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Different Types of Astrology: Sidereal vs. Tropical

Did you know there are multiple types of Astrology? A lot of us use Tropical Astrology, which is based on where the Sun and Earth were thousands of years ago. This type of Astrology is not based on where the stars and constellations are currently either, as it is fixed. In fact, it has not changed, even though our skies are constantly changing through solstices and equinoxes. Moreover, Tropical signs are typically used in the West, as they can be found in our newspapers and magazines. 

However, Sidereal Astrology tracks the tilts of the Earth through equinoxes. This type of astrology is a contribution from Vedic India, as the rishis had developed a mathematical system to track this change. Often because of this, your Sidereal sign is vastly different from your Tropical sign. For example, I am a Virgo sun under Tropical Astrology, but Sidereal Astrology labels me as a Leo sun. However, this does not mean that either type is incorrect. Furthermore, it is extremely important to note that this type of astrology came from the Vedas, which are ancient Hindu scriptures. It is even more interesting to note that Vedic Astrology is much older than Tropical Astrology.

Both types of astrology have the same 12 signs. However, the signs fall on different days. So if you do not identify with your Tropical sign, this may be good news for you. If you heavily identify with your Tropical sign, get ready for a little shock. The following are the Vedic Astrology Sun dates:

Vedic Aries: April 13–May 14

Vedic Taurus: May 15–June 14

Vedic Cancer: July 15–Aug. 14

Vedic Leo: Aug. 15–Sep. 15

Vedic Virgo: Sep. 16–Oct. 15

Vedic Libra: Oct. 16–Nov. 14

Vedic Scorpio: Nov. 15–Dec. 14

Vedic Sagittarius: Dec. 15–Jan. 13

Vedic Capricorn: Jan. 14–Feb. 11

Vedic Aquarius: Feb. 12–March 12

Vedic Pisces: March 13–April 12

Keep in mind that it is not just your Sun sign that may change when you do Sidereal; it can change your whole chart! So if you are interested in this type of astrology, you can calculate your chart using an online tool. You can easily identify with either your Tropical or Sidereal sign or even both. However, if you do use Vedic Astrology, I believe it is important to be respectful of the culture from which it comes if you do not come from that culture.

For instance, Vedic Astrology is based on the concepts of karma, artha, moksha and dharma as well. Karma can be defined as memories from your past lives. If you do not finish something in your past life, you will come back to another life to finish it. Your soul carries this karma for its entire existence. Dharma is our life path, which astrology is used to reveal our natural gifts and challenges. It helps us with spiritual growth. Artha can be translated to mean “goal,” which can be thought of as wealth or security as we need one to achieve happiness. Moksha is when we are liberated from the birth and death cycle as we have fulfilled our spiritual growth.

Kaitlyn Austin is a senior majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Civil Rights. She is always in the library doing homework with her friends.
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