“Remembrance” by Alison Brush
The sky language
“The oldest thing we know is Mystery. The oldest thing spirit was is Mystery. Now we have Beauty as Mystery settles into form. But the oldest thing we know is Mystery.” by Lyn Dalebout
Here is a brief explanation of sidereal astronomical astrology and how it differs from the tropical and vedic systems of astrology. Each perspective offers unique interpretations of planetary influences given the lens through which it views astrology.
The word sidereal means “real star” time in the lexicon of astronomers.
The word sidereal means “real star” time in the lexicon of astronomers. As we move forward in time, our solar system is constantly changing its relationship to the heavenly backdrop of the constellations. We are not sitting static in one place but in perpetual motion. Indeed if there is one constant in the unfolding creation of the universe, it is the reality of perpetual evolution and change.
Our solar system is moving approximately one degree every seventy-two years into the previous constellation. As we go forward in time, we are moving backward in space, an interesting fact to contemplate. This movement is called the “precession of the equinoxes”. The sidereal zodiac expresses this astronomical reality. It adheres to the truth of how the planets in our local solar system literally align with the constellations and other heavenly bodies in the present moment. Thus, it is a galactic-based zodiac (unlike the tropical zodiac) and so articulates a more expansive understanding of one’s self, talents and purpose. There are numerous cultural names for this aspect of our being such as Source or Higher Self.
In addition, the sidereal astronomical perspective is an embodied system of knowledge because it links the physical force-fields unique to each planetary body with how we are responding and working with those real forces here on Earth. When you work with your sidereal map, you are literally activating those forces to assist you and help you understand your unique design, like no one else alive. You are a miracle.
The ancient vedic system, commonly used in places like India or Tibet, uses the current sidereal astronomical alignments, so that’s good. However, traditionally, it does not incorporate what are called the “outer planets” — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — and newly-discovered planetary bodies. These outer planets describe the forces of our collective evolutionary potential. Vedic astrologers work with the social and personal planets which can help you understand your personal traits, karmic influences and how you fit into society. But that approach doesn’t describe your greater evolutionary potential to assist our collective humanity grow and evolve, which I believe is an essential part of one’s purpose here on Earth.
The tropical zodiac is solely based on the relationship of the Sun to the Earth that delineates the seasonal cycles of our Earth — spring, summer, autumn, winter — but it is not aligned with the constellations in the present time. This zodiac begins at zero degrees Aries, with the spring equinox, usually on March 21, and unfolds from that point. It is static and unchanging, i.e. not-evolutionary and therefore limited. People find this fact hard to believe when they first learn about this discrepancy, just as I did when I had my first sidereal class with my mentor, Nick Anthony Fiorenza, in 1991. Since then, I have developed a unique theory, through self-study and working with hundreds of clients, that the tropical chart has helpful information about one’s family patterns and lineage we are healing as part of our ancestor work, and stories linked to our past lives. But as you age and heal and grow, freeing yourself from the old stories, remembering your true nature, you might find the tropical viewpoint is too limited or outdated and begin to explore your sidereal map which orients you to a more expansive view of your life’s story.
The best way I know how to describe the difference between the tropical and sidereal systems of astrology is in an experiential way. The tropical zodiac is like being inside a planetarium. A planetarium is an indoor space, full of its own kind of magic and wonder, especially for children, and it educates people about the basic lexicon of astronomy and astrology. But it is a representation of the universe.
Now imagine yourself outside in a remote area of nature on a clear, quiet night, standing beneath the Milky Way, feeling, sensing, pondering the living, breathing, infinite universe. Can you feel the difference? The human-made planetarium lacks the energetic vastness, power, truth and mystery of the real deal. That is why I became a student of sidereal astrology so many years ago.
And, as I like to say, of all professions, shouldn’t we astrologers be true to the stars?