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Ayanamsha in Vedic Astrology: The difference between Vedic (Sidereal) Zodiac and Western (Tropical) Zodiac.

Definition: In astrology, this is the longitudinal difference between the Tropical (Syana) and Sidereal (Nirayana) zodiacs. Suryasiddhanta (iii, 9-10) defines about ayanamsha. This longitudinal difference between the two zodiacs is called the "Ayanamsha". The Ayanamsha takes into account the revolution of the earth's axis, a phenomenon in Astrology known as the "precession of the equinoxes". To explain this in the simplest way possible the earth spins on its own axis in a conical motion ( ) and takes approximately 25,800 years to complete one revolution. It means that every 2000 years the position of the vernal or spring equinox ( ), which marks the beginning point of the first sign of the zodiac Aries is always changing and moving forwards in time. Consequently

( ) the pole star also changes every few thousand years as seen in the figure below.

Astronomically speaking, axial precession ( ) is a, slow and continuous change in the orientation of an astronomical body's rotational axis. In particular, it refers to the gradual shift in the orientation of Earth's axis of rotation, which, like a wobbling top ( ), traces out a pair of cones joined at their apices in a cycle of approximately 26,000 years (called a Great or Platonic Year ( ) in astrology).

When a person born today has the Sun at 10 degrees in Aries using the Tropical Zodiac, in actual astronomical reality the Sun will be 23 degrees backwards placed in the sign of Pisces.

For example when the Sun used to move into Aries on the 21st of March at 200 A.D. today it will enter the sign of Aries around the 14th of April. When the Sun moved into the sign of Scorpio on the 22nd October at 200 A.D. today it will enter the sign of Scorpio around the 14th of November. This the reason why the present day SUN SIGN ASTROLOGY is COMPLETELY WRONG. The Sidereal Zodiac used in Vedic Astrology is astronomically accurate because it takes the shifting of the earth's axis into account when calculating the longitudes of the planets and constellations. The Tropical Zodiac used in Western Astrology is a Symbolic Zodiac based upon the position of the planets and constellations as they were in the sky 2000 years ago. The Sidereal zodiac is the real zodiac as it actually appears in the sky at any given moment. In order to convert a Western (tropical) horoscope into a Vedic (sidereal) horoscope one needs to subtract the current ayanamsa from the Tropical longitudes of the planets and signs to get their Sidereal positions. Because the earth's axis is always changing its position the ayanamsa changes slightly every year. In January 1, 1900 the ayanamsa was 22 degrees 27 minutes 59 seconds. Today the ayanamsa is 23 52' degrees. There are various ayanamsas in use today. There are some disagreements on the actual measurement of the ayanamsa or longitudinal difference between the two zodiacs. The most popular and widely accepted ayanamsa in India was introduced by N.C. Lahiri. He calculates the precession rate to be around 48 seconds per year. An Astrological Age: It is a time period which astrology postulates ( ) parallels major changes in the development of Earth's inhabitants (culture, society, politics etc..) There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in astrology. At the completion of one cycle of twelve astrological ages, the cycle repeats itself. Astrological ages occur because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. One complete period of this precession is called a Great Year or Platonic Year ( ) of about 25,920 years.