Dazzled by Power: Part Two

The seductive nature of new astrological approaches

by Hank Friedman

Astrologers are, by their very nature, imaginative and inventive. But that doesn't mean that their every idea is sound.

For example, some astrologers are exploring the calculation of Nakshatra positions using the Tropical Zodiac. But what they don't understand is that Nakshatras are actual observable star clusters, and the Tropical Zodiac has nothing to do with the stellar Zodiac, only with the four seasons. That's why the Sidereal Zodiac must be used for Nakshatra work.

Unfortunately, most astrology programs don't warn you when you're calculating Nakshatra positions that if your default settings are Tropical you need to switch to Sidereal.

And since the main predictive tool of Jyotish (the Vimshottari Dasa system) is also Nakshatra based, it too must be reckoned using the Sidereal Zodiac.

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Similarly, we live on Earth. That may seem pretty basic to some people, but there are astrologers who are using Heliocentric coordinates to describe qualities of peoples' lives, when the Heliocentric system is divorced completely from life on Earth (and in fact the Earth is a point in that system).

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One of the common questions that I am asked is, "what software can rectify my chart for me". The answer, to be honest, is "none". I've tested many programs dedicated exclusively towards rectification, and none of them found birth times accurately.

The two rectification modules that I found able to come close to my birth time after entering a series of major events in my life only worked if most astrological predictive techniques were omitted from their settings. How many people would be able to fine-tune such modules to be effective at all? Almost none.

Additionally, since entering major times in peoples' lives is very time-consuming, such modules haven't been tested for effectiveness, and may not really work reliably at all.

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To be clear, I'm not trying to "rain on anyone's parade" but instead to simply point out that consistency is important in astrological work, (e.g. use the Sidereal Zodiac for Vedic work), and to only use complex tools provided by software if you really understand how they work, and have the skill and experience to do some thorough testing to see if they are actually effective.

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Next week I will focus on modeling, an area that is quite popular in software but is very unlikely to have any basis in reality.

Stay tuned!


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