Displaying items by tag: mesoamerican http://kepler.edu Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:23:01 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Astrological Signs from Ancient America http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/328-astrological-signs-from-ancient-america http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/328-astrological-signs-from-ancient-america Astrological Signs from Ancient America

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.

  1. Alligator (Maya=Imix, Aztec=Cipactli). Energetic, practical, creative and initiating -- but also dominating and parental towards others. Strong nurturing instincts, quite sensitive and private. Experiences or feels rejection from family or parents. Often founders of businesses, organizations or associations.
  1. Wind (Maya=Ik, Aztec=Ehecatl). Mentally active and communicative, versatile and multi-faceted. Idealistic and romantic, fashion conscious or artistic. Somewhat non-commital or indecisive. Problems with issues of responsibility and obligation.
  1. House (Maya=Akbal, Aztec=Calli). Powerful, often physically dominating. Organized, patient with much endurance. Hard worker. Logical and systematic approach to problems but also traditional and mentally rigid. Concern for security in home and family. Introspective, needs solitude.
  1. Lizard (Maya=Kan, Aztec=Cuetzpallin). Interest in leadership and performance. Self-esteem an important issue. Influential, with reputation for being different. Fanatical interests and high standards. Strongly influenced by sexual matters.
  1. Serpent (Maya=Chicchan, Aztec=Coatl). Strong-willed, high-powered, extremist. Mysterious, charismatic, dramatic with "sex appeal." Strong emotional reactions cause great upheavals in relationships. Intelligent, well informed, fanatical and obsessive.
  1. Death (Maya=Cimi, Aztec=Miquitztli). A sign of politics, obligations, sacrifice and faith. Involved or interested in civic affairs. Not natural leaders and will accept secondary roles or positions. Traditional in faith or religion. Materialistic, concerned with domestic security and real estate. Close experiences with death.
  1. Deer (Maya=Manik, Aztec=Mazatl). Peaceful, inspiring, and generous but also outspoken, deviant and dominating. Not overly interested in leadership. Strong feelings for family and friends. Needs companionship. Interests or abilities in the arts. Sensual, sexual, intuitive and sensitive to the concerns of others.
  1. Rabbit (Maya=Lamat, Aztec=Tochtli). Energetic, busy, nervous. Contrary. A fighter and joker. Needs physical activity and exercise. Often extremely intelligent, but also parnoid and wild. Liking for performance, games, and risk taking. Appreciates music and humor, sometimes self-destructive.
  1. Water (Maya=Muluc, Aztec=Atl). Strong feelings, urges and emotions. Powerful imagination, fantasy prone and psychic. Romantic and performance conscious. Dominates others with emotions. Struggles with responsibility and self-control. Sexual. Arouses powerful energies in others.
  1. Dog (Maya=Oc, Aztec=Itzcuintli). Loyal, cooperative and consistent. Good team player and joiner. Needs variety in life. Likes leadership but will wait for turn. Thoughtful, political, creative and artistic. Struggles with emotional maturity and father related issues.
  1. Monkey (Maya=Chuen, Aztec=Ozomatli). Needs attention.  Likes center stage, performing, artistry,  etc. Multiple  interests,  curious,  communicative.  Quick learners. Emotionally distant but sexually active.  Seeks leadership  positions, tends to be self-promoting.
  1. Grass (Maya=Eb, Aztec=Malinalli). Calm on the surface.  Slow to anger, courteous and kind. Sensitive, touchy, easily hurt. Represses bad feelings. Hard workers, ambitious,  politely competitive.  Generous, popular and  practical.
  1. Reed (Maya=Ben, Aztec=Acatl). Popular,  accomplished  and generally competent. Will  fight  for principles  and take on challenges.  Can be intellectually  rigid and opinionated. Capable of intense work but knows how to  relax.  Often educated in fields concerned with human nature.
  1. Ocelot (Maya=Ix, Aztec=Ocelotl). Secretive, private, sensitive and psychic.  Pronounced aggressive streak but avoids direct confrontations. Becomes deeply  involved and entangled in relationships.  Good counselors and therapists.  Often concerned with or affected by religion or spirituality.
  1. Eagle (Maya=Men, Aztec=Cuauhtli). Independent loner with own unique ideas about life. Scientific, technical,  critical  and exacting  mind. Perfectionistic yet open  to  new ideas.  Both ambitious and escapist. Popular  and friendly.  Favors  freedom in relationships.
  1. Vulture (Maya=Cib, Aztec=Cozcacuauhtli). Serious, deep, realistic and pragmatic. Hardened to life, callous at  times.  Status-conscious,  authoritative and dominating  -- though sometimes dominated by others. Has high standards.  Competent, critical and rejecting.
  1. Earthquake (Maya=Caban, Aztec=Ollin). Mentally  active, cerebral, rationalizing, and  clever. Usually quite liberal and progressive.  Excellent sense of humor. Seeks leadership  but  is usually  controversial. Stong  convictions. Struggles to keep conflicts in balance.
  1. Knife (Maya=Etz'nab, Aztec=Tecpatl). Practical,  mechanically  inclined with good  coordination. Extremely  social  but struggles in close  relationships. Polite, compromising,  self-sacrificing,  and often  indecisive. Subtly dominating but not really independent. Vain and self-absorbed.
  1. Rain (Maya=Cauac, Aztec=Quiahuitl). Youthful,  restless,  mentally active,  talkative  and  friendly. Imitates  rather  than initiates. Multifacted  or  multi-accomplished.  Overcompensates for insecurities.  Drawn  to  religion, spirituality  or philosophy.  Good intuition and concern for  the welfare of others.  Concerned with purification and healing.
  1. Flower (Maya=Ahau, Aztec=Xochitl). A  resistant idealist. Socially awkward,  but well-intentioned. Interests  in  art, crafts and beauty.  Serious  difficulties  in close  relationships due to unrealistic expectations. Stubborn, uncompromising, but devoted to friends and lovers.  Easily hurt.

