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Tropical or Sidereal

Why not both?

If we indeed value tradition we must never lose sight of its original authorities. Sūrya Siddhānta, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Mul.Apin and Tetrabiblos all clearly state that the twelve signs of the zodiac are entirely based on solstices and equinoxes, not stars. If we ignore this, what exactly are we loyal to? Today the discrepancy between the sidereal and tropical reckoning of the twelve signs is too big to overlook. We cannot postpone taking this issue seriously. Once we admit that stars are not signs, there is no compelling reason to use a star to define the zodiac’s beginning. Beside force of habit, injured pride, the paralysis of shock, or fear of change – is there anything that would stop us all from embracing the unequivocal tropical definitions of the zodiac found in all the ancient and classical literature of the world?
Tropical or Sidereal

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  • Vic Dicara

    Vic Dicara

    Vic DiCara is one of those guys who reads Sanskrit and tests astrological theories by writing equations in computer code, but unlike most of “those guys” he always keeps his feet on the sidewalk by putting his knowledge into practice in the real world. Devoted to *bhakti-yoga* (the yoga of love) since 1990, Vic eagerly studied and practiced for six years in āśramas in and outside of India, and continues to study and practice avidly today. His spiritual practice and grasp infuses every statement he makes. His astrological system, developed over ten years of careful study and practice, is a unique bridge between “Vedic” and “Western” models; highly contemporary yet with extreme fidelity to the ancient origins. Besides writing prolifically (seven books on astrology and bhakti, and a memoir) and giving constant readings, he finds time to play games with his two sons, daughter, and wife - where they live in Southern Japan.

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  • Why do you use a tropical zodiac

    What I use is a combination of sidereal and tropical. Sidereal stars / nakshatra, and tropical signs / rashi.

  • Do you find tropical signs more reliable in your practice?

    Yes, I find tropical signs give a simpler, clearer picture more readily, if used properly - for example with whole sign houses and sidereal nakshatras, etc.

  • What is the origin of the Sidereal Zodiac?

    The stars of sidereal space are a valid and important astrological entity. India (and almost all cultures) has a valid system of dividing sidereal space with the Moon as the focal point, not the Sun as in tropical space. This system has 27 divisions, not 12, because there are that many sunrises during the time it takes the Moon to complete a full circuit of the heavens. The idea of 12 sidereal signs comes from wrongly assuming that the correlation between the stars and signs is permanent. In fact, there is no permanent correlation between the two, the signs eternally and very gradually drift backwards through the stars - a phenomena commonly known as "precession of the equinox." There is a valid need to correlate the signs and stars because their relationship is important for defining very long periods of time (“ages”) and for knowing how and when to keep solar and lunar calendar systems synchronized. Babylonians measured the correlation of their autumnal equinox with the heliacal rising of stars they called The Scales. Greeks measured the discrepancy of tropical Aries against a stellar counterpart bearing the same name. Ancient and Classical Indians measured the heliacal position of the equinox in reference to their fixed stars. For example, the Ṛg Veda notes Kṛttikā as the “first” star and the beginning of the celestial circle, because in Ṛg Vedic times, four to five thousand years ago, Kṛttikā heliacally rose with the Vernal Equinox. Later Indian works from nearly two thousand years ago note Aśvinī as the first star, because at that time Aśvinī was the star heliacally rising with the equinox. Projecting the 12 zodiac divisions into space, based on the then-current position of the vernal equinox, was useful for mathematics and essential for long-term timekeeping, but opened a door for people to think of the signs as stellar entities. It is an easy mistake to make considering that for centuries there was almost no significant difference between the signs and their homonymic sidereal namesakes.