Approaching Jyotish

A Comparison of Western and Vedic Astrology

by Hank Friedman

              A growing number of Western astrologers are becoming curious about Vedic astrology (Jyotish) and need help sorting through the differences between the two systems. Often, the dissimilarities are not spelled out, since many Vedic teachers either have little understanding of Western astrology or simply don't address the issues that a Western astrologer might have.

              As a practitioner of both systems, I have a great love for both Western and Vedic astrology and want to make it easier for Western astrologers to approach the field of Jyotish (or Hindu) astrology. That is the purpose of this article.

              To successfully make the transition to understanding and practicing Vedic astrology, Western astrologers must first grasp where Jyotish departs, both in technique and in approach, from the methods they use.

              Please understand that this article will take time to assimilate, because it details a number of the important divergences between the two astrologies. It is definitely worth making the effort. Those who do so will find themselves better prepared to study Vedic astrology and will eventually know two excellent astrological systems that complement each other incredibly well.

              If you are already familiar with Western astrology, you have the great advantage of understanding the meanings of the planets, signs, and houses; most of these are transferable to your study of Jyotish.

What Is Vedic Astrology?

              Western astrology has had a very fitful journey. Most ancient texts were destroyed, and many medieval works were never translated until very recently. Western astrology has died and been re-invented many times. Throughout its history, it has frequently been maligned and rejected both by the powers-that-be and by the masses.

              Jyotish, on the other hand, has been a revered continuous tradition for thousands of years. It is rich in spiritual practices and was orally transmitted intact over millennia, before it was ever written down. With such deep and powerful roots, Vedic astrology has guided generation upon generation, and it continues to be highly respected in India today. As such, the core principles and methods of Jyotish were developed by ancient masters and explicated in great detail before the rise of modern civilization. The classical texts of this tradition and the commentaries by advanced teachers serve as the ultimate authority to instruct and guide practitioners of Jyotish.

Differences in Techniques

The Two Zodiacs

              Most astrologers know that Western astrology uses the Tropical zodiac, where the signs are defined by the Sun's apparent annual seasonal movement around the Earth. Thus, Aries is defined as the place in the sky where the Sun crosses the equator going northward (which is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere).

              Vedic astrologers (Jyotishis) use the Sidereal zodiac, where the signs are defined by the actual physical constellations, the stars in the sky. The most commonly used reference point is the star Spica, which defines the beginning of the sign Libra. This is the basis of the Lahiri (aka Chitrapaksha) ayanamsha. The word ayanamsha literally means the "falling-back portion" — the difference between the two zodiacs due to the precession of the equinoxes.

              This divergence between the zodiacs is continually growing; in 1900, it was about 23 degrees, and in 2000, it was about 24 degrees. As an example, for a person born in 2000, you can convert a planet at 25° Tropical Cancer to its Sidereal position by simply subtracting 24 degrees, resulting in a Sidereal placement of 1° Cancer. Most astrology software allows you to calculate planetary positions for both the Tropical and Sidereal coordinate systems.

              It is very confusing to Western astrologers that someone can have, say, the Sun in Taurus in Western astrology, but the Sun in Aries in Vedic astrology. This seems to be a sticking point for many people I have talked to. Once you understand, however, that the signs are used differently in Vedic astrology (primarily for determining the strength of planets and evaluating rulerships), this discrepancy becomes less of an issue.

The Houses

              House systems: Western astrologers set the beginning of the 1st house at the Ascendant and the beginning of the 10th house at either the Midheaven (for Koch, Placidus, Campanus, etc., house systems) or the Nonagesimal — the point 90 degrees behind the Ascendant (for the Equal House system).

              For most purposes, Jyotishis use whole-sign houses, where each house is a whole sign, and the 1st house is the sign occupied by the Ascendant. For example, if a person had a Sidereal Ascendant of 12° Leo, the 1st house would start at 0° Leo and end at 30° Leo (i.e., the 1st house would encompass the whole sign of Leo).

              Note: Some Jyotishis use Shri Pati houses in addition to whole-sign houses. In this method of house division, the house cusps that Western astrologers know as Porphyry become the “centers” of the houses, and the beginning and end of each house is determined by averaging adjacent centers.

              Since Project Hindsight revealed that ancient Western astrology used whole-sign houses, the acceptance of whole-sign houses has started to grow among Western astrologers.

