Do I practice Vedic Astrology???
Vedic means “pertaining to the Vedas.” Strictly speaking there are four Veda: Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. “Vedic” refers to the culture of those four books specifically. There is lots of astrology in those four almost prehistoric books, but it does not contain the system itself. The system itself is from supplementary books written at what archaeologists would mostly consider later dates. Thus even in its origin “Vedic astrology” is not exactly “Vedic.”
The astrology of ancient India comes primarily from the teaching of Parashara and Jaimini who wrote their own manuals on the science, especially the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra and the Jaimini Sutra. Many, including myself, consider Parashara and Jaimini to be the founders of two distinct schools of Astrology. The astrology practiced today in India is not totally dissimilar from these ancient teachings, but is just a few parts of those systems applied in simplified forms, shallowly understood in general, a great deal cut out or ignored entirely, and a great deal added in from medieval and modern sources.
What system do I personally practice? I practice the system that I personally practice! I would go so far as to say that any astrologer practices their own unique system for no one can conform perfectly and completely to the thoughts and methods of another. My personal system attempts to be much more complete and deep in its application of the ancient methods of Parashara, bringing those methods to life not by diluting them with medieval and modern mixtures but by deeply and intuitively understanding them through my own heart and mind.
The world thinks that there is some vast difference between “Vedic” astrology and “Western” astrology. But the opinion of the masses is almost always gross and off the mark. People who understand very little about astrology think that Western and Vedic astrology refer to different “signs” – Western having a “tropical” or seasonal zodiac and Vedic having a “sidereal” or stellar zodiac. They do not know that Vedic astrology is by no means the only system to use the sidereal zodiac, nor do they even realize that classical vedic astrology employs both the Sidereal and Tropical zodiacs!
The truth is that Western astrology is only a bit more different than Vedic astrology is from the true ancient astrology of India. The fact is that all culture has common roots, including astrology, and it is likely that ancient India and the world’s oldest surviving book, the Rg Veda, may represent an important core of that ancient common root.
Astrology is one. It is one science which has diluted and confused itself into many twisted branches bearing few fruits, but at it’s root it is one.
Am I a “Vedic Astrologer” – in a sense, yes, and you can say so if it pleases you. But personally, I think of myself only as an “Astrologer.” I seek the ancient unified root of astrology and strive to bring that to life in the modern world.