Fundamental differences. Differences in Approaches and Methodology. Assessing Strength and Weakness. House Meanings and Rulership. Additional Methods of Analysis. I highly recommend that you read it, as its content complements that of this article.
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I prepared this article, which includes a table -- placed at the end of this article -- clearly illustrating the differences between both systems, because I wanted to focus on the procedures of both approaches, not just Jyotish, and to cover a little more ground. I have a great deal of respect for both Western and Vedic astrology. I practice both, and find the "dance" between them exceptionally enriching. Please understand, however, that — especially when learning each system — one should carefully avoid applying the principles present in one of the approaches to the other approach, as it can "muddy the waters".
When I first learned Jyotish, I was careful to keep all of my understandings of Western astrology compartmentalized and separate, until I had gained fluency in Vedic astrology. Only after doing so was I able to begin to see how each system might interact with the other. Definitions In truth, there is no unified approach used by most Western astrologers. They may favor using Outer Planet transits or Progressions or Directions for their primary predictive tool, and some include additional bodies like asteroids, the comet Chiron, Arabic Parts Greek Lots , Fixed Stars, Hypothetical Points, and Uranians and Plutonians, or even adopt radically different approaches like the Huber method, Evolutionary Astrology, or Symmetrical Astrology aka Cosmobiology.
Similarly, there are literally thousands of Vedic astrological approaches, including -- among the most popular systems -- Parashari, Jaimini, Laghu Parashari, Krishnamurti Paddhati, and Shri Pati Paddhati. In point of fact, the "bible" of Vedic astrology, called Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, is actually a compendium of independent approaches, some of which actually contradict others.
Hellenistic Astrology 2 - Primary Chart Rulers
This has led some Jaimini astrologers to call their approach Parashari since there are many Jaimini chapters in BPHS , further confusing the issue. For the purposes of this article, I am focusing on modern Western astrology as practiced by many professional astrologers ignoring the multitudinous variations , and on Parashari astrology as explicated in Phaladeepika and much of BPHS.
Fundamental differences between Western and Vedic astrology Zodiac 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. 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 proceed in equal 30 degree segments for subsequent signs. Vedic astrologers, by and large, use Whole Sign Houses, where the Ascendant can fall anywhere in the First House, and each house comprises all of one sign.
Planets and Sign rulerships 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. Planets only aspect other planets and the angles Ascendant and Midheaven.
Vedic astrologers use a different approach: each planet associates with all planets in the same house, and aspects the opposite house and any planets in that house. Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter also have additional unilateral special aspects to both planets and houses. Western astrologers also place importance upon aspect patterns like Grand Trines, T-squares, Yods, etc.
However, while many Western astrologers employ the seven whole chart shapes originated by Marc Edmund Jones e. Bucket, Splash, etc. Differences in Approaches and Methodology Strengths and Weaknesses of Planets In Western astrology, retrograde planets are seen as weak, but since Vedic astrology is oriented towards how planets appear in the actual sky, retrograde planets are seen as strong because planets that are retrograde are at their closest approach to the earth, and therefore visibly both brighter and larger.
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. Some Western astrologers interpret 8 lunar phases, but they generally don't assess Lunar strength by phase. On a given date, for example, the Sun will be in one degree and Mercury in another. The next time Mercury occupies the same degree and the Sun is also in its original location relative to Mercury, a Mercury cycle ends 20 years in this example. In this regard, it is necessary to take into account that the length of these years is not as we know it today but rather the Egyptian year of days.
This value likely derives from considering the two luminaries as principals in the sky, the apparent lunar motion being 12 times that of the Sun. By the same reasoning, one can understand why the Lot of Fortune Moon and the Lot of Spirit Sun are taken as the primary starting points for this technique of Zodiacal Releasing. For Vettius Valens, the Lot of Fortune was the key for analyzing and studying matters related to the body, physical happiness, health, financial stability, etc.
The Lord of the first period is the ruler of the domicile of the sign where the Lot or specific point is located.
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This means that if the Sun is the regent of the first 19 years, it will also be the sub-regent of the first 19 months, after which it passes to Mercury during the next 20 months due to its regency of Virgo, then Venus the next 8 months due to Libra, etc. In classical astrology Saturn rules both Aquarius and Capricorn, and if the Lot or point in question lies in or passes to Aquarius, its duration will be 30 years, but it will be reduced to 27 years if it lies in Capricorn.
For the major or general periods, these values are taken as years of exactly days. To reach the third subperiod level days , the monthly value is divided by For the second level subperiods, which utilize the planetary periods as months, a complete cycle through the 12 signs of the zodiac takes 17 years 7 months in day years. Since the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Saturn have periods longer than that, the 6 signs that they govern will have more than 12 subdivisions.
