Cyril Fagan


The Ochchabhaga, February 1955  

In this article, Fagan briefly discusses both the Hindu and Babylonian ayanamsas before examining the horoscope of Mohandas Gandhi. He also examines the solar and lunar returns for Gandhi’s death and reminds us of the famous 1947 prediction made by the Hindu astrologer Dr. B. V. Raman.

The clue to the true Indian ayanamsa (the difference between tropical and sidereal reckoning) that has been entirely overlooked by Indian savants, is found in the fact that Varaha Mihira, about A.D. 400 edited The Panchasiddhanta.* Varaha Mihira is held in reverence as one of the greatest of the rishis (one who is inspired, a sage, poet or saint with uncommon understanding of life. ed.).  He made the ochchabhaga (hypsomata) or exaltation degrees of the planets an integral part of Hindu astrology (Brihat Jataka, I, 13); and to this day these exaltation degrees are extensively used*

in the East to determine the graha bala or strength of a planet in a horoscope, which is at its greatest when it has ochcha bala, that is, when it is in its own exaltation degree.  But as the sidereal longitude of the zero year of the vernal point (i.e., 0° of Aries, ed.) and the ayanamsa of the Egypto-Babylonian zodiac were derived from the hypsomata (see Fagan’s first book,  Zodiacs, Old & New, 1950), and their values attested by numerous Babylonian and Egyptian texts, and confirmed by the independent research of Professor Dr. B. L. van der Waerden,** an authority on astrochronology, and as the ochchabhaga is an integral part of Hindu astrology, then it must follow that the true zodiac of India must be hypsomatic; that is to say, it is identical in every respect with the ancient zodiac of Egypt, Babylon and Chaldea. From this conclusion there is no escape whatsoever.  Hence in the Indian zodiac, Chitra (the alpha star in Virgo, Spica) is in Virgo 29° and not Libra 0°; Revati is in Pisces 25° 02' and not Aries 0° and the zero year for both zodiacs is the same, namely A.D. 213.  (It is now recognized as A.D. 221, ed.)  

For students of Jyotisha this is a momentous discovery and its importance cannot be overestimated.  If accepted by them it will end, once and for all, the interminable confusion and and will lead to the introduction of much needed reforms in the standardization of planetary longitudes and the like, in all Panjikas and sidereal ephemerides, for all will employ identical values for the Ayanamsa, which for January 1, 1955 was 24° 13'.


Actually it would appear that Aldebaran (al-dabaranu) "the forecaster," in Taurus 1° and in opposition to Antares in Scorpio 15° was the original fiducial star of the Babylonians and not Spica.  As the "god of the tablet, crown of Anu," Aldebaran was identified with Nabu (Mercury), the divine scribe and the Babylonian god of astrology, who bears in his arms "The Tablets of Fate."  Aldebaran rose heliacally in Babylon in the 3rd millennium B.C., during Nisan, the first month of the year; and on New Year's Day a white bull was sacrificed to Nabu, who, thereupon, through the mouth of his high priest, read the fates of men for the coming year.  Hence Aldebaran is par excellence the astrologer's star. 

According to Hindu tradition when a celestial body enjoys the same navamsa longitude (the ninth harmonic position of a body) as its sidereal longitude it is deemed to be vargottama, a position of extraordinary significance.  This can only happen when the celestial body is precisely in the 15th degree of the fixed signs (or the 0 degree of the cardnals, ed.), and as Aldebaran and Antares were in Taurus 15° (45° [to the east of 0°]) and Scorpio 15° (225° [to the east of 0°]) they were in their vargottama navamsas, which is a powerful argument that Aldebaran, and not Spica, was the prime fiducial star of antiquity.  All longitudes as given in my sidereal ephemerides are calculated from Spica in Virgo 29° (except those for 1948 and 1949, which are computed from Spica in 180° [before the ancient Babylonian longitudes had been finally determined, ed.]), but the addition of a mere 3' 11" to them (or to the sidereal longitude of the vernal point V.P.) will make Aldebaran the chief fiducial in Taurus 15° 00'. 


