The Two Zodiacs

The ecliptic forms an angle of approximately 23a with the celcs-

tiai equator. The circles of the ecliptic and the equator intersect 2t two points, one of which is the vernal point, which the sun cross« at the spring equinox.

When the jaws of Western astrology were fixed following Ptolemy, sometime during the second century, the vernal point coincided with 0"' in the constellation of Aries. The West therefore assimilated 0° Aries to the vernal point, which was regarded as the definitive 0'' point of the zodiac. However, the vernal point is not fixed: it shifts slowly through the skies at a rate of 50V! seconds retrograde per year. For this reason, a discrepancy has grown up over the centuries between the signs of the Western zodiac and the original constellations.

The Western system is known as the tropical zodiac and depends on the apparent movement of the sun through the seasons. Indian Astrologers, aware of the movement of the vernal point, have preferred to adhere to a stellar or sidereal zodiac—this is the difference between Western astrology and the Indian system.


Ayanarraa is the distance between the starting point of the sidereal zodiac and the vernal point for any given age. lb calculate the ayanaima, tht following formula is used:

(present year - year of coincidence} x 0.0)4

I he Indians consider thai: the exact coincidence between the two zodiacs occurred in the year a.d, 397, For 1984 this would give us an Ayanamsa of-(J984-397) X 0.014 « 22*13'. However, both our own calculation* and T.bft*-i j!m „ avanamsa should reailv be dnv- (fJ i"' "■"»'"he tropical longitude for pi,,-,, ^ , ^ ^

vert these- positions to sidercl !'-np,t.jd<, it is therefore necessary to tfjbrrac,

The Twelve Signs of the Indo-Tibetan Z.dur

Tibetan astrologers call the i-rtun| hand <ie joh. wbtdt tfesv regard as a sphere rotating around th<- sunw of ^ten; M«rj once every twenty-four hours The c'.h is dhided i«o wthi khyim or houses, which the fwdv; of the >-..-,.!.*.;

The names of the signs are the same is those used in the Test, which demonstrates their common Mesopotamia or«:n. But a result of the procession of the equinox Arks in Tibet corresponds in our Western, system to the lan six degree«. r,f An« and: the first twenty-four of Taurus,

Let us superimpose the two zodiacs 1 Indo-Tibetaft in the m-



Table Correspondences Taurus

side. Western on the outside), as in the illustration. The meanings of the signs of the fndo-Tibetan zodiac are (airly closc to thosc of the Western system. Among the more important differences, however, is die division of the signs into day and night—the day signs are at their maximum strength during the day and the night signs during the night; and a slightly different set of correspondences between sign and part of rhe body (see table 19),

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