In this article, I will try to give you short summary of the other differences between Western and Vedic astrology
1 – House System
Most modern Western astrologers use one of the many house systems that places the degree of the Ascendant as the beginning of the First House, with either unequally- or equally-sized houses.
Vedic astrologers use Whole Sign Houses, where the Ascendant can fall anywhere in the First House, and each house comprises all of one sign.
2- Planets and Sign rulerships
Western astrologers use all of the major planets including Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and most attribute rulership of Aquarius to Uranus, Pisces to Neptune, and Scorpio to Pluto.
Vedic astrologers, on the other hand, stick to the visible planets, i.e. all the planets till Saturn, using the traditional rulerships, of Aquarius to Saturn, Pisces to Jupiter, and Scorpio to Mars.
some astrologers are using and the so-called ghost planets – Gulika and Mandi
in the modern Vedic astrology the outer planets are used only for world predictions. Please note that in my personal readings I pay attention to the outer planets, only if they are closely conjunct to some of the personal planets. In this way the Uranus, Pluto and Neptune will affect your natal chart on higher level
Western astrologers use an assortment of aspects, always including the five Ptolemaic aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition), with tight orbs of 10 degrees or less, determined by the type of aspect. Planets only aspect other planets and the angles (Ascendant and Midheaven).
Vedic astrologers use a different approach: each planet associates with all planets in the same house, and aspects the opposite house and any planets in that house. Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter also have additional special aspects to both planets and houses.
Western astrology chart
Vedic astrology charts
North and South Indian
4- Differences in Approaches and Methodology
Here we can say a lot of differences, most important are :
- Strengths and Weaknesses of Planets
In Western astrology, retrograde planets are seen as weak, but since Vedic astrology is oriented towards how planets appear in the actual sky, retrograde planets are seen as strong (because planets that are retrograde are at their closest approach to the earth, and therefore visibly both brighter and larger).
Western astrologers also see planets occupying the sign opposite to the sign they rule as weak (which they call debilitated), while Vedic astrologers do not see such sign positions as weak. (This gets confusing to Western readers of Vedic texts, because Vedic astrologers do see planets in the sign opposite to their exaltation sign as weak, and call such planets either debilitated or fallen interchangeably.)
Modern Western astrologers seldom employ the concept of combustion (i.e. when a planets is near the Sun), but Vedic astrologers utilize combustion as a fundamental principle: a planets is weak when within 6 degrees of the Sun (and very weak within 3 degrees of the Sun).
Some Western astrologers interpret 8 lunar phases, but they generally don’t assess Lunar strength by phase. Vedic astrologers place great importance on Lunar phase, and delineate 30 different Tithis, and consider the Moon as weak when it’s within 72 degrees of the Sun, and strong when within one sign of opposite to the Sun. (They also see the Moon as weaker when waning than when waxing.)
Vedic astrologers consider true planets (Mercury through Saturn) that are within one degree of each other as at war, and this indicates a major weakness. This is not used in Western astrology.
In Vedic astrology, planets get directional strength (Dig Bala) by occupying specific houses: Jupiter & Mercury in the 1st, Moon & Venus in the 4th, Sun & Mars in the 10th, and Saturn in the 7th. Western astrologers do not use this concept.
The status of a planet’s dispositor is rarely focused on in Western astrology, but in Vedic astrology, each planet’s dispositor is seen as the soul of the planet, and is therefore very important. In fact, while exalted planets in Western astrology are always seen as very strong without qualification, in Vedic astrology, if the planet ruling the sign occupied by an exalted planet is weak by sign, then the exalted planet is not seen as strong. Fallen planets are seen as invariably weak in Western astrology, but in Vedic astrology they are strengthened if their dispositor is strong, angular, or meets other criteria.
Mutual reception is used by some Western astrologers and by all Vedic astrologers. In Vedic astrology, it is called a Parivartana yoga, and has extensive interpretive meanings including strengthening planets in both the natal and divisional charts.
- Benefics and Malefics
While Western astrology recognizes Saturn as challenging, the concept of benefic and malefic planets is employed to a much greater extent in Vedic astrology. E.g. Mercury is benefic unless solely under the influence of other malefics, the Moon is benefic unless within 72 degrees of the Sun, and Jupiter and Venus are always benefic. The Sun, Mars, Saturn, and the Nodes are malefics.
- House Meanings and Rulership
Houses in Western astrology are rarely classified beyond their angularity or lack thereof, and their elemental affiliation. In Vedic astrology, houses are classified by a multitude of criteria including good/bad, upachaya/apachaya (improving or not), kendras & trikonas, marakas, and more.
The rulership of houses is used by some Western astrologers, but is at the core of Vedic astrological interpretation. The analysis of planetary yogas in the Vedic chart relies mainly upon the houses ruled by individual planets and pairs of planets.
5- Additional Methods of Analysis
Transits, especially by the outer planets, are the main predictive device used by Western astrologers, but some use progressions and/or directions too. Vedic astrologers rely primarily upon the Vimshottari dasa system (cycles and sub-cycles wherein specific natal planets are activated ), and secondarily employ the transits of Jupiter and Saturn (but not the transits by Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto). Some also employ other dasa systems.
Nakshatras- also called Lunar mensions
Western astrologers rarely use the lunar mansions, but Vedic astrologers, who call them Nakshatras, use them for dasa calculation, electional astrology (Muhurta), and for natal work
Nakshatras are my favourite part of Vedic astrology and I will try to give you more information about them – they are fascinating mixture of astrology, beauty and mythology….i just love them
Harmonic charts, called Varga or Divisional charts in Vedic astrology, are essential to natal and predictive analysis in Jyotish, but are unused in Western astrology.
Western astrology is rich in methods of compatibility analysis including examining placement of planets in each other’s houses, inter-aspects (between the charts), and a variety of combined (e.g. Composite) charts.
Vedic compatibility assessment is primarily done by examining the two partner’s Moon positions, examining many Lunar attributes. In addition, the Navamsha chart is used in both in assessing the partner and in timing of relationships (and the changing relationship climate).
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At the heart of who you are you have the understanding; you comprehend who you are and you understand what you needed.
it is an interesting article, thanks for the attempt to compare the systems.
Yet not all information seems valid as far as Western astrology goes. I don’t know vedic astrology, so difficult to compare. Here are some notes:
– All astrologers who I know use combustion
– some use day/ night charts and benefic / malefic nature of the planets (it comes more from hellenistic astrologers being more active last years like Astrology Podcast team).
– all western astrologers who I’ve learned with do use disposition if you mean dispositor / ruler of the sign the planet is in and also which planet it rules itself (e.g. Sun in Libra is ruled by Venus, Venus ruling the planets which are in Taurus and Libra).
– Western astrologers differ in opinion about what orbs to use (for Sun & Moon, for personal planets and for outer planets). Those to work with whole sign system approach it differently than who works with other house systems. Same for Sun & Moon aspects, it also depends on the whole chart what role planets play in the chart.
– I don’t know how uniform is the vedic system in terms of passing the knowledge from teacher to student, in Western because is it so widely different nowadays what experience people have and where they learn, what system they combine and practice, it becomes more important how a particular astrologer works with the chart and planetary influence, astrology, rather than to say that there is some commonly used way.
Kapiel Raaj’s channel indeed is a gem on Youtube. Haven’t taken his consultation, yet learned a lot from his videos on youtube.
Hello, thank you for the comment 🙂 🙂 😉
There are many different approaches in Western and Vedic, so maybe some of the things that I have written about Western Astrology are not valid for everyone – same as Vedic 🙂