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Western Astrology

Western Astrology

Western astrology, a system of astrology famous in western countries.Western astrology is historically based on Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos (2nd century AD), which in turn was a continuation of Hellenistic and ultimately Babylonian traditions.

Western Sun Signs are based on the date, time and place you were born in which month of the year. Planetary configurations, specific to your birth date, determine your individual character. Sun Signs have celestial names. They proceed through all 12 months of the year, starting with Aries and ending with Pisces. Western astrology is largely horoscopic, that is, it is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person's birth, in which various cosmic bodies are said to have an influence. Astrology in western popular culture is often reduced to sun sign astrology, which considers only the individual's date of birth (i.e. the position of the Sun at that date).

Difference between Vedic astrology and Western astrology.

The most foundational difference between Western and Vedic astrology is each system's choice of Zodiac. Western astrologers use the Tropical Zodiac, where the beginnings of the twelve signs are determined by the Sun's apparent orbit around the Earth, i.e. the onset of the four seasons, i.e. when the Sun crosses the Equator (going North at Spring which defines Aries and South in the Fall indicating the beginning of Libra) and its uppermost and lowest points (the Summer and Winter Solstices).

Vedic astrologers, on the other hand, use the Sidereal Zodiac, which is based upon the physical positions of the constellations in the sky. They choose a starting point (most commonly the place in the sky opposite to Spica) for the beginning of Aries, and precede in equal 30 degree segments for subsequent signs.

While planets in signs are used extensively in Western astrology as the major definer of the expression of a planet, Vedic astrology uses signs differently.

Western astrologers use all of the major planets including Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and most attribute rulership of Aquarius to Uranus, Pisces to Neptune, and Scorpio to Pluto. Vedic astrologers, on the other hand, stick to the visible planets, i.e. those through Saturn, using the traditional rulerships, of Aquarius to Saturn, Pisces to Jupiter, and Scorpio to Mars.

While planets in signs are used extensively in Western astrology as the major definer of the expression of a planet, Vedic astrology uses signs differently.

Western astrologers also see planets occupying the sign opposite to the sign they rule as weak (which they call debilitated), while Vedic astrologers do not see such sign positions as weak. (This gets confusing to Western readers of Vedic texts, because Vedic astrologers do see planets in the sign opposite to their exaltation sign as weak, and call such planets either debilitated or fallen interchangeably.)

Modern Western astrologers seldom employ the concept of combustion (i.e. when a planets is near the Sun), but Vedic astrologers utilize combustion as a fundamental principle: a planets is weak when within 6 degrees of the Sun (and very weak within 3 degrees of the Sun).

Some Western astrologers interpret 8 lunar phases, but they generally don't assess Lunar strength by phase. Vedic astrologers place great importance on Lunar phase, and delineate 30 different Tithis, and consider the Moon as weak when it's within 72 degrees of the Sun, and strong when within one sign of opposite to the Sun. (They also see the Moon as weaker when waning than when waxing.)

Vedic astrologers consider true planets (Mercury through Saturn) that are within one degree of each other as at war, and this indicates a major weakness. This is not used in Western astrology.

When a planet is in the same sign in both the natal chart and the Navamsha chart (with the exception of it being in fall), this gives the planet strength, (in Vedic astrology), but this is not used in Western astrology.

In Vedic astrology, planets get directional strength (Dig Bala) by occupying specific angles: Jupiter & Mercury in the 1st, Moon & Venus in the 4th, Sun & Mars in the 10th, and Saturn in the 7th. Western astrologers do not use this concept.

In fact, while exalted planets in Western astrology are always seen as very strong without qualification, in Vedic astrology, if the planet ruling the sign occupied by an exalted planet is weak by sign, then the exalted planet is not seen as strong.

Mutual reception is used by some Western astrologers and by all Vedic astrologers. In Vedic astrology, it is called a Parivartan yoga, and has extensive interpretive meanings including strengthening planets in both the natal and divisional charts.


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