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Home > Articles > Comparison between Indian and Western astrology
Comparison between Indian and Western astrology
Western and Indian astrology

PlanetsSame planets revolve round the Sun, the zodiacs are identical, and the celestial bodies covering the sky are no different. Hence it is but easy to conclude about the similarity between the western and Indian study of astrology. TRUE to some extent. But the way of approach towards astrology in both the system varies a great deal. What is given prominence in Vedic astrology might not even be considered in Western.

Vedic astrology has roots back to 3000 BC, and has been extending, modifying, and spreading, but essentially with the same foundation. It is not so in western astrology. Based on Greek- Roman studies, Western astrology had to go through a lot of resistance across the times. Unlike we Indians, where there was a natural and firm reverence to Jyotish since ancient times, Western astrology has lost much of its ancient roots in form of records and scriptures. Much of it is modified according to times.

Hence, there is bound to be a major difference between the contemporary forms of the two branches. Also, Vedic system is much more stern and extensive than its Western counterpart.

One of the fundamental differences being that, in western system, Sun is the prominent planet, and Sun sign is the basic sign for study and predictions. In Vedic astrology, Moon sign is given a priority, although both systems agree on Sun being the symbol of Soul and on much higher level.

A few other differences on the same subject are mentioned as follows:

The zodiacs

In Western astrology, Tropical zodiac system is taken in account, where Sun`s apparent movement around the earth defines Signs.

In Vedic astrology, Sidereal system is used, where signs are distinguished by the physical presence of star constellation in the sky.

The houses

Western astrology considers 1st house as ascendant, and 10th house as midheaven. While Jyotish shastra uses whole sign system where, each house occupies a whole sign. Many western astrologers, over the time have accepted the same theory.

Planets, Their Ruler ship and Strength

Western astrology considers ten major planets, along with minor consideration of asteroids and comets. Accordingly, apart from the ownership of the usual planets:

  • Uranus rules Aquarius.

  • Neptune rules Pisces.

  • Pluto rules Scorpio.
  • This is unlike Vedic system where Uranus, Pluto and Neptune don`t exist. Here,

  • Mars rules both Aries and Scorpio.

  • Jupiter rules both, Sagittarius and Pisces.

  • Saturn rules both, Aquarius and Capricorn


  • In Indian astrology, there are nine planets. Apart from Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, two lunar nodes - namely north node (Rahu), and south Node (Ketu) are also considered prominently. Nowadays, Western astrology also considers the two lunar nodes (Though not as planets.)

    Both the systems of astrology considers planet to be strongest when in their own sign, or in the sign of exaltation. And a planet is considered to be combust when withis 6 degrees of Sun. A planet is considered weak when in sign of Debilitation or "fall".

    But in Vedic astrology, moon is also considered weak when waning, and strong when waxing. Moon and Sun are also considered weak at the time of eclipse.

    Vedic astrology is observation based. Therefore considering the fact that planets are much brighter when retrograding, planets with retrograde motion are considered to be powerful.

    Considering Nakshatras.

    In Vedic astrology, considering Nakshatras while making chart or predicting time related events is of major importance. Though Chinese astrology also takes Nakshatra into account, there are 27 Nakshatras in Vedic system rather then 28 in the Chinese`s.

    Interpretation of Lunar Nodes

    The south lunar node in western astrology defines the aspect as the one to which the person moves towards in life. The house occupied by South node defines the aspects in life from which we should move away from. Vedic astrology is far broader than this.

    Here, the North Lunar node (Rahu) when well placed is giver of wealth, looks and success. If placed wrongly, can cause enormous difficulties, failures, obsession, lust, too much of materialism etc. While, the South lunar Node (Ketu) if known to create anxiety, fears, physical problems etc, it can as well indicate spiritual enlightment, intuition, and knowledge of self. Since Rahu and Ketu play such an important part in interpretation of a horoscope, the major difference in the perspective between the two systems account for a lot of variation.

    Aspects

    In western astrology, a planet aspecting (putting its influence) the other is dependent on the placement of the two planets within some range of degrees. While, in Vedic system planets from whole sign aspects the other house, whether the house is empty or not.

    In western astrology, major aspects namely, conjunction, Sextile, trine, square and opposition is used frequently. While in Vedic horoscope, opposition is the only aspect that each planet makes. Rest of the aspects varies from planet to planet. Also, strength of the aspecting planet and aspected planet is taken into account.

    Predictions

    While making predictions in western astrology, transit of each planet (along with their directions) happens to be the main reference point .

    In Vedic astrology, along with the planetary transit, vimshottari dasha at the given point is also considered prominently. (Dasha is the time period under which the person undergoes through influence of one particular planet.). Under each dasha, a planet is most influential for a given number of years. Other planets also cast their influences in every Dasha. Considering this, sub period, or antardasha (and even sub sub period called Pratyantar dasha) is also taken in account.

    Thus, taking into consideration of Nakshatra, Dasha, yoga, as details, Vedic astrology happens to be a much more an extensive study leading to a broader coverage of human life with accuracy.
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