On the date of Gandhi's birth, October 2, 1869, the sidereal longitude of the vernal point was Pisces 6°59' 06".  Reckoned from Aries 0° this becomes 336° 59'06", which deducted from 360° gives for this date, the Egypto-Babylonian and Indian Ayanamsa as 23° 00' 54". It only remains for us to subtract 23° 00' 54" from all longitudes shown in Gandhi's tropical horoscope to reduce it to the true sidereal zodiac of antiquity (See table below). 

Tropical Longitudes                         












Mars             Jupiter            




























26° 09'


25°  49'


8° 55' 31"


19° 56' 14"


3° 45'


16°  27'


18° 24'


20° 10'


12° 21'


21° 46'


18°  26'


17°  32' 


-23° 01'


-23°  01'


-23°00' 54"



-23° 00' 54"


-23° 01'


-23°  01'


-23°  01'


-23°  01'


-23°  01'


-23°  01'


-23°  01'

-23°  01'   




Sidereal Longitudes   

= Cancer


= Libra


= Virgo


= Cancer


= Libra


= Libra


= Libra


= Aries


= Scorpio


= Gemini


= Pisces


= Aries        

3° 08' 


2° 48'  


15° 54' 37"


26° 55' 20"


10° 44'


23° 26'


25° 23' 


27° 09'


19° 20'


28° 45' 


25° 25'


24° 31'          

An examination of Gandhi's Rasi chakra (natal horoscope, chart No. 1) shows the Moon in its own dignity, riding high in the heavens.  We have learned that the Moon denotes the reactions of the senses as expressed in the emotions. and being in its own domicile, and in the natal foreground, the Mahatma's emotional responses were powerfully active and very much to the fore.  Taken alone, such a position makes one particularly prone to sensuous enjoyment and much tempted to seek gratification in every mode possible.


The Moon was configured with both benefics and it is evident that Gandhi's manner endeared him to the masses, especially as the Moon was in Cancer, which holds dominion over the people.  As the Moon is not configured with the Sun, and as the latter is in the background in the constellation of the meek and self-effacing Virgin, it is patent that this apostle of Ahimsa (non-violence) and civil disobedience was devoid of vanity, egotism or self-interest in any form.  It is said that Bodhisattvas are born with the midnight Sun, which is tantamount to saying that they are devoid of any awareness of a separate self, a condition sine qua non to complete enlightenment.  (Gandhi’s Sun was in the 12th house, a similar venue to the midnight Sun, which predisposes the native to a selfless, spiritually inclined life, ed.).


The Moon is in quartile aspect to Venus and Mars, which are in conjunction in the pleasure loving Libra, and it is quite apparent that the Mahatma (Mahatma means "great soul" in Sanskrit, a term of respect), in early life, was sorely tempted to a life of passionate self-indulgence, for the biological urges were strong, active and only too easily excited. That he did not succumb wholly to their promptings is largely due to the fact that Mercury (intellect) took precedence over Venus and Mars and that the Sun, significator of his vital interests, was wrapped in the folds of the chaste and angelic constellation of the Maid, the only one to be depicted with angel's wings. While his feelings hungered for a life of pleasure, the innate modesty and earnestness of his Virgo heart (Sun) decreed otherwise

Jupiter and Pluto


If by the power of his Virgo Sun, Gandhi succeeded in restraining the action of the Moon's configurations to Venus and Mars—although it did not prevent him from marrying at the age of 13 years (a marriage arranged by his parents, ed.) and being adored by the women of his entourage—he allowed the Moon's configurations with Jupiter and Pluto in the political and dictatorial constellation Aries to have full reign.  The Moon's quartile aspect to the aloof Pluto rendered him the most famous rebel in Indian life, and the immense success of his civil disobedience campaign was assured by Pluto's conjunction with Jupiter.  This antisocial trait, albeit only directed against certain sections of society, found force and drive from Pluto's opposition to Mars.  In the geniture of B. Lokamanya Tilak, the Indian rebel who also had Pluto in opposition to Mars, both planets were in square aspect to the Sun.  Hence Tilak was a rebel at heart (the Sun); it was part of his very being.  But in Gandhi's case as it was the Moon that was configured with these malefics, his revolt against the abuses of his time was but a powerful emotional (Moon) response, devoid of innate violence.

