Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The difference between Tropical and Sidereal Astrology

This is a poorly understood topic; at least, I understood it poorly. The differentiator is that Tropical Astrology--the astrology of the West--is Geocentric. The tropical Houses are based around the seasons of our Planet, with 1 Aries being the first day of spring. The advantage of this is that it frees us from concerns about Processions that Vedic and other Eastern Astrologers need to worry about it.  Because of our roots in Hermetic philosophy, we understand that Geocentric is also person-centric. Using a Tropical Zodiac fits quite nicely into the Macrocosmic/Microcosmic understandings of our forebears in this Art. It puts the person at the center, and builds out the spiritual forces from the perspective of the world/person.


Anonymous said...

Well, it's not so simple. Sideareal astrology is geocentric as well. Yes, the tropical system is based on the seasons of the planet, so to speak. Sidereal system is based on the positions of the stars. Now, we have to consider that Hermetic philosophy developed at a time when the sidereal and the tropical zodiac were aproximately the same. So we dont really know if Hermetic astrologers were looking at the sidereal or the tropical zodiac when making their calculations. Its a controversial subject.


Frater A.I.T. said...

Thank you for your comment Josephus,

I agree that it is controversial; however, the Sidereal system is not Geocentric. It may have lined up with the geo-centric Tropical Zodiac when the philosophy was developed, but has since changed due to the procession. If it where geocentric, the Houses would be made based on conditions here on Earth, rather than the position of the Stars. That distinction is what separates the two systems. The question of whether they were actively using either system distinctly when Astrology was created definitely bears some thinking about. Thank you!

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