              The nature of houses: Vedic astrology classifies the houses in many ways that are foreign to the modern Western astrologer. The four angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) are called Kendras and are considered the places of power, i.e., planets have full expression in these houses. What we would call the fire houses (1st, 5th, 9th) are called Trikonas, or Trines, and represent the places of opportunity and good fortune.

              There are also four houses (3rd, 6th, 8th, 12th) called the Dusthanas; these houses represent the areas of life where obstacles and suffering arise. Three of these houses (6th, 8th, 12th) are called Trik houses (Trikastanas); the planets ruling these houses, and the occupants therein, can indicate the most challenging arenas of life. Also, there are four houses of improvement (3rd, 6th, 10th, 11th) called Upachayas; malefic planets (the Sun, Mars, Saturn, and the Moon's nodes) do well in these houses, and planets occupying these houses represent themes that gradually improve during the lifetime.

              Correspondences: Vedic astrologers sometimes give different meanings and attributions to the houses than do Western astrologers. For example, though Western astrologers see the 6th as a house of discernment, Jyotishis see the 5th house as governing that faculty.

              Also, the meanings of the houses have been extended significantly in Vedic astrology. For example, besides the usual meanings, the 2nd house represents family matters and the voice; the 3rd house, courage and effort; the 5th house, wisdom and good karma; the 8th house, mastery of ancient wisdom; the 11th house, older siblings and easily acquired money; and the 12th house, sexual enjoyment and foreign residence. (My article, "Bridge of Skies" in the Oct./Nov. 2001 issue of The Mountain Astrologer, gives many more Vedic house correspondences; this article can be read on my Web site at:

              Chart forms: Western astrologers use a circular chart wheel in their work; the North and South Indian astrologers use a square chart. The differences between these three forms are shown in Figure One.

Traditional Rulerships

              Modern Western astrologers view Uranus as the ruler of Aquarius, Neptune as the ruler of Pisces, and Pluto as the ruler of Scorpio; however, for most of Western astrology's history, traditional rulerships were used. These are identical to the rulerships still used by Vedic astrologers: Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces, Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius, and Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo (and is exalted in Virgo).

              These traditional rulerships are very valuable to know and useful to apply, even in your Western astrological practice. They often reveal connections (such as those between houses) that might otherwise be missed. For example, in the Western chart (not shown) for Antonio Banderas, with Pisces rising, Jupiter (the traditional ruler of the chart) is in its own sign of Sagittarius in the 10th house; this explains his incredible success, his good looks, and that he is often chosen to play the hero (all of these are Jupiter/1st-house themes).

              Also, Vedic astrologers do not use what Western astrologers call signs of detriment (i.e., the sign opposite the sign a planet rules). This can be confusing to Western astrologers trying to learn Vedic astrology, because English translations of Vedic texts usually use the term "detriment" as the translation of the Vedic word neecha, which is equivalent to the Western term "fall" (the sign opposite the exaltation sign). In other words, instead of saying Mars is in its fall in the sign of Cancer, a Vedic text would state that Mars is in its detriment in Cancer. (Neecha actually means "fallen.")

              It takes surprisingly little time to get used to the Vedic concept of detriment, since the signs that Western astrologers designate for "fall" are exactly the same as what Vedic astrologers call "detriment": Sun in Libra, Moon in Scorpio, Mercury in Pisces, Venus in Virgo, Mars in Cancer, Jupiter in Capricorn, and Saturn in Aries. Vedic astrologers see planets in detriment as both weak and unstable; however, certain Vedic chart factors can strengthen debilitated planets.

The Planets

              Western astrologers use the ten major planets (the Sun through Pluto) and often add points: the comet Chiron, the four major asteroids, and so on.

              Vedic astrologers primarily use nine points: the Sun and Moon, the planets Mercury through Saturn, and the Moon's North Node (called Rahu) and South Node (called Ketu), which are referred to as shadowy planets.

              The reason that modern Vedic astrologers often give for continuing to exclude the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) is that the system of rulership, so essential to Vedic delineation, becomes disrupted by the addition of more points. Furthermore, the nodes are significators of the kinds of modern things — computers, technology, epidemic diseases, etc. — that Western astrologers use Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to represent. (Still, a small number of Vedic astrologers are introducing the outer planets into their practice.)

              Also unique to Vedic astrology is the assessment of the Sun as a cruel or malefic planet. One can easily imagine that, in a Tropical country like India, the hot and intense Sun would be seen as deleterious. Nevertheless, the Sun also symbolizes, as it does in Western astrology, the core of the soul (or Atman).