Sun In Virgo


As already stated, Virgo is the most angelic of the constellations, being inherently pure in heart and deed. Conscientiousness in all their dealing is a marked trait with people born when the Sun is passing through this constellation (sidereal, Sept. 17th to October 17th), as well as their cold but adamant adherence to principles.  In the execution of what they conceive to be their duty, or in the attainment of their lofty ideals, they are calm, dispassionate and implacable, and in extreme cases indifferent to the sufferings of others, pitiless, and horrified at nothing.  If a job has to be done, they will not shirk it, even though others shall suffer in consequence.  Living almost exclusively in the mind they will permit nothing to disturb the rigid routine of their lives.  Venus, the significator of love, is in its fall in this constellation and its natives are accordingly not prone to sentimentality nor the tender feelings of compassion and love.  If they are agitated by feelings of endearment, these spring from the head and not the heart. 

It is not, therefore, surprising to find so many natives of this constellation in the army, navy and police forces.  Such people are, as a rule, apt in learning, versatile, fond of curiosities, accumulators of knowledge, expert with the fingers, mechanically dexterous and capable of seeing through machinery.  In argument they excel in splitting hairs and will take as much delight in making, mending or even playing with a child's mechanical toy, as in planning a military campaign.  While making the best of executives, the native of Virgo is a poor administrator, being tormented, by indecision and the conflict of opposing ideas; and fearful of choosing wrongly, he hesitates to act, and then it usually is too late.  Virgo is par excellence the constellation of the strategist, the civil and military engineer, the draftsman, the cartographer the statistician, the mechanic, the factory hand, the librarian, the clerk and the school teacher.


According to Manilius, bashfulness is characteristic of Virgo. Bashfulness and shyness are responses of the emotions and hence come under the dominion of the Moon.  It is certainly true that those who have the Moon at birth configured with Mars from the foreground of their nativities are remarkable for their unabashed behavior in public, even though the Sun may be in the constellation Virgo.  Lord Henry Cavendish is said to be the shyest man who ever lived.  He was wont to lock himself away in his laboratory, and used the backstairs to avoid meeting the domestics.  But this exaggerated trait may be due to the fact that his Sun at birth was in exact conjunction with Pluto in 25° Virgo. He was born on October 10, 1731 (N.S.) but, unfortunately, his hour of birth is not known.  More familiar is the shyness, if not aloofness, of Greta Garbo, the famous film star, who was born when the Sun was in 1° 41' Virgo; but this too may be due to Pluto which was near the Ascendant at her birth.

It has, however, been observed that when among equals, Virgos are at their ease, but before superiors of both sexes they suffer torture, the more so should the Moon also be in this constellation, and hold no relationship with the brazen Mars.  Like the other Mercurial sign, Gemini, the natives of Virgo are inwardly highly nervous.  An unexpected noise or touch will make them hit the ceiling. Even when sitting, their hands and feet are often seen to be quivering.


Easily worried and agitated by their indecision, Virgos lack all the easy-going placidity of their opposite, Pisces.  Just as the latter like to gorge themselves with the delicacies of the table and wine cellar and are seldom serious (except where sports or gambling are concerned), so the former as a class are so concerned about their spiritual and material well-being that they frequently attempt to thrive on the most frugal of fares and take life all too seriously.  Natives of this constellation are usually not noted for good looks or symmetry of form, but what they lack in this respect they more than make up for in talent and attention to duty. 

As Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the planet of speech, it is not surprising that it has produced some of the greatest orators and rhetoricians of history.  Dr. Annie Besant, whom the late G. B. Shaw claimed was the greatest orator of her day, confessed that she suffered agonies of stage fright every time she mounted the platform.  She was born when the Sun was in 15° 12' Virgo.  Other famous orator natives of this constellation were [Girolamo] Savonarola, Charles Bradlaugh, the free-thinker, Georges Clemenceau and Aimee MacPherson. As regards the services we find that Albrecht von Wallenstein, Lord Horatio Nelson, Lord Roberts, Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, General Maurice Gamilin, General Walter von Brauchitsch, General  Eberhard von Mackensen and the hero of World War II, President Dwight Eisenhower, were all scions of the constellation Virgo.  The traditional horoscope of Napoleon Bonaparte  (August 15, 1769, at 9 :41 a.m. L.M.T. Ajaccio, Corsica), one of the greatest strategists of all time, shows the 25th degree of the constellation Virgo rising at birth.


Most textbooks stress Virgo's interest in astrology and therefore it is not surprising to find that many of the leading exponents of the art have one or other of the luminaries in this constellation, or the stars of Virgo rose at their birth. Notable examples are Cornelius Agrippa, John Partridge, Jerome Cardan, H. S. Green, Heinrich Daath and Charles E. O. Carter.  Ironically enough, nobody's faith in the efficiency of astrology was more pronounced than that of Heinrich Himmler, chief of the dreaded Gestapo, whose Sun was in  21° Virgo.



Reverting to Gandhi's nativity, we find that Mercury, the dispositor of the Sun, was in the ascendant in the venusian constellation Libra, and in the immediate foreground.  Hence Mercury was the dominant influence in the Mahatma's life. Hitler, too, was born under the rising of Libra, and he, too, had Mercury, as the most angular planet in his geniture, being on the cusp of the 7th house.  Both men swayed the masses by the magic of the spoken word, but whereas Hitler's Mercury sounded the clarion call to arms, being in the Martial constellation Aries, Gandhi's Mercury exhorted the people to nonviolence because it was placed in the peace-loving Libra.  Mercury is the smallest of the planets, yet remove it from the horoscopes of these two leaders and they would cease to be the historical figures they are.


Although Sun in Virgo people normally verge on the slim side in marked contrast to their more corpulent opposites, the Sun in Pisces, March 16th-April 15th, yet the Mahatma's spare body and boy-like undeveloped frame, his remarkable business aptitude, his keen incisive intellect and nimble decisions, his restless activity and capacity for tireless traveling bespeak the dominance of Mercury's signature on his life.  Its position in the immediate foreground was so strong that it effectively counteracted the influence of the Moon-Venus-Mars configuration.  In other words politics and business took precedence over the call of the flesh.  But this would not have been the case had the apostle of nonviolence been born an hour or so later, which demonstrates how important it is to know the correct time of birth.


The propinquity of Uranus, in the journalistic Gemini, to the Midheaven added that remarkable touch of originality, unexpectedness and uniqueness which are the hallmarks of success, and which, through the medium of the press, make Gandhi the most exceptional political figure of our times.


The fact that Gandhi was no accumulator of wealth and indifferent to his personal security is not at all surprising seeing that the self-protective and cautious Saturn was in the remote back ground of his nativity, being in the middle of the 2nd house. 

Fateful Solar Return


Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 at 5:03 p.m. IST at New Delhi (28°N35', 77°E13') and therefore the operative solar return occurred subsequent to his previous birthday, October 2, 1947.  If a sidereal ephemeris for this year were at hand, we could tell at a glance the day in October, 1947 when the Sun occupied the same sidereal longitude as it did at birth, and the calculation of the return would be a straightforward matter.  But as no sidereal ephemeris for this year is available, we have no option but to use a tropical ephemeris for 1947 and by adding the sidereal longitude of the vernal point (V.P. for October 2, 1947) or by subtracting the corresponding ayanamsa, whichever is preferred, to the Sun's tropical longitudes for this day and for a few days subsequent to it, convert them into their sidereal equivalents, which will enable us to see the date when the Sun was in15°54'37" Virgo, the sidereal longitude of the radical Sun.


