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28.11.2014
Astrology took its place in the body of Western knowledge with the spread of astrological lore from Babylon to Greece several centuries before Christ.
The continuous movement of the planets in their courses, and their mutual interactions, were seen to correlate with the constant changes in the physical world: the cycle of the seasons, its mirroring in the four ages of Man, and the alternations between health and disease in an individual or community. When astrological medicine was transmitted to Western Europe in the later Middle Ages; it required harmonizing with Christian theology. Nicholas Culpeper, the famous seventeenth-century herbalist and astrologer, was one of the last to practise with integrity the combination of Galenic medicine and astrology, before the celestial art was relegated among the educated to a superstition, along with alchemy, which depended on astrology for its correct operations. The Indians themselves traditionally do not call their astrology “Vedic”, or have not done so until recently. The term “Vedic” is often used to express the idea that this astrology is a sacred science, which was revealed by the Rishis, the founders of Vedic wisdom, more than 5000 years ago and was handed down from generation to generation without any changes until the present day. The Vedas themselves, the core corpus of sacred writings of Hinduism (sruti?), are mainly interested in the position of the moon in the 27 or 28 lunar mansions, as well as in the lunar phases, eclipses, the solstices, and the equinoxes. The situation is similar in later Vedic texts like the great Mahabharata epic, which relates us the story of an apocalyptic war in Indian prehistory. Also revealing are the details of the astrological “birth chart” of K???a that are found in the Hariva?sa and in some Pura?a texts.
It seems that the texts are not interested at all in zodiac signs and the exact positions of the planets. The other great epic of India, the Ramaya?a, does not contain any clue to astrology as we know it either, at least not in its original form.
Passages in the Pura?as that mention zodiac signs also have to be dated to the Hellenistic epoch. The same holds true for other astronomical and astrological texts that mention the zodiac signs and take the equinoxes and solstices at the begin­ning of the cardinal signs.
From Kau?itakibrahma?a 19.3 we learn that the winter solstice ideally occurred on the new moon of the month of Magha.
The oldest astronomical text book of India, Veda?gajyoti?a 5ff., teaches that the beginning of the month of Magha ideally coincides with the winter solstice and a new moon at the beginning of the lunar mansion Dhani??ha. Also interesting to note: According to current Indian astrology the zodiac begins with Aries and the lunar mansion Asvini. Incidentally, the vernal point has since crossed the whole lunar mansion of Revati and is currently in Uttarabhadra. From all this it becomes clear that even though we do not know much about the “astrology” of the Vedic period, it must have been radically different from so-called “Vedic” astrology as we know it today. Vedic literature only rarely mentions astrology, and its reputation seems to have been rather dubious. Indian astrologers, for whom these texts are spiritual authority, usually explain that Manu’s statement is not directed against astrology as such, but only against astrologers who demand a fee for their services. However, the texts themselves do not give any such explanations, and they may well be interpreted in such a way that they reject astrology completely. However, we do not really know what kind of astrology these texts refer to, especially as “Vedic” astrology as we know it today did not exist at the time when these texts were written. However, the question concerning the sidereal and the tropical zodiac did not have the same urgency in India as it had in Europe. Now, according to modern astronomy, these ideas based on the trepidation model of precession are wrong. Moreover, the vernal equinox does not oscillate forward and back­ward about some fixed point on the ecliptic, but around the entire zodiac and at a fairly constant speed.
After modern astronomy has shown that these two traditional teachings are not correct, the validity of the sidereal zodiac is seriously challenged.
The weakest point of so-called “Vedic” astrology is that it cannot say where exactly the sidereal zodiac has its zero point.
The Lahiri Ayana?sa is defined as having the initial point of sidereal Aries and the lunar mansion Asvini exactly opposite the star Citra (= Spica, α Virginis), with Citra itself exactly in the middle of the lunar mansion to which it has lent its name.
This may be a mere coincidence, for there is no evidence that there was an unbroken tradition in India that worked with this zodiac. Also, it should have become clear that the idea of some romantics that Indian astrology as we know it is based on millennia-old scientific experience is completely mistaken.
