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Sidereal and tropical are terms used to describe two different definitions of a year. In astrology, they refer to two different systems of ecliptic coordinates used to divide the ecliptic into twelve 'signs'. Each sign is divided into 30 degrees, making a total of 360 degrees.[1]

Explore the Astrology Charts of Famous people and celebrities. Explore the astrological natal birth charts of nearly 20,000 celebrities and famous people. Search for specific planetary placements, aspects or chart patterns to deepen your understanding of astrology. Search for person by name below. On Astrotheme, we take them into account, but with moderation, in our astrological reports and our on-line applications. Rulership A planet posited in the sign it rules is said to be in its rulership, domicile, or home. The 12 Houses of astrology are symbolic of the all the departments that make up human life. The planets and zodiac signs will manifest themselves most strongly in the sphere of life represented by the House in which they fall on your chart (and also in the House which they rule; more on House Rulerships below ).

While sidereal systems of astrology define the signs relative to the apparent backwards movement of fixed stars of about 1 degree every 72 years from the perspective of the Earth, tropical systems fix the vernal point or vernal equinox (also known as the March equinox in the Northern hemisphere) to 0 degrees of Aries and define the rest of the zodiac from this point.[2][3][4] Sidereal astrology uses corrective systems known as ayanamsas (Sanskrit: 'ayana' 'movement' + 'aṃśa' 'component') to account for the precession of equinoxes, whereas tropical astrology does not use such measures.[3][5] This has caused the two systems, which were identical around 2,000 years ago, to drift apart over the centuries.[2][3][5]

Delayed marriage in vedic astrology. Ayanamsa systems used in Hindu astrology (also known as Vedic astrology) include the Lahiri ayanamsa and the Raman ayanamsa.[6] The Fagan-Bradley ayanamsa is an example of an ayanamsa system used in Western sidereal astrology.[6] As of 2020, sun signs calculated using the Sri Yukteswar ayanamsa were around 23 degrees behind tropical sun signs.[5] Per these calculations, persons born between March 12 - April 12, for instance, would have the sun sign of Pisces.[5] By contrast, persons born between March 21 - April 19 would have the sun sign of Aries per tropical calculations.[7]

Cyril Fagan, a Western sidereal astrologer, assumed the origin of the zodiac to be based on a major conjunction that occurred in 786 BC when the vernal equinox lay somewhere in mid-Aries[8] corresponding to a difference of some 39 degrees or days.

Precession of equinoxes, the changing position of the vernal equinox over the course of about 25,800 years. The yellow line is a section of the ecliptic, the apparent path the Sun appears to follow over the course of an Earth year. The purple line is the celestial equator, the projection of Earth's equator onto the celestial sphere. The point (red) where these two lines cross is the vernal equinox. In 1500 BCE, it was near the end of Aries; in 500 BCE, it was near the beginning of Aries; and in 1000 to 2500 CE Pisces.

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Astronomic zodiac[edit]

A small number of sidereal astrologers do not take the astrological signs as an equal division of the ecliptic but define their signs based on the actual width of the individual constellations. They also include constellations that are disregarded by the traditional zodiac but are still in contact with the ecliptic.[citation needed]

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Stephen Schmidt in 1970 introduced Astrology 14, a system with additional signs based on the constellations of Ophiuchus and Cetus.[citation needed]

In 1995, Walter Berg introduced his 13-sign zodiac, which has the additional sign of Ophiuchus. Berg's system was well received in Japan after his book was translated by radio host Mizui Kumi (水井久美) in 1996.[citation needed]

For the purpose of determining the constellations in contact with the ecliptic, the constellation boundaries as defined by the International Astronomical Union in 1930 are used. For example, the Sun enters the IAU boundary of Aries on April 19 at the lower right corner, a position that is still rather closer to the 'body' of Pisces than of Aries. The IAU defined the constellation boundaries without consideration of astrological purposes.[citation needed]

The dates the Sun passes through the 13 astronomical constellations of the ecliptic are listed below, accurate to the year 2011. The dates will progress by an increment of one day every 70.5 years. The corresponding tropical and sidereal dates are given as well.

SymbolConstellationTropical date[7]Sidereal Date
Cyril Fagan[citation needed]
Based on IAU boundaries
Walter Berg[9]
AriesMarch 21 – April 20April 15 – May 15April 18 – May 13
TaurusApril 21 – May 21May 16 – June 15May 13 – June 21
GeminiMay 22 – June 21June 16 – July 16June 21 – July 20
CancerJune 22 – July 22July 17 – August 16July 20 – August 10
LeoJuly 23 – August 22August 17 – September 16August 10 – September 16
VirgoAugust 23 – September 23September 17 – October 17September 16 – October 30
LibraSeptember 24 – October 23October 18 – November 16October 30 – November 23
ScorpioOctober 24 – November 22November 17 – December 16November 23 – November 29
OphiuchusN/ANovember 29 – December 17
SagittariusNovember 23 – December 21December 17 – January 15December 17 – January 20
CapricornDecember 22 – January 20January 16 – February 14January 20 – February 16
AquariusJanuary 21 – February 19February 15 – March 15February 16 – March 11
PiscesFebruary 20 – March 20March 16 – April 14March 11 – April 18

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See also[edit]


  1. ^'The Tropical, Sidereal & Constellational Zodiacs: the Power of World View'. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  2. ^ abSubramanian, Vijaya. 'Sidereal and Tropical Zodiac – Vijaya Jyoti'. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  3. ^ abcgalacticcenter (2016-10-10). 'What is Vedic Astrology?'. Galactic Center with Joni Patry. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. ^Taya. 'Understanding Sidereal Charts'. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  5. ^ abcdVallée, Guylaine (2020-03-01). 'What's Your Vedic Astrological Sign?'. Birla Vedic Center. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  6. ^ ab'Ayanamshas in Sidereal Astrology'. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  7. ^ ab'Zodiac Sign Dates: What Are The Dates for Every Star Sign?'. Astrostyle: Astrology and Daily, Weekly, Monthly Horoscopes by The AstroTwins. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  8. ^
  9. ^'New astrological sign: Professor finds horoscopes may be a little off kilter'. Los Angeles Times. Times. January 14, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011.
  • 'The Real Constellations of the Zodiac.' Dr. Lee T. Shapiro, Planetarian, Vol 6, #1, Spring (1977). [1]
  • 'The Real, Real Constellations of the Zodiac.' John Mosley, Planetarian, Vol. 28, # 4, December (1999).[2]
  • 'The Primer of Sidereal Astrology,' Cyril Fagin and Brigadier R. C. Firebrace, American Federation of Astrologers, Inc., (1971) ISBN0-86690-427-1
  • A History of Western Astrology, by S. Jim Tester, 1987, republished by Boydell Press (January 1999),ISBN0-85115-255-4, ISBN978-0-85115-255-4
  • Raymond, Andrew (1995). Secrets of the Sphinx Mysteries of the Ages Revealed. Hawaii: U N I Productions. ISBN0-9646954-6-4.

External links[edit]

  • Vedic astrology -- critically examined by Dieter Koch, with an extended discussion of sidereal and tropical astrology.
  • Sidereal Right Ascensions by Juan Antonio Revilla

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