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Vedic Astrology:

Vedic Ephemerides


Here are three strikingly different Vedic ephemerides. Please note the differences carefully:

The Betz Ephemeris is set in Lahiri Ayanamsa.

On January 1, 2000, its value was
23 degrees, 51 minutes, 10 seconds.

Raman's New Millennium 50 Year Ephemeris is set in Raman's Ayanamsa.

On January 1, 2000, its value was
22 degrees, 24 minutes, 44 seconds.

Raman's 110 Year Ephemeris of Planetary Positions is in 360 degree TROPICAL notation.

From these positions you must SUBTRACT your favorite ayanamsa.

See the descriptions (below) for other details. Note carefully the pdf illustrations.


THE BETZ EPHEMERIS, 1940 - 2040 (midnight, Lahiri Ayanamsha) - Martha & Keith Betz, $35.00
At last! A true Vedic ephemeris in the Lahiri Ayanamsha. This excellent new book replaces the hodge-podge of Indian published ephemerides. This book also eliminates the cumbersome conversion of tropical to sidereal zodiacs. Among its many features are daily Lahiri positions of Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto & the true node. The moon itself is given twice daily, at noon & midnight. The moon's latitude is given daily, other planets are given monthly. Also includes lunar phases & eclipses (both the zodiacal position & GMT), planets crossing 0 degrees latitude, monthly positions for Lahiri Ayanamsha, Delta T & the Julian date, star charts with signs & Nakshatras, star tables of the brightest stars with positions & magnitudes. Expensive, but one of those essential books you'll be glad you got.

The Production Werks, paperback, approximately 616 pages.

Click here for a sample page (pdf).


RAMAN'S NEW MILLENNIUM 50 YEAR EPHEMERIS (2001-2050 AD) - Edited by Gayatri Devi Vasudev, $35.00

Contents:

1. Preface
2. Dr. B.V. Raman - father of modern astrology
3. Introduction
4. How to cast a horoscope

5. Planetary longitudes or Ephemeris for 2000 to 2050

6-15: Tables:
i. Sidereal time on 1st January each year
ii. Sidereal time datewise
iii. Tables of houses - Sayana
iv. Nakshatras & their longitudes
v. Vimshottari dasa calculation
vi. Yogas
vii. Latitudes & longitudes of places
viii. Standard times
ix. Raman ayanamsha for 2000 to 2050
x. Proportional logarithms

Comment: The first item to clear up is the title. This ephemeris covers the years 2000 to 2050, inclusive. The words, "Fifty Years" and "2001" on the cover, and the title page, are misprints. There are fifty-one years in this book.

One month per page. The ephemeris is entirely free of glyphs. Mo for Moon, Su for Sun, CAP for Capricorn, AQU for Aquarius, etc. All of which is standard, though it does favor English speakers over others.

The order of columns is as follows:
Date - DOW [date of week] - Mo - Su - Me - Ve - Ma - Ju - Sa - Ur - Np - Pl - Ra - Ke

You will note this is the standard Western order, except for the Sun/Moon swap. Note the inclusion of the three trans-Saturnian planets, as well as Rahu & Ketu given separately (mean, not true). Retrogrades are indicated with < (less than) symbol. In practice, 21VIR43 is direct. 21VIR43< is retrograde. Sidereal time, commonly given in the daily ephemeris listings in standard western ephemerides, is instead given in tables in the back. Note this will will lead to complications with leap years.

Positions are for Midnight, 00 h 00 Indian Standard Time, ie Five hours thirty minutes earlier than GMT. This is an Indian ephemeris, intended for those on the subcontinent.

Not given: Stationary times, lunar phases, aspectarian, last lunar aspect, declination, SVP, Julian day. I mention these should any western astrologer stray this way.

See a sample page here.

In the introductory notes, I learn that Tithis are the number of 12 degree arcs between Sun & Moon. Yogas are the number of 13 degree, 20 minute arcs produced by combining the positions of these same two bodies.

