Sidereal vs. Tropical: A Case In Point (Me)

This is my chart according to the typical modern Indian (sidereal) system:

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Debilitated Mars with a fairly undignified Sun in the 7th house. This would mean uncontrolled aggression primarily vetted on my spouse. And would also mean that a somewhat weak self-esteem (sun without dignity in a house that drains its dig-bāla) vets itself by being domineering over the spouse.

Nothing could be further than the truth. I have barely raised my voice to my wife a half a dozen times in seventeen years, and I much prefer to let her call the shots.

Another debilitation in this chart is Saturn. Saturn in debilitation in the 4th house indicates acute inability to be rational or logical, to be completely overrun and ruined by emotions, and to live in squalid homes without good property. Again this is very far from the truth. I am uncommonly analytical. I am very emotional but it does not cause the degree of irrationality that Saturn debilitated in the 4th indicates. And although I have had a bad experience with a home and with a car, the vast majority of the times I live in comfortable, good homes with quality personal property.

This is my chart according to the sūrya-siddhāntic / purāṇic zodiac (tropical):

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Mars is not debilitated but is joined with Mercury in the 8th house with the Sun, in Leo. Thus my manner of communicating (Mercury) is inclined to find flaws (Mercury in the 8th, compounded by Capricorn lagna and Saturn in the 5th and Moon in the 6th), is unconventional, individualistic, and can be scathing (Mercury combined with Mars), and is bold and self-assured (Mercury combined Sun and Mars in Leo).

Moreover I am a compulsive writer – and write in a revolutionary, challenging manner. The siddhāntic chart shows this clearly with Rahu in the 3rd, but the sidereal chart has Rahu in the 2nd, suggesting I would be a compulsive speaker and/or eater, which is untrue. I am a much more compulsive writer than speaker, and I eat normally.

Saturn is not debilitated in this chart, and moves to the fifth house signifying noteworthy analytical ability – not acute lack of it, as the sidereal chart depicts. In the siddhāntic chart, the Moon in the 6th and 4th lord in the 8th accurately depict the degree of emotional turmoil and challenges with material property that Saturn debilitated in the fourth vastly overstated in the sidereal chart.

Both the sidereal and the siddhāntic charts have rāja-yoga in the 8th, signifying mysticism and occult powers (astrology, etc). In the sidereal chart, my angles are crowded, but in the siddhāntic chart they clear out and leave the stage entirely to Jupiter – which perfectly matches my actual life and character. Everyone knows I am primarily a philosopher, teacher, and religious / spiritual guy.

 – Vic DiCara

reply to a comment:

We both know that astrology is not very simple, as simplistically as you have written in this post.

The better system will be simpler to use.

Astrological symbols can be interpretated differently.

“tarkāt na pratiṣṭha” nothing can be established by interpretation and argument.

Therefore śabda is the better foundation of investigation. śabda in the Purāṇas (and we may include sūrya-siddhānta) established the topical zodiac. (see

In one of Ernst’s books or web post, I had come to learn that Mars in Cancer in 7th house is not problematic and he had claimed that sometimes astrology is strange.

This is supposed to be a rational, logical system? The explaination is “its weird”?

Also, if we use more relaxed rules of Neechabhanga, Mars’s ruler moon is exalted in 5th house.

We have to resort to a cobwebs of bent rules to makes sense of it, but when there is a tropical chart, the cobwebs are not required. Therefore it seems to be the superior system.

7th lord in 5th, is pretty good too.

But does not erase the fact of debilitated Mars and emotional Sun in the 7th house. The combined effect would be a marriage that endures with passion, despite my uncontrolled expressions of anger and violence due to my week self-esteem. This is not at all close to the reality of what the marriage is actually like

You can add some personality traits of yours of moon in Rohini nakshtra,

The moon will be in rohini nakshatra regardless of whether the zodiac signs are tropical or sidereal. The nakshatra are fixed stars, not tied to zodiac coordinates. Nakshatra are sidereal.

Sun in Cancer (Moon in Sun’s friend) is fine I think and that it is a nurturer, defender, protector.

OK, I can agree there.

Also, they are both in Pushya nakshatra.

One interpreation doesn’t erase the other! Interpretations accumulate they don’t cancel. So if mars is in Pusya yet debilitated in the 7th, then the interpretation would most likely be that I protect my wife (pushya) by uncontrolled agression [towards her enemies I guess] (debilitated mars). This just isn’t anywhere close to reality either.

But then, yes 8th lord in 7th house – that’s the mystery. But maybe your peace is marriage is related to the spiritual path of yours. We can outgrow our charts sometimes, right?

If we have to explain our astrological system by saying “well, the person evolved beyond their destiny” it doesn’t say anything for the merits of the system.