Each of the 20 day-signs are linked to one of the four directions in the order East, North, West and South, beginning with the first sign, Alligator. Like the Elements of Western astrology, the directions symbolize deep orientations of the day-signs.

It appears that the 20-day sequence of signs can also be viewed as five cycles of the four directions. From this perspective the first cycle, led by Alligator, is concerned with the evolution of self. The second cycle, led by Serpent, has to do with the world of others, ie. social life. The day-sign Water begins the third sequence of emotional maturity while Reed begins the fourth which is concerned with intellectual development. Earthquake begins the fifth and final stage, one that appears to deal with spiritual attunement.

Determining one's day-sign, 13-day sign and the other influences that make up what might be called a Mesoamerican horoscope requires a set of tables or computer program. Because the cycle of 260 days is not tied to the seasons in any way, there are not regular patterns except every 52 years when the solar year and 260 day count meet at the same point. The cycle of 260 days has been maintained meticulously since early times and has been kept alive by an oral tradition to the present day.

Although the issue is not settled, the change from one day-sign to the next appears to some investigators to occur somewhere between 9 and 12 PM Central Standard Time, the time-zone of Mexico. Ritual practices in both ancient and modern times suggest that this is so, as does the curious lack of comment by Spanish friars (writing shortly after the Conquest) in regard to when the day began for the Mexicans. If their day did not begin around midnight, as did the Spanish day, then one would think such a fact would be mentioned in their accounts of Mexican astronomy and astrology.

In Mesoamerican astrology we have a tradition that interprets the influences of time and the cosmic environment in an unfamiliar, yet quite possibly complimentary way, from that of Western astrology. The twenty key signs, like the zodiac, depict symbolically an evolutionary sequence, but one that describes a distinctly non-Western world view. As the different cultures of the world move closer to each other in the next century, perhaps key elements of Mesoamerican astrology may play an important role in the formation of a truly world-class astrological system.

  • mayan astrology
  • mesoamerican
    ]]>
    bcscofield@juno.com (Bruce Scofield) The Americas Tue, 26 Oct 2010 16:30:18 +0000
    Introduction to Mesoamerican Astrology http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/316-introduction-to-mesoamerican-astrology http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/316-introduction-to-mesoamerican-astrology Introduction to Mesoamerican Astrology

    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 base date of the Christian calendar is the year that Jesus of Nazareth was supposedly born. Everything in Western history is dated relative to that point, either before (BC or BCE – before the common era) or after (AD or CE – common era).

