SITE FRANÇAIS CONTACT INFORMATION
The Difference Between East and West
Approximately 2000 years ago, both eastern (sidereal) and western (tropical) systems of astrology agreed that the location of 0˚Aries was the starting point of the 360-degree zodiac comprised of 12 signs of 30° each. March 21st marked the Spring equinox and the beginning of the zodiac at 0˚ Aries. A divergence between the two systems resulted, however, due to a fundamental difference in the calculation of this point. Western astrology bases the location of 0˚Aries according to the yearly calendar that, with mechanical regularity, heralds the beginning of the astrological cycle - every March 21st. In contrast to this clockwork-like mechanism, eastern astrology takes into account the actual location of the constellation Aries in the sky, as viewed from Earth, specifically a location that changes almost imperceptibly due to a wobble in the yearly orbit of the earth around the Sun. Each year, this wobble accounts for a variance estimated to be approximately 50 seconds per year. From centuries past, until the present, this gap has grown increasingly wider as the two zodiacs move apart. Today, due to this wobbling effect, an increment of about 23˚ min. exists. This increment, called the ayanamsha, indicates the difference between the placement of this starting point according to both systems.
For this reason, planets in your eastern chart will often be found in the preceding sign to the one in your western chart. For example, if you were born in late March, a western astrologer would consider your Sun to be in the sign of Aries. An eastern astrologer would consider your Sun to be in the sign of Pisces. Different astrologers calculate charts using different ayanamshas. Over the last 20 centuries, the gap between the eastern and western approach to the starting point of the zodiac has widened to approximately 23°. This increment is called the ayanamsha. What is 0° Aries according to Western astrology is in fact 7° Pisces according to the East. As each sign is 30°, we subtract the 23° difference of the ayanamsha from 0° Aries which results in 7° Pisces. Many astrologers disagree about the actual degree and minute, and the degree of their ayanamshas range from 19° to 27°.
We use the ayanamsha arrived at by the Rishi astrologer Sri Yukteswar (23°) whose calculations of the Vedic time cycles are found in his book, The Holy Science.