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Astrology Corner: Why your Vedic sun sign is usually different from the Western sun sign

In the West, ‘What’s your sign’ refers to the zodiacal sign that the Sun was passing through at the time of birth. It usually relates to ‘if you’re born in this month, this is your sign’ as there are 12 months and 12 signs. Though many people benefit from Western astrology, its sun sign is usually not accurate because Western astrology uses the Tropical zodiac. It is oriented towards the seasons and has a symbolic relationship with the signs. E.g. Aries symbolizes new beginnings, like spring – so the first day of spring is always considered the first day of Aries, regardless of where the Sun is in the sky. This does not take into account something called the Precession of the Equinox.

In astronomy, the Sun entered the sign of Aries on the first day of springtime 1,500 years ago. Since then, the day the Sun entered Aries has changed about 1 degree every 72 years. This is called the Precession of the Equinox, a way of describing how earth wobbles on its axis. By now, the signs have shifted by almost 24 degrees and this means that unless you were born within the first 6 degrees in your constellation, your Sun sign in the Vedic system is the sign prior to your Western sign. E.g. if you were born on September 1st you think you’re a Virgo when in actuality you are a Leo.

Vedic astrology uses the Sidereal zodiac, which is aligned with the stars in the heavens as they are today, thus the planets are placed in their actual positions as you view the sky. Thus in the Vedic system your (sun) sign is related to these dates:

Aries: April 13 - May 13

Taurus: May 14 - June 13

Gemini: June 14 - July 15

Cancer: July 16 - Aug 15

Leo: Aug 16 - Sep 15

Virgo: Sep 16 - Oct 15

Libra: Oct 16 - Nov 14

Scorpio: Nov 15 - Dec 14

Sagittarius: Dec 15 - Jan 12

Capricorn: Jan 13 - Feb 11

Aquarius: Feb 12 - Mar 13

Pisces: Mar 14 - April 12

This can sometimes cause people who are identified with their horoscope to become unsettled, because their sign is something different from what they thought it is. For some people that’s a relief because their sign did not resonate with them. However, if you identify with your Western sun sign, it is likely for another reason. There could be something else prominent in that sign: your moon, the Ascendant, or the planet that rules the sign could be in its own sign and thus give you the qualities of that sign.

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