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What is Vedic Astrology?

November 10, 2021 3 min read

I hope you're not too attached to your Western astrology sign, because according to Vedic astrology - it could be something entirely different!

Aren't familiar with Vedic astrology?? In India, they practice a different approach to astrology, traditionally known as Jyotish. Jyotish translates to "the science of light" or "the wisdom of the heavens". It is rooted in the Vedas and originated sometime between 5,000 to 10,000 BC, alongside Ayurveda, Yoga, and great spiritual teachings such as the Bhagavad Gita. It was then passed down orally for countless generations, and is now gaining more popularity in the West with the New Age movement.

When I discovered Jyotish I immediately went about searching for answers to my many questions. Let's explore the key differences between Western astrology and Vedic astrology.

Why am I one sign in Western astrology and another sign in Vedic?

One of the most obvious differences between these two astrological systems is the zodiacal calendars. Because of the Earth's tilt, every 72 years the stars move one zodiacal degree. Vedic astrology takes this into account through a corrective system called ayanamsas, while Western astrology doesn't account for it at all. Due to this, you may be one sign in Vedic astrology and another in Western.

How does Vedic astrology view my birth chart?

Vedic astrology acts as a karmic blueprint for your soul's purpose. By looking at your chart you can discover your personal journey for achieving each of the four Purusharthas (your soul's purpose). We go in depth on each of these here, but below is a brief description.

Dharma: discovering your unique purpose and expressing it into the universe
Artha: meeting your economic goals for survival
Kama: following and inviting pleasure into your life
Moksha: connecting with your Higher Self and achieving liberation

Western astrology places importance on where the sun is located at the time of birth, which emphasizes one's personality trait and offers psychoanalysis. Vedic astrology places importance on the placement of the moon, which emphasizes one's inner world and covers all areas of life.

How does Vedic astrology predict when certain life events will happen?

    Not only can Jyotish help you discover what makes you feel fulfilled or how you will earn money, but it will tell you what aspects of your life will be easy or challenging, and at what point. Vedic astrology is separated by dashas, which are phases of life represented by planetary alignment. The vimsottari dasha system remains one of the most popular. Each dasha is ruled by a planet, and that planet's placement determines the quality, effect, and overall outcome of each phase. The Dashas add up to 120 years, so it is very unlikely that one would go through all of these phases in a single lifetime. The placement of the moon at your time of birth determines how far into the first phase you will be when born. In this system, there are nine main dashas (the Mahadashas) throughout one's life:

    • Ketu Mahadasha (7 years): longevity, career, wealth
    • Venus Mahadasha (20 years): love, relationships, passion, happiness
    • Sun Mahadasha (6 years): name, fame, authority, aggression
    • Moon Mahadasha (10 years): inner world, samsaras (deep rooted tendencies)
    • Mars Mahadasha (7 years): physical embodiment
    • Rahu Mahadasha (18 years): mischief / perplexity
    • Jupiter Mahadasha (16 years): wealth, knowledge, power, spirituality
    • Saturn Mahadasha (19 years): hard work / judgements
    • Mercury Mahadasha (17 years): intelligence / knowledge

    Depending on your karma from previous lifetimes, each dasha will either be gratifying and pleasant, or challenging and an opportunity for growth. Unlike Western astrology, Jyotish ties in spirituality, and places emphasis on connecting with your higher Self as well as a higher power. This allows you to place less emphasis on the ego's perspective of "good" or "bad" and instead view whatever phase you are with faith and Trust in a divine plan.

    Is one astrological system more accurate than the other?

    The great news is, you don't need to choose one vs. the other. Western astrology offers a great approach to self-reflection and psychoanalysis. It allows one to look at their strengths as well as their weaknesses in a more detached way, offering room for exploration and growth through the lens of general acceptance of one's sign. Vedic astrology offers insight into your karma and dharma, and provides you with a spiritual lens to look at life through. Incorporate both and continue learning on this journey of life!

    Erica Beaty
    Erica Beaty

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