Introduction to Vedic Astrology (JYOTISH)
Vedic Astrology is an ancient Indian science which explains planetary motions and positions with respect to time and their effect on humans and other entities on earth.
Astrology is the science of the effects of the planets movements on our lives and all things. Astrology is based on astronomy in that astrologers need to know the correct positions of the planets at any given time, as well as the correct positions of the zodiacal fixed star signs in relation to any place on earth at any given time. Once the correct positions of the signs and planets are known, the astrologer then constructs charts representing these positions, and using the astrological science, studies the charts and can make quite a wide range of conclusions about the moment the chart was cast for.
Astrology sees mankind as being not only influenced by hereditary factors and the environment, but also by the state of our solar system at the moment of birth. The planets are regarded as basic life-forces, the tools we live by as well as the basis of our very substance. These planetary forces take on different forms, depending on their zodiacal position and on the way they relate to one another. The aspects formed between the planets describe these relationships, the positions of the planets in relation to the place of birth tell us of their expression in the spheres of life depicted by the astrological houses. By interpreting the roles of these players (the planets) and their qualities (the elements, signs and houses) and creating a synthesis, astrology is able to present a complete and comprehensive picture of the person and his potential, based on the natal horoscope.
Astrology is without doubt the original science, the oldest of the sysytems of knowledge devised by human beings.It is the science of fate/destiny used for understanding events happening on earth.
Astrology is not only the foremost of the outer sciences which deal with the nature of the physical universe, it is one of the most important of the inner or spiritual sciences which deal with the mind and soul. Vedic astrology (Jyotisha) has three main branches:
- Siddhanta (Astronomy)
- Samhita (Mundane astrology)
- Hora (Predictive astrology)
THE ZODIAC : In order to determine these positions and groupings accurately, Astrologers use a fixed background or plane of reference called the Zodiac.The Zodiacal Circle is in the same plane as the Eclip?tic which is the approximate path of the Earth and Plan?ets in their motion around the Sun. The Zodiac, therefore, is merely the Ecliptic extended limitlessly into space.
These twelve equal sections or divisions of the Zodiac are called the Signs of the Zodiac and are named and numbered as follows: (l) Aries (2) Taurus (3) Gemini (4) Cancer (5) Leo (6) Virgo (7) Libra (8) Scorpio (9) Sagittarius (10) Capricorn (11) Aquarius (12) Pisces
Vedic Terminology : 1. Mesha 2. Vrishabha 3. Mithuna 4. Karka 5. Sinha 6. Kanya 7. Tula 8. Vrischika 9. Dhanu 10. Makara 11. Kumbha 12. Mina
THE ASTERISMS or NAKSHTRA :
It was observed by the ancient Astronomers that many changes occurred within the 30 degree zones mapped out by the Zodiac. It was therefore, found necessary to subdivide each of the twelve sections or Signs of the Zodiac. Using the belt of Fixed Stars which en?circle the Earth at the Equator as markers, they divided the Zodiacal Background into 27 sections, the boundary of each being marked by a particular Fixed Star, located close to the Zodiacal belt. These sections are known as the Asterisms or Nakshatras.
They begin at the same point in the Constellation Aries which marks the beginning of the Zodiac,. and since each extends over an arc of 13?-20′, there are therefore twenty-seven of them in the complete circle of 360 degrees.
PLANETS : The Zodiac and the Asterisms form the fixed back?ground to which all the variables or moving points used in Astrology are referred. A sort of backdrop, in front of which the drama of our solar system is played.