Compare western and eastern astrology

In addition to this, my research on Western astrology entails some of the astrology of Ancient Babylon, so there was still an opportunity to discuss Babylonian astrological thought without designating a section for it for each different subheading. Despite omitting my separate research on Babylon from the report, I have included it in the attached draft.

However, upon investigating potential resources, I found that Western, Vedic and Chinese astrology are generally the most discussed astrological systems, with a copious amount of resources available on the subjects. Also, all three have mutual attributes; for example, they all have a Zodiac of some form; they all have celestial deification, to some degree; they all endorse the concept of polarity; and, finally, they all have a classification of elements.

This means that, despite their differences, they appear to have certain connections, making them effective for comparison.


Upon research, however, I have found that its origins are rooted in Ancient Greece and Ancient Babylon. So, while my research in this field has a geographically Western focus, I have inevitably had to include evidence that goes beyond this in order to deeply compare Western astrology with the other traditions. Hinduism is a religion that formed in the Indus Valley civilisation in India between - BC 2. This type of astrology exists in both ancient Sanskrit texts from India that underlie Hinduism, as well as more recent publications that reiterate Vedic astrology for a Western audience.

Chinese Astrology This field of research involves the astrological and cosmological ideas within Chinese philosophy and religion. This involves popular Chinese astrology such as the twelve Zodiac animal years which are now widely known in the West 3 , as well as early Chinese folk religion and other spirituality systems such as Taoism that have emerged from the geographical location of East Asia. Through evidence collected from my research, I have evaluated the differences between the Zodiac signs themselves, their origin, and their application.

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In my own brief and informal investigation of looking through popular magazines in UK supermarkets, I found that OK! With this considered, Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos can be recognised as a solid record of the Western Zodiac. As mentioned earlier, however, prior to their presence in Ancient Greece the twelve zodiac signs were born in Babylon. Finally, the Western zodiac is characterised by the fact that it is tropical.

The Zodiac signs are not determined by the exact positions of these constellations. From this is can be deduced that, in Western astrology, the Zodiac cycle orientates seasonally, as opposed to coordinating with the positions of the constellations. These two descriptions of the Vedic sign in conjunction with each other provide a solid understanding of the Vedic conception of Aries.

Because they are the same zodiac, it can be assumed that they share origins from Ancient Babylon. The major difference between the Vedic and Western zodiacs is that, while the Western Zodiac is tropical and based on the seasons, Vedic astrology is alternatively sidereal, meaning it does correspond with the constellations. As Frawley explains, the Western Zodiac is tropical. He then explains that, alternatively, the Vedic zodiac is Sidereal. This means that while the signs themselves are the same as the West despite the inevitable linguistic difference of the Vedic signs being in Sanskrit , they are in slightly different positions.

For instance, somebody who is a Capricorn in Western astrology will be a Sagittarius the previous sign in Vedic astrology. This is because, over time, the constellations are gradually moving out of line with the seasonal cycle of the Tropical Zodiac; according to www. In conclusion, therefore, Vedic and Western astrology share the same signs of the Zodiac, however there is a significant contrast in which the signs of the Zodiac are positioned. Therefore, the first major difference between astrology systems that can be established is the way in which the Zodiacs are applied in Western and Vedic astrology.

Like in the Western and Vedic zodiac, distinctive personality traits are assigned to each sign. Evidently, the Chinese Zodiac is not dissimilar from its Western and Vedic counterparts in that it consists of twelve distinctive signs, each with different personal qualities. However, the signs themselves contrast significantly as they are based on the legend of the animals, and not the constellations originally registered in Ancient Babylon. While the Western and Vedic zodiac originates in Ancient Babylon, some sources claim that the Eastern Zodiac adopted by China was devised prior to this and is in fact the oldest Zodiac to exist.

It could be argued, therefore, that a key difference between the Zodiac of the animals and the Zodiac of constellations is that the Zodiac of the animals came significantly earlier. In regard to the formulation of the animal signs, Wu explains the legend of the twelve zodiacal animals later in the same publication, which provides an insight into their origin.

Upon celebration of the Chinese New Year, all of the animals in the kingdom were invited, but only 12 creatures attended.

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Again, this contrasts significantly with the Zodiac of the Western and Vedic traditions, where the signs are not derived from a fable but are instead based on constellations documented in Ancient Babylon and presented by Ptolemy. Finally, a distinctive attribute of the Chinese Zodiac is that, unlike the Western and Vedic Zodiac, it is neither tropical nor sidereal.

In fact, some sources suggest that the signs of the Zodiac are based on the movement of Jupiter and the Moon. It is difficult to establish exactly the application of the Chinese Zodiac, as Campion implies that this theory is merely a suggestion. However, it can be confirmed that is not related to stars in neither a tropical or sidereal respect, which can be considered a major contrast between Chinese astrology and Western and Vedic astrology.

