The differences between Eastern & Western astrology systems definitely illustrate some of the differences between the two cultures.
First, consider how each system looks at the moon. In the Vedic system, the moon is extremely important and is more relevant than the Sun. (a heresy to consider here in the west!) Whereas here in the west the moon represents our moods, our emotions, and our unconscious behavior patterns. In the east, the moon describes the mind….particularly the monkey mind, or the puppy mind as yoga teacher Steven Cope has described it. Either, or, it’s out of our control.
On the other hand, Mercury in the western system governs things like communication, networking, short distance travel, and our habitual thinking patterns. In the Vedic system, Mercury has more to do with our intellect, a higher function than we usually attribute to Mercury.
The yogi’s and other spiritual seekers of the east spend a lot of time studying the mind. Over the centuries they have written volumes on the nature of the mind and how to best use and control it. For anyone who has practiced yoga or meditation for a while it’s easy to see that they are definitely onto something. The Buddah tells us that our suffering is really a result of negative and disruptive mind states. Patanjali wrote in his famous sutras, that the ultimate purpose of yoga is about calming down the fluctuations of the mind.
Whether you follow eastern or western astrology there’s a lot of information to be gained by examining the condition of the moon and mercury in your chart. First consider the sign and house placement of each planet, and then spend some time looking at the aspect (or relationship) of them to each other. Perhaps you’ll get a sense of how your mind functions, or not! After all, your entire perspective is simply a result of your own mind.
Time to ponder.