Tropical Versus Sidereal | For those who practice Astrology

In the most literal sense, the definition of “sidereal” equals “the stars”. Sidereal follows the stars and tropical follows the seasons (which never change). When it comes to the stars, they move slowly, but they move. The constellations are moving 1 degree backwards every 72 years. The most accurate astrologers follow this movement. There is no “both tropical and sidereal are right”. Astrology is all about following the movement of celestial objects above us, not about following the seasons. The only reason there is some accuracy at all with tropical or season-based astrology is because the aspects or planetary relationships do not change. Additionally, there is around a 10% (or less) chance of getting the stars right because Sidereal is roughly 24 degrees behind tropical as it stands now.

I have around 130 charts over here and so many of them did not make sense until I made the switch to Sidereal. Mars cannot be in Libra and Scorpio at the same time and both those placements have extraordinarily different meanings. They cannot be both and behave the same. We cannot appreciate the vast differences until we open our minds, learn how the stars really behave and learn birth time rectification (only a small minority can do this) and get the times correct on the charts we’re reading. Just a minute or less off the time born (which should be when the first breath was taken) can dramatically change one’s chart. Also we need to take in consideration that there are multiple sidereal systems and calculations. Even today, astrologers are trying to find the right one. My astrologer says he has tried every system and opined that Lahiri Ayanamsa (one of many systems) is the most accurate. To make things more complex, when someone gives you the time they were born, it is most important to evaluate if they were (at the time of birth) in daylight savings time or not and daylight savings time, both the switch to it and the switch off of it changes all the time and it’s not universal; this is underappreciatedly important to consider. Being an expert astrologer means doing lots of math to check this out. Just because your birth certificate says you were born at 5:48PM doesn’t mean that is so astrologically speaking. Read below to understand more:

“Daylight Saving Time is attained by forwarding the clock one hour. In 1967 the Uniform Time Act went into effect in the United States. It proclaimed that all states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. possessions were to observe Daylight Saving Time starting at 2A.M. on the last Sunday in April and ending at 2 A.M. on the last Sunday in October. Any state could exempt itself by law and a 1972 amendment to the act authorized the states split by time zones to consider that split in exempting themselves. Arizona, Hawaii, part of Indiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the American Samoa are now exempt. The Department of Transportation, which oversees the act, has modified some local zone boundaries in Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, and Texas over the last several years. Daylight Saving Time was extended by Congress during 1974  and 1975 to conserve energy, but the country then returned to the previous end-of-April to end-of-October system until 1987, when new legislation went into effect. The new bill, signed by President Reagan on July 8, 1986, moved the start of Daylight Saving time up to the first Sunday in April, but it did not change the end from the last Sunday in October.

It is common throughout the world for clock time to be adjusted to use added daylight during summer.

Generally, Western Europe goes on daylight time on the last Sunday in March and changes back on the last Sunday in September. The Soviet Union stays on “advanced time” year round. China, by government order, operates as one time zone even though it should geographically be in 11 different zones. For religious reasons, Israel is approximately two hours behind the rest of their time zone. This means that the sun may be setting there as early as 3:30 P.M.
Paraguay, Ireland, and the Dominican Republic adjust their clock time in winter instead of summer. Thus, their time is aptly known as winter time.” ~The New York Public Library

Astrology means doing lots of math, lots of research, going back in time to see what time it really was in GMT when someone was born in Toronto at 6:23 A.M on Oct. 3rd, 1997. Did they finish daylight savings time or not? Depending on the year it is, the time they finish it might be different. Or maybe they don’t do it at all. Many of us are just not prepared for the hefty work involved in Astrology. It is a deep science. We want a quick fix for instant gratification, but in the case of genuine Astrology, if we want truly scientific and accurate results, there are no shortcuts. We have to be mindful even if we have fancy professional software.

A time on a birth certificate or a time that your mom remembers means nothing when you consider the energy-saving time switches back and forth in each country. We often get attached to placements that don’t belong to us. As a result of this, what each sign actually means is also incorrect quite often. For example, what we might think of as an Aquarian attribute is often really a Capricorn attribute. We might be mixed up because our personal experiences with the signs are based off of friends we know using the tropical system and so we get what the signs mean screwed up.
Keep in mind also that nurses jot down a time that might not be exact. They are not interested in astrology. They just need  put any time in there. It might most often be an estimated time that is not accurate enough for scientific results for astrology. While the time might not always be important as to where the Sun is in your chart, it is patently important when it comes to your Ascendant placement (the most important placement) which sets the housing up for the whole chart.

And even more complex than the aforementioned? It is important to know the nakshatras and the yogas so one can truly understand one’s chart in the most thorough way. For example, not all those who are Aries are created equal. When a planet transits the constellation of Aries, there are three different manifestations that all make Aries people unique from one another. Degrees are critical to understanding placements and predictions or matters of one’s past. Then there is the dosha system which is the best for knowing someone’s past, present and possibly fated events in the future.

So many of us get attached to our chart placements and the idea that our birth time or placements could be a little off can be devastating for some people. It was for me. I swore that I could be nothing other than the Virgo I was. I knew what a Virgo was and I knew that I had those traits, so for years I resisted the Sidereal system. Then due to a friend’s influence on me, I opened my mind. I realized that the Virgo traits I had, came from my natal Mercury and Venus being in Virgo.

I understand people don’t like conflict and debates and try to be the peacemaker to solve all wars thinking we can all be friends if we just embrace both systems…..somehow or try to get us to think they both work or that it is individual, but the truth is still the truth no matter how much we prefer peace over debates. For a lot of things in life, the truth is somewhere in the middle or in the gray areas, but in the case of Astrology and even when it comes to the housing systems, there is only one Universal system that should work all the time as a Law.  And we just need to make peace with the fact that there is no consensus.

The focus should not be on peace, however, but on Truth. And sometimes the Truth is not peaceful.

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: