Western astrology orients the zodiac to the point of the vernal equinox. This it marks as the beginning of the sign Aries, as we have indicated. Vedic astrology, on the other hand, according to my interpretation, orients the zodiac to the galactic center, to the central galactic Sun, whose influence comes to us through the fixed stars of the constellation Sagittarius. The galactic center is called "Brahma", the creative force, or "Vishnunabhi", the navel of Vishnu. From the galactic Sun emanates the light which determines life and intelligence on Earth and which directs the play of the seven rays of creation and the distribution of karma. It is the central point for determining the meaning of the signs of the zodiac, which reflect the twelvefold division of its light relative to our solar system.
In terms of the sidereal zodiac, the galactic center is located in early Sagittarius. In the Vedic system is found in the lunar constellation (nakshatra) called "Mula", meaning "the root or source". Mula can thus be seen as the first of the series of these lunar constellations. It marks the first 13 20' of Sagittarius, in the middle of which is located the galactic center. The last in the series of lunar constellations is "Jyeshta", meaning "the eldest". It marks the end of Scorpio. This shows that the ancients knew of the galactic center and named their constellations according to that knowledge, with it in the center. We should note the system of 27 lunar constellations is used in India, often more commonly than the 12 signs. This is because according to it the Moon resides in one constellation per day. It makes for easier observation than the sign system in which the Moon resides in each sign for two and a half days. If one knows the lunar constellation the Moon is on one day of the month, one will be able to figure it easily for the rest of the month. Such a system shows that Vedic astrology was based on a firm ground of observation of the stars. There are thus three main points of orientation for the Sidereal zodiac: these form a triangle---
Aries, as cardinal or creative fire is the field in which the cosmic light is projected.
Leo, as fixed fire, is the field into which it is sustained. Sagittarius, as mutable fire, is the field in which it is completed or transformed. This orientation is fixed according to the Sun's relationship to the galactic center. The galactic light comes through Jupiter and early Sagittarius and triangulates itself through Aries and Leo (located in trines or 120 degree angles from it).
The Sidereal zodiac maintains this consistent relationship with the galactic center. The Tropical zodiac is based upon a consistent Earth-Sun relationship via the equinoxes. The Sidereal zodiac measures the relationship between the solar system and the great galactic Sun. It reflects the influences which emanate from the center of the galaxy, as mediated and transmitted by the planets of our solar system.
The energy of the galactic center is transmitted mainly by the planet Jupiter, called "Guru", the teacher, in the Vedic system, and by Sagittarius, its positive sign. Jupiter is said to be the teacher of the Gods, the cosmic powers of light. In this respect he is even the teacher of the Sun who is the guide of the world. Jupiter represents and directs the light of the galactic Sun into our solar system.
In this manner we can divide the zodiac into three groups of four constellations:
The first division of the zodiac is directed by Mars, which through Aries, cardinal fire, initiates the zodiacal emanation of energy. This is the cardinal or creative quadrant of signs. It consists of Aries and Cancer, two cardinal signs, Taurus, a fixed sign, and Gemini, a mutable.
The cardinal quadrant of signs is responsible for beginning movement, initiating activity, guiding and directing the manifestation, casting the seed forces. The second division of the zodiac is directed by the Sun, which through Leo, fixed fire, stabilizes the zodiacal emanation of energy. This is the fixed quadrant of signs. It consists of two fixed signs, Leo and Scorpio, one cardinal, Libra, and one mutable, Virgo.
The fixed quadrant of signs is responsible for sustaining movement, stabilizing activity and bringing energy into form. It provides continuity to the forces in life.
The third division of the zodiac is directed by Jupiter, which through Sagittarius, mutable fire, brings the zodiacal emanation of energy to completion and fruition. This is the mutable quadrant of signs. It consists of two mutable signs, Sagittarius and Pisces, one cardinal, Capricorn, and one fixed, Aquarius. The mutable quadrant of signs is responsible for completing movement, transforming energy, destabilizing form. It moves us away from energy and form into the domain of thought.
All three divisions begin with a fire sign and end with a water sign of the same quality. The first group has fire and water of a cardinal sign, the second of a fixed sign and the third of mutable. These three groups of signs represent the movements of creation, preservation and destruction according to the galactic force transmitted through our solar system.
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