Although most cultural systems of astrology have shared common roots in ancient philosophies that influenced each other, the Indians, Chinese, and Mayans have developed their own unique and elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations which differ from those developed in the West. These include Vedic astrology and Chinese astrology, both of which is said to have influenced the world’s cultural history.
Vedic Astrology: List of Facts/Info
- also known as Indian astrology or Jyotish or Jyotisha, from Sanskrit jyotiṣa “light, heavenly body”
- is the traditional Hindu system of astronomy and astrology
- defined as a system of horoscopes, based on astronomical data that enables the careful assessment and understanding of person’s behavior, measuring of the effects of the past, the influence of the present and the tendency of events to unfold in the future.
- dates back over 6,000 years and was first mentioned in the Rig Veda, and references were also made in the classical Indian epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the classic Bhagavad-Gita
- focuses on the pragmatic concerns of life
- not fatalistic, but point to useful and actionable indications or probabilities that certain behaviors might emerge or that specific events could take place over time
- relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac in which the signs of the zodiac are aligned to the position of the corresponding constellations in the sky
- has a foundation based in the notion of bandhu of the Vedas (the world´s most ancient scriptures that gave evidence of a culture rich in the arts, philosophy, religion, and science), which is the connections that, according to the Vedas link the outer and the inner worlds
- includes several nuanced sub-systems of zodiac division or interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (nakshatras)
- uses sixteen varga or divisional, charts, of which one can find not only the basic natal chart called the “rasi”, but also a chart system employing 27 signs of the Moon, called the “nakshatras”, the “Navamsa”, a chart that is analyzed carefully for marriage matching and to uncover more subtle aspects of a person’s nature
has three branches:
- Siddhanta - Indian astronomy
- Samhita - Mundane astrology, which predicts important events related to countries such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology, house and construction related matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, portents, omens, and so on.
- Hora – Predictive astrology in detail
- the most widely recognized Vedic forecasting tool is called the “Vimshottari Dasa” system which can track the karmic influences promised by planet in a chart out to a span of 120 years, with each planet ruling a specific period of a person’s life
- has zodiac signs that correspond to parts of the body
- Lagna, the Ascendant which is the first moment of contact between the soul and its new life on earth, is very important house in Horoscope chart
- uses 9 grahas (planets), or navagrahas
Chinese Astrology: Facts/Info
- based on the traditional astronomy and calendars
- its development is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD).
- has a close relation with Chinese philosophy, which believes in the theory of the three harmonies: heaven, earth and man
- uses concepts not found in Western astrology, such yin and yang, the wu xing teachings, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, and shichen, a form of timekeeping used for religious purposes
- believes that a person’s destiny can be determined by the position of the major planets at the person’s birth along with the positions of the Sun, Moon and comets and the person’s time of birth and Chinese zodiac signs
- also believes that the year of birth indicates a certain phase or aspect of a 60-year cycle of time, which consists of two separate cycles interacting with each other namely:
- first is the cycle of ten heavenly stems, namely the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, in their Yin and Yang forms
- second is the cycle of the twelve Zodiac animal signs or Earthly Branches, which are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig
- also believes that one’s specific zodiac has great impact on a person’s persona, traits, future, achievements and the degree of success
- also based on 5 elements relative to the planet under which one was born, which means that the 5 planets Saturn, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are represented by the five elements Earth, fire, metal, wood and water respectively
- the specific combination of planet and the relative element influenced the character traits of animal signs
- also uses the month (inner animal) and hour of birth (secret animal) to establish a person’s characteristics and traits
- also believes in the system of the twelve-year cycle of animal signs, in which each year is named after an animal from the list snake, sheep, tiger, dragon, boar, rooster, monkey, rat, ox, horse, rabbit, and dog.
- also believed that the planets’ positions and the date of birth of a person play an important role in establishing his/her destiny
- still uses a system of computing one’s fate and destiny based on one’s birthday, birth season, and birth hours, known as Zi Wei Dou Shu in divining one’s fortune