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Siderial Astrology vs. Tropical Astrology

Siderial Astrology vs. Tropical Astrology

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Published by Danelle Dragonetti
Siderial Astrology vs. Tropical Astrology is a research paper showing the failings of Tropical Astrology and why Siderial Astrology should be used exclusively.
Siderial Astrology vs. Tropical Astrology is a research paper showing the failings of Tropical Astrology and why Siderial Astrology should be used exclusively.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Danelle Dragonetti on May 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Siderial Astrology vs Tropical AstrologyBy Danelle Dragonetti
Originally published in The Denver Pentagram and The Eclectic Witches Workbook 1995. Expanded and revised by Danelle Dragonetti May 2010
Copyright Danelle Dragonetti 2010. Please reference.
I'm a professional Astrologer. I've been doing it for over 40 years. (Yes Martha, beforecomputers.) About 20 or so years ago I met a person who turned me on to Cyril Fagginand Sidereal Astrology. What follows is why I do NOT work in the Tropical Astrologicalformat at all any more.For my purposes... It came from "The Denver Pentagram" circa 1995 and is also published in a book that Wyn Summerhawk and I wrote called The Eclectic WitchesWorkbook - 1997 Little College of Witches. I have expanded this article as of May, 2010.Sidereal Astrology vs Tropical(
 Intro by Wynn Summerhawk 
)I'm no astrologist by any stretch of the imagination. I know enough to realize that morematters than my Sun sign. I have to get a computer to do my charts for me because themath gets me tying my thumbs in knots. Still, something astrological has got my knickersin a twist. I've always trusted the Tropical system that makes me a Sagittarius. I seem tofit some of the descriptions of what one born under that Sun sign should be, and Libraascendant explains some things about my behaviors.Then I find out that the Tropical system is based on where the stars were a long time ago.Its not where they are now. The Sidereal system takes into account the movements of theconstellations. The Sidereal system makes me a Scorpio. Every trait ends up beingexplained or described by the placements of planets in my chart under this system. Mywhole personality and the things I undergo show up accurately in the Siderealcalculations. What this tells me is the system works. I suppose I would have to have twoastrologists of equally high caliber do a reading for me in the two systems and comparethe results to be absolutely convinced that I am either a Sag or a Scorpio.The bigger questions and concerns come to me when I consider the implications of usingtropical calendars to determine Moon Void of Course. I've often gone by my feelings inchoosing appropriate times to work magick, and found myself most comfortable andsuccessful in times that showed up later to be Voids while magick done in a tropicalMoon in Sign period proved duds. In fact much has gone awry when I was careful to doeverything by the book under a Tropical Moon in Sign.I started using a computerized astronomy chart to figure out where the Moon was. Itturned out that the Tropical charts are off a great deal of the time from where the Moonreally is in the sky. I'm going with Sidereal. Its accurate. Maybe I am a Scorpio. Its not all
that important to me what my chart's doing but it matters a great deal what the sky is upto when I'm working magick. As I said, I am no Astrologist, so I give you Winterhawk (Danelle Dragonetti) who is one, to explain in technical terms what the differences areand why they are so important. - Wyn Summerhawk  Needless to say the above story got me thinking as well. Recently a friend who is intoSidereal Astrology asked me to open in my Tropical Ephemeris, look up the position for the Moon, do the math to get the position for local time and look to see if the Moon wasin that constellation outside. I did but, IT WASN'T!! I checked my math. My math wascorrect. I checked the ephemeris against my favorite program, Astrolog. It's coordinateswere just fine and matched the program but, the planet wasn't there in reality. Whathappened?Tropical Astrology is based on an imaginary point in space that the Earth comes to everyspring. The Vernal Equinox, March 21st. That imaginary point is what keeps the seasonsin their place and all Gregorian calendars are aligned to it every March 21st. (This is alsowhy we have leap year.)Before we go further, let me explain what Tropical and Sidereal are in scientific terms.