What is Vedic astrology? Astrologer Kirsty Gallagher explains it all

People have never been so loud and proud of their star sign.

From drinking tea out of a ‘Typical Gemini’ mug, blaming having Capricorn in Mars for your love of working too hard, or just following scores of social media accounts that delve deep into birth charts, astrology has definitely crossed over from “woo” into the mainstream.

If you’re a devotee of all things #horoscopes, then the chances are that Kirsty Gallagher, author of Lunar Living and forthcoming book Sacred Seasons, is firmly on your radar.

Kirsty is beloved by her 113,000 Instagram followers for translating the secrets of the skies into an understandable, accessible language - so who better to ask how Vedic Astrology is different from the Western Astrology we are more familiar with?

Vedic Astrology has its roots in India where it is known as “jyotisa” in Sanskrit, a which translates as "light/heavenly body.” It is one of the three main schools of stargazing, along with Tropical (Western) and Chinese.

Each of them measure time and space differently, and while Chinese astrologers place people into years of different animals, their Indian counterparts look at the sky as it is today - which can create confusion when looking up your Vedic signs, as they are often different to what Western astrologers categorise you as.

vedic astrology is a different way of looking at the stars for guidance and answers
Vedic astrology is a different way of looking at the stars for guidance and answers microgen - Getty Images

Kirsty told Women’s Health: ‘Imagine looking up at the night sky and then placing the Western astrological map on top - at one time the constellations would have lined up, but the Earth is always shifting slightly.

‘Since we first created astrology, thousands of years ago, the skies have shifted a little bit, and when we think we're in a constellation, the actual sky is slightly different. It's all going off track a little bit.

‘Vedic Astrology uses where the planets actually are in the sky, which doesn't match up with the Western astrological overlay. The way that this type of astrology works is that we're all always a different sign out.’

But does that mean that our familiar, Western horoscopes are wrong and we need to stop basing our personality types on the twelve familiar symbols of the zodiac?

Thankfully not.

Kirsty added: ‘So where the Sun is at the moment, it actually is on the astrology wheel in the sign you were born in. This is because that’s the overlay that we use, and will always use - as otherwise it would mean every single person who does astrology would have to change the way they do things… which isn't going to happen!’

Another different school of astrological thought that might have brought on a mild panic that you’re not identifying with the “correct” zodiac is the little known fact that there is in fact a thirteenth star sign.

Ophiuchus exists in between Scorpio and Sagittarius, and covers people born between November 30 and December 18. If it is included in the astrological calendar it causes chaos as it changes the dates of all the other birth signs as they are shunted away to the left and right - quite apt considering that the constellation is represented by a man holding a snake.

Kirsty also says that this ‘thirteenth star sign’ doesn’t affect the mainstream astrology we are used to.

She explained: ‘We just have to understand there's an astrological wheel, and then there's the actual sky. And that thirteenth constellation has always been there, always, we just decided not to use it.

‘There's always been thirteen constellations. It's not new, it’s not newly discovered. But when we created astrology, we were like, well, “thirteen of them don’t fit into a nice little wheel. Let's skip that one. Because it's only quite small, we won't include that one. We’ll stick with these twelve so they fit nicely”.’

Kirsty’s new book, Sacred Seasons is out now, published by Yellow Kite.

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