The Liberating Power of the Sidereal Zodiac

I’m assuming you’re here because you are looking for resources on sidereal astrology and the sidereal zodiac. Yes?

The biggest challenge you face looking for information on the sidereal zodiac is that there aren’t many resources (published books + online content.) Why? Up until now, no one has created a framework for using the sidereal zodiac that doesn’t duplicate the one used with the tropical zodiac, or without appropriating the cultural and religious framework of Vedic astrology (Jyotish, astrology of Indian religion and culture.) So, when you search for books or other content on the sidereal zodiac, you’re directed to Vedic astrology resources, or to content that mysteriously sounds identical to what you’d read in tropical zodiac resources.

I faced the same challenge that you face now: where can I find content that helps me understand how and why the sidereal zodiac works, that answers how and why is it different from the tropical zodiac?

The Liberating Power of the Sidereal Zodiac by Dayna Lynn Nuckolls, The People's Oracle. Image of a monarch butterfly flying toward freedom from a dark whole. The sky is in view, blue with white fluffy clouds.

Some basic facts up front:

  • Zodiac sign =/= constellation. There is a constellational “zodiac.” But I would argue that it’s not quite a zodiac;
  • There aren’t 13 signs. NASA is NOT the National Astrology and Space administration, so don’t defer to them as an astrological authority;
  • Since neither the tropical zodiac, nor any of the sidereal zodiacs align precisely with the constellations, we can reject that idea as a reason why you should use the sidereal zodiac over the tropical zodiac.

I could say that the sidereal zodiac works consistently and more accurately than the tropical zodiac. But I don’t think that’s a good reason either, though it is a legitimate reason for me, someone who spent 7 years working exclusively with the tropical zodiac.

Something Ain’t Right?

Studying the techniques and reading the work of Firmicus Maternus and Vettius Valens is what led me to the sidereal zodiac. They never mentioned that they exclusively used that zodiac in their writings, nor did they make any case for using one zodiac over another. Either way, I was able to see the logic in some of the techniques they wrote about. I started applying it to charts. But, I couldn’t make them work consistently.

Both authors wrote about what is analogous to the yogas in Jyotish: configurations between planets that have specific and consistent meanings. After my failures with the tropical zodiac, I intuitively started experimenting with those techniques and configurations using the sidereal zodiac. [Actually, I first thought I must have the wrong birth time. But then I realized that everyone’s birth time can’t be wrong!] But a freaking light bulb came on when I started to apply Maternus’s and Valens’s techniques on charts using the sidereal zodiac. My mind was blown! But then I was stuck. I couldn’t find anything on the sidereal zodiac. Nothing! Nada! (Except what I mentioned above, copycat tropical or Vedic resources.)

Then What?

That was in 2014. I spent the next 2 years revisiting all of the charts I had in my library and hundreds if not a 1,000 more, trying to tease out a logic or framework for how this zodiac worked and why it worked. But, It really took me until 2017/2018 to be able to articulate a framework for the sidereal zodiac that isn’t a duplicate of tropical logic, not about math or astronomy, and isn’t Vedic/Jyotish.

What does that leave us with? If I can’t say that the sidereal zodiac is more astronomically accurate in relation to the actual stars or some mathematical calculation, then why? If I don’t appropriate the cultural and religious framework of Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) then what do I have left?

I have my identity and experiences that uniquely inform my approach to astrology. I have me, a Black woman, born and raised in 20th century America, come of age in 21st century America. The specificity of my identity isn’t exclusionary. It makes me especially qualified to develop a unique astrological framework for using the sidereal zodiac that speaks to the legacy of what it means to be a Black woman. In fact, it is because of who and what I am that I am able to see what the sidereal zodiac has to offer us all.

(I would offer up the possibility that whiteness as a social construct and identity has inhibited the ability for other astrologers, up until now, to see the logic in the sidereal zodiac. It’s not just another zodiac, an alternate measurement. The sidereal zodiac is an entirely different worldview and way of seeing oneself in the world, in relationship, and in community. In fact, in sidereal astrology there is no self outside of relationship and community!)

First, I had to understand how the tropical zodiac was being used. I had to observe my peers and try to see their logic. And what I observed was that as with all things appropriated by modern western thought (read: white and male), the tropical zodiac has become an instrument of oppression.