              When Vedic astrologers ask, "What's your sign?" they expect to be told a person's Moon sign or mansion, not the Sun sign. That's because the Moon is considered to be more important than the Sun in Vedic astrology. In fact, transits are reckoned from the Moon, and the central predictive method of Jyotish is based upon the lunar mansion occupied by the Moon at birth.


              How aspects are formed: In Western astrology, the aspects are determined primarily by the angle between two planets. To be in aspect, two planets must be within a certain degree range, or orb, of the specified angle. For example, if the Moon is at 12° Cancer and Mars is at 16° Pisces, they are said to be trine each other, within a 4° orb.

              Vedic astrologers generally use whole-sign aspects (which, incidentally, were also used by the ancient Greco-Roman astrologers). Therefore, any planet in Libra is in aspect to any planet in Aries, no matter what their degree positions are. And if Mars is at 2° Libra and the Moon at 28° Pisces, Jyotishis do not consider them to be in aspect to each other — whereas most Western astrologers would characterize them as being in opposition. (Many Vedic astrologers do pay attention to aspect orbs, but they don't use as tight orbs as do Western astrologers.)

              Unlike Western astrology, where the type of aspect adds meaning (e.g., squares are challenging), Vedic aspects are neutral. What makes an aspect positive or negative is not the type of aspect but whether the aspecting planet is a benefic or a malefic. The benefic planets are: Jupiter, Venus, and also Mercury (unless aspected only by malefics), and the Moon. The malefics are: Rahu and Ketu (the Moon's North and South Node, respectively), Saturn, Mars, and the Sun.

              What aspects are used: In Western astrology, the Ptolemaic aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition) are most frequently used; of course, many astrologers add other aspects. Every planet is capable of making each kind of aspect.

              In Vedic astrology, the conjunction is called "association." For example, a classical Vedic text may state that the Moon is in association with Mars, which means that both are in the same sign.

              The only aspect that every planet makes in Jyotish is the opposition (to all planets in the opposite sign). Three planets — Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — make additional "special" aspects. These special aspects are considered unidirectional (made by one of these planets to another planet and not vice versa).

              Jupiter's special aspect is easy for the Western astrologer to understand. Jupiter is the only planet that can trine another planet. Since we are referring to whole-sign aspects here, this means that Jupiter in, say, an earth sign aspects every planet in the other two earth signs.

              Note: When counting aspects and lordships, Vedic astrologers count inclusively, i.e., they include the house that a planet is in.

              Saturn's two special aspects are the forward sextile and the backward square. That means that Saturn aspects any planets that are three signs forward of it (counting inclusively) and any planets that are four signs behind it (often called Saturn's tenth aspect). For example, if Saturn is in Capricorn, it forward-aspects all planets in Pisces and backward-aspects all planets in Libra.

              Mars has two special aspects, too. It aspects the fourth sign forward (i.e., the forward square); for example, if Mars is in Taurus, it aspects every planet in Leo. It also aspects the sixth sign backward (the backward quincunx), so if Mars is in Aries, it aspects every planet in Scorpio.

              Although these Vedic aspects may seem illogical to a Western astrologer and a bit hard to learn, they are indeed very worthwhile to look at, because they actually work when applied to a Vedic chart.

              What is aspected: In modern Western astrology, planets aspect planets and other points in the chart, such as the Ascendant and Midheaven.

              In Vedic astrology, as in ancient Western astrology, planets also aspect houses, whether these are occupied or not. If Jupiter were in the 1st house, it would influence the 1st house by association; it would aspect the 7th house (since every planet aspects the opposite house) and also the 5th and 9th houses (by its special aspects).

              What makes an aspect strong: In Western astrology, the smaller the orb, the stronger an aspect. (Some Western astrologers also rate the type of angle; for example, a loose conjunction or opposition is often considered stronger than a tight semi-sextile or bi-septile.)

              As I said, many Vedic astrologers also pay attention to orbs, but even more important is the strength of the planet making the aspect. A planet of middling strength will make a much less noticeable aspect than that of a very strong planet. (Interestingly, the aspect of a very weak malefic is destabilizing, rather than negligible.)

