Here is a response from Ernst Wilhelm when asked about how both Tropical and Sidereal can give similar results.
“The difficulty in determining which is the accurate calculation is that it takes years of studying to gain the knowledge of the techniques required to even make a judgment. Often times people blame something for a strong trait, but then with another calculation, that same thing is explained another way. For instance, someone might say they relate to Cancer strongly, but maybe that is because the Moon as AK, or Moon in Pada, or Moon super strong in Shad bala, or Moon with AK, so many things can make a person feel Moon/cancer like.
Subjective things are never a good test. The test is in concrete things. If a sign indicates a yellow house and they get an orange house, something is not lining up. If the sign says a person is large, but they are 5 feet tall, something is not lining up. If a transit says a relationship is being triggered, but instead something else is triggered, something is
wrong. All these type of things are heavily dependent on signs, so those are the types of things that need to be tested in light of the calculations that affect signs. Then consider the Rasi dasas of Jaimini, they are completely sign dependent, so they are also a great test.
I used sidereal for years and had great luck with many techniques and made a lot of great predictions. But then I saw how the Indians lost the knowledge of precession between 00 and 600 AD and how they even today calculate the Sun moving north 3 weeks late. This is something even Sri Yuktesvar complained about 120 years ago. It made decide to test all the techniques I knew on both sidereal and tropical rasis, and tropical tested out higher every time.
Interesting enough, the techniques that worked best with one system worked better with the other as well. So you need to prioritize learning good techniques. Then as you learn those techniques, especially the more rasi centered techniques you will discover what really works better.
Again, the problem is that it takes years of learning and practicing techniques to get to a point where a person can make an accurate judgment. By that time most astrologers are in the habit of using what they use, most never having even experimented with different ayanamsas, just accepting Lahiri, KP or Raman as factual without any testing or thought.
After years of using something, people do not want to examine anything else. But
sometimes they do. A recent astrologer I met who has been studying for 16 years and who knows a lot of respected astrologers, having studied with many, found out about my calculations and gave them a try. She had a broad foundation of techniques to examine, and she was open minded enough to try something new. She is now using tropical Rasis with sidereal nakshatras as I do. I just wish that everyone who had invested 10-20 years in studying techniques would be that open minded to actually TRY something new.”
Here is a response from Ryan Kurczak when asked about how both Tropical and Sidereal can give similar results.
Questioner: I see you use the Tropical Zodiac with Vedic Techniques. How is possible that one system can work, yet so can the other. You’ve said you used the Sidereal Zodiac for ten years. How is it you could have made good predictions with one system and still get good results with another? Surely, they both can’t be correct!
Answer: This has been on my mind a lot, mainly because people keep asking me about it. But I was a successful at a number of techniques using the sidereal zodiac for 10 years, and can understand how ruffled people can get to be told they have a very different looking chart than what they are used to. I used to think Western Astrologers were crazy! Couldn’t they see that when they looked up in the sky the planets weren’t where they said they should be? Of course, as a sidereal astrologer, how could I not see, that even using the Sidereal zodiac, all of the signs weren’t an exact 30 degrees. This indicates that even using sidereal, you can’t always go by what the sky indicates. (Indicating that visual reference is not a valid argument.) This is when I came to learn the Zodiac is not based on constellations as they were named by the Greeks, but based on a series of 30 degree divisions as indicated in earlier works, such as Surya Siddhanta.
(Please see Mr. Wilhelm’s article on this topic. Also, please listen to the 2 hour MP3 that is included with the article. http://ashevillevedicastrology.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/mystery-of-the-zodiac-by-ernst-wilhelm/) (If you do not read the whole thing or listen to the whole interview you will miss a lot of good points.)
Here is what I have found. Often times, it’s not the system that makes good predictions it’s an astrologers intuition. If you take the time to think about what an astrologer is supposed to be doing it’s quite extraordinary and probably beyond the mental scope of most minds or brains. Synthesizing combinations of 9 planets, in 12 different signs, in multiple states or avashtas, in 16 divisional charts, also in different states and dignities in each Varga, in different situations depending on the different bhava cusps is quite complex. We are lucky we can make any sense of it at all, even if we do understand ¼ aspect of it!
