What does “Jyotisha” mean?

Jyotiṣa is the Sanskrit word for “Astrology.” There is a lot of speculation on what it means. Here is what it really means, in lieu of authentic Sanskrit dictionaries and linguistic rules. It is made of two parts jyotis and the suffix ṣa. [It’s not made by combining jyoti and iśa because (a) there is no such word as jytoi (it’s jyotis), and (b) there is…

Reading a Tropical Horoscope With Indian (“Vedic”) Techniques.

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…

Discussion on Vedic Astrology

Astro Dienst recently published my article, Vedic Astrology – What It Is and What It’s Not. An interesting discussion then arose on their forum. The text in quoted format are things posted in response to my article, to which I am replying. There is a lot of cherishing for the indian astrology in this article….

“Vedic Astrology” – There is no Such Thing!…???

Well, the truth is that the term “Vedic Astrology” was invented in the early 1980s, amidst the popularity of ’70s India-movements like ISKCON (“Hare Krishna”) and TM (“Transcendental Meditation”) and their love for using the word Vedic in an alluring, attractive manner – referring loosely to just about anything that could be written in Sanskrit…

The Myth of Sidereal Babylonian Astrology

Some present the argument that, “The oldest known zodiac comes from Babylonia and is sidereal!” This is half-truth spoken by those who only look far enough to support their initial assumptions. Our oldest, best record of Babylonian astrology and astronomy comes from the cuniform tablets called Mul.Apin. Anyone can review the translations of these tablets…

Why are the astrological phases (dasa) based on sidereal stars (Nakshatra)?

Nakshatras are not the basis of all dasa systems. There are several dasa systems that have nothing to do with nakshatras. However, the most popular systems are nakshatra based. And the most popular of all, vimshottari dasa, is among the nakshatra systems. The reason nakshatras are essential in calculating the flow of time can be…

Makara Sankranti, and the Whole Indian 12-fold Zodiac, is Off.

I recently posted an alert to my Indian readers that the now-popular method of calculating the date of “Makara-sankranti” is wrong. (It is a very important Hindu holiday: The winter-solstice, which marks the beginning of Capricorn). The correct date is near December 21st, not near January 14th. One of my readers investigated and sent me…

Happy New Year, Astrologically!

People like U2 can say, “nothing changes on new years day” but still, a year is an extremely important and significant unit of time. The Sun, you see, is by far the brightest, most powerful and most important heavenly body for us human beings here on earth. A “year” is a measurement of one complete…