Astrology is a discipline dominated by white men as gatekeepers. They have established themselves as the authority on what is legitimate and accurate. That means the rest of us conform or be seen merely as “brands” who try to capitalize on our uniqueness. You put anything in the hands of white men and it inevitably becomes a tool of oppression that furthers the cause of white supremacy. Astrology and the tropical zodiac included. And if you find non-Vedic resources on the sidereal zodiac, they are copying tropical frameworks.

(Even as I’ve shared these thoughts on social media, I’ve had men, both black and white, question my legitimacy because my work hasn’t followed the trajectory similar to that prominent white male astrologers .)

Divination for Liberation

The more and more I observed how the tropical zodiac was being used, the more I saw the use of the sidereal zodiac as tool for liberation. That’s why I call my work #DivinationForLiberation.

Astrology is fundamentally and essentially a language. All languages are a cultural phenomenon that shape perceptions and reinforce established power dynamics. You can think of language as embodying cultural doctrine.

I need my astrology to radically dismantle existing power structures that subjugate and oppress me for my ethnicity/race, class, and gender. That’s what was missing from the tropical zodiac and the worldview it proposes.

#DivinationForLiberation reclaims astrology as a tool for political, emotional, economic, and spiritual liberation via exclusive use of the sidereal zodiac.

#DivinationForLiberation reminds me of the way my ancestors cultivated ritual that allowed them to bypass power structures they were excluded from. They created religious practices that engendered agency as a gateway to spiritual and economic liberation and empowerment.

#DivinationForLiberation reminds me of the discipline and strength of will required to surrender to the truth that there is a time and a season for all things. I am at my most powerful when I subject my individual will to the Divine Will which articulates that time + that season.

If you are looking for a liberating astrological doctrine that sees your blackness, your queerness, your non binary expressions, the oppression you face, your non-whiteness, your womanhood, your suffering, and your power, then you’ll find it here in #DivinationForLiberation.

Sidereal Zodiac/ Sidereal Astrology Resources

  • I have a webinar called an Intro to Sidereal Astrology (I’ll likely offer another one that includes insights I’ve gained since 2017) orcle.me/siderealweb
  • Astrology software is expensive. Another barrier towards learning and using astrology. That’s why I create iCal’s that contain sidereal transits you can import into your phone, computer, and other devices existing calendar. https://shop.thepeoplesoracle.com/collections/2019-calendars-guides
  • It takes years to learn astrology, but that should never be a barrier to you taking advantage of its liberating power. That’s why I create content that requires no prerequisite knowledge to use. My favorite is my Monthly Horoscope Workbook orcle.me/scopeworkbook
  • Use this guide to cast your sidereal birth chart: orcle.me/chartguide

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Sidereal Birth Chart Doesn’t Fit

Read the top 5 reasons why your sidereal birth chart doesn’t fit.

With astrology more popular than it has been in decades, there is a lot of conversation around what kind of astrology is the “right” kind. More specifically, there is much debate around which zodiac is the right zodiac. Should one use the tropical or sidereal zodiac? Is there a reason beyond the astronomy of the zodiac that one would use one or the other? (Read my thoughts on that here.)

But why do people have such an intense reaction around which zodiac to use? And why do people often reject the sidereal zodiac only after looking at their birth chart? I’ve listed the top 5 reasons why people immediately feel like their sidereal birth chart could not be right, and thus reject the sidereal zodiac.

Top 5 reasons why your sidereal birth chart doesn't fit. By Dayna Lynn Nuckolls - The People's Oracle

5. You think the Sun is the most important planet in your birth chart.

The zodiac sign that the Sun occupied on the day that you were born is the gateway (and exit door) to astrology for most people. “I am a [insert zodiac sign]” is an easy way to identify one’s self and communicate to other people certain assumptions about who you are. But who said that the Sun is indicative of who you are?

The birth chart puts every planet in a sign—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, plus the Sun and Moon. Each planet represents something very specific about not only who you are becoming, but how became that way. When you understand the depths of what astrology is capable of articulating, you learn that the Sun may be the least powerful or significant planet in your birth chart.

4. You’re biased against certain zodiac sign.

You once dated “a Cancer” and they did you wrong. Now you ask every person if they are “a Cancer” because you refuse to deal with that moodiness ever again. *insert eye roll*. Maybe you’ve got a thing for “Scorpio” because you believe what they say about their sex. *sigh*

How could you make an assumption about so many people based off of your experience with one or two people? And why does your experience create a factual basis for astrology? That’s definitely not how this works! Read some books, and see number 1.

