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.
In Mesoamerican astrology, time serves as a sign. The basic unit of one day, one rotation of the earth, is the foundation on which other units rest. The core of time-based Mesoamerican astrology is the 260-day astrological calendar. This time unit has links to many astronomical cycles and was used for character description and choosing times for activities such as business trips and political or religious rituals. This 260-day calendar operates on several levels, one being the Long Count which structures a 5,125-year era – best known as the Mayan Calendar which “ended” in 2012.
This course will allow students to become acquainted with the nature of Mesoamerican astrology and its foundations in the cosmology and mythology of the several cultures that flourished in ancient Mexico and Northern Central America.
- An overview of the region in which the Maya, Aztec and other Mesoamerican cultures were born followed by a first look at the astronomical underpinnings of the Mesoamerican calendars that are the basis of the indigenous astrology.
- An overview of the Popol Vