The Applicability of the Signs in Western and Vedic Astrology

by Hank Friedman

The table below gives my assessment of the relative value and appropriateness of using Western or Vedic signs (i.e. the Tropical or Sidereal Zodiac) for specific purposes.

It is the result of my many years of working with both Western and Vedic astrologies.


Western Signs

Vedic Signs

Psychological Makeup

The Western Signs are very well suited for assessing a person's temperament, psychodynamics, and general psychological tone

The Vedic Signs are used to assess outcomes in a person's life and objective qualities , e.g. wealth, complexion, stature, etc.



The strength of planets by dignity (e.g. exaltation, debilitation, etc.) is most accurately assessed by using the Sidereal signs.


As pointed out by Rob Hand, the assignment of Uranus to Aquarius, Neptune to Pisces, and Pluto to Scorpio was an arbitrary act of a 19th century astrologer

Rulerships work much better Sidereally. Sign rulerships are central to Vedic astrology. Both house rulership and dispositorship are core concepts. In fact, the elaborate system of Yogas in Vedic astrology is primarily based upon rulership

Compatibility Assessment

Using Western/Tropical signs for assessing the interaspects (between the planets in two charts) is an incredibly effective means of chart comparison

Planetary relationships between two charts are assessed counting the number of houses apart the planets are from each other, i.e. a more indirect use of signs.

Predictive Methods

While the signs occupied by transiting planets are not very important in describing effects of transits on natal planets, the signs occupied by natal planets are very important in understanding each transit's effect. *

The Dasha system is based upon Nakshatras (not signs) using the Sidereal Zodiac. In Vedically assessing the effects of transits, the strength by sign of the natal planet plays a large part in the magnitude of the effects of each transiting planet, e.g. if Jupiter is strong natally , its transits are more positive.

* In addition, transits calculated using the planetary positions reckoned using the Tropical Zodiac (i.e. without adding precession), provide more accurate timing than those calculated using the Sidereal Zodiac.

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