We find that the V.P. for October 2, 1947 was 5°53'11" Pisces which deducted from 360° gives the corresponding ayanamsa as 24°06'09".  Using an Ephemeris we find the Sun's tropical and sidereal longitudes at 0h U. T. to be as in table below.

 Tropical          Ayanamsa        


=  Virgo 15° 49' 01"

=   "        16° 48' 07"  

Oct. 4  Libra

 "     5      "     

9° 55' 10"

10° 54' 16"  

- 24° 06' 09"

- 24° 06' 09"

Hence the 78th Sidereal Solar Return occurred on October 4, 1947. We must now proceed to discover the precise time as in table below.

Oct. 5, 1947

"      4   "  

Sun's Diurnal Motion    

0h U.T.  Virgo  16° 48' 07"

 "    "       "        -15° 49' 01"

                               59'  06" 

Virgo              15° 54' 37"

Natal Moon   -15° 49' 01"

Diff.                 05' 36"  


Difference    5' 36"

Sun's D.M.   59' 06"

U.T.       2h l6m 27s 

Diurnal   Prop. Log 

                  "        "

     "            "        "       




Therefore the Mahatma's sidereal solar return (see chart # 2) occurred at 2h 16m 27s a.m. G.M.T. on October 4, 1947, whereas his tropical solar return took place on October 2, 1947 at 23h 43m 46s, a difference of 26 hours and 31 minutes!  Small wonder, therefore, that tropical solar returns fell into such bad repute, and were, for the most part, ignored.***


We will now determine the sidereal time (or R.A. of the M.C.) of the return as follows:



October 4, 1947 at 0h U.T. Sidereal time         0h 47m 22s  

Time of solar return                                          +2h 16m 27s  

Increment at the rate of 9.86 sec./hr.3             +0h 00m 22s

New Delhi 77° E13'                                          +5h 08m 52s  

Sidereal time for New Delhi meridian                8h 13m 03s 


R.A. of  the M.C. (RAMC) or local sidereal time is therefore 123°15' 45" (8h 13m 03s of sidereal time = 8.2175 x 15 = 123° 15' 45" of arc).



A tropical horoscope should now be calculated in the usual manner, the longitudes of the planets being computed for 2:16 a.m. G.M.T. on October 4, 1947 and the cusps of the houses calculated for sidereal time 8h 13m 03s for the geocentric latitude of New Delhi, namely 28°N25'.  Deducting the Ayanamsa, 24° 06' 09", from all tropical longitudes including the cusps of the houses converts the horoscope into Gandhi's fateful solar return as shown in Chart No. 2. In this chart the positions of the birth (radical) planets are shown in the inner circle, while the position of the planets on October 4, 1947 at 2:16 a.m. G.M.T are shown in the outer circle.


A mere glance at Chart No. 2, shows the malefics Mars, Pluto and Saturn dominating the 10th house. Mars being almost exactly on the cusp in square to Mercury in Libra 9° 07' in the ascendant thus denoting extreme danger of violence, with fatal injuries to the stomach (Cancer).  It will be noted that Saturn in Cancer 25° 20' is in exact square to the natal Mars in Libra 25° 23' (deviation 0° 03') and in trine aspect to Neptune, in the house of illness (6th) in Pisces 25° 25' (deviation 0° 05'), which radically is placed close to the anaretic or "killing degree" Aries 2° 48'. The ancients averred that if the angles of the return were radix, that is identical with those of the birth chart, the year would prove climactic in some way or other.  This is not only true in this instance, but it will be noticed that Mercury occupies almost the same longitude as it does at birth, an indication of restless traveling and fatal speech-making.


