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Vedic astrology principles are based on lunar and planetary movements, whereas Western astrology considers only the date of birth to predict various events of a person's life. Here's a detailed explanation of how thousands of year old Vedic astrology is different from the world of western astrology.
Astrology is an incomparable asset to assess the potential possibilities of our lives. Western Astrology is relatively new as compared to Vedic Astrology, as the latter has been practiced since thousands of years, having written documents in the Vedas as well.
The major difference between Vedic and Western astrology is that one uses the fixed zodiac while the other uses movable zodiac to decide the starting point of the zodiac. Western Astrology uses the tropical Zodiac, which considers earth to be the center and the celestial bodies to be revolving around it. It is based on the idea that the Sun comes back to the same point of vernal equinox post completion of its circle around earth (as it appears from earth). Vernal equinox is the celestial event during which the Sun is overhead the equator (the line that divides the earth into two equal parts). The vernal equinox is generally on March 22 each year when day and night are of equal length. According to Western Astrology, that is the point in time that dictates the first sign, Aries, further followed by the rest of the signs.
Western Astrology is relatively new as compared to Vedic Astrology
However, with reference to the fixed stars, vernal equinox moves westward opposite to the yearly motion of Sun at a rate of around 50.26 seconds of arc annually which is also called precession of the equinoxes or ayanamsa. This is because earth’s axis also rotates and completes one rotation in about 26000 years. Vedic Astrology also takes into account this slight shift in earth’s position, which has shifted the vernal equinox point of sidereal zodiac to about 25 degrees west from the 0 degrees vernal equinox of western system. Instead of tropical year, Ved shastra is based on Sidereal year which is the time taken by earth to revolve around Sun with respect to the fixed star Chitra, and this duration is apparently 20 minutes longer than the tropical year.
Due to this phenomenon, the Aries of Western Astrology keeps drifting away farther from the Aries point of Vedic Astrology at a rate of 1 degree every 72 years. At present, this difference has elevated to almost 24 degrees in past 2000 years. The last time when Aries of Western Astrology and Vedic Astrology were on the same plane was approximately 285 AD. The system of Astrology that uses the fixed zodiac is called Sayana, while the one that uses movable zodiac is called Nirayana. Since the planetary movements shift, the Universe expands, and nothing is still, Vedic Astrology is believed to be more rational and reliable. The signs and planets generally have similar interpretations and symbolic meanings in both the systems but Vedic Astrology has more accurate calculations and detailed methods involved, thus more reliable.