What Sun Sign am I Anyway?
Due to our instant social media world and a divisive astronomical article, there has been a flurry of excitement regarding the question “What sign am I, anyway?” This is not a new discussion, but certainly one that Astronomers like to periodically instigate.
This entire matter is easily resolved through an understanding that Western Astrology is based on the Tropical seasonal zodiac and that the Eastern Vedic system of Astrology uses the Sidereal zodiac, which is based on the Earth’s alignment to the fixed stars. Stick with me here and I’ll try to explain in simple terms, what can seem like a rather complex subject.
The most important thing to know is that both zodiacs (Tropical & Sidereal) incorporate the same 12 zodiac signs (Aries– Pisces) with 30° to each sign. Both systems include the four elements: fire, earth, water and air; the modalities: cardinal, fixed and mutable; the rulerships, and the inherent qualities of each sign.
The discrepancy between the Sidereal and Tropical zodiacs is not with the content. Rather it is with the calculation of the starting point of the first degree of Aries. The two zodiacs were in alignment sometime during 285 A.D and thereafter the schism between the two systems has continued to grow. The Vedic Astrologers understood and took into account the precession of the Equinoxes, which is based on the Earth’s wobble and its alignment to the fixed stars. They have maintained these continual and appropriate calculation adjustments, whereby the Greek Astrologers did not.
As many of you may or may not know, our Western tropical Astrological model begins with the Sun’s movement into Aries at the Spring Equinox on or about March 21st. Furthermore, each subsequent season is marked by the Sun’s ingress into the remaining Cardinal signs: Summer—Cancer, Fall—Libra, and Winter—Capricorn. Tropical Astrology is therefore symbolic in nature as it relates to the Sun’s relationship with Earth. It is endowed with Greek mythology, often very psychological in nature, and works beautifully, as many of you have so passionately argued.
Vedic Sidereal Astrology, however, has nothing to do with the seasons, and instead is marked by the Sun’s entrance into the visible fixed stars that make up a constellation. As time passes, the Earth’s alignment to the fixed stars denotes the Earth’s wobble and creates what we know as the precession of the equinoxes and is the visible change of 1°, which occurs approximately every 70 years.
The Vedic-Sidereal system is lunar-solar based and considered predictive in nature. If you were visiting India for example, instead of being asked what zodiac sign the Sun was in when you were born, you would be asked what Nakshatra (lunar mansion) your Moon was traveling through at the time of your birth.
One final and rather technical point I’d like to make is that a zodiacal sign consist of 30° in both (Tropical and Sidereal) systems. The two systems are currently 23–24° apart (depending on the year you were born) and will continue to move an additional degree approximately every 70 years — based on the precession of the equinoxes. Therefore, there is a chance that depending on the day and year you were born, you could be the same Sun sign in both systems.
And lastly, as far as the two systems in question are concerned, I would like to point out that I studied both while attending Kepler Astrological College, and I continue to use both in all my Astrological sessions. Although the two can change the signs that the planets will occupy; the results obtained using either system are remarkably the same. The reason for this is that the Astrological chart has many patterns and configurations that lead to the same outcome. When one takes the whole chart into consideration, the two systems do not contradict one another. Astrology is as multifaceted as our Universe and will reflect the mystery of the heavens regardless of the Astrological system being used: Tropical, Sidereal, Classical, Horary, Electional, Uranian, etc.
There are benefits to both the Western Tropical and Eastern Sidereal systems as those of you who have spent time with Astrologers practicing either of these two systems can attest to. The great news about all this Sun sign excitement is that it has proven how much we desire to connect to the timeless wisdom of our Universe as reflected through the ancient science of Astrology.
Special Note: Ophiuchus, the sign of the Serpent Bearer, has recently been called the 13th sign of the zodiac and is actually the 10th sign of the Real Solar Zodiac. Although Ophiuchus lies on the Ecliptic he is not one of the signs of either the Tropical Zodiac of Western Astrology, or the Sidereal Zodiac of Vedic astrology. Click here to learn more about Orphiuchus.
Copyright 2011–2019 by Linda Kaye