In episode 115 of the podcast, astrologer Vic DiCara joins the show to discuss his use of the tropical zodiac in the context of Indian astrology and some of the recent debates on the subject among Vedic astrologers.
Vic has authored a number of articles and videos on the subject and has recently had some debates with other astrologers in the Vedic community about it. For a full list of other articles and talks he has given on the subject, see his website:
Below are the show notes, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast. This episode is available in both audio and video formats. Links to both can be found at the bottom of the page.
Here are some points that we touched on over the course of the episode:
- I have noticed more discussion and debate about this in the Vedic community recently
- Another astrologer named Andrew Foss published an article criticizing the use of the tropical area by some Vedic astrologers.
- Interested in speaking about this debate from an outsider’s point of view.
- Background information on the debate or in preparation for the stage.
- While most western astrologers currently use tropical, most Vedas use constellations.
- Terminology preference? Indian, Vedic, Hindu, etc.
- Ernst Wilhelm published an influential article on the subject entitled The Secret of the Zodiac c. 2006.
- He argued that the zodiac was originally tropical in the earliest Indian tradition.
- My impression was that his argument was largely textual.
- However, more recently, he also seemed to be saying that there was a large empirical component.
- Ernst appears to have been the first notable modern Vedic astrologer to adopt tropical
- Since then others have followed, some Ernst students and some not.
- Ryan Kurczak, Michael Reed and Vic DiCara.
- Vic heard the idea from Ernst and switched in 2012.
- Refers to the Surya Siddhanta and Bhāgavata Purāṇa as early textual support for the tropical zodiac.
- One of Vic’s objections is that both are idealized 12-fold subdivisions.
- The zodiac sign does not completely coincide with the constellations as they are all different in size, while the zodiac signs are each 30 degrees.
- He indicates that Ophiuchus is on the ecliptic. So 13 unequal pitches.
- Therefore, he argues that neither of the zodiacal circles are the stars, but rather both spaces. So it becomes a question of how to divide the space and where to start.
- Tropical zodiac begins with equinoxes, sidereal with respect to a fixed star.
- Lahiri ayanamsha begins 0° Aries exactly opposite the fixed star Spica.
- Some disagreements about which ayanamsha to use.
- Vic says that even using the “wrong” zodiac doesn’t invalidate everything.
- Vic and others still acknowledge that the Nakshatras are sidereal because they are tied to certain fixed stars.
Check out the video version of this episode
A video version of this episode is available on my YouTube channel here: The Tropical Zodiac in Vedic Astrology with Vic DiCara.
Listen to the audio version of this episode
You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it to your computer as an MP3 by using the buttons below: