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It has lost the ancient connection with the Ages. In fact Pisces is the Sign at the Equinox and is therefore the first Sign of the year according to the Ancient definition. They differ only by their starting points, the so-called "First Point of Aries ". But this causes quite a lot of debate. In the Sidereal systems, the first, or fiducial , point can not be the Vernal Equinox, as in the Tropical Zodiac.
It has to be a star in the heavens. But which one? And which part of the Zodiac does it mark? The different types of Sidereal Zodiac differ slightly in how they pick this star and which point of the Zodiac it is meant to represent. This gives a slight difference in results between themselves [and a very large difference - nearly a whole sign - between them and the Tropical Zodiac ].
Sidereal / Vedic / Hindu: 9 items.
The Hindu word ayanamsha [or Ayanamsa ] is the term applied to the angle between the start of the sidereal description of the zodiac and the Vernal Equinox - the start of the Tropical Zodiac. As the centuries go by this difference increases because of the Movement of the Ages. Perhaps the most famous [and standard] ayanamsha - at least in the West - is the Lahiri ayanamsha.
The 'Vedic' Zodiac is followed by more than half a billion adherents in India. Though, in fact this name has only been used since the s and a reading of the Vedas will reveal precious little about astrology. In contrast, the term Jyotish, meaning science of light is millennia old. In other words in AD the Vernal Equinox and the start of the sign of Aries are defined to have been in exactly the same place. An example of the current dates [for a particular ayanamsha ] of the 'Vedic' Zodiac is given in the table below. NB If you were born on the cusp of a Sidereal Zodiac sign you should note that these dates vary - by a maximum of a day - within the four yearly leap year cycle.
They also move forward by about one full day every 70 years because of the Movement of the Ages. Sidereal Zodiac B: Fagan Zodiac: The second Sidereal Zodiac claims to represent something even older than the Vedic system, but was either 'formulated' or 'rediscovered' [depending on which side of the discussion you take] in the last century by Cyril Fagan of the Western Siderealist school of astrologers.
Is there validity to Western Sidereal astrology? - Aeclectic Tarot Forum
Fagin argued that this was in better agreement with the method used by the ancient Babylonians to describe the Zodiac. Probably, if there was agreement on one Sidereal Zodiac this type of Zodiac would have made more of an impact in the West. Some contentious issues are more difficult to resolve.
Among the most difficult and contentious is the matter of the zodiac. The Babylonians created the zodiac as a means of measuring positions on the ecliptic. It was also intended to correlate their 12 month calendar, which began near the vernal equinox, with the twelve unequal constellations crossing the ecliptic.
Knowledge of precession, the shift of the stars relative to the equinoxes, was taken two different ways in Indian astrology and western astrology. Indian astrologers accounted for the shift by arguing for various reference stars which could be used to keep the zodiac fixed with regards to its position relative to the constellations sidereal zodiac reflecting the original Babylonian intention and focus on the sidereal year. Western astrologers settled on a long-running Greek practice from the late 5th century BCE of starting the zodiac with the vernal equinox tropical zodiac , fixing it to the calendar and seasonal cycle.
The sidereal zodiac can be accused of no longer coinciding with the calendar and seasons as the zodiac was intended.
Who Moved My Stars? A Tale of Three Zodiacs
The tropical zodiac can be accused of no longer coinciding with the constellations for which the signs were named as was intended. On only one issue did they agree, that the Babylonian standards were not sufficient. Additionally, it is not clear that all later adopters of the Babylonian zodiac used it sidereally i. In such a way it obfuscates the circumstances of its development and subsequent history. The zodiac choice is particularly complex in the context of Hellenistic astrology.
The zodiac was borrowed from the Babylonians but new Hellenistic doctrines, including sign associations, arose at a time when sidereal and tropical zodiacs nearly coincided. Sign qualities in the Hellenistic period pertained to the seasonal calendar as well as the images of the constellations. Furthermore, some Hellenistic astrologers, ignorant of precession, including Thrasyllus and Vettius Valens, used the Babylonian zodiac, sometimes even into the 4th century CE.