Of the various tables:

Tables I & II, Sidereal Time, is that of Ujjain, an ancient city in central India. It has been the "Greenwich" for Indian astrology far longer than Greenwich has been the Greenwich of western astrology.

Table III, Sayana houses for the ascendant & midheaven, are given every 10 degrees of latitude, from 0 to 60 degrees north. One presusmably interpolates for intermediate latitudes. As Vedic houses are traditionally equal (owing, in part, from India's equatorial location), no other house cusps are given. Unique to this table are the standard astrological glyphs for the zodiacal signs. The table notably suffers from a lack of vertical rules, it is hard to keep the columns clear.

Table VII, terrestrial latitudes & longitudes, gives coordinates for approximately 400 locations. Most are cities, but some are states & others regions (Abyssinia). There is an element of whimsy. There is a Baltimore USA, a few miles down the road from me, and a Baltimore, Ireland, a location I was previously unaware of. Positions are to the nearest minute of arc. The time interval, to IST, is not given. You must work it out yourself.

Table VIII, standard time zones in the world, is of little use. Western European countries, such as Belgium & France, are shown as using GMT, which they have not used since 1940. The Summer Time notice, given on page 649 & presumably from the UK, has been out of date for many decades. Could it be that Indian ephemeris makers are using European data from the pre-1947 era?

Special note:
This ephemeris is in the Raman ayanamsa. It is not the same as the standard Lahiri ayanamsa. On 1 January 2000, the two differed by 1 degree, 26 minutes, 24 seconds. So far as I am aware, Dr. Raman, his family, and his students, are the only people who use this ayanamsa. Unique among Vedic astrologers, Raman had great success with mundane astrology. His ayanamsa could possibly be the reason why. I would like to see this explored further. Please consider this carefully before you buy this book.

The editor, Gayatri Devi Vasudev, is the late B.V. Raman's daughter.

UBSPD, 654 pages.


RAMAN'S 110 YEAR EPHEMERIS OF PLANETARY POSITIONS (1891-2000) - B.V. Raman, $10.00

Contents:

Preface to the first edition
Preface to the 10th edition
Introduction

Retrogression tables of planets: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
Retrogression tables of Mercury

Raman's 110 year ephemeris, 1890-2000

Longitudes of Uranus on the first of each month
Longitudes of Neptune on the first of each month
Longitudes of Pluto on the first of each month

Tables:
1. Sidereal time on 1 January of each year at Ujjain at 12 mean noon (1891 - 1979)
2. Date-wise motion in Sidereal time
3. Tables of houses - Sayana, for 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 degrees north (1st & 10th cusps only)
4. Nakshatras & their longitudes
5. Balance of Vimshottari dasa by longitude of the moon. Includes proportional parts for dasas of planets
6. Table of yogas (26) for joint longitudes of sun & moon
7. Terrestrial latitudes & longitudes (approximately 400 cities & regions)
8. World-wide table of standard times (a listing of countries), and when adopted
9. Ayanamsa, 1891-2000, for the first of January for every year, 1891-2000. Presumably Raman's own.
10. Proportional logarithms for finding planets' places

Comment: Planetary positions, Sun through Saturn, and Rahu, given every ten days, in 360 degree notation, one year per page. Positions are TROPICAL, not sidereal. Subtract your Ayanamsa & you have the proper sidereal position. The ayanamsa given in this book is presumably Raman's own, as it is two degrees less than the standard Lahiri. It is not otherwise identified. Lunar positions are given every two days. The introduction gives complete instructions for calculating charts, including the relevant nakshatra. Which are: Convert planetary positions to minutes, divide by 800. The resulting quotient are the number of constellations that have already passed, the remainder is the position in the current asterism. And for Thithis. These instructions are among the clearest I have ever found. A number of secondary calculations are set for the city of Ujjain, which is located in central north-west India. It has served as the first meridian of longitude for Hindu geographers since the 4th century BC, something which I did not previously know.

For a sample page (pdf), click here.

UBSPD, 270 pages.


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