Western astrology and Vedic astrology are two of the dominant astrological traditions of the modern world. They have a strong influence on everybody’s daily life; it’s almost weird if either of them won’t show up at least once a day.
While these two traditions are equally respectable, knowing what they are all about and how they apply to your life is very important. You can’t just go around believing something that you don’t understand!
Let’s jump right in and see how things between these two go!
What is Western Astrology?
Western astrology, of course, comes from the West. It grew from the astrological traditions of Ancient Babylon, Greece, and Egypt.
This astrological format refined even more as math and science developed over centuries. Today, many people call it “mainstream astrology” since it is the most popular and widely used by astrology beginners and professionals alike.
What is Vedic Astrology?
Vedic astrology is also known by its other name, Hindu astrology. As implied, it hailed from India and resulted from millennia of astrological research and spiritual refinement.
This astrological format is so deeply ingrained in the Indian culture that so many things revolve around it. For example, wedding dates should be according to auspicious dates calculated by professional astrologers. If things don’t go along the schedule the heavens provided, everything will be doomed!
What are the similarities between these two astrological traditions?
Spoiler: not much. From astrological foundations to the cosmic bodies that they read, almost everything is different.
For the record, though, both traditions use natal charts. Both the Western and Vedic formats believe in the power that celestial placements have during a person’s birth.
Both the Western and Vedic formats are aware of the fact that nothing is ever coincidental. What the heavens showed you when you joined this world tells you about what your purpose is in life.
Another would be the use of Zodiacs. Needless to say, whatever sign is dominant on your birth, regardless of the type of astrology you use, will always have a profound effect on your personality and future.
The two traditions follow the traditional 12-sign Zodiac, along with their regular dates. Incredibly, although there is something called sidereal zodiac.
Planets are also pivotal because of the immense energies that they brought along when you were born. They amplify certain traits, whether it is for the better or worse.
Whatever form the stars will be making, they will undoubtedly help you become a better person. As Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda, “there are no accidents!”
What are the differences between these two astrological traditions?
Now, THIS is the fun part. There are so many things that differ between these two that it can get overwhelming.
But you need not worry. There will be minimal mathematics, and all the complicated terms will be virtually non-existent.
These differences create the distinct flairs each astrological tradition has and help make the stars closer to the earth. Remember that each aspect is as respectable as its counterpart, meaning no astrological tradition is “better” than the other.
Method of Calculation
This is the fundamental difference between these two astrological formats. How they measure the movement and placements of the stars is what truly defines these two systems.
In a previous article, we’ve already defined these methodologies’ similarities and differences. But for this article, we will be giving a brief overview.
Western Astrology is very helio- and geocentric. When measuring the stars’ positions, astrologers measure the celestial body’s position relative to the sun and earth.
This is the Tropical Zodiac. The base calculations used in this tradition have always been the same since the Middle Ages, allowing it to be a bit friendlier to beginners.
The Vedic system, on the other hand, concerns itself with the ever-changing positions of the celestial bodies. This is because the tradition regards the heavens as far more superior than that of the earth, thus submitting to whatever direction it takes is essential.
This is the Sidereal Zodiac. The measurements used in this tradition are continuously changing as the movements of the celestial bodies accelerate across space. Incredibly, this is also what makes the 24-degree difference between the two astrological methods.
Although planets are a shared trait between the Western and Vedic astrological traditions, which ones to use differs between the two.
Both traditions utilize the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. However, the Vedic tradition does not recognize Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto as astrologically significant.
Instead, the Vedic method chooses to harness the power of the moon’s two nodes, also known as the Rahu (north node) and the Ketu (south node). Practitioners believe that these two aspects say so much about a person’s karmic energies, especially when it comes to their future and past lives.
For its part, the Western tradition adapted Ceres and Chiron. These are lesser-known planets and used for its more complex aspects, such as planetary exaltations (but that would be for another article!).
One of the glaring differences between the two major astrological traditions is how they convey their messages. Think of it as their love language!
Western astrology has a reputation for being “gentle.” This only means that this tradition emphasizes the positive side of life.
While negative predictions pop up here and there, the Western method tries to intersect a ray of hope during readings. This is because the tradition believes in the human capacity to change their fate with the celestial bodies’ guidance.
On the other hand, the Vedic tradition urges people to be pragmatic and realistic. As in the Hindu belief system, the divine will of the gods is final and irrevocable. Thus, it is important that a person would rather obey the life laid out for them to break the cycle of birth and rebirth and achieve enlightenment.
Which is better between Western astrology and Vedic astrology?
As said earlier, there is no such thing as a “better” type of astrology. Each tradition has its own rules and methods that set them apart from its counterparts.
There is no “use ____ if you are ____” kind of rules when choosing between the two astrological methods. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to utilize which one makes you feel more comfortable and closer to the cosmos.
If you want to practice both the Western and Vedic astrological traditions, then feel free to do so! There’s no rule about separating either system; you can fuse them to your liking if it helps you in your journey to becoming a better person.
So, go ahead, delve into the vast and mystical world of astrology!