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Vedic Astrology




Vedic Jyotish

Vedic Jyotish / Western Astrology

The Zodiac

What is Vedic Jyotish

Jyotish is Astrology practiced in India. The word Jyotish literally means the science of light. This implicitly refers to the connection between living things and the rest of the Universe. A basic tenant of astrology is that events in the cosmos influence, in gross and subtle ways, events on earth. To be clear, astrology claims to predict events based upon the positions of various celestial objects at birth. This is usually the point at which most irrational people walk away and label astrology as nonsense. There are two main reasons for this rejection. First, we have no direct experience of stars or planets influencing our lives. Second, there is no known physical principle that explains such a connection.

Why then is astrology, in any form, still around, especially in scientifically oriented societies? Part of the reason is historical. There is a very old tradition of using the positions of heavenly bodies to predict world events. For example, Johannes Kepler used planetary positions to predict weather.

Another reason for the persistence of astrology is its apparent continued success, at least in the minds of some people. Many people who "have their charts done" by an efficient Astrologer come away very impressed with the level of detail the astrologer was able to discern about them. Whether this is the result of "astrology working" or the efforts of someone who is (honestly or otherwise) "good at reading people" is another issue.

Vedic Jyotish (Eastern) Vs Western Astrology  [Top]

The significant difference is the way that aspects are treated. Aspects (called drishti in Sanskrit) refer to the ability of a celestial object to influence points in the zodiac away from where that object is located (action at a distance?). In Jyotish, forward aspects are different than backward ones. That is, the aspect 45 degrees ahead of a planet are generally not the same as 45 degrees behind it. In the Western system, this is not considered. Related to this, aspects in Jyotish are planet-dependent, where as the western system assigns the same aspects to each planet.

Jyotish places strong emphasis on harmonic charts (called vargas). Vargas represents different ways of dividing up the zodiac to focus in on specific aspects of a chart (such as moral character or career path). The Western system does not use vargas.

Finally, the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) are not part of Jyotish generally whereas they are very much a part of the western system. The western system also uses asteroids and stars, and these have no counterpart in traditional Jyotish.

The above statements are generalizations. Some western astrologers account for precession, and some Jyotish astrologers (called jyotishis) use the outer planets. This is one more reason why the principles of Jyotish need to be subjected to rigorous tests.

curtecy ( http://astrologydirah.hypermart.net/lunar.htm)

The ZODIAC  [Top]

The moon is the celestial body,which is the most visible in the nightly sky. The moon dominates the nightly sky and can be seen far more clearly than any other planet or star.
During the day the only one celestial body to be seen is the sun. By night the sky is far more interesting because it is then that we can observe the planets and the stars.
The stars form the basis of the zodiac. The constellations are groups of stars among which you can discover certain patterns. Because the stars are visible in the darkness of night, the nightly sky is the astrologer's real object of study. Due to its dominant presence in the nightly sky it is very obvious to attribute an important role to the moon.
The moon figures against the background of certain stars. The next day it is situated against the scenery of other stars:
This continues until after 27 1/3rd day the moon has taken up its original position again.
Let us suppose that you are an astrologer and do not dispose of a computer or tables, you are therefore solely dependent on your sky observations. Imagine you want to develop a system, a zodiac for example, which will enable you to determine the position of the planets. Obviously you would qualify the moon, being the queen of the nightly sky, as the most important factor. It is also logical to suppose that one night the moon would be in constellation A and the next in constellation B:
As after 27 1/3rd day the moon has returned to its point of departure, thus creating 27 lunar constellations. However, since there is a difference between 27 1/3rd and 27 the moon does not stay exactly 24 hours in a certain lunar constellation. As a matter of fact, it remains 24 hours and 18 minutes in each lunar constellation. In this way a lunar zodiac comes into being:
In India the lunar zodiac is the most ancient zodiac. It was only until later that the solar zodiac became popular.      Chinese, Babylonian, Arabian and even Western astrologers also used the Lunar Zodiac. It was used to analyze the birth horoscope but also to determine favorable moments. Thus, according to the tradition, it is supposed to be favorable to undertake a journey when the moon is placed in a particular constellation, or when it is placed in a different constellation, it would be a good time to get married. The emphasis in this book is on the use of the lunar constellations for character astrology and on gaining insight into your spiritual path.

The Moon as (suppressed) Female Principle

In the Western world the relationship between church and astrology has not been without problems. Solar astrology was tolerated to some degree, but one was genuinely suspicious about lunar astrology for the moon symbolizes a female principle.
Within a patriarchal culture that female principle is under severe suspicion (patriarchal means that the descent of a child is determined by who is the father of that child). Such a culture is dominated by masculine values and rules. The modern culture is a patriarchal culture.
We may have forgotten about them, but there have been periods of time when humanity was immersed in a worldwide matriarchal culture (here the descent is determined by who is the mother of a child). Long before the beginning of our era this culture has been destroyed by patriarchal conquerors. Recent archaeological findings indicate that in olden times the Jews for instance honored a female goddess (called Asherah). One has forgotten all about that goddess. Her cult has been extinguished completely and the cult of Yahweh, the male god, has remained. In Greece there used to be a matriarchal culture as well. On the island of Samos for a long time rituals were being performed referring to those days.
There are strong clues that the Indus Valley culture that dominated India from 2500 BC until 1500 BC was a matriarchal culture, which can be deduced from the discovery of many goddess statues. The Indus valley culture was highly educated. The houses even had sewerage. It is very likely that the religion of the mother goddess (Devi) which has now been incorporated into Hinduism stems from this culture. In this culture the female principle was very important.
In the patriarchal culture of the Middle Ages the moon and the lunar zodiac were associated with black magic. A certain Giordano Bruno was the last person to write a book on the Western lunar zodiac. Perhaps it would have been better for him not to do that for he died at the stake in 1600. This was the last we heard of the Western lunar zodiac (by the way the author of this document lives in Bruno-street).
In India astrology forms part of the religion. Hence astrology has always held a much stronger position than in the West. Moreover Indian people attach great value to old traditions. For these reasons the lunar zodiac has kept its significant position in India. Although India is dominated by a patriarchal culture nowadays, and the solar zodiac has become widely used and accepted, the lunar zodiac is still the second important system.


Nowadays India has adopted the Western calendar. In that calendar months have a duration which main function is to fit in properly within the solar year.
However, in the original Indian calendar months last from one new moon until the next new moon. Full moon occurs halfway through such a month, which is named after the constellation during which full moon occurs. For example: If full moon takes place in spring during the constellation of Chitra, we call the month Chaitra
Until this day, in India religious holidays are determined by means of the lunar calendar, which is also custom in certain Buddhist countries like Thailand.
A lunar month lasts for approximately 29 days, this is a few days longer than it takes the moon to return to the exact same point of the zodiac. One year has 12 months. Because 12 (lunar) months have fewer days than 365 or 366, about every 3 years an extra month is added. By doing this, the year based on the actual months is in pace with the solar year.
The lunar zodiac is not some dusty relic from times gone by, but a system which, until today, has been used very often in India. The purpose of this is to give insight into the living tradition of the Indian lunar zodiac.

Curtecy (http://astrologydirah.hypermart.net/lunar.htm













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