|by Das Goravani GORAVANI JYOTISH
Posted with Permission
Basically, what is astrology?
Astrology is the science of the effects of the planets movements on our lives and all things. Astrology is based on astronomy in that astrologers need to know the correct positions of the planets at any given time, as well as the correct positions of the zodiacal fixed star signs in relation to any place on earth at any given time. Once the correct positions of the signs and planets are known, the astrologer then constructs charts representing these positions, and using the astrological science, studies the charts and can make quite a wide range of conclusions about the moment the chart was cast for.
Charts are cast based on an exact moment at an exact place on Earth. Therefore, the moment you were born and the place you were born has a chart, or can have a chart, and that is called your "birth chart" or "natal chart". By reading the chart of the heavens for the time and place ofyour birth, we can know much about you. That is the claim of astrology. It can be used for other things such as the chart of a question asked (called "Prasna" astrology) or for planning when to do some certain action (called "Muhurtha" or "Electional" astrology).
Primarily, astrology is used to understand ourselves, or our karma for this life.
What does the word "Vedic" imply about this type of astrology?
Vedic astrology differs from Western or Tropical astrology mainly in that it uses the fixed zodiac as opposed to the moving zodiac. Because of the gradual tilting of the earth in space on it's axis, the zodiac, if you calculate it from the Sun's relationship to the Earth, appears to be moving at the rate of a little less than 1/60th of a degree per year. Currently, the relative or movable zodiac is off or out of alignment with the fixed or real star-based zodiac by roughly 23 degrees, which is almost one whole sign of the zodiac.
So, first and foremost you should know that Vedic astrology sticks with that original, star-based zodiac and thus another term to describe Vedic astrology is that it is "siderial astrology", which simply means that the real zodiac is used to locate WHICH SIGNS THE PLANETS ARE CURRENTLY LOCATED IN.
The signs the planets are in is one important part of astrology. Because the two systems are skewed from each other by nearly one whole sign, most people's "Sun Sign", that which you can get from the paper each day, is usually one sign back when the chart is refigured using Vedic astrology.
So, the first surprise using Vedic is that you are no longer the Sun Sign you always thought you were. This happens with many charts. However, if you were born in the last 5 days or so of the Western Sign month, then you will probably still be that sign in Vedic since the difference is 23 degrees currently, and signs are 30 degrees long in space (12 signs times 30 degrees each each a 360 degree circle surrounding the Earth).
Vedic astrology also has a great number of techniques for studying the charts once they are cast which give Vedic a predictive edge. For example, the "dashas" or "planetary ruling periods" system which is a part of the Vedic system give Vedic astrologers a tool for quite accurately predicting the trends, changes and events in your life with good accuracy regarding dating when things will take place. Therefore, Vedic astrologers are lesslimited to talking about your general overall self and can get more deeply into what's going to happen in your life.
These two things are the primary, immediate things you should know about Vedic astrology.
Signs are called "Rashis" (raw-shees) in Sanskrit. This table shows the signs with their rulers, sanskrit names and symbols etc. If you open this table using a monospaced font such as Monaco or Courier, it will space correctly into columns. You may have to set your ruler in your word processor to about 7.25 inches wide.
As you can see, the signs are the same ones used in Western Astrology. However, as you go on, you will see that the understanding of what the signs do, and the demigods behind them, who control them, vary and are greatly augmented in Vedic astrology.
These tables cover Nakshatras, or the 27 fixed stars of Vedic Astrology. The stars with two signs (such as Kritika) are the ones whose domain crosses the border between the two signs listed.
More info about the Nakshatras (knock-shut-raws)
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