Let us close the article with a few considerations from the point of view of a western astrologer! As has been shown, there are strong arguments against the claim of Vedic astrologers that the validity of the sidereal zodiac has been corroborated over thousands of years of practice in India: The sidereal zodiac has been use in India for less than 2000 years. The tropical-sidereal problem becomes even more complicated by the fact that the sidereal zodiac is used in a quite different way in Indian astrology than the tropical zodiac in western astrology. Very instructive is Rafael Gil Brand’s investigation in his “plea for the sidereal zodiac”[69], where he examines which of the two zodiac fits with some birth charts of famous personalities. In some modern Indian textbooks the interpretation of zodiac signs is not treated at all, obviously because it is not given any importance. The briefness and disorder in the text are symptomatic of the low importance that is given to the interpretation of zodiac signs in India. This description may have been influenced by ancient Indian texts or by modern Western astrology. It becomes apparent that the descriptions given by Raman of the zodiac signs partly agree with western descriptions, but partly contain qualities of the subsequent signs. From all this it should have become obvious that if modern astrologers read a natal chart with a Western understanding of the zodiac signs but with a Hindu sidereal zodiac, this is not an old tradition but a fairly recent invention, and also a European-American one rather than an Indian one.
He begins with a quasi-scientific examination of geology, astronomy, and human physiology in order to provide some rational basis for further discussion on the practical use of precious and semi-precious stones. Outlines on the medicinal value of precious stones entail the actual alchemical lab bench techniques for preparing therapeutic gem oxides and pastes. Harish Johari, who once served as guide to Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) during his initial excursion into mystical India, combines the talents of a true renaissance man.
Serious mystics often disdain a fascination with gems as yet another variety of spiritual materialism, a decadent diversion from or substitute for the more laborious process of contemplative discipline and self transformation.
I am pretty interested in astrology, it plays very important role in my life, i even get my room decocated with some cheap canvas wall art of nine planetary gems.  I belive gemstones have amazing healing power.


This transmission began with Berosus, a priest of the temple of Bel, who settled on the island of Cos, the home of Hippocratic medicine, where he established a school of astrology at the end of the fifth century bc.
The birth horoscope was used to identify the individual temperament, whether sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, or a combination of these, from which followed advice on the correct diet and lifestyle to maintain health and avoid the diseases to which that particular temperament was liable. The position came to be accepted that the stars incline but do not compel, keeping intact Man's essential free will. Culpeper popularized astrological medicine by issuing inexpensive books in straightforward English on these learned subjects, with the effect of extending people's knowledge beyond the simple rules for seasonal blood-letting, purging, and bathing, and the times for doing so according to the zodiac sign occupied by the Moon, which were common to many popular almanacs of the time. While Indian astrology may be “Vedic” in that it is part of today's Vedic tradition, it is in fact a lot younger than the Vedas and has many elements which were not developed in India but in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. This epic contains numerous calendrical and astronomical details, it tells us in which lunar month certain events took place, in which lunar mansion and phase the moon was and whether there was an eclipse. K???a’s ascendant becomes apparent only incidentally: because the waning half-moon at midnight was rising in the east.
His birth is rather treated as a mundane event that was important for the history of the world.
Some versions of it give astrological information about the birth of Rama:  The Moon and Jupiter were rising in Cancer, and five planets were in their exaltations or domiciles. Most of these passages tell us that the solstices are at the beginning of Capricorn and Cancer and the equinoxes at the beginning of Aries and Libra.
However, as all these texts assume the beginning of Aries at the beginning of the lunar mansion Asvini, which is sidereal by definition, even the assumption of a tropical zodiac does not allow us to date the texts much earlier.
They do not celebrate the “northward path” (uttarayanam) of the Sun on its correct date around 21 December, but in mid-January on the day of the Sun’s ingress into sidereal Capricorn (makarasa?kranti?).
But in Vedic texts, lists of the lunar mansions always start with K?ttika, which corresponds to the Pleiades in sidereal Taurus. Nowadays’ “Vedic” astrology therefore works with a zodiac that was defined by the equinoctial points of more than 1500 years ago and never updated. Still, it has to be noted that the theory of trepidation explains why the sidereal zodiac made sense to Indian astro­logers. This question is of central importance because without a well-founded zero point there can be no correct positions of the planets in zodiac signs, lunar mansions, and other subdivisions of the ecliptic. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that the Lahiri zodiac was brought to India by the Greeks and that it was known there at least for some time.
