The Vedas are considered to be the most sacred and religious texts of Hinduism in India. The Vedic Astrology or Jyothish is derived from the Vedas. The Vedic Astrology is mainly based on the movements and positions of the planets with respect to time and their influence on the lives of the human beings.
Vedic Astrology or Hindu Astrology or Indian Astrology is different from that of the western as it uses the concept of fixed zodiac instead of the moving zodiac. In contrast to the Western Astrology based on the sun signs, the Vedic astrology (rashi astrology or rashi horoscope) is completely based on the twelve moon signs. Each moon sign is known as a Rashi. The word Rashi actually means a cluster or a group of stars. So the Vedic astrology identifies one's zodiac sign as Rashi which is based on the position of the moon at the time of birth.
Why is a Rashi so important? It is said that Moon is the ruler over one's personality. Moon or Chandra is supposed to have a great effect on our subconscious feelings. The Moon's placement in one's horoscope is very important as it connects with the inner feelings, memories, and the five senses.
Each Rashi is represented by a symbol and belongs to fire, air, water, or earth element.
The twelve Rashis as per the Vedic astrology are as follows:
1. Mesha – Ram is the symbol. Fire is the element. Mangala is said to be the ruling planet of this Rashi.
2. Vrishabha – Bull is the symbol. Earth is the element and Shukra is said to be the ruling planet.
3. Mithuna – A couple is the symbol. Air is the element of this Rashi and Budha is the ruling planet.
4. Karka - A crab is the symbol. Water is the element and Chandra rules over this Rashi.
5. Simha – The symbol of this Rashi is a lion. The element of this Rashi is fire. Surya rules over this Rashi.
6. Tula - Weighing scale is the symbol of this Rashi. Air is the element and Shukra is said to be the ruling planet.
7. Kanya – The symbol of this Rashi is a virgin. Earth is the element and Budha is the ruling planet of this Rashi.
8. Vrischika – A scorpion is the symbol of this Rashi. Mangala is the ruling planet and Water is the element.
9. Dhanu - The symbol of this Rashi is a bow. Fire is the element and Guru is the ruler of this Rashi.
10. Makara - The symbol of this Rashi is an alligator. Shani is the ruling planet of this Rashi and Earth is the element.
11. Kumbha - A pot is the symbol of this Rashi. Shani is the ruling planet and Air is the element.
12. Meena - Two fish lying next to each other represent Meena Rashi. Guru is the ruling planet and Water is the element.
Rashi and Janma Nakshatra are closely connected. The nakshatra in which the moon is placed at the time of one's birth is known as Janma Nakshatra. For a horoscope to be made, both are considered very critical.
Each Rashi has its own characteristics. The study of each Rashi becomes a vast topic by itself.