When dividing these 6 signs Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn and Aquarius , after twelve subperiods have been completed, instead of with the sign that served to initiate the subperiod, the releasing jumps to the opposite sign and continues from there. For example, when Cancer as a major period is subdivided, the first subperiod is Cancer and the twelfth subperiod is Gemini. The thirteenth subperiod instead of going back to Cancer is, instead, the opposite sign Capricorn. Aquarius is the fourteenth subperiod, Pisces the fifteenth and so on until the end of the 25 year cycle of Cancer under the Moon.
With this technique one must keep in mind that the years to which each planet refers do not correspond to current dates.
House System Astrology - Which House System?
As was previously mentioned, this technique makes use of the day Egyptian year. This occurs because Zodiacal Releasing uses a year of days and not the solar year of If one does the calculation mentally, one can ignore the difference because it would take 70 years to accumulate an inequality of 1 year. One would maintain a one-month lag for every 5 years and 10 months. To convert an ancient Egyptian year of days to the current calendar year of days is very simple. Just multiply the number of days per year by to get the result in days, then divide that result by A problem may arise when dealing with leap years and the uneven months of our calendar, but nothing that cannot be solved by a couple of calculations.
In Hellenistic astrology the Lots Arabic Parts were a very important component of the original system. The most widely used were the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit. The most common Lots are found by taking the ecliptic arc between two planets and projecting an equal arc from the Ascendant. The Lot is the other end of this arc. For many Lots, the calculation differs for daytime or night births. Unlike the planets which each have several meanings, the Lots are very specific and specialized: Lot of death, marriage, father, disease, prosecution, trial, etc.
A Lot represents the power of a planet in a specific sense. The system of Lots generated by taking one of the planets in relation to each of the remaining six classical planets represents the distribution of the multiple meanings of that planet in different places of the chart, in this way the planetary meanings can be studied separately. The Lot of Fortune is found taking the ecliptic arc from the Sun forward in the direction of the signs to the Moon and projecting an equal arc from the degree of the Ascendant. For a nocturnal birth, the ecliptic arc of the Moon is taken forward to the Sun and projected from the Ascending degree.
Of course, for these calculations it is necessary to have a natal hour as exact as possible to determine the right degree of the Ascendant.
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Another method is to invert the direction of projection that extends from the Ascendant in the opposite direction. Either way it gives the same result. The Lot of Spirit is calculated by taking the ecliptic degree from the Moon forward in the order of the signs to the Sun, and then an equal arc is projected from the degree of the Ascendant. For a night chart, the arc is taken from the Sun to the Moon and projected from the Ascendant.
Thus, one can see that the algorithm for the Lot of Fortune in a diurnal chart is the same as that of the Spirit for a nocturnal nativity, and vice versa. It can also be seen that there is a direct relationship between one Lot and the other, and in fact their positions are symmetrical to each other with reference to the Ascendant-Descendant axis.
This reveals to us that under a birth during the New Moon, the Lot of Spirit and Fortune are both on the degree of the Ascendant and they are on the Descendant for a birth during a full moon. The Lot of Fortune is also called the Lunar Ascendant and is used to establish an alternative system of whole sign houses different from the natal houses unless Fortune is located in the Ascending sign, in which case they would be equal.
For this, the first house is the sign where the Fortune is.
Hellenistic practice studies the Lots or Arabic Parts in the system of houses of the Fortune. On the other hand, the Lot of Spirit isolates the meaning of the Spirit of the Sun, and refers to the power of the Sun to rise or awaken us to action. In this technique the most important consideration is the location of the sign representing the epoch or time period, and whether it is angular, succeedent or cadent from the Lot of Spirit or Fortune. This is particularly important for releasing from Spirit because it denotes the periods of success, distinguished appointments, recognition, fame or notoriety that happens when the Aphesis reaches the tenth sign from the Lot of Fortune.
Another important consideration is the state of the domicile of the Time Lord in question. Thus we find periods that are naturally busier or that say more things than others. Valens said that the malefics are more powerful than the benefices. Perhaps the lack of knowledge regarding the psychological causes behind this is the reason for such an assertion. Hi there, thank you. Just would like to make correction, Antioqua must be Antioch, currently Antakya or Hatay in Turkey, but certianly not Ankara. I wanted to thank you for mentioning astro-seek website as an useful online resource for traditional astrology in another older thread.
Thanks for letting me know and thanks also for your excellent site. You may wish to make note of the following comment:. Pingback: How long is a year in predictive astrology? Vettius Valens vs Nakshatra time.
Finding the Profections
Remarkably accurate in review of years past and a great explanation. Thank you! Now for some handy interpretation, easier in retrospect. I combine this with the profected ascendant, another Hellenistic technique. It is interesting and confusing all at once to do that.