View Full Version : Traditional or Siderial

15-01-2004, 06:14
Up until last year I had never heard that the system we use for the astrological year wasn't currently accurarte. My astronomy teacher mentioned in class that after a few thousand years the stars had moved and the sun is not in the houses at the times astrology has set and most people aren't really the sign they think they are. I was crushed... and miffed at being a Gemini =)

So I know there are a number of astrologers that had really good reasons for using the traditional model of astrology and I was hoping to hear some. It's just so strange to think that all of the astrological calendars I've seen that look so mathematically precise only show what house planets WOULD be in if things hadn't moved.

15-01-2004, 07:56
Your astronomy teacher is a little confused.

Firstly Vedic astrologers do indeed use the sidereal zodiac - that is they use the stars as they are now - not as they were 2000 years ago. The only complication is that astronomically not all constellations are of equal size (in terms of arc of celestial longitude) but for convenience astrologers who use the sidereal zodiac divide the constellations up into 12 equal arcs of 30 degrees.

Most Western astrologers do not use the sidereal zodiac, they use the 'tropical' (NOT traditional) zodiac. This takes the four cardinal points as the Spring Equinox (First degree of Aries), the Summer Solstice (First degree of Cancer), Autumn Equinox (First degree of Libra) and the Winter Solstice (First degree of Capricorn). That is the zodiac used by Astrologers, such as myself, is based on the seasonal year. Now we fully recognise that the seasonal year in 2004 does not correspond astronomically with what it did in 4AD but seasonally it is correct - the first moment of Spring starts Aries just as it did then.

In terms of Western Astrology your Sun sign is correct. Now you may well get a different Sun sign if you consult a Vedic Astrologer because they operate on a different definition of the zodiac. Both definitions are correct in their own terms and indeed your astronomy teacher's definition is no better or worse than these two.

Also he doesn't understand the difference between a sign and a house. Houses are mundane (determined by where you are on the face of the Earth) and have no astronomical nature.

Try telling him to find out about things before he offers opinions on them - he would criticise you for submitting work based on poor research or faulty facts - the same applies to him.

15-01-2004, 10:43
Ok I feel a bit better. As to my teacher, she wasn't criticizing astrology as much as she was explaining the path of the sun through the constellations.

I really like your seasonal explanation. And I do understand the difference between astrological signs and astrological houses. I do feel that the western astrological calendar fits the people I know than their sign based on the Siderial calendar.

17-01-2004, 05:05
Originally posted by Shade
Ok I feel a bit better. As to my teacher, she wasn't criticizing astrology as much as she was explaining the path of the sun through the constellations.

OK then I offer her an apology, especially for presuming that she was a he (more based on the male astronomer who treats Astrology as 'rubbish' without bothering to find out about it). :)

Few Astronomers take the trouble to really examine the basis of Astrology and assume that Astrologers are idiots who are unaware of 'facts' such as the Earth orbiting the Sun and not the other way around. Yet the greatest of past Astronomers, such as Isaac Newton or Kepler, were also Astrologers. Indeed I might suggest that if it wasn't for Astrologers our knowledge of Astronomy would be quite poor. :) :) :)