Tropical Zodiac

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Tropical Zodiac: Sidereal zodiac, Sidereal astrology

Tropical Zodiac (Moving Zodiac)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The tropical zodiac, also called the moving zodiac, is the familiar circle of 12 signs that begins at 0° Aries (the point where the Sun is located at the spring equinox). Because of the precession of equinoxes, the equinox point changes slightly so that each year it moves farther and farther back when looked at against the background of the stars. The net effect of this movement is that the signs no longer correspond with the constellation after which they are named, and at this time the tropical sign Aries begins near the beginning of the constellation Pisces. The antonym of tropical zodiac is sidereal zodiac, which refers to the zodiac constituted by the actual constellations. The sidereal zodiac is used in Hindu astrology, and also by a few Western astrologers.


Bach, Eleanor. Astrology from A to Z: An Illustrated Source Book. New York: Philosophical Library, 1990.
Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.