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Vedic Astrology with Vaughn Paul Manley

Lesson 3:
Vedic Chart Styles and
The Kepler Horoscope Discovery

by Vaughn Paul Manley

In the previous lesson we learned how to calculate our Vedic charts by subtracting the ayanamsha, which is approximately 23 degrees, from each planet and the ascendant in our Western charts. This gives us the Sidereal or Vedic positions. The next logical thing to do is to learn how to draw up our Vedic chart and place our Vedic planetary positions into the chart itself.

In Vedic astrology we have two chart styles to choose from - the North Indian or the South Indian chart style - just in case only one isn’t enough fun (or enough complication!). But before we talk about these, let’s take a look at an interesting recent historical discovery relevant to the subject of chart styles.

The Great Kepler Horoscope Discovery At UC Santa Cruz

Johnannes Kepler

In December 1998, Anthony Misch, an astronomer at the Lick Observatory at UC Santa Cruz, came across a 400 year old horoscope manuscript, by chance, while leafing through old documents purchased by the observatory over a century ago.

Misch had the document authenticated, by a European firm, to be penned by the great 16th century German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, considered to be one of the fathers of modern astronomy along with Copernicus and Galileo. Kepler is famous for discovering the elliptical orbits of planets, as well as for being the first to realize that the tides are caused by the Moon. He also coined the word “satellite”.

The horoscope Kepler drew up in the manuscript was for an Austrian nobleman, Hans Hannibal Hutter von Hutterhofen, born on September 20, 1586. The chart clearly shows the Tropical position of the Sun to be 27 deg Virgo proving Kepler used a Tropical zodiac.

Kepler Astrology Horoscope

The other planetary degrees are: Mo 7 deg Cap; Me 22 deg Lib; Ve 0 deg Sco; Ma 6 deg Leo; Ju 12 deg Can; Sa 1 deg R Tau; N.Node 18 deg Lib; S. Node 18 deg Ari.

Of course, there are no outer planets since they hadn’t been discovered yet.

For more information go to:

This discovery proves that Western astrologers previously used a square chart style, and that the round “wheel” chart popular in the West today has only more recently come into use. It also lends justification to the claim that the old Western astronomers were also astrologers, as was always the case in the East. Lastly, it proves that there was an astrological connection between Europe and India due to the strong resemblance of the chart style in use in Old Europe and the chart style still in use in North India today.

The European Chart Used By Kepler (left) and The North Indian Chart (right):

The only difference between the two charts, besides the fact that one is Tropical and the other Sidereal and that they use different house systems, is that the European chart style Kepler used places the 1st house at the left, whereas the North Indian chart styles places the 1st house at the top.

The Two Chart Styles Used in Vedic Astrology

As previously mentioned, there are two chart styles commonly used in Vedic astrology today – the North Indian and the South Indian chart styles. The North Indian is a house-based chart, meaning that the houses always stay in the same positions in the chart and the signs move. Whereas, the South Indian is a sign-based chart, meaning that the signs always stay in the same positions in the chart and the houses move. This will become clearer as you draw up each chart and enter in your planetary positions during the exercise at the end of the lesson.

The North Indian Chart Style

Since the North Indian style chart is a house-based chart, the signs need to somehow be indicated. This is done by either writing in the glyph for the sign () in each house or by writing in the number associated with that sign in the natural zodiac (Aries=1, Taurus=2 etc.) in each house. Usually the latter method is preferred.

The main advantage of the North Indian chart style is that the angular houses, the 1st, 4th, 7th & 10th, are emphasized by being full sized diamond shapes in the center of the chart. You never have to “hunt” for the ascendant or first house like you have to do in the South Indian style chart. It’s always at the top of the chart, just as the 10th house is always on the right.

The angular houses are called the “pillars” of the chart and to have benefic influences in these houses add overall strength and stability to the chart. The North Indian style chart helps to train your mind to look for the influences on the angles and allows you to see at a glance what these influences are.

The South Indian Chart Style

South Indian Vedic Chart Style

The South Indian chart style is by far the most commonly used chart style in use worldwide today and the one we’ll be using throughout this tutorial course. Even in Northern India the South Indian chart style seems to be preferred.

In this chart style the signs read clockwise starting with Aries in the second box from the top left. You’ll find that it becomes quite easy to memorize this chart style to the point that you won’t need the glyphs or sign names to remember the sign locations. In fact, you’ll want to memorize this as soon as possible because most texts on Vedic astrology won’t give you any break by showing you the glyphs or sign names.

Since the South Indian chart style is a sign-based chart, the houses need to somehow be indicated. This is done by either putting a diagonal line through the box of the 1st house, or by writing in “Asc” for the ascendant. The ascendant is also called the “lagna” in Sanskrit so sometimes you’ll see “Lg” instead of “Asc”. From the 1st house the rest of the houses are just counted clockwise visually and are usually not numbered.

The main advantage I find to the South Indian chart style is that, at a glance, you can see the influence of the planets in the signs. For instance, if you see a cluster of 4 planets in the upper left hand corner of the chart you’ll know that this person has strong Piscean influences. They may be quite fluid, imaginative, mystical or even spacey.

The other advantage is that the South Indian chart allows you to track the major transits easily. For instance, once you’ve learned that the current transit location of Saturn is in Gemini, which is the upper right corner box, it stays there for a couple of years. So, when you’re interpreting a chart, you can quickly see the influence Saturn’s transit would have on the chart. Whereas, in the North Indian chart style you have to “hunt” for where Gemini is located in the chart before considering the influences of transiting Saturn..

Choosing a Chart Style

I actually started out using the North Indian style chart but after about two years I switched because I wanted to track the transits more easily. The other reason for switching was that I became tired of transposing charts into the North Indian chart style since most texts use the South Indian style chart.

I do recommend, however, learning both chart styles in the beginning. You will find books and articles that only use the North Indian chart style. For instance, Hart De Fouw and Robert Svoboda’s excellent introductory book on Vedic astrology, Light on Life, only uses the North Indian chart style.

The Vedic Equal House System

The Vedic system uses a much simplified house system compared to Western astrology. It uses an Equal House System, which means that each house is identical to the 30o degrees of a sign. In other words, you’ll never find a sign the spans between two houses in the Vedic system. All signs are associated with only one house. Whichever sign a planet is located in will also be the house associated with that sign counting from the ascendant or 1st house. There is evidence that the old Greek and Arab astrologers also used a full sign Equal House System.

Lesson #2 Exercise:
Drawing Up Your Vedic Chart

Draw the North Indian chart style as shown below. Use the Sidereal position of your ascendant that you calculated in the Lesson #1 exercise and write in the number associated with your ascendant sign (1=Aries, 2=Taurus etc) into the 1st house at the top of the chart. From the ascendant, write in the rest of the numbers of the signs into the remaining 11 houses as shown below. Lastly, enter in your other planetary positions and degrees.

North Indian style chart with Leo ascendant at 13 degrees:

Next draw the South Indian chart style as shown below. Draw a diagonal line through the box of your ascendant sign or write in Asc. Draw the glyphs for each sign as shown unless you’ve already memorized them. Lastly enter in your other planetary positions and degrees.

South Indian style chart with Leo ascendant at 13 degrees:

South Indian

Jai Sri Ram