It’s the age old questions: Is sidereal astrology more accurate than tropical astrology? I’m going to give you the answer and explain why… with a smidge of sass, so hang on tight! I respond to all comments; nasty ones, included. So feel free to unleash your wrath! I’m ready 😉
Without a Doubt…
Sidereal Astrology is more accurate than Tropical Astrology! By a LOT!!
We know for a fact that astrology is at least as old as the the earliest written records, which date back to 3,500 BCE. However, the astronomical observatory at Gobekli Tepe dates back to at least 11,000 BCE, and many archaeoastronomers have dated ancient sites like the Pyramids at Giza and the the Sphinx, to two or three times that!
The Babylonian Star-Charts are among the oldest written records in human history.
Not only have humans been tracking and recording the movements of the heavens, overlapping meanings and myth concerning the planets and constellations across countries and hemispheres, suggests much of the ancient astrological associations (which were in place so many thousands of years before the Greeks invented the planetary-rulership and element-modality systems), may have derived from a source myth. But that’s a topic far outside the scope of this lowly article.
Regardless of astrology’s original antiquity, we know for a fact that the Sidereal Zodiac and the Whole-Sign House system are the oldest recorded astrological system yet known to mankind.
The Ancients Used the Sidereal Zodiac and Whole-Sign House System
We know this because the ancient Mesopotamian people kept detailed records of the movements of the planets against the the backdrop of the constellations in the sky, which they divided up into 12 sections or houses (which by the way, have no relationship to the 12-house meanings used by astrologers–Western or Vedic, today).
These same constellations and houses were either adopted by, or simultaneously used by the Egyptians–no one knows for sure. Either way, these same Near East zodiac glyphs are recognizable to us today.
These ancient methods–the Sidereal Zodiac and the Whole-Sign House System–were prevalent throughout the ancient Near East for thousands of years, and are still used by Vedic astrologers and Western Sidereal Astrologers today.
But is Sidereal Astrology more accurate than Tropical Astrology just because it’s older? Much, much older? Were the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians on to something when they employed the Sidereal Zodiac and Whole-Sign House System? Or were they just unaware of the spectacular awesomeness that is reckoning planetary placement based on the time of the Vernal Equinox (a.k.a. Tropical Astrology)?
The Greek Adoption of Astrology
It wasn’t until the rise of Alexander the Great, around 350 BCE, that Mesopotamian and Egyptian astrology began to take on the characteristics of Greek mythology and philosophy.
Greek philosophers and alchemists molded and manipulated the pure astrology of the ancient world, superimposing their own cosmology onto the ancient meanings of the zodiac signs, planets, and houses.
It was in this form that astrology spread to India. To this day, practitioners of Jyotish (Vedic Astrology or Indian Astrology) continue to use the Sidereal Zodiac and Whole-Sign House system for all of their computations and predictions.
They also use many of the faulty Greek astrological associations… but that’s an article for another day.
Where It All Went Wrong
Around 150 CE, the Greek astrologer and writer, Claudius Ptolemy (pictured above–not an actual photo), suggested that the zodiac used to calculate astrological descriptions and predictions, should begin on the Vernal Equinox; the zodiac system we refer to as “Tropical”.
In his defense (which I begrudgingly offer), the Vernal Point was much closer to the fixed constellation of Aries during his time. So, errors caused by the use of the Tropical Zodiac in lieu of the Sidereal Zodiac would have been far less obvious.
But there’s a problem: The tropical year (Spring Equinox to Spring Equinox) is 20 minutes shorter than the sidereal year (the time it takes for the earth to complete 1 full revolution around the sun). Thus, every 72 years, the Vernal Point moves backward through the sky by one degree.
That might not seem like a lot, but over the last 2,000 years, the Vernal Point has deviated a full 24 degrees from where it was during the time of Ptolemy, rendering all calculations based on the Tropical Zodiac inaccurate.
This means that your true Sun Sign (Birth Sign), and your Ascendant (Rising Sign) might not we what you think they are. This also means that ALL of your plants, points and houses may be in a different zodiac sign and house than you’ve been led to believe.
The only way to know for sure what your true Sun Sign and planetary placements are, is to calculate your natal chart (Birth Chart) using the Sidereal Zodiac and Whole-House System.
The Tropical Zodiac and House Systems Have Been Devolving Over Time
As the centuries progressed, the Tropical Zodiac–and Tropical Astrology, have continued to devolve from their original, ancient sidereal origins.
As the years have progressed, the discrepancy between zodiacs has increased, and Classical astrologers have been forced to invent all manners of new house systems to try to retrieve much of ancient astrology’s accuracy.
But the fact remains: Sidereal Astrology is more accurate than Tropical Astrology. Further evidence of this can be found in the fact that many Classical Western astrologers are abandoning the Tropical Zodiac in favor of the Sidereal Zodiac… likely for the same reasons I did, nearly 2 decades ago.
Detailed statistical analysis of characteristics and predictions made it clear to me that Sidereal Zodiac and Whole-Sign House System were vastly superior to anything Tropical Astrology, and all of it’s erroneous associations and house systems, had to offer.
By casting off Greek influence in my astrological calculations, I’ve been able to achieve near perfect accuracy in my astrology readings. And it’s no small thing–when done correctly, astrology is one of the most powerful tools we have in this incarnation.