Dainik Rashiphal or daily horoscopes are probably the most read items in news papers, magazines, and websites. As a daily forecast reader, you need to know the system behind writing forecasts and then only reading forecasts make any sense. For example, if the forecasts are written for the sun signs, reading it using your moon sign is incorrect. You need to know whether the predictions are written for the sun signs or the moon signs. You also need to know whether the sun sign or the moon sign forecast is calculated for Western zodiac (Western rashi chakra/ Tropical Zodiac) or Hindu zodiac (Hindu rashi chakra / Sidereal Zodiac).
Let me explain. The universe is divided into 12 equal parts and each of this part has been named as a sign. For example, the first part is called Aries sign or Mesha rashi, second part is called Taurus sign or Vrishabaha rashi and so on. Mathematically speaking universe is measure as a circle of 360 degree and by dividing it in 12 equal parts, a sign comes out of 30 degrees each. Sunsign is the sign, where the Sun was posited at the time of birth. Similarly Moon sign is the sign where the Moon was posited during the time of birth.
Though before going into the detail of sunsign and moonsign, I would like to tell the difference between the measurement method of Westerns and Hindus. There is a difference in the way Westerns measure the position of heavenly bodies than the Hindus. The Westerns calculate the position of heavenly bodies from a fixed point whereas Hindus use a variable point. The Western degrees differ from Hindus degree by a factor called Ayanamsa. Ayanamsa is simply a difference in the point of reference. Right now, broadly Western zodiac differs from the Hindu zodiac by 23 degree.
Coming back to the point of Sun Sign, knowing Sun Sign is easy because sun stays in a sign for almost a month and it is almost same for every year. For Western zodiac, these are the dates currently for Sun staying in various signs –
1. Aries - March 21 - April 20
2. Taurus - April 21 - May 21
3. Gemini - May 22 - June 21
4. Cancer - June 22 - July 22
5. Leo - July 23 -August 23
6. Virgo - August 22 - September 22
7. Libra - September 24 - October 23
8. Scorpio - October 24 - November 22
9. Sagittarius - November 23 - December 21
10. Capricorn - December 22 - January 20
11. Aquarius - January 21 - February 19
12. Pisces - February 20- March 20
For Hindi zodiac, the present dates are as follows –
1. Aries- April 14 - May 15
2. Taurus- May 15 - June 15
3. Gemini- June 15 - July 16
4. Cancer- July 16 - August 17
5. Leo- August 17 - September 17
6. Virgo- September 17 - October 17
7. Libra- October 17 - November 16
8. Scorpio- November 16 - December 16
9. Sagittarius- December 16 - January 14
10. Capricorn- January 14 - February 13
11. Aquarius- February 13 - March 14
12. Pisces- March 14 - April 14
So you must know whether the horoscope/ rashiphal is written for Western Sun Sign or Hindu/ Vedic Sun Sign and only then you can figure out which sign to read.
Generally Hindu/ Vedic astrologers prefer Moon sign whereas as Western astrologers prefer Sun sign for writing horoscopes.
In case the date is lying at the junction point e.g. 14th April, it is advisable to use any astrology software for knowing the sunsign precisely. You can use www.astrosage.com, a free online astrology software for this purpose.
Coming to the moon sign, there are no fixed dates for Moon for every year for each sign and hence it is difficult to have a reference table the way we have for sunsign. You need to use astrology software for finding your Moonsign. In Hindus there is a tradition to name a child based on the Moonsign at the time of birth of the child. In case the child was named on the moonsign at the time of his birth, you can figure out the moonsign by the name using following table –
1 Mesha (Aries) - chu , che , cho , la , li , lu , le , lo ,a
2. Vrishabh(Taurus) - ee, uu,ae, o , va , vi , vu , ve , vo
3. Mithuna (Gemini)- ka , ki , ha , ku , gha , rh, ch , ke , ko
4. Karka (Cancer)- hu , he , ho , da , di , du , de , do
5. Simha ( Leo) - ma , me , mu , me , tta , tti , ttu , tte
6. Kanya (Virgo) - to , pa , pi , pu , sh , rhn, tha, pe , po
7. Tula ( Libra) - ra , ri , ru , re , ro , ta , ti , tu , te
8. Vrishchik (Scorpio) - na , ni , nu , ne , no, ya , yi , yu
9. Dhanu( Sagittarius)- ye , yo , bh , bhi , bhu , bhe ,dha , pha , rha
10. Makar ( Capricorn)- bho , ja, ji , ju , je, jo , khi, khu, khe,kho,ga , gi
11. Kumbha (Aquarius)- gu, ge , go , saa , si , su , se , so , da
12. Meena (Pisces)- di , du , tha , jha , eeyan , de , do , cha , chi
Let us take an example. My name is Punit. It starts with alphebets ‘pu’ which is found in front of Virgo sign in above table. So as per Hindu astrology, my moon sign should be Virgo provided I was named on my Moon sign. If I was not named using my moon sign, calculating moon sign or rashi using this method is not correct. In case you are not sure whether you are named on your moon sign or not, it is advisable to use any astrology software and check check in which sign the moon was situated at the time of your birth.
Though this is not the end of the all the confusions. There are the times when the horoscopes are written using raising sings also called ascendant or lagna. In Hindu astrology, sometimes rashiphals are also written for Nakshatra (constallations or the 27 divisions of zodiac). Rising signs and nakshatras forecasts are not as popular as sun sigs or moon sings forecasts but you can invariably find them in some magazines. The best way to calculate your raising sign or Nakshatra is by using software like astrosage.com.
Tools, Tables and Calculators
1. AstroSage – Free online astrology software
2. Moon Sign Calculator
3. Nakshatra Table
4. Moon Signs Horoscopes (Chandra Rashi Rashiphal)