This concerns the religious and theological aspect of the three astrological practices, which I believe to be relevant in comparing the three systems. Western Astrology As with most aspects of Western astrology, to investigate whether or not celestial deification is present in the tradition, its roots in Ancient Greece can be invoked. Particularly, the works of Ptolemy whose influential role in Western astrology has been established in the previous section contain information regarding the Western attitudes towards and understandings of the planets. This differs vastly from Vedic astrology, where the planets are presented to possess deific and non-human qualities.

This will be elaborated on in more depth in the next subheading.

Vedic Astrology Vs Western Astrology: A Direct Comparison

Ultimately, Western astrology according to Ptolemy does not address the planets with qualities as particularly extravagant or deified, as they are in other systems. This could perhaps be interpreted as suggesting a lack of celestial deification in Western astrology. Alternatively, however, there are modern resources on the subject of Western astrology suggesting that the planets do indeed correspond with deities.

Upon further research it is evident that Reed has based these correspondences on the etymology of the Western planets. As defined on www.

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This would imply that there is planetary deification in the sense that the planets are comparable to Gods, at least in this publication. To conclude, it is difficult to establish the presence of deification in Western astrology, simply because different sources imply contrasting ideas. Vedic Astrology There is a strong presence of planetary deification throughout the Vedic tradition of astrology.

Vyasa is a central figure in the compilation of ancient Vedic doctrines such as the Rig Veda, that underlie the Hindu religion I worship the Sun, who has the lustre of a red hibiscus, who has the power of perception, of great effulgence, the dispeller of darkness, who destroys all sins, the maker of the day. I worship the Moon, who has the colour of yogurt, seashell or snow, who arose from the ocean of milk, whom Shiva wears as a crest jewel on his head.

I worship Mars, who is born from the womb of the Earth, who has the beautiful brilliance of lightning, the Divine youth who carries a spear in his hand. I worship Mercury, who is dark like the priyangu flower, who has an unequalled form, the intelligent son of the Moon, endowed with a gentle nature. I worship Jupiter, the teacher of the Gods and the seers, who has the luster of gold, endowed with wisdom, the ruler of the three worlds.

I worship Venus, who has the beautiful luster of a snowy mountain, who is the supreme teacher of the demons, who explains all the scriptures. I worship Saturn, who is dark blue in colour, who is born before the God of death, the son of the Sun and shadow.

I worship Rahu, who has only half a body, great in valor, who oppresses the Sun and Moon, who was born from the womb of a lion. I worship Ketu, whose head is the stars and planets, who has the dark lustre of a Palasha flower, who is fierce and terrible in nature. In practice, planet worship is an established part of the Hindu religion. According to www. Therefore, in regard to celestial deification there is a major contrast between Western and Vedic astrology. Chinese Astrology Unlike the Vedic tradition, Chinese astrology lacks a structured worship system for each planet.

However, there is still a presence of celestial deification, or at least a religious element to the astronomy of early China, which is primarily in the form of the Ancient Chinese God Di also known as Shangdi. Sinologist and author David W. From these resources, it can be concluded that Shangdi was one of the earliest, if not first, Gods recognised by early Chinese civilisation.

Difference Between Western Astrology and Vedic Astrology

This has been discovered through the oracle bone scripts, also known as oracle bone texts. The graphs of Shangdi that were originally inscribed on these oracle bones are shown in figures 7 and 8. This statement, in conjunction with the history of the oracle bones provided by the Cambridge Library website, solidifies the fact that Shangdi was the original Chinese God. Considering that Shangdi was associated with the celestial North Pole, this can perhaps be understood to suggest that there was deification of the sky in early China.

Beyond Shangdi, however, I have not succeeded in finding further evidence suggesting that celestial deification is an established feature of Chinese astrology.

Western Astrology vs Vedic Astrology (Mathematical and Scientific Explanation)

This arguably makes it similar to the Western system, where astrology generally appears to be secular. Western Astrology In the Western tradition, both masculine and feminine, and diurnal and nocturnal day and night dualities are attached to the different zodiac signs. This can be understood through the invocation of some of the earliest astrological texts, from which Western astrology is derived from.

Here, Ptolemy states explicitly that there is a divide between the natures of both signs, regarding their genders and associated time of day. As will be explained later, this is highly comparable to the Vedic system of astrology where there is also a presence of celestial masculinity and femininity. This concept that Ptolemy addresses has been adopted by the Western system of astrology. However, the idea appears to have evolved; one source I have found does not mention the Zodiac signs to be alternatingly diurnal and nocturnal, but instead applies this idea to the planets.

Therefore, from its Ancient Greek roots to its modern expressions, Western astrology evidently endorses astrological polarity in the form of both masculine and feminine and diurnal and nocturnal dualities. Vedic Astrology Polarity exists in Vedic astrology through the assigned genders, and corresponding elements, of celestial bodies.