Star and tropics are two different forms of astrology based on two different ways in which a year can be measured.
Simply put, a sidereal year is the time it takes the earth to move around the sun while referring to the fixed stars. These are the celestial bodies that do not seem to move at any point in the year. Perhaps the best known of these fixed stars is Polaris, the cushion, but in reality there are hundreds upon hundreds of fixed stars in the sky.
The word "tropical" has become synonymous with "hot" - people dream of going to a tropical island and sipping exotic drinks, but the etymology of the word actually comes from the Greek word tropicos which does ______________ mean 'Turn'. So when you read or hear someone talk about the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, they refer to the areas on the globe that represent the extreme northern and southern latitudes, where the sun can stand directly above them and where they can be seems to be spinning in the course of an annual revolution of planet Earth. The time it takes for the sun to travel from one point in the sky to the same point using the tropics is called the tropical year.
There are subtle differences between a sidereal year and a tropical year, a tropical year is about nine minutes shorter than a sidereal year, now nine minutes do not seem to be much in the course of a year (especially if you realize that there are almost 526,000 minutes in an average year)
How do these different types of annual measurement affect the zodiac?
If you think of the sky as a circle that never ends, has no beginning and no end, you need to set a reference point from which you can start to map or measure the zodiac cycle. Star astrology (which is an older practice than tropical astrology) is based on a starting point based on the simple fact that the ancient Greeks (Hellenistic astrology) considered the spring equinox as the beginning of their year and therefore it was logical choice this would be used as the starting point of the zodiac. From this point on, ancient Greek astrologers divided the sky into 12 segments with a 30-degree division, starting with the constellation of Ram, and then naming each of the subsequent segments after an easily recognizable and known constellation that corresponded to each division. It is also worth noting that early Greek astrologers did not use the constellations as a reference point when measuring the position of the planets because they did not divide the sky evenly - they were just a reference point.
This early type of astrology was based solely on cyclical movements. Associations were drawn between the energies and qualities of a particular season and the signs of the zodiac. The equinoxes were given absolutely no attention since they only dealt with seasonal influences in their interpretation of the stars. This remains the basis for star astrology, star star means star.
It was at least 250 years later that Claudius Ptolemy, a Roman citizen who lived in Egypt but wrote his works in Greek, began to study and advocate a system of astrology that took into account the spring equinoxes and the duration of a tropical year. Because of his advocacy, this became so popular that it became the system used by most modern western astrologers. Ptolemy did not discover this type of astrology, he only reported about it in his work.Tetrabiblos', a four-volume treatise on astrology. It is also worth noting that Hindu astrology (Vedic astrology) continues to be based on sidereal astrological movements.
It's a short story, but how does it affect modern astrology?
Have you ever noticed in a daily newspaper when you look at the horoscopes that your date of birth has been assigned? Taurus, if you are 100% sure that you are actually a ram? It has happened to me a couple of times and that will only happen if you understand that the horoscope you are looking at is based on star astrology rather than more general tropical astrology.
One thing in life is certain and that is that things are changing. If you think of astrology from around 1645 BC BC Thinking, when it was first practiced in ancient Babylon, you should also be aware that very little is a fixed point in life. For example, at the time of Ptolemy, the constellation of the ram had shifted so much in the night sky in almost 2000 years that it was almost in the middle of the sky section associated with fish.
While sidereal and tropical astrologies are based on the same 12 sections and zodiac signs, there are significant differences between the dates.
Aries - Tropical Astrology March 21 - April 20 Star Astrology April 14 - May 14
Taurus - Tropical Astrology April 21 - May 21 Star Astrology May 15 - June 14
Gemini - Tropical Astrology May 22 - June 21 Star Astrology June 15 - July 15
Cancer - Tropical Astrology June 22 - July 22 Star Astrology July 16 - August 16
Leo - Tropical Astrology July 23 - August 22 Star Astrology August 17 - September 16
Virgo - Tropical Astrology August 23 - September 23 Star Astrology September 17 - October 16
Libra - Tropical Astrology September 24 - October 23 Star Astrology October 17 - November 15
Scorpio - Tropical Astrology October 24 - November 22 Star Astrology November 16 - December 15
Sagittarius - Tropical Astrology November 23 - December 21 Star Astrology December 16 - January 13
Capricorn - Tropical Astrology December 22 - January 20 Star Astrology January 14 - February 12
Aquarius - Tropical Astrology January 21 - February 19 Star Astrology February 13 - March 12
Pisces - Tropical Astrology February 20 - March 20 Star Astrology March 13 - April 13
These date differences sometimes give skeptics ammunition that they can use to attack astrology as a concept - if the sky is not a constant, surely astrology can't use it to accurately predict the future? Well, this argument is usually based on an error, and this error is that the signs of the zodiac are the same as the constellations that they are named after. There is a fixed point in astrology and that is the person who is looking for a reading.
Thousands of years ago astrology was based on observations in the sky, but in the 21st century art has a much more scientific approach - we are all fixed points based on our date and time of birth and the many other factors that make up who we are. The stars in the sky affect us all at all times and it doesn't matter whether the references that were first used by the ancient Greeks are no longer as they used to be, we don't live in ancient Greece! Astrologers no longer use the stars as they did 2,000 years ago to determine how they are influencing you now. It is also worth noting that star and tropical astrology differ in the zodiac, but there are two very important constants - the planets and their aspects. While you may be a capricorn in tropical astrology and a Sagittarius in star astrology, the influences that affect you remain the same - it is only the zodiac signs that have moved.
Astrologers who practice both forms of astrology while working on their measurements and astrological charts are, without exception, well-versed and trained in the path they choose. It is wrong to say that tropical astrology is more valid than star astrology or vice versa. When you see an experienced astrologer, it shouldn't matter what system he uses, what astrology charts and predictions they prepare for you, constants that are in an ever-changing, never-ending cosmic ballet.