Indications of Planetary Strength and Weakness

              Both Western and Vedic astrologers consider a planet to be strong in its own sign and in the sign of its exaltation. And both systems characterize a planet as weak if it is combust (within 6 degrees of the Sun) or in the sign of its fall (called detriment in the Vedic system). Vedic astrologers also consider the Moon weak if it is dark (within 72 degrees of the Sun) and strong if bright (in the sign of the Full Moon or the sign before or after that). Both the Sun and the Moon are deemed weak if an eclipse occurs at the time of birth.

              However, because Vedic astrology is much more observationally based than Western astrology, retrograde planets are also considered to be strong. When a planet is retrograde, it is closest to the Earth and thus appears larger than at other times. (When Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are retrograde, they are opposite the Sun, like the Full Moon; as a result, these planets are visibly larger and shine their brightest at this time.)

              Planets are also considered strong in Vedic astrology if they have directional strength (called dig bala). Jupiter and Mercury have directional strength when in the 1st house; Saturn, in the 7th house; Venus and the Moon, in the 4th house; and the Sun and Mars, in the 10th house. A nice analogy for this is that Mars and the Sun are hot planets who love to shine over others in the 10th; the Moon and Venus are moist planets who are strongest at home in the 4th house; the 1st house — the clear light of dawn — is the best place for Mercury and Jupiter, the planets of perception; and Saturn rejoices at the end of the Sun's day, in the 7th house.

              Finally, if a true planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn) is within one degree of another true planet, then the two planets are said to be in a planetary war (graha yuddha); this weakens both planets but, especially, the loser of the war. Vedic astrologers use various ways to determine the victor of a war, including favoring the planet that is brighter(most frequently used), stronger, or has the higher zodiacal latitude (or longitude).

Harmonic Charts

              Vedic astrologers use harmonic charts as part of their basic chart analysis. Harmonic charts (which are called vargas, amshas, or divisional charts) are calculated by dividing each sign into a number of sections and assigning a sign to each section. In Vedic astrology, the calculation of some of the harmonic charts differ from Western methods.

              The Vedic use of harmonic charts is unique. Each chart represents a different life theme, such as career, parents, spouse. Analysis of that chart supplements the information about the life theme given by the natal chart.

              For example, the navamsha divisional chart (identical to the Western ninth-harmonic chart) is the sub-chart that indicates marriage. This chart is evaluated alongside the natal chart for marital compatibility and timing. A difficult navamsha chart might reflect conflicts within the marriage, or divorce, or the inability to find a partner. In the navamsha chart of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's clear that he wouldn't easily find a stable relationship; he married for the first time at age 38.

              The navamsha chart has many other purposes, including assessing the second half of life, the strength of planets, and the quality of a person's self-expression. Since divisional charts change much more quickly with shifts in the birth time than natal charts do, they are also routinely used for chart rectification, which many Vedic astrologers perform.

Lunar Mansions

              Whereas Western astrology seldom takes lunar mansions into account, astrologies based upon lunar calendars (Chinese, Tibetan, Indian) use them extensively.

              In Vedic astrology, lunar mansions are called nakshatras; for more than 3,000 years, they have been the centerpiece of Vedic electional astrology — choosing when to get married, go to war, build a house, etc. The nakshatras are also used in natal astrology and in several predictive techniques.

              The Chinese and Arabic astrologers use 28 lunar mansions, but modern Vedic astrologers primarily use 27 lunar mansions. (The Moon takes 27.3 days to go around the zodiac, so one can either round up to 28 days or round down to 27 days.)

Differences in Approach

Approaching All Facets of Life

              One thing that initially put me off about Vedic astrology was the blunt and often harsh assessments of planetary combinations. At the time, I had picked up a book that said that people with a particular configuration would die of leprosy.

              Readers should understand that the ancient astrological texts both in the East and in the West used extreme examples as points of emphasis, to make the concepts stick in the student's memory. These texts were not meant to be read by oneself, but only under the tutelage of one's mentor, who could explain the meanings of each verse.

              That said, Vedic astrology covers every part of life, from the most ignoble to the most divine. Even the foremost classical texts contain verses on genital size and quality, addiction and incest, how to know whether a child will die young, the indicators of specific diseases, the expected length of life, and much more. They also reveal combinations for spirituality, asceticism, and enlightenment.

              Vedic astrology also shows the fixed karmas in the chart — that is, patterns that are clearly going to be present in a person's life. For example, every Vedic astrologer who looked at my chart knew I would never have children.