(Not too scientific though)Sidereal, or stellar, time is a system of time reckoning based on the rotation of the Earthwith respect to the celestial sphere, the imaginary sphere of the heavens surrounding us.As the Earth rotates, one sidereal day is the time that it takes for a star to again passdirectly above a given observation point. Sidereal time is used in astronomical work. Thesidereal day is about four minutes shorter than the solar day. More precisely, 1 meansolar day = 1.0027379093 sidereal days. An observer's local meridian is the great circle passing through the observer's zenith and the celestial poles. The angle measuredwestward from this meridian to the hour circle is called the hour angle (HA) of the star.The hour angle of the vernal equinox is defined as the local sidereal time of the observer;therefore, right ascension + hour angle = sidereal time. Sometimes, in place of delta, thenorth polar distance (NPD) is used; this is the angle measured from the north pole to thestar.Since the vernal equinox and equator are not fixed, because of PRECESSION, it isnecessary to specify at what date or epoch the coordinates were measured. For instance,on the vernal equinox (Spring or March 21) in the year 221, if you were to look up in thesky at noon on that date in Greenwich , England Aries would be right above your head at0°. If you go out on March 21, 1996 at noon in Greenwich and look up you'll see 6° of Pisces. That's what precession does.The Tropical year is the period of time of one revolution of the Earth around the Sunmeasured between successive vernal equinoxes. It equals 365.24220 mean solar days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds. Also called the solar year or the year of theseasons, the tropical year is the basis of the calendar. This is why winter happens in thenorthern hemisphere between December and March.
 A year is a division of time defined basically by the period of revolution of the Eartharound the Sun. Various kinds of astronomical years and calendar years have beendefined. The astronomical year of chief importance to most of today's astrologers is thetropical year, which is the time interval between successive occurrences of the springequinoxes. This is what keeps Aries at 0°. But, this is also an imaginary point.A year is now about 365.2422 mean solar, or civil, days, the number decreasing veryslowly as a result of small, progressive changes in the Earth's rotational speed and itsorbit about the Sun. The seasons repeat, on the average, in this interval. The sidereal year,determined by the Earth's position with respect to the stars, is 365.25636 mean solar dayswhich means that the year goes on a tiny bit longer every year. It is longer than thetropical year because it is not subject to the shortening effects of precession though itshould be. This is what causes the vernal equinoxes to slowly go backwards in the signs.Precession.If the vernal equinox occurs in Greenwich, England at 6° Pisces in 1996 then why are allthe tropical astrologers trying to tell me that it's 0° Aries? If I go to my window and look up at the sky on that day in Greenwich I'll see the constellation Pisces!! When I was bornusing sidereal calculations for Chicago and my parents looked up at that second theywould have seen the Sun in 10° Aries NOT 3° Taurus.I'm not saying that spring should occur at 0° Aries.. That would put it somewhere inApril... I think that the imaginary point that the Gregorian calendar is set to is great for the reference of changing seasons / Sabbots but, it is not a good idea for reference toastrology. The energy that is being produced by such and such a planet being in a signdoes not follow any imaginary point. It just is! Summer in the Northern Hemisphere isWinter in the Southern.Ptolemy, the father of today's astrology never heard of tropical astrology. He went out onhis balcony and looked up. If Jupiter was in Cancer it was in Cancer. This change fromSidereal to Tropical Astrological systems can't quite be pinned down. Some texts say thatit occurred in the 1600's others say that Tropical gained acceptance somewhere in 1800'swhen Greenwich, England was chosen as the place of 0 hour. I might also suggest thatthe split between Astrology and Astronomy was due to that imaginary point. Whileastrologers made their mathematical computations to always put Aries at 0° on March21st, astronomers were looking through their telescopes and shaking their heads saying,"I beg to differ.. Here.. Take a look for yourself". By today's standards the zodiac is nowoff by 24°.Cyril Fagan came upon the same conclusion in 1944. He spent the last 26 years of his lifetrying to convince astrologers of the tropical zodiac that the fixed sidereal zodiac was theone to be looked at when casting anyone's charts. In his book, A Primer of SiderealAstrology he explained in even more complicated terms, but never the less, convincinglythe how's and whys of what is being discussed herein. Not to many people listened. I personally think he tried to simplify too much. Later Eshelman and Stanton carried on his

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