3. You don’t understand what a zodiac is.

There is this whole debate around constellations and how many signs are there and which zodiac is the “real” one because it aligns with the stars… Blah, blah, blah.

The zodiac is a projection onto the elliptic with segments, 30° each, named after 12 of the 88 (yes, eighty-eight) constellations. The elliptic is the path the Sun appears to follow as it rises, sets, and culimnates each day. The Sun actually isn’t doing anything though. The Sun is stationary, Earth (and the other planets) move. So save your drama about the “real” zodiac versus the “fake” one. And read a book!

2. You think zodiac signs = astrology.

Oh, so you’ve been reading your horoscope since you were 12. Congratulations! Have you ever heard of a birth chart? What about the term secondary motion? Do you know any time lord techniques? What about the concept of sect? Do you know which of the 4 humors are associated with each planet?

Read a book, boo!

1. You know way less about astrology than you think you do.

Most people who see their sidereal birth chart for the first time have a major astrological crisis of identity. They want astrology to be real and true, they know it is. But how could they have identified with the “wrong” chart, or sign, this whole time?

Our brains evolved to be able to come to life saving conclusions with as little information as possible. Our survival depends upon our ability to ascertain threats and to be safe from them. Threats to one’s identity are the hardest to comprehend because identity is such an intangible thing. At least with the body you have a quantifiable medium.

Astrology is vastly complex and is a topic fit only for lifelong study. A few months of internet study, or a year of looking at charts is not enough to make any substantive judgment about astrology or which zodiac or style is “right”. You have to pick one style or zodiac, and stick to it long enough to gather experience, data, and observe patterns that give you a real idea of what you’re working with. I mean, it was 7 years of study that led me to the sidereal zodiac!

Your birth chart is not astrology. Your love for Scorpio or beef with Cancer is not astrology. The identity you’ve crafted from your understanding of the zodiac signs is not astrology.

There really isn’t a clear consensus amongst astrologers on what astrology is and what its function is. But the best designation I’ve been able to make sense of is that astrology is a language. It is more than zodiac signs. Planets, and the two lights (Sun and Moon) are the most important of all, and everything else is derived from them.

So, before you make grand declarations about which zodiac is right or wrong, or which chart is right or wrong, separate your identity from your astrology, read books, and a whole bunch of charts!

More Jupiter in Scorpio themes…

In my original post laying out themes for Jupiter in Scorpio I offered a list of keywords, concepts, and themes that would be prominent for that year long transit. Here are some additional themes. 

  • Rogue
  • Rebellious
  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine
  • Police
  • Soldiers
  • Guns
  • Surgery
  • Weapons
  • Bombs
  • Knives
  • Bullets

I’ll probably add another list sometime before the transit begins, as well as aggregating manifestations of my predictions.

Jupiter enters Scorpio October 10, 2018

July 2018 Sidereal Astrology Forecast & Horoscope

July 2018 is one of the busiest months of the year, and it only gets busier through the rest of 2018. July is when it really starts. The last week of June 2018 ushered us in to an unprecedented time governed by a rare Mars retrograde in Capricorn.

View the July 2018 Sidereal Astrology Forecast & Horoscope on YouTube.

July 2018 Astrology

Now, in July we have Mars retrograde for the entire month, and a Mercury retrograde that starts at then end of the month. There are TWO eclipses and Jupiter stationary direct. So much is happening!

That is why I live stream a video forecast for each month on my YouTube channel. The July 2018 Sidereal Astrology Forecast & Horoscope video is now up. Let me know what you think. I added some of my political forecasting at the end. Enjoy

Sidereal Astrology Forecast – May 2018

Here is your monthly sidereal astrology forecast for May 2018. We are well under way, but there is plenty in this video to help you navigate the rest of this month.

Watch the video forecast for May 2018 on YouTube.

Major sidereal astrological configurations for the month of May, 2018.

  • May 2 – Mars in Capricorn (View the video horoscope for the 6 month Mars in Capricorn Transit on YouTube.)
  • May 8 – Sun OPPOSITE Jupiter
  • May 9 – Mercury in Aries
  • May 12 – Mercury SQUARE Mars
  • May 14 – Sun in Taurus, Venus in Gemini
  • May 15 – New Moon in Taurus
  • May 23 – Mercury OPPOSITE Jupiter
  • May 25 – Venus OPPOSITE JUPITER
  • May 26 – Mercury in Taurus
  • May 29 – Full Moon in Scorpio