              Some modern humanistic astrologers have trouble getting comfortable with the Vedic willingness to face every condition of life. Yet, in many ways, this approach enables us to understand our clients that much better.

Malefics and Benefics

              Although modern Western astrologers tend to shy away from such concepts as benefic or malefic, Vedic astrologers do not. They understand that, to effectively describe and predict the ups and downs of life, even the extreme tragedies, one needs a language and a set of principles that elucidate both the good and bad facets of existence.

              I initially had a very hard time looking at negative factors in any chart, be it Western or Vedic. I didn't want to alarm or discourage anyone, and I naïvely thought that everyone could "create their own reality," that anything was possible in anyone's life. Gradually, I have come to realize that Vedic astrology is neither pessimistic nor fatalistic; rather, it's just trying to help people to understand their lot in life.

              One of the first times I experienced the value of a negative delineation was when I told a client that it would be very hard for her to pull together a career in this life. Her surprising response was: "Thank God!" She said that hearing this gave her great relief, since she had in fact never been able to settle upon a career; she now knew that it was part of the karmic flow of her life and she could make peace with it, instead of endlessly judging herself.

The Lunar Nodes

              In 1936, Dane Rudhyar published his seminal book, The Astrology of Personality. Since then, most Western astrologers have interpreted the North Node as indicating the direction one is meant to move toward in this life; and the South Node, as the direction taken in past lives, which one is meant to move away from.

              For more than 3,000 years, Vedic astrologers have treated the lunar nodes as planets, and used them for both natal analysis and prediction. Although the North Node can indeed represent success, determination, and drive (especially if it is associated with or aspected by a strong Jupiter), it can also represent obsession, greed, lust, overindulgence, narcissism, extreme materialism, rebellion, and alienation. And though the South Node can indicate self-undoing and the places in our lives where we must learn to let go, it also represents such positive themes as achieving spiritual detachment and enlightenment and developing higher values — as well as negative patterns such as self-doubt, self-sacrifice, inhibition, self-effacement, paralysis, and feeling overshadowed and invisible.

              Most Western astrologers forget that the core astronomical meaning of the nodes is that they are the "eclipsers" — the points responsible for eclipsing the Sun and the Moon. It is this meaning that informs much of the Vedic usage of the nodes. In Jyotish, when a planet is associated with one of the nodes, its expression is usually amplified, exaggerated, obscured, or distorted in some way.

The Primary Vedic Predictive Method

              Most Western astrologers use transits (especially by outer planets) and progressions as their principal methods of prediction, supplemented with solar returns, directions, etc.

              Vedic astrologers employ several predictive methods (including transits), but their preferred method is a system called Vimshottari Dasha. This system, which is surprisingly similar to Hellenistic astrology's Time Lords, is actually very easy to understand. At any given time, a person is under the primary influence of one planet.

              Everyone is born during a period (dasha) of a specific planet. To determine what planet governs the period starting at birth, we look at what planet rules the lunar mansion (nakshatra) occupied by the natal Moon. From then on, the person's life unfolds under the influence of one planet at a time, in a fixed sequence. For example, if you were born under the influence of Jupiter, then after that period ended, you would next be under the influence of Saturn, and then Mercury, etc.

Planet                  Duration of Dasha

Ketu                     7 years

Venus                  20 years

Sun                      6 years

Moon                   10 years

Mars                    7 years

Rahu                    18 years

Jupiter                  16 years

Saturn                  19 years

Mercury               17 years

              Each planetary period has its own fixed length (e.g., the Sun's period is six years, Mercury's period is 17 years). The first period, starting at birth, is usually less than the full length of the dasha, depending upon how far into the lunar mansion the Moon was in the natal chart.

              The dasha system allows the astrologer to assess what will happen during any period in a person's life by looking at all of the factors that the particular planet (called the dasha lord) rules, relates to, and signifies in the birth chart. For example, if a person is running a Sun period, and the Sun is in the 7th house (relationship) and rules the 9th house (representing travel), and the Sun is aspected by a strong Jupiter (bringing good fortune), the astrologer might predict success in meeting a spouse through travel or having a wonderful time traveling with one's spouse (assuming, of course, that other chart factors corroborate these interpretations).

