What is a horoscope? (II)

As we pointed out in the previous section, referring to any form of display or presentation, the artist/author has to heed the basic rule: make a distinction! That also is the case for marking a planet’s position on the ecliptic circle. The ecliptic is divided into twelve segments of 30° each, the so called sun signs, called the zodiac. They represent developmental stages in a logical order thus describing an organic whole that has a beginning and an end, starting in Aries and ending in Pisces.

But a circle has no beginning. We need a criterion. Astronomy bases the signs based on the fixed stars, the visible constellations, as does Indian astrology (sidereal system) while Western astrology takes the vernal equinox as its starting point (tropical system). While both systems once, millennia ago, coincided they now have moved about 24° apart, one degree every 72 years, because of the earth’s axis rotating backwards (precession). So if you take the 23rd Sep as as an example, in a Western horoscope you will find the Sun in 1° Libra, in an Indian horoscope in 6° Virgo. Again, it is not about right or wrong but your preference.