    In the Western Christian calendar, time is grouped into years, decades, centuries, and millennia. The basic idea of this calendar is to organize time in multiples of the number 10. In the Christian calendar, time is linear. There's a starting point, 0, and straight lines move forward and backward from that point. Significance occurs when a multiple of ten is crossed, like the year 2000.

    The base date of the Long Count is August 11, 3114 BC In the Long Count time periods are grouped into multiples of the numbers 13 and 20, numbers that Westerners less familiar with. In the Long Count, time is cyclic, and there are a finite number of days that must occur after the base date before a new cycle commences.

    The length of the Long Count is exactly 1,872,000 days, or 5,125.37 years. We know this to be so because we know the lengths of the fundamental units of Mayan time. For example, the katun is a Mayan time period of 7,200 days. Interestingly, this figure is very close (within 54 days) to the average synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn. Perhaps the katun is an attempt to represent that cycle as a mathematical ideal - similar to the way Western astrologers use 360 degrees to measure the Sun's motion during a 365.24-day year. A katun of 7,200 days was considered a major time period, a generation marker of sorts. We know that there are 260 katuns in the Long Count, which, when multiplied by the number of days in a katun, gives us 1,872,000 days again. We also know about the baktun, a period of 144,000 days, and we know that there are 13 baktuns in the Long Count.

    While the Western Christian calendar is based on the year that Jesus was allegedly born, it contains a week of 7 days that are named for planets. This seven-day planetary week is actually an astrological remnant of pre-Christian culture, most probably that of the Near East. Embedded within the week are the planetary hours, divisions of the day (time itself) that are said to have an astrological quality. The hour that begins each day at dawn gives its name to that day. At various times in the history of Western astrology, the planetary hours were used in the search for propitious times, to read the destiny of a newborn, and to evaluate the nature of the new year itself. The planetary hours are a remnant of a kind of astrology that uses blocks of time as "signs." Nearly all of Western astrology since the Greeks uses blocks of space which hold symbolic meaning, i.e. signs, houses, and aspects.

    The Mesoamerican astrological tradition is built on a structure of blocks of time, which function like the spatial signs of Western astrology. The Long Count's divisions into 260 katuns and 13 baktuns are amounts of time that have an astrological value, though much of the original understanding has been lost or destroyed. What we do know is that the cornerstone of Mesoamerican astrology is the 260-day astrological calendar, the tzolkin, which was used for personality description and for choosing the best days for activities. The Long Count, with its 260 katuns, appears to be simply a large-scale, mundane version of the 260-day astrological count.

    On a much vaster scale, the Long Count measures the precession of the equinoxes, a cycle of approximately 25,695 years. One fifth of the average precessional cycle is 5,139 years, very close to the 5,125-year Long Count. In Mesoamerican myth, there are five great ages, each one ending with a collapse of some sort. According to some Mesoamerican myths, we are living today in the last years of the fifth and last age, the closure of a cycle of five segments of the precession cycle. Given the simple technology available to them, the ancient Mesoamerican astrologer/astronomers did some amazing work. Not only did they estimate the length of the precession cycle, but they also anchored it with a remarkable alignment, the meeting of the winter solstice with the plane of the Milky Way, the equator-like plane that runs through the center of our galaxy.

    It now appears that the Maya, or their predecessors, calculated in advance when the winter solstice point would pass through the dark band in the Milky Way, a place very important in their mythology and a place located on the plane of the galaxy. At least 2,000 years ago they calculated this date to be December 21, 2012. With this as the end date, they then strung the Long Count backwards, arriving at its starting point in 3114 BC The so-called "end of the Mayan calendar" is both the terminal point of the current fifth part of the precessional cycle and the terminal point of the entire 25,695-year cycle itself.

    • mesoamerican
    • mayan astrology
    • mayan calendar
      ]]>
      bcscofield@juno.com (Bruce Scofield) The Americas Tue, 08 Jun 2010 16:06:47 +0000
      The Mayan Calendar Explained http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/308-the-mayan-calendar-explained http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/world-traditions/item/308-the-mayan-calendar-explained The Mayan Calendar Explained

      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 base date of the Christian calendar is the year that Jesus of Nazareth was supposedly born. Everything in Western history is dated relative to that point, either before (BC or BCE – before the common era) or after (AD or CE – common era).