We have seen that Indian astrology has undergone several changes since Vedic times, one of which only took place in the 20th century: The calendar reform of 1956 made the Lahiri ayana?sa the astrological standard. Its exact starting point, which is controversial, was not chosen based on astrological experience, but due to the position of the vernal equinox at some point in late antiquity. Traditional Indian astrology is extremely focused on fate prediction and character compatibility (for weddings) and not so much on psychological character interpretation, as taught in the West. He is not really interested in the signs, but rather in the rulers of the ascendant and the houses as well as the dignities of the various factors of interpretation. However, where it is treated, we will find that it massively differs from western interpretation. Also, it is striking how much such descriptions differ from the Western understanding of the tropical Cancer.
However, even with Raman we find glaring differences from western descriptions of the signs. The same phenomenon can also be found with other western representatives of Vedic astrology, e.g. Many of them shy away from theoretical questions or consider “theories” in general as something unrealistic that has nothing to do with real life. Amid the insipid self-styled authorities on this subject and their mounting plethora of pulp publications, Harish Johari’s most recent work rests in serious scholarship and a lifelong devotion to his own native ancient traditions of alchemical tantra, Hindu astrology, and ayurveda. Then follows a most intriguing survey of mythological references to the origin and deeper nature of gems. Separate chapters devoted to each of these materials explicate their scientific, mythic, and occult properties. Copious tables, charts, diagrams, and scriptural annotations, which have become the author’s trademarks, remain rigidly faithful to traditional sources. Yet Johari’s accounts lend much credibility to the case for jewelry as a useful adjunct to the more conventional methods of spiritual practice. The horoscope cast for the time of a person falling ill, called a decumbiture, was employed to help identify the nature, origin, and location of the disease, the likely prognosis, the kind of treatment to be given, and the most propitious times for its administration. For, although the human body might be subject to alteration and change occasioned by the movements of the planets in the zodiac, Man's immortal soul remained free from such influences so that he could indeed command the stars, insofar as he commanded his passions. If it is assumed that ancient Indian astrology used a sidereal zodiac, then these statements can be dated astronomically because of the precession of the equinox. Nowadays, the month of Magha falls into January and February and has nothing to do with the solstice anymore. Besides, K?ttika is the most often mentioned lunar mansion in the Vedas, whereas Asvini hardly ever appears. They considered the motion of the equinoxes as a cycle of minor importance in the great age. And without these there can be no correct astrological chart interpretations and predictions. The fundamental work of ancient Indian astronomy, the Suryasiddhanta, unfortunately makes contradictory statements about the starting point of the zodiac. Besides, I have not mentioned yet that the ephemeris calculation of ancient and medieval India contained massive errors, depending on the epoch and local tradition. Unlike Europeans and Americans, Indians do not ask each other about their Sun sign, but rather about the lunar mansion of their natal moon.
However, I notice that he does not have his focus on the interpretation of the zodiacal signs, but rather the astrological dignities. However, one may well argue that this approach to the question of the zodicacs is very indirect.
A little guessing game may illustrate this difference: I quote the description of a zodiac sign from a modern Indian textbook, and the reader may try to guess to which sign it is.


Excerpts from numerous Sanskrit scriptures, many provided in translation along with their classic Devanagari script, support the arcane belief in the utility of stones, pearls, and coral to alter the course of human destiny. Descriptions of stone quality, flaws, identification, and sources as well as detailed rituals that include mantras and yantras for preparation and wearing of particular gems qualify this work as a most exhaustive study. They must have been written between 200 and 600 CE, depending on the assumed position of the initial point of sidereal Aries (i.e.
As a result, from the point of view ancient Vedic religion, all religious holidays, rituals, and sacrifices that are bound to a calendar date are celebrated on “wrong” days.
The reason for this prominence of K?ttika in the Vedas lies in the fact that, in ancient times, approximately from 2500 BC on, the vernal equinox was located in this lunar motion.[25] In astronomical and astrological texts of Late Antiquity, the lunar mansion Asvini (and Aries) became the starting point of the ecliptic, and the reason was, again, that the vernal equinox by that time had moved on into this lunar mansion. Ancient Indian astronomy, however, believed that this point in the sky was extremely prominent in that it played an important part in the history of the universe. Hence the idea of a sidereal zodiac must have been more convincing to ancient astrologers than a tropical zodiac.
