Common Questions About Astrology and Consultations
What's my Sun sign?
What should I do on a full Moon?
What should I do on a new Moon?
Why is Mercury retrograde such a big deal?
One of the key differences is how the birth chart is calculated. Traditional Vedic astrologers use the sidereal system to calculate a horoscope. Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac calculations. Which leads to another question - "Which is the correct zodiac: Tropical or Sidereal? Why?"
I have used both systems effectively. For me, the eastern system of Jyotish offers me more tools than modern western astrology that support my clients in a reading. I do not believe that one system is more right than the other, though. It is a matter of which one an individual resonates with more easily. And if you dig deep enough, you will find a lot of commonalities in ancient western astrology, such as Hellenistic astrology and the Vedic tradition.
Without getting into the long and often debated explanation of the calculations (you can google tropical vs sidereal calculations and get a number of YouTube videos), I will share the bottom line. The planets in the sidereal system are slightly more than 23' degrees earlier than the tropical zodiac calculations. The planetary positions move backward 23 degrees. So often times a planet will change signs, especially if it is in the degree range of 0-23 degrees of a sign.
For example, if your Sun in your birth chart is at 29 degrees of Aries, it will be at about 6 degrees of Aries in the sidereal calculated birth chart. Or if your Sun was at 15 degrees of Aries, it would move back to about 22 degrees of Pisces. Since western sun sign astrology is most widely known in the US, this change can be surprising for many. Most people who have a reading with me aren't too concerned about it -- while the Sun is important it is still just one planet and the birth chart, and our life experiences is comprised of ALL of the planets and houses!
Order your Vedic birth chart and planetary periods.
The eastern system also has the outlook that the birth chart is a snapshot of the karma's (our gifts and areas of struggle in life) that we bring into this lifetime. The philosophies, deities and the rich teaching stories are all derived from the ancient eastern culture, vs. the Greek gods and goddesses. Vedic astrology is also integrated into the natural medicine of India, Ayurveda. A persons constitution or dosha can be seen through the horoscope. The birth chart also connects to yoga, meditation and the chakras to create a holistic approach.
In closing, I think that the biggest influence on an astrological consultation is not whether it is a tropical or sidereal calculated horoscope, but the astrologer themselves. And the amount of experience the astrologer has, both in life and reading/consulting with clients. This is probably not the most popular answer, because I see value in both systems, and they have both worked for me, and I choose not to take sides in the debate about which system is "more right".
Why do I need to have my birth time for a reading?
The birth chart is calculated using a combination of your date of birth, place of birth and time of birth. The birth time is critical because this information is what fixes the rising sign on the chart.
What's my rising sign?
The rising sign is calculated from the time of birth, place of birth and date of birth. Whenever and wherever the individual is born, the constellation of stars that were coming up over the eastern horizon, is the rising sign. This is also the same direction from which the Sun rises every day, therefore, the rising sign.