ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Tropical Astrology Valid?

Updated on January 8, 2022
lovetherain profile image

lovetherain is a seeker on a strange path and tends to philosophize everything, from the strange and odd to the mundane.


Is tropical astrology valid? Or is it just an artifact of the time of Ptolemy? Is sidereal astrology the valid zodiac?

Here we will take a look at the three zodiac systems, constellations, sidereal and tropical, and then we will discuss their validity.

Constellational Zodiac

The constellational zodiac is based on the actual constellations. The boundaries for the signs are the same as the boundaries of the constellations. Therefore Virgo is much larger than Cancer, for instance. And some constellations overlap, so I'm not sure how astrology works here. The constellations are those in the ecliptic, in which the Sun, Moon, and planets move.

The constellational zodiac was probably the first system used in astrology in ancient times. Some, though few, modern astrologers use it and sometimes include Ophiuchus, which lies partway on the plane of the ecliptic.

Sidereal Zodiac

The sidereal zodiac is an idealized zodiac, divided into 12 signs of 30 degrees each. It is roughly aligned with the constellations. It is unsure exactly where the sidereal zodiac starts, as no one can agree where the signs are divided.

There are differing Ayanamsas, or calculations for 0 Aries, the start of the sidereal zodiac. Ayanamsas can differ by hundreds of years.

Tropical Zodiac

The tropical zodiac is another idealized zodiac, this time aligning with the seasons, not the constellations. In fact, the tropical zodiac has virtually no relationship to the constellations of the ecliptic.

Like the sidereal, the tropical zodiac has 12 signs of 30 degrees each. In the tropical zodiac, Aries is always the start of the spring around March 21, the vernal equinox.

So Which Zodiac is Valid?

Due to the Precession of the Equinoxes, the tropical and sidereal zodiacs differ by about one sign or 24 degrees. The tropical will keep falling back by one's sign every 2000 years or so.

They coincide once per precession. The last time they coincided was around the first or second century AD. The exact time can't be accurately calculated, as no one agrees on zero Aries.

The tropical zodiac, from my best guess, was "frozen in time" by Ptolemy, who popularized the seasonal, tropical zodiac.

Does this mean the tropical zodiac is not valid? I am unsure. Honestly, I see no reason that Aries must be in spring, or that the signs must coincide with their tropical seasons. I think it is just an artificial artifact of the zodiac being adopted at that time. I could be wrong though, and it will take more study to figure it out.

So which zodiac is valid? Do we follow the sidereal zodiac, as it is more in line with the constellations? If we did, then how often would we have to readjust it, to keep it in line with the constellations? At least every 2000 or so years for sure, for the change of the ages.

What is the Precession?

The Precession of the Equinoxes is the slow backward movement of the signs of the zodiac, as seen during the equinox before the sun rises. On the spring equinox, if you look at the sky before the sunrise, you will see a constellation of the zodiac. The constellations slowly move backward by one degree every 72 years. So in 2160 years, there will be a new sign and a New Age. Right now we are at the end of Pisces and near the beginning of Aquarius.

Each Precessional cycle, one time through the zodiac, is 25,920 years.

What's My Sign?

You may hear how your sign isn't really your sign, and there is truth to that. It just depends on whether you are going by the tropical or the sidereal zodiac. For instance, my tropical sign is Taurus, while my sidereal is Aries.

So it is really up to each individual to decide which astrology to follow. I notice that as time goes on, the less I am inclined to follow the tropical zodiac.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)