Vedic and Western Astrologies — Do They Say the Same Things in the End?

Do the Jyotish and Western systems say the same things in the end?  For example, in Western Astrology, I'm a Taurus Moon, but in Jyotish, I'm an Aries Moon.  Those are different things. : )  I'm wondering if studying the Jyotish Primer (and then the other course offered later) will help me to understand what I'm learning from the Western perspective, or if it's just going to confuse me.

I was asked this interesting question by a potential student, and I am sure I will be asked a similar question many times in the future, as there were times when I was asking it myself. It's a natural question for everyone who dares to know both the Western Astrology and Jyotish, the mysterious and powerful Vedic Astrology.

The answer I came to is this: different systems of astrology are like two stories told about the same person by two different story-tellers. They both are true and at the same time, they are different. What's important is to be consistent: listen to one story, then to the other, then make your own opinion. It would be wrong to take the first phrase from one story then compare it to the first phrase from another story etc. 

I find that Vedic and Western charts express similar ideas but in different words. For example, in the tropical zodiac, my Mars is in Cancer, in its Fall. In the sidereal zodiac, it is in Gemini, and it could be stronger, but according to the Vedic rules it is in the house of its enemy, so weakened. I expect the Moon in Taurus will somehow acquire additional features in Jyotish that will make it recognizable to you. Also, the Moon has a substantially different symbolism in Jyotish.

It should be said however that the Sun Sign (or the Moon Sign) approach, in general, is an artefact of the Western world and so shouldn't be really applied to Jyotish. 

On the other hand, Jyotish is a very mature and sophisticated system of knowledge. Western Astrology died out twice, and what we've got in it, was filtered through the Arabs and the Theosophists, then distorted through the typical idiosyncrasies of the Western civilization.  Jyotish is an uninterrupted tradition. Its problem is that it is HUGE, but you can choose the elements that resonate with you the most and enrich your understanding of astrology enormously. I believe every Western astrologer should know about the Atma Karaka, as an example, which is a part of Jaimini Jyotish.


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