It can work like the Tarot or other divination methods. The astrologer with good intuition is guided to the proper planets to consider or situations indicated. That’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that. God will work through us however it can.
However, in my mind it would be better if we could be more scientific about it. If this is a science, it should follow repeatable rules and results. Just being in the beginning of the Dwapara Yuga, I do not anticipate anyone knowing the full scope of astrology. But since we are leaving the Kali Yuga behind, we are in the beginning of positive exploration. Just as all the other sciences, physics, to medicine, to chemistry, to aeronautics has been evolving, why would we not consider new paradigms or possibilities with astrology? If it is attachment to tradition or a false sense of self, that is not helpful.
Question: So you blame lack of consistency on astrologer’s intuition or the fact that it is hard to understand the specific principles behind the science. Are you saying we need to have a more realistic approach to astrology and its promise?
Answer: Exactly! Yet it is easy to blame lack of results on the nebulous idea that astrology is just too vast for a common mind to understand it. And that if only there was a true person practicing the way the sages taught they would get every prediction correct. That’s nonsense. All it does is make excuses for a system that doesn’t always work. Even the best astrologers miss things. But that goes without saying in any system. Do we know any doctors that have a 100% accuracy saving patients? Do we know any financial advisors that NEVER give bad advice? Do we know any psychiatrist that have 100% accuracy at curing mental illness? Do we know any gurus who have every single one of their disciples enlightened? You see my point.
Question: Part of the problem then is an unrealistic assessment of astrology or at least having a fantastical idea of what an astrologer should be?
Answer: Yes. It provides information, but it is not meant to take the place of our God given free will or capacity to reason, think and act responsibly.
We can build astrology and astrologers up to supposedly have omnipotent and omniscience knowing. That deters us from exploring the reality of the situations. If you are more invested in ‘knowing the right way’ or ‘studying with the best teacher’ you won’t have the clear vision to see when things work and when they don’t. You will not second guess your teacher or your way, because you are invested in proving it right. But that’s a problem for a number of systems, not just astrology. How many of you are committed to the enlightening grace of your teacher, but fail to see that none of the people that goes to see him/her actually embodies anything near enlightenment? If a teacher is doing his/her job there should be at least one or two successes!
Question: You see these difficulties, some of which seem immense, and yet you are still interested in exploring astrology? How can you really get through people’s expectations or false ideas?
Answer: I suppose the only way is to keep practicing, testing, and holding true to what I see actually play out.
I have seen enough charts and done enough sessions to know directly that astrological influences are not just coincidence. Yet do I understand it all? No. I know it needs work. I’d like to find more people willing to take a self honest look at their charts and objective life situations and really sit with where astrological techniques are accurate and where they fail. That’s one reason I started the www.tropical-vedic-astrology.net/forum. It’s not to answer silly questions all day long, but to provide a place for people to say, “Here’s my chart. Here is my life experience. Are there any techniques that speak to this? If so, let’s make a note and keep trying those techniques out on multiple charts to see how well they work.”
Is Vedic Astrology meant to stay in a state of doubt? Why is there this doubt? Because rarely do two or more astrologers agree on very much! We don’t even have to bring in the debate about Tropical vs. Sidereal to see even in traditional Sidereal Vedic Astrology there are different schools of thought or teachers or students proclaiming theirs is the best, with no real conclusive proof. The proof for me is seeing repeatable techniques or at least some semblance of a repeatable system, so that two astrologers studying the same system will at least get close to the mark (and be correct).
You are right, this does feel like an immense job to tackle. But I enjoy it, and it feels worth all of the strain that comes with it. I am devoted to doing my little part in this much greater process that is happening in the world of astrology at present.
Question: Help me understand a little bit more how you can see two systems, both sidereal Vedic Astrology and tropical Vedic Astrology, working. It can’t all be intuition can it?