              Because each planetary period lasts several years, the period is divided into subperiods (called bhuktis or antaras) ruled by each of the planets in turn. So, a person may be in the major period of the Sun, for example, and the subperiod of Mars. If these two planets (the period planet and the subperiod planet) have a relationship to each other in the birth chart, then that period/subperiod (dasha/bhukti) in a person's life is particularly noteworthy, because all of the meanings of the two planets' relationship to each other are likely to manifest during that time. For example, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lost her first husband, John F. Kennedy, during her Moon dasha and Rahu bhukti; in her natal chart, both planets were conjunct in her 7th house.

How Vedic Astrologers Approach a Chart

              Chart patterns emerge dynamically: Vedic astrology sees the natal chart themes as manifesting during specific periods of a person's life — the planetary periods when the planet(s) making up the natal patterns are the dasha and/or bhukti lords. If a person never runs the period of a planet, its potential effects may never be fully realized. For example, Marilyn Monroe ran the dashas of only three planets, Mars, Rahu, and Jupiter, during her life. All three planets are in Trik houses (Mars and Jupiter in the 8th, Rahu in the 12th) and indicate how troubled her life was, from beginning to end.

              The 1st house is preeminent: One of the first things a Vedic astrologer does is to assess the 1st house and its lord. This house is considered to represent the individuals themselves, their body and appearance, and their capacity to be effective in life.

              If the occupants of the 1st house and the planets aspecting the 1st house are benefics — and if the lord of the 1st house is strong, in a good house, and associated with or aspected by benefics — then such people are capable of using their talents and of bouncing back from upsets, and are likely to be popular, grounded, healthy, and successful. If the opposite is true, these individuals may find life overwhelming, feel rejected by others, and struggle to express their gifts.

              Most people aren't at either extreme, of course, but an evaluation of the 1st house can show a person's fundamental strengths and challenges.

              Four factors are used to evaluate each area of life: When Jyotishis wish to assess a person's experience with children, they will consider the 5th house and the 5th lord, as Western astrologers do, and also look at the significator of children (Jupiter) and the saptamsha chart (the D-7 divisional chart, roughly equivalent to the seventh harmonic).

              Planetary significators are used much more extensively in Jyotish than in Western astrology, and these contribute substantially to the interpretation of every life theme.

              Yogas show the level of a person's life: Vedic astrologers assess the degree of success in a person's chart by looking at planetary combinations called yogas. The word yoga simply means "joining or combination" — for example, a planet is in a specific sign and house, or two planets are connected, or six houses are occupied. One of the best yogas for success (called a Raja Yoga) occurs when the lords of the 9th and 10th houses are conjoined.

              What distinguishes the charts of highly successful people from the charts of average folk is the presence of many auspicious yogas (along with other factors that indicate the ability to use the yogas to good effect, of course, such as having a strong Ascendant and running the dasha of yoga-forming planets during adulthood). Therefore, Vedic astrologers can tell whether someone is likely to have a very conspicuous role in society or great success — or a more ordinary life — by assessing the number of yogas in a chart and their strength. A yoga is considered to be strong if at least one of its planetary components is strong.


              Mastering Vedic astrology is quite a large undertaking, but one can develop proficiency in stages and learn to apply techniques in very rewarding ways at each step of the journey. I hope this introduction will help readers begin to understand the Vedic approach to astrology.


Chart Data and Sources

Antonio Banderas, August 10, 1960; 9:00 p.m. MET; Málaga, Spain (36°N43', 04°W25'); AA: Frank C. Clifford quotes birth certificate.

Marilyn Monroe, June 1, 1926; 9:30 a.m. PST; Los Angeles, CA (34°N03', 118°W14'); AA: birth certificate in hand from Bob Garner; also, photo of birth certificate in The Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, July 28, 1929; 2:30 p.m. EDT; Southampton, NY (40°N53', 72°W23'); A: Frances McEvoy quotes her, to mutual friends; data not released until after her death.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, July 30, 1947; 4:10 a.m. MET; Graz, Austria (47°N05', 15°E27'); A: from memory; D. C. Doane quotes a colleague, from him in 1979.


© 2005 Hank Friedman – all rights reserved


Hank Friedman is renowned in the San Francisco Bay Area for his astrological and transformative counseling work with individuals and couples. His astrology readings combine the best of both Western and Vedic approaches. Hank has tutored astrologers, taught classes, conducted year-long astrological apprenticeship programs, and given lectures internationally in Western and Vedic astrology. His Web site,, has dozens of free tutorials and articles on both Western and Vedic astrology. As an expert on astrology software, he offers reviews and in-depth articles on astrology software on his Web site. Contact Hank via e-mail:

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