Had this idol of the Indian people kept clear of the 77° of East longitude, he would probably have survived this most inauspicious revolution, for Mars then would not be so close to the meridian.  Neptune's proximity to the Sun betokened his contemplated retirement from the religious life, but being in the 12th house forewarned of the danger of assassins lying in ambush.  Although the Moon was in exaltation in Taurus 2° 52' denoting the veneration and gratitude of millions of Hindus and Moslems alike, it is nevertheless on the cusp of the 8th house and ominously close to Algol "The Skull" in Taurus 1° 20', the most sinister fixed star in the heavens. The great benefic Jupiter could render no assistance as it was under the earth and in the background.

Fateful Lunar Return


Our next task is to compute the lunar return that was in force at the time of the assassination, January 30, 1948. Fagan's Sidereal Ephemeris for 1948 and 1949 should be used for this purpose if it is available.  This will obviate the necessity of finding the ayanamsa and of effecting reduction from one zodiac to the other. But it should be noted that it was published before May 14, 1949, when the mystery of the hypsomata was solved, consequently it was computed from Spica in 180°, instead of 179°.  So if used it will first be necessary to deduct 1° precisely from all longitudes, not omitting Tables I and 4 and the included Tables of Houses.



Jan. 27, 1948              0h   Cancer 21° 54'         Cancer           21° 54'

  "    28,       "                       Leo        7° 12'         Natal Moon   -26°  55'

Moon's Diurnal motion                    15°  18'        Difference         5° 01'


Difference   5° 01':   Diurnal prop. log.            0.67950

D.M.          15° 18':        "           "       "           - 0.19552   

U.T.             7h 52m      "           "       "             0.48428 

For the benefit of those who do not possess a copy, we will use the tropical ephemerides.  The tropical longitude of the Moon at Gandhi's birth was Leo 19° 56' and if we refer to the ephemeris for January 1948, we will find that the Moon was transiting this longitude on January 27th, hence this was the date of the lunar return.  On January 27th and 28th the tropical longitudes of the Moon at 0h U.T. were Leo 16° 01' and Virgo 1° 19' and deducting the ayanamsa for these dates, namely 24° 07', their sidereal longitudes become Cancer 21° 54' and Leo 7° 12' respectively. The time of the lunar return can now be found (See table above).


The sidereal lunar return, therefore, occurred at 7:52 a.m. G.M.T., January 27, 1948 (see Chart # 3).  The corresponding tropical lunar return occurred at 6:09 a.m., G.M..T., a difference of 43 minutes!


The Sidereal Time of the return is now found as follows:


January 27, 1947 at 0h U. T.       S.T.      8h 20m 46s  

Time of lunar return                               +7h 52m 00s  

Increment of 9.86 sec. per hour             +  01m 18s  

New Delhi fast of U.T.                            + 5h 08m  52s  

Sidereal time of lunar return                     21h 22m 56s 

For New Delhi  

As in the case of the solar return, a tropical horoscope is calculated in the usual way; the positions of the planets being computed for January 27, 1948 at 7:52 a.m. G.M.T. and the cusps of the houses, corresponding to Sidereal Time 21h 22m 56s for geocentric latitude 28°N52'.  The calculations are completed when the ayanamsa, 24° 07', is subtracted from all longitudes.  Chart No. 3 shows the completed lunar return with the radical planets placed in the inner circle.


As noted in Gandhi's fateful lunar return, the position of the radical and transiting Moon on the cusp of the 4th house (denoting the grave and the end of all things) is heavily besieged by the malefics, Pluto, Saturn and Mars, with Mercury on the meridian in direct opposition; all bodies being in the immediate foreground catch the eye at once, and is only too evidential of impending disaster. Taurus, which holds the cusp of the radical 8th house, is here ascending, and the ascendant is in exact square to Mars in Leo in the 9th house.  Mars applies to the square of the radical Saturn, which is close to the anareta or cusp of the 7th house.  Although Jupiter and Uranus configure the Moon they can offer no assistance as they are not sufficiently close to the angles, and are therefore not strong enough to mitigate the influence of the powerful configuration on the cusp of the 4th. 

