If you’re reading this, chances are you might know a thing or two about astrology. Maybe you even know your zodiac sign, which would be your sun sign. But did you know this is only a scratch on the surface of the astrology world? I didn’t. I didn’t even know that the astrology I grew up with was called Western Astrology and it was only one of many types!
In the summer of 2018, I enrolled in a program called “Dharma School” and our tuition included a birth chart reading with one of the teachers. I was immediately intrigued. After leaving the almost 2 hour long session, I felt like a whole new world was opened up to me. I learned about new aspects of my personal cosmology and received validation on feelings and circumstances I was experiencing in my personal life. This was truly the first time in my life where I felt so seen and heard by something bigger than myself.
I am so pleased to introduce to you this impactful science, VEDIC ASTROLOGY.
Vedic Astrology, or Jyotish (from Sanskrit, translates to “science of light”) is the traditional Hindu system of astrology. It can be traced back to be over 5,000 years old and was first written about in the Vedas, an ancient collection of Hindu religious hymns and texts. Since then, this early science has been passed down as an oral tradition through the generations in India.
COMPARING VEDIC TO WESTERN ASTROLOGY
The term nakshatra is unique to Vedic Astrology. Nakshatra translates to “lunar mansion” which is the segment of the ecliptic (the circular path the Sun makes in one year) through which the Moon passes in its orbit around the Earth. A Nakshatra is one of 28 sectors along the ecliptic. Each of their names are related to the prominent star or constellation in or nearby the closest sector. All of this information presented on a Nakshatra wheel.
The Nakshatra wheel is a powerful visual representation of the Nakshatra star constellations and planetary placement. Consulting with this wheel opens a whole new path of wisdom based upon the specific arrangement of the cosmic realm at your time of birth and clarifies how the current planetary energies influence you specifically. Each individual Nakshatra holds an energetic archetypal story that can help you understand yourself on a deeper level, both physically and symbolically.
Western Astrology’s version of Nakshatras are the Zodiac constellations. Zodiac constellations are constellations that lie along the ecliptic. There are 12 Zodiac constellations, also called our sign/Sun sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius/Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus/Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
A natal/birth chart, a chart of the specific arrangement of the cosmic realm at the time of birth, includes the positions of each planet, including the Sun and the Moon by sign (Zodiac constellation listed above). Just like a Nakshatra wheel, this chart opens you up to a new realm of understanding and clarifies how the current planetary energies influence you specifically.
(Image via Google Search)
Rahu and Ketu are lunar nodes and are often referred to as “shadow planets” because they don’t have a physical existence. Despite not having a physical manifestation, their energy is always present. Rahu is the north lunar node and creates solar eclipses and Ketu is the south lunar node and creates lunar eclipses. Rahu and Ketu are always 180° away from each other, no matter where they are in their orbits.
Rahu’s energy is dominantly masculine: always pulling us towards our future. Rahu shows us our deepest desires in this life and what we want to accomplish but also where we might find it difficult to feel fulfilled. He guides us to our potential for expansion but also where we might struggle to stay on course towards our destiny. Rahu’s energy can create obstruction in our lives, insatiable desires, obsession, or addiction. From a cosmic lens, Rahu is necessary to our evolution. He can remove old and heavy energy from our lives which makes space for our higher destinies. Ultimately it is our choice whether we allow his power to dictate us or utilize it to free ourselves.
Ketu’s energy is dominantly feminine: mystically alluding to what we already know deep down in our souls. Ketu represents any area that we have mastered in a past life, and typically are giving less attention to in this lifetime. Ketu has a deep medicine for us because everything he represents comes easy to us, like speaking our native language. The catch is that we may often reject or deter ourselves from the places Ketu dwells in but simultaneously crave it. This can cause us major psychological suffering. When we are in right relationship with Ketu, we show up more wholly and more connected to ourselves and everything beyond.
One of the best things we can do is find a comfortable balance between Rahu and Ketu. This balance is the gateway for our divine creations to manifest faster and our connection to the Cosmos to grow stronger and deeper.
The shape of their birth charts
- Vedic birth charts are either a square or diamond shape whereas Western birth charts are circular or round.
(Image via www.astrology-coaching.com)
The zodiac they utilize
- Vedic utilizes the Sidereal Zodiac which follows a Lunar calendar (including stars and constellations) whereas Western utilizes the Tropical Zodiac which follows a Solar calendar.
(Image via www.vedicastroyoga.com)
Primary signs and different Zodiacs result different signs
- Vedic Astrology’s primary sign is the Ascendant sign whereas Western Astrology’s primary sign is the Sun sign
Each sign is determined by the Zodiac it uses (mentioned in the previous bullet) and has been boiled down to an exact science to ensure accuracy. The majority of people have different Primary signs in Vedic and Western because there is a specific science for each type of astrology.
- For example, in Vedic Astrology my Ascendant sign is Aquarius but in Western Astrology, my Sun sign is Pisces.
I definitely don’t know everything about this science, or astrology in general, and don’t claim to, but what I’m claiming is my choice to be a student of Vedic Astrology for as long as I can be. It feels so right for me.
Learning your signs and/or chart in both Western and Vedic Astrology can be extremely beneficial because each allows further balance to be created in your life as you implement their teachings. For those who feel lost or without direction, I highly recommend diving into Vedic Astrology. My life is forever changed because of it. For more information and guidance please download the Cosmic Insights App.
I want to express gratitude for my amazing teacher, mentor, and friend, Andréa Miller, because without her teachings, I wouldn’t have been able to write this piece. If you are curious about your personal Vedic birth chart, you can contact Andréa at DreaMarie737@gmail.com. She is a magical woman with a wealth of wisdom and a strong intuition. A special thank you to her teacher, Simon Chokoisky, who has dedicated his life to this intricate work.