Again, the history of “Vedic” astrology can show us how serious and unsolved this problem is. While it assumes the star Spica at 0° Libra[64], the positions it gives for other stars are in blatant contradiction. Dikshit, who in the late 19th century wrote an important book on the history of Indian astronomy. Moreover, the correct calculation of the ascendant for a birth chart was anything but trivial. Here, a western astrologer may suspect that the lack of psychological interpretation of the Sun sign in India could be caused by the fact that it just does not work with the sidereal zodiac; or that the relevance of the tropical zodiac was not discovered in India because Hindu astrology is not particularly interested in character interpretation.
On the other hand, when I look at the Sun signs I would prefer the tropical zodiac with each of Gil Brand’s examples. Proceeding like this, Gil Brand has “proven” many things at once: the sidereal zodiac, the system of rulers and dignities, and also the Indian house system[71].
They insist blindly on the venerable age of the astrological tradition, on their personal practical experience, and on the authority of their gurus. The notion of a pre-ordained length of life, calculated from the points of life (apheta or hyleg) and destruction (anareta) in the natal horoscope, was overturned by correct physical habit and spiritual development, which nurtured the health of the body and soul, so extending the lifespan. This is actually a catastrophe, because the rituals must be performed on their correct dates in order to become efficient. For, at the end of every great age or yugam, it was believed, all planets would come together to this point and form an exact conjunction.
And elsewhere it seems to assume the starting point of all planetary cycles and the origin of the zodiac at the star Revati (ζ Piscium),[65] thereby indicating a difference from the Lahiri zodiac by almost 4 °.
Dikshit came to the conclusion that, given the prominence that Vedic religion gave to the cardinal points of the tropical year, the Indian calendar should be reformed and no longer be based on the sidereal, but on the tropical zodiac. Considering all these facts it is hard to explain how a particular sidereal zodiac could have been corroborated by experience. In any case, the particular way of using the zodiac cannot be ignored in deciding which of the two zodiacs is correct. In my opinion, the interpretation of zodiac signs would be a more straight-forward method to examine the correctness of a zodiac. With forecasts for Indian or American presidential elections, “Vedic” astrologers fail as often as Western astrologers.[79] Also as regards the question of the correct the zodiac in natal horoscopy, whoever loudly refers to his “experience” should be distrusted. In other words, the sidereal positions of the planets in a natal chart have an uncertainty of several degrees. And it is out of question that it could have proved to be better than the tropical zodiac, because the tropical-sidereal issue was never even discussed in India.
Western solar astrology, which is based on the tropical zodiac, is in no way challenged by eastern sidereal lunar astrology. For the father of psychoanalysis, I would clearly prefer an ascendant in tropical Scorpio and the Sun in tropical Taurus over a sidereal Libra ascendant and Aries sun. Does the interpretation of zodiac signs only work with the tropical, not with the sidereal, zodiac? As long as no statistical proof of astrology has gained general recognition, astrologers should talk about their “experiences” with due caution and modesty. The Moon in addition represented the humours as a whole, while the Sun denoted the vital spirit of the body, radiating from the heart via the arteries.
The medical establishment in Paris blamed the triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn for the outbreak of the Black Death in 1348.
Moreover, the precession cycle according to an ancient theory begins on the same date and at the sidereal zero point of Aries.
Hence, it is not without reason that the introduction of the Lahiri standard has led to bitter quarrels.
With Hitler the tropical Taurus Sun (territorial thinking, nationalism) holds at least as good as a sidereal Aries Sun.
Also, for anyone who truly seeks knowledge it is not recommended to treat differing views with disinterest or to limit one’s interest only to teaching the enlightened knowledge of one’s own tradition. Venus governed the genitourinary system, while to the seventh planet, Mercury, was given rulership of the mind. According to the Suryasiddhanta, the vernal equinox oscillates around the sidereal Aries point in a cycle of 7200 years, with a maximum elongation of 27° (so-called trepidation theory).[59] Thus, according to this theory, the vernal equinox oscillates back and forth between 27° Aries and 3° Pisces in the sidereal zodiac.
For “Vedic” astrology with its claims of high accuracy, an inaccuracy of this dimension is obviously intolerable. Unfortunately, astrologers and astrology schools – not only the Vedic – tend to such sect-like behaviour. In the Kaliyuga year 3102 BC, the vernal point would have been in conjunction with the Sun, the Moon and all planets at the sidereal Aries point.



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