Dr. B. V. Raman's Prediction


In the April, 1947 issue of the Astrological Magazine, the editor Dr. B. V. Raman (1912-1998. ed.) made one of the most successful predictions of modern times, when he penned these words: "Mars and Saturn will be in conjunction in the last degree of Cancer on Nov. 12, 1947. These combinations also point to the loss (by assassination as violent Mars is with Saturn in the 12th) of a respected mass leader of this country." There cannot be the slightest doubt but that Dr. Raman had Gandhi's Rasi Chakra (natal horoscope) before him when he wrote these ominous words, for the conjunction of Mars and Saturn, to which he refers, occurred at 11:21:45 U.T. on November 12, 1947, when the sidereal longitude of the malefics was Cancer 28° 06' 28" and therefore close to Gandhi's Moon in Cancer 26° 55'. Gandhi was assassinated at New Delhi on January 30, 1948 (see chart #4) so that Dr. Raman's prediction, which was published at least 10 months before the event, found an astonishingly accurate, if tragic, fulfillment.  The confirmation of this forecast puts Dr. Raman in the foremost rank of the world's successful astrologers, and renders the study of Jyotisha really worthwhile.


* The Panchasiddhanta or Panchasiddhantika is one of the major works of Varaha Mihira, one of the brightest lights of the Indian Golden Age (the Gupta Period: A.D. 320 – A.D. 711).  He was an astronomer, mathematician and astrologer who determined correctly the rate of precession for the first time (50.32s/year; it is currently 50.25s/year).  The Panchasiddhanta is a treatise that summarizes the state of Indian astronomy and that of other cultures up to Varaha Mihira’s time.  His dates are unknown but A.D. 505 - A.D. 587 appears often with the stiplation that those dates are not sure.  He made import contributions to trigonometry, algebra and arithmetic.


** Bartel Leendert van der Waerden ph.d. (1903-1996), was a renowned Dutch mathematician and historian of mathematics with a long-time side interest in astronomy.  His books most relevant to serious astrologers are Ontwakende Westenschap, translated into English in 1954 with the title, Science Awakening and Die Anfange der Astronomie (The Beginning of Astronomy), 1965, in German.  His papers, “The Thirty-Six Stars II” (1949), “The Heliocentric System in Greek, Persian and Hindu Astronomy,” (1987) and “On the Romaka-Siddhanta,” 1988 are also important for students of the astrological art.

*** The difference in time between tropical and sidereal solar and lunar returns is due to the difference in the lengths of the tropical and sidereal year and month.  A tropical year is 365 days 5h 48m 46s which is the elapsed time between consecutive equinox to equinox transits of the Sun.  The sidereal year is 365 days 6h 09m 10s which is the elapsed time between consecutive fixed star to fixed star transits of the Sun.  Because the equinox is not a point that is fixed in space, but is constantly in motion to the west due to the precession of the Earth’s spin axis, a tropical return does not return to the same point in space every year but to a point that is increasingly removed from the birth position until by middle age or one’s elder years the difference between tropical and sidereal returns is more than an entire day.  The difference between the tropical and sidereal years, twenty minutes and 24 seconds, means that a tropical solar return is out of sync with the sky by more than an hour every three years. The tropical month is 27 days 7h 43m 05s which is the elapsed time between consecutive equinox to equinox transits of the Moon.  The sidereal month is 27 days 7h 43m 12s which is the elapsed time of consecutive fixed star to fixed star transits of the Moon.  That difference, obviously, becomes more pronounced with age.  Some well-known tropical astrologers use sidereal solar and lunar returns in order to not be subject to the timing errors that accrue to tropical reckoning. KB

We would like to thank Derek Kinsolving for scanning the original articles from his collection of American Astrology magazines.



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