Answer: Having had a lot of success with sidereal zodiac, it is my sense that over the last 2000 years, the system has had enough people trying to use it, that it slightly mutated or adapted for the errors. Think of a person who gets a chiropractic adjustment. They might have been walking around with crooked hips for years, yet they could walk. Why? Because their body compensated and adjusted to it over time. Now, let’s imagine that same person is treated by a chiropractor and the hips line up now. Yet they feel strange walking around. They don’t feel right! Because they’ve had 35 years of walking crooked and now they are walking straight. In time, once they become accustomed to walking as intended, the correct gait will feel better. This analogy could be applied to the use of astrology. Compensations helped it work when it worked.
Also, once a person gets used to seeing their chart a certain way, it’s easy to find reasons within their life experience to associate to the chart placements. They might not be correct, or only supported in one area of the chart, but it will be enough to say, “See! That’s why it’s right.” In order to make a solid prediction or assessment, we have to be able to see karmas indicated from multiple angles. We can’t just say, “See my Moon is in Scorpio, that’s why I’m too sensitive and an emotional mess.” It needs to be supported from multiple angles.
Question: How do you deal with people who come to you who have had a bad experience with astrology or did not finding it working for them previously? Do you treat them any different?
Answer: I actually enjoy working with people who have had bad experiences with astrologers, because they are not attached to what their past astrologers have been saying. Many astrologers are good at telling people what they want to hear, which doesn’t help anyone, unless it’s true. Then again, who wants to go to an astrologer who’s just going to confirm that you are in a predicament (which you already know) and the only way you are going to get out is through hard work(which you don’t want to hear)? And that’s usually why the person has had a bad experience. The astrologer either didn’t see the problem or led them to believe there was some magical solution or time period coming up that would correct all errors.
Question: How did your chart look when compared to tropical zodiac? Did it make sense and is that one of the reasons you made the switch?
Answer: Good question. In studying my own chart, switching to the tropical took a lot of hard reality to face. Yet, when I actually considered my life experiences and what really occurred, the tropical made more sense. It took me 5 months of wrestling with this. Finally, reality won out. Yet, we must be careful here, because in using the tropical we need to make sure we are using the technique correctly. If we don’t understand the techniques, we can warp them to fit our ideas or expectations. This is another reason why sidereal can work. Not having a solid grounding in technique, our intuition comes to the rescue and makes sense of things that might not be there.
Question: How would you advise someone interested in exploring this? What would you tell them to do?
Answer: A lot of people want me to prove this to them. I learned a long time ago, you can’t prove anything to anyone unless they have direct experience for themselves. The best thing anyone can do is:
#1 Get a solid understanding of what the houses and planets mean.
#2 Figure out what planetary dignity means and how to use it.
#3 Learn how to use Rashi aspects and Graha aspects correctly. (Graha aspects are not meant to be general as they are commonly used. We have to understand the virupa system with Graha aspects.)
#4 Learn how to use the Deeptaadi, Balaadi, Lajjitaadi and Jagradaadi avashtas correctly.
#5 Learn how the vargas work and their role in interpreting a chart.
(This looks like a short list, but it can take a few years just to get one or two of these down.)
Then, start assessing charts. If we aren’t using these, much of which require the signs to be correct to work well, we do not have the proper background to even make an educated guess. We will just be proving things with little or no support, or with only the support of our intuition.
Again, let me say, I have nothing against people using intuition. Personally, I don’t even care what zodiac a person uses as long as the information is correct and they can work well guiding their clients. But my reason for answering all of these questions is only to bring about the possible singular study of astrology into a unified system. One day it will be possible.
Please see these videos too:
It would’ve been much easier to simply stick with the sidereal zodiac, but I cannot argue with the results and accuracy I’ve seen since switching. I also can’t argue with the logic of a tropical zodiac as it is indicated by Surya Siddhanta and also Ernst Wilhelm’s work.
Questioner: Thank you. This is a lot to think about.
Ryan: I agree! I am always thinking about it.