      In the Western Christian calendar, time is grouped into years, decades, centuries, and millennia. The basic idea of this calendar is to organize time in multiples of the number 10. In the Christian calendar, time is linear. There's a starting point, 0, and straight lines move forward and backward from that point. Significance occurs when a multiple of ten is crossed, like the year 2000.

      The base date of the Long Count is August 11, 3114 BC In the Long Count time periods are grouped into multiples of the numbers 13 and 20, numbers that Westerners less familiar with. In the Long Count, time is cyclic, and there are a finite number of days that must occur after the base date before a new cycle commences.

      maya_aztec_calendarThe length of the Long Count is exactly 1,872,000 days, or 5,125.37 years. We know this to be so because we know the lengths of the fundamental units of Mayan time. For example, the katun is a Mayan time period of 7,200 days. Interestingly, this figure is very close (within 54 days) to the average synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn. Perhaps the katun is an attempt to represent that cycle as a mathematical ideal - similar to the way Western astrologers use 360 degrees to measure the Sun's motion during a 365.24-day year. A katun of 7,200 days was considered a major time period, a generation marker of sorts. We know that there are 260 katuns in the Long Count, which, when multiplied by the number of days in a katun, gives us 1,872,000 days again. We also know about the baktun, a period of 144,000 days, and we know that there are 13 baktuns in the Long Count.

      While the Western Christian calendar is based on the year that Jesus was allegedly born, it contains a week of 7 days that are named for planets. This seven-day planetary week is actually an astrological remnant of pre-Christian culture, most probably that of the Near East. Embedded within the week are the planetary hours, divisions of the day (time itself) that are said to have an astrological quality. The hour that begins each day at dawn gives its name to that day. At various times in the history of Western astrology, the planetary hours were used in the search for propitious times, to read the destiny of a newborn, and to evaluate the nature of the new year itself. The planetary hours are a remnant of a kind of astrology that uses blocks of time as "signs." Nearly all of Western astrology since the Greeks uses blocks of space which hold symbolic meaning, i.e. signs, houses, and aspects.

      The Mesoamerican astrological tradition is built on a structure of blocks of time, which function like the spatial signs of Western astrology. The Long Count's divisions into 260 katuns and 13 baktuns are amounts of time that have an astrological value, though much of the original understanding has been lost or destroyed. What we do know is that the cornerstone of Mesoamerican astrology is the 260-day astrological calendar, the tzolkin, which was used for personality description and for choosing the best days for activities. The Long Count, with its 260 katuns, appears to be simply a large-scale, mundane version of the 260-day astrological count.

      On a much vaster scale, the Long Count measures the precession of the equinoxes, a cycle of approximately 25,695 years. One fifth of the average precessional cycle is 5,139 years, very close to the 5,125-year Long Count. In Mesoamerican myth, there are five great ages, each one ending with a collapse of some sort. According to some Mesoamerican myths, we are living today in the last years of the fifth and last age, the closure of a cycle of five segments of the precession cycle. Given the simple technology available to them, the ancient Mesoamerican astrologer/astronomers did some amazing work. Not only did they estimate the length of the precession cycle, but they also anchored it with a remarkable alignment, the meeting of the winter solstice with the plane of the Milky Way, the equator-like plane that runs through the center of our galaxy.

      It now appears that the Maya, or their predecessors, calculated in advance when the winter solstice point would pass through the dark band in the Milky Way, a place very important in their mythology and a place located on the plane of the galaxy. At least 2,000 years ago they calculated this date to be December 21, 2012. With this as the end date, they then strung the Long Count backwards, arriving at its starting point in 3114 BC The so-called "end of the Mayan calendar" is both the terminal point of the current fifth part of the precessional cycle and the terminal point of the entire 25,695-year cycle itself.

      • mayan calendar
      • mesoamerican
      • mayan astrology
      • long count
        ]]>
        bcscofield@juno.com (Bruce Scofield) The Americas Fri, 14 May 2010 15:22:37 +0000