Vedic Astrology is a sidereal system (meaning ‘of the stars’) that calculates birth charts (horoscopes) based on the actual placements of the Sun, Moon and planets orbiting in front of the backdrop of the zodiacal constellations. In other words, our Vedic birth charts represent the observable astronomy of the moment we are born. Many people assume this is what Western Astrology does, but that is not the case. Western Astrology is based on the seasons, using what’s referred to as a tropical system which is an abstraction and does not reflect what is actually occurring in the astronomy overhead.
Having had a Western Astrologer in the family while growing up, I was exposed to the system of astrology early on and took to it with keen interest, and that led me to my life-long desire to continue studying and using astrology in my life and for others.
By my mid-twenties, a deeper desire for spiritual growth brought my path to Eastern teachings, including Vedic Astrology (also known as Jyotish). I chose to drop Western Astrology and dive into Vedic Astrology mainly because the background, history, and ‘sacred texts’ that form the science of ‘Light and Space’ aligned better with my spiritual path. Simply put, my previous limited exposure to Western Astrology was nowhere near as profound and insightful as what I was now learning in the Vedic system. I came to Vedic Astrology to align with my path and stayed for many reasons, including the fact that the planets are observed in the natal chart as they appear in the sky. That just makes more sense to me, and, not surprising, I see myself, my karma, and the timing of events in my life much clearer using my Vedic chart.
No worries if you use Western and like it. That’s great. It’s always a choice. I’m mentioning this to clarify briefly the main reason that the systems differ and to remind you that, should you happen to not feel satisfied with results of Western Astrology (or any other system of Astrology), that you might consider investigating Vedic Astrology for yourself- either through personal study or by having a reading. I honestly do not think you’ll be disappointed if you jump in with serious intentions.
Bottom line remains—follow your intuition, do what feels right for you, and practice astrology (whichever system you resonate with) to help guide you throughout your life. The more you study and use astrology for yourself and your family and friends, the greater your understanding, the greater the benefit.
Another misunderstood aspect of any astrology practice is the uncalled-for fear that using astrology is a way to replace religion and one’s religious beliefs and traditions. This is a false assumption. When you study astrology, you’ll see how universal the principles are and you’ll learn that ‘Religion’ is a portion of one of the twelve houses of the birth chart. Whatever anyone’s religion is, it is represented by that house. It is not disregarded, dishonored, or replaced. Likewise with non-religious people, their ‘lack’ of religion would likely be noted by that house in their chart. In my career, I have provided astrology readings for Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, Lutherans, Southern Baptists, Spiritualists, etc… Astrology is inclusive. Vedic Astrology is ‘of the stars’, who shine their light for All.
Renate Maria Bell is a certified Vedic Astrologer, Jyotish Visharada, and approved teacher with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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