INDEPENDENT STUDY. Instructor: Bruce Scofield, PhD

In Mesoamerican astrology, multiple units of time become signs. Learn how to work with this fascinating and unique tradition!

There are four major, world-class astrological traditions: The Western astrological tradition that grew out of the Near East, Mediterranean and Arab cultures; Indian astrology (Jyotish) that was strongly influenced by Greek astrology around 300 B.C.; Chinese astrology, an ancient indigenous astrology utilizing interlocking cycles of 12 and 10; and Mesoamerican astrology, whose origins go back to at least 500 B.C.

The 20 day-signs in Mesoamerican astrology are similar in many ways to the Western zodiac. They map out distinct personality types and a sequence of evolutionary stages. There are a number of subtle, internal arrangements beyond the scope of this article that invite exploration by those interested in mathematical aesthetics.

Below are the names of the day-signs with a brief delineation for those born under them. The delineations are based partly on ancient sources and partly on anecdotal evidence.

The "Mayan Calendar" is the popular name for a complex organization of time, number, astronomy, and astrology created and employed by the Maya (and probably some of their predecessors) in ancient Mesoamerica (central and southern Mexico and northern Central America). Archaeologists and historians of Mesoamerican civilization generally refer to this calendar as the Long Count. The Long Count has three elements that are shared with the Western Christian calendar; a base date, a means of grouping large periods of time, and an astrological component.

The "Mayan Calendar" is the popular name for a complex organization of time, number, astronomy, and astrology created and employed by the Maya (and probably some of their predecessors) in ancient Mesoamerica (central and southern Mexico and northern Central America). Archaeologists and historians of Mesoamerican civilization generally refer to this calendar as the Long Count. The Long Count has three elements that are shared with the Western Christian calendar; a base date, a means of grouping large periods of time, and an astrological component.