planets: Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. I feel like these planets’ energies are important energies when I look at my own chart. Especially since I’m double Pisces, so being ruled by Neptune (which is considered an outer planet) is important information to me. Not instead of, but Vedic looks to Rahu, the north node of the Moon, and Ketu, south node of the Moon, known as showdown planets.
Sidereal astrology recognizes the ever-changing distances between earth and the constellations, known as the procession of the equinoxes. Sidereal accounts for this procession, to determine the current position of each zodiac sign. It’s just a totally different way to do it. But that’s why I’m a Gemini in Sidereal vs. a Cancer Sun in Tropical.
My feelings about the two systems are that really they’re not so much comparable as more like 2 different languages, and both can be used in meaningful ways, not just one or the other. I’m also working through my resistance to Air and my attachment to Water, so.. I’ll keep you posted.
Happy Astrologing, Goddess,