I have come to embrace the conclusion that the 12 sidereal signs of modern Indian astrology are not in line with the classical Indian definitions of the 12 signs, and have therefore adopted a somewhat unique system of calculating the 12 signs tropically, but calculating the 27 stars (“nakshatra”) sidereally.
Many people have kindly read about my reasoning behind this and the vast majority of readers have expressed appreciation or at least respect for my conclusions. But almost everyone asks, “Can you show us how to do it? How do you read a chart with Tropical signs.”
I wonder if there is any need to show how, because there is no special new technique involved. You simply follow the classical principles. Using a classical principles with a classical (tropical) definition of the 12 signs just produces clearer, simpler results. You don’t have to do anything new or adopt any new techniques.
But now that I’ve said that, I feel like I should say a little bit more.
When you switch to classical, tropical signs, you will want to be more pure and simple about your techniques. You can stick with the fundamental basics and discard all the complicated fine-print that has developed over the centuries since the classical period ended. So you would probably really want to go back to “square 1” for a moment and organize your system and approach to reading the horoscope again from the ground up. Kind of like a spring-cleaning.
Start by diving more deeply into how you understand the method of interpreting planets in signs. Reread the classical descriptions of planets in signs, and figure out what they are really talking about.
Next do the same for planets in houses. And follow that up by doing the same with lords in houses. Forget what you have accumulated in your mind over the years about planets in signs and houses, etc. and take a fresh new look at the classics. Glancing back from the classics to your sample horoscopes – you will gain much more clarity on the fundamentals. So much more that you will feel very confident to burn all the bookshelves full of astrological fine-print that has accumulated literally in your library and figuratively in your mind. You will be liberated to stick with the simple basics!
After you refresh your conception of planets and lords in signs and houses, next revisit the second level of basics. Start with dignity. (Re)learn about how to calculate dignity, and then about how to calculate dignity not just for a sign, but for a specific degree in the sign (by way of the varga subdivisions, the amshas). This information is all right there in the classical literature. Try to figure out what dignity is really all about – how it affects the positivity or negativity of what a planet does in a sign and house. Check it out in action in your sample charts, and feel relieved that now you can forget about all kinds of madening concepts like exaltation in retrogression and neech-bhanga-yogas. Using simple degree-specific dignity alone, with tropical signs, you will be reading charts easier, more clearly and more confidently than you did before.
After degree-specific dignity, review degree-specific aspects.
Then you have pretty much taken your “second birth” as an astrologer. My congratulations.
PS – remember, for this to really work wonders, you need to let go of everything you think you know and you have read about, especially everything that sounds remotely complex. Take a fresh new look at the classics on the classical, fundamental basics… apply it to the tropical horoscope (case with whole sign houses, and classical planets only), and you’ll be transformed.
PPS – dont’ forget to keep the nakshatras sidereal, and therefore don’t let your vimshottari dasha dates change. If you want to go into interpreting planets in nakshatra, this is also a great time to start. =)