Meanwhile, Claudius Ptolemy of the 2nd century CE, cognizant of precession, set the stage for the widespread adoption of the tropical zodiac. Astrologers using the Babylonian zodiac apparently thought they were using one that was both sidereal fixed to the stars and tropical fixed with respect to the position of the equinox , due to their ignorance regarding precession. As noted, this Babylonian zodiac had not been adjusted for precession the shifting of the stars relative to the equinox so it had actually lost its original correspondence with the stars.
Further complicating matters, the late 2nd century was a time when the tropical and sidereal zodiacs coincided to about a degree of accuracy. Therefore, the Babylonian zodiac used by some early Hellenistic astrologers was much farther removed from the original and modern sidereal zodiacs than the tropical zodiac was in the same period. See Part III for details regarding this. I believe that the tropical zodiac is the system of signs for western astrology, and that for a deeper dive into constellational symbolism, we should use the constellations themselves, not the sidereal zodiac.
With that said, I in no way imply that the tropical zodiac is more effective for Indian techniques. I cannot speak to that topic due to my lack of experience with Indian astrology. However, when it comes to the use of signs and their key features for traditional western astrology, including Hellenistic astrology, I find the tropical zodiac much more effective.
I want to make a quick note about a further complicating factor. Unfortunately, there are popular astronomers putting out articles that confuse the notions of sign and constellation. However, astrologers from even before the advent of Hellenistic astrology recognized the zodiac as 12 equal divisions of the degree circle, not the 12 constellations from which they were named.
Twelve is important not because of the number of constellations crossing the ecliptic but because there were 12 months in the lunisolar calendar. The division of the ecliptic into 12 signs followed from the calendar of 12 months, not from some long-standing tradition of using 12 constellations. The Babylonian tradition was actually to use zodiacal constellations. Divisions of time and circles into degrees, 60 minutes, 60 seconds, 12 segments, and so forth should be familiar to anyone who has used a clock and a compass.
These divisions originate from the Babylonians who came up with the zodiac and used a sexagesimal base 60 number system. Signs are equal symbolic units of space-time, not the unequal constellations of stars. The initial importance of 12 came not from a number of constellations in the sky, but from the number of lunar months in the solar year.
There are 12 New Moons in a given year. The mean between the solar and lunar years is approx. My rationale for using the tropical zodiac has always been primarily empirical. In other words, I find that the tropical zodiac works better for Hellenistic astrology. As the empirical matter has been the most important matter to me, I present it first. Historical matters are more complicated and can be quite confusing.
Introduction Western Sidereal Astrology by Kenneth Bowser
A thorough understanding of the history is very important. I believe that logic and zodiacal history also support the use of a tropical zodiac. After I present my empirical examples, I examine some of the historical and logical facets of my decision.
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I conclude with my own story about how the tropical zodiac was responsible for turning me from a skeptic to an astrologer in the first place. The following 7 examples illustrate the superiority of the tropical zodiac from an empirical standpoint for early traditional western principles and techniques.
As the Fagan-Bradley ayanamsha is typically the one used by western siderealists, I will adopt that one in the sidereal charts of this article. I addressed his chart at length in the article on the houses and also looked at it in terms of professional indications.
See his chart below natal chart of Jimi Hendrix, AA-rated. Per Hellenistic techniques, the planets relevant to actions i. We look to see if they are in eligible places. Please review that article for details on the Hellenistic approach to this topic. Mercury and Venus as well as the Sun are in the 1st house in the tropical chart. This makes them relevant as planets of actions, and also relevant for the identity and temperament. One indication of Mercury with Venus is musical composition. Mercury, Venus, and the Sun are all in the bound and sign of Jupiter, the sect benefic, connecting them with fortune.
The twelfth-part of Mercury is in the 2nd house in the Mercury bound, connecting it with income, while that of Venus is in exaltation in the 4th. Both the 2nd and 4th are also eligible places, further emphasizing the importance of Mercury-Venus for the career.