Mars is combust, might not be creating the havoc you have mentioned because as it is weakened.

These rules are so complicated. The scientific principle is that the simpler explanation is the better one. Now we have to consider combustion. So, combustion can help a planet? Then what is the interpretation? How is combustion to be interpreted? However we like when we can’t make sense of something any other way? Or is there some system and rule to how combustion should be interpreted? Maybe combustion internalizes? Then is my uncontrolled aggression directed at myself? I am not a masochist? Maybe combustion burns to ash, then if mars (11th lord) is so weak why am I am musician (a relatively successful musician, too)?

Saturn in Aries might be creating less havoc in 4th house because Saturn in Kendra has more dignity.

Did you make up this rule?
A planet in the Kendra gets more influence, not more dignity.

It is aspected by Jupiter.

It is not strongly aspected by Jupiter, it is almost in the 8th house from Jupiter by degree (and Parashara tells us to calculate by degree, not by signs)

Saturn is your Atmakaraka too. You might have severed ties (Kritika nakshatra) with paternal home for a few years to follow your path and maybe that is what it is as far as disturbed home life is concerned.

I severed ties from the ages of 20 – 25.

You might not have found the internal peace when young and hence you got attracted to the Hare Krishna movement, that’s another way of looking at it.

That is not the case at all. My mother and father were exemplary. I was extremely close to my mother. My upbringing was flawless.

Later I had problems with my mother and father.

Either chart, sidereal or tropical, can bear these interpretations.

10th lord in 8th house, gives you interest in occult, research etc.

I am primarily a spiritualist and philosopher, secondarily an astrologer. Sidereal chart has the 10th lord in the 8th suggesting the opposite. Tropical chart as the 10th lord in the 9th matching the reality.

Rahu in 2nd – you eat something (sattvic food) which might not belong to your home/family culture.

Previously I suggested this very interpretation on my blog, years ago before I switched to tropical, trying to make sense of the fact that classics say Rahu in the 2nd indicates a voracious meat-eater, yet I was a vegetarian.

Its simpler not to have Rahu in the second, for a vegetarian. The tropical chart has the 2nd lord in the 5th (diet lord in the house of love), in a sign of Venus (love). Has venus in the 9th (morality of love). And has mars and sun (digestion planets) in the vegetarian nakshatra (puṣya)

I haven’t been able to deduce your prolific writing ability with sidereal, but then, I am just a novice, KN Rao and some good sidereal astrologer deduce that too :-).

In sidereal at least 3rd lord is still in the 10th house. Point is that it is much simpler and clearer to get an accurate picture from the tropical chart. The point is not that you can’t take a hyperspace spanner to the sidereal chart and screw out some really nifty interpretations that make it work.

Jupiter and Moon in 6-8 angle, you have gone through emotional transformation:-). However, personally, if I had not known your chart, I would imagine Jupiter and Moon to be in Kendra to each other, though Jupiter in 5th from Moon (tropical) is also good.

Exactly, Jupiter – Moon in 6/8 is śakata-yoga and doesn’t seem likely for a person whose emotions (moon) love philosophy and religion (jupiter). Rather seeing Jupiter (philosophy & religion) 5th (love) from the moon (emotions) makes clear sense.

And yes, I would have imagined, Rahu to be in 3rd to be a prolific writer, desires for short communications – your books are short, succinct and sweet.


Astrologers just reverse engineer to fit their observations by using various techniques about a celebrity/politician, etc.sometimes they will use higher divisional charts to justify their observations, sometimes they would use retrograde and aspects from previous house to prove something, sometimes they will say retrograde planets are bad, sometimes they will use shadbala, sometimes age of the planet, sometimes it’s combust status, etc. etc.

That’s pretty exactly my point. tarkat no pratiṣṭha… arguments are just arguements, and super fancy arcane techniques are just smoke and mirrors. A real truth is simple and clear – a fake truth is very hard to understand. Astrology should be able to get pretty close to a general description of the overall truth without having to use anything other than a basic, unchanging system. Otherwise its just bunk.

I have a system that gets pretty close to the general description of the overall turth without having to do backbends. The reason I have this system is because I trust śabda pramāna as the foundation of my research (the purāṇas and siddhānta), instead of trying to flip a coin and pick a guru.

I now hold on to only one thing — if one is spiritually advanced one can make predictions which will come true,

That’s not astrology!
If one has mystical powers they can just close their eyes or look at a tree and know the future. Astrology is a system a science. It should work with or without mystical powers to people who are scientific and intelligent. If not its just another crystal ball show.

I agree that the more deep your spirituality the more easily you can do divination, but the idea that astrology only works if you have superpowers is crap.