What Is Vedic Astrology

Vedic Astrology is a modern term for Hindu Astrology, an ancient tradition of divination based on the positions of heavenly bodies. Originating in India, Vedic Astrology differs in many fundamental ways from Western Astrology.

The term “Vedic” comes from the word “veda”. The vedas are holy texts. Written in Sanskrit in India during the Iron Age (approximately 1000 BC to 300 BC), the Vedas are the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. In fact, the Vedas are among the oldest religious texts in the world. Although first written down three thousand years ago, the knowledge contained in the Vedas was transmitted through oral tradition before this and may be much older. The Vedas contain hymns, prayers, poems, spells, and incantations. In some Hindu traditions, it is believed that the Vedas were not composed by humans, but rather revealed through divine means. Mantras, or verses, of the holy Vedic texts are still recited today in modern Hindu ceremonies. Although much of modern Vedic Astrology originated after the creation of the Vedas, referring to Hindu Astrology as “Vedic” evokes the history and magic of those ancient texts.
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Vedic Astronomy is split into three categories or branches. The first, Siddhanta, concerns itself with direct study of the stars, planets, and other astronomical features. The second branch, Samhita, concerns itself with predicting political or personal events. Such predictions are known throughout all astrological traditions as “mundane astrology” because they concern themselves with the world, “mundus” in Latin. The third branch is known as Hora, which deals with more precise and individual prediction. Examples of the type of divination which would be classified under Hora include: natal astrology (that is, horoscopes based on one’s birth place and time), numerology, palmistry, omens, and dream interpretation.

Although influenced by the Hellenistic (Greek) zodiac in the first centuries A.D., the zodiac used in Vedic Astrology differs from the one used in Western Astrology in that Vedic Astrology uses a sidereal definition of a year rather than a tropical one. This means that in Vedic Astrology, time is measured based on fixed positions of stars rather than on Earth’s position relative to the sun. This means that Vedic zodiac signs are more accurately associated with planets’ placement.

Both Western and Vedic Astrology are based on the same constellations of stars seen in the night sky, and use the same symbols and dates. In addition to one’s zodiac being associated with a constellation, ruling planet, and symbol, in Vedic Astrology zodiacs are also connected to a part of the human body. For example, Aries is associated with the head; Capricorn with the knees.

There are sixteen different charts which can be drawn by practitioners of Vedic astrology. Topics of charts include wealth, children, spouse, career, fame, death, and quality of life among many others. There is even a special chart helped to differentiate the horoscopes of twins. Signifiers are another important part of Vedic Astrology. These are concepts used in horoscopy to plot the course of a life. For example, “atmakaraka” represents the soul’s desire. Vedic Astrology is a complex system of divination with roots in the oldest spiritual traditions in the world. Over time, it has been influenced by other world traditions, developing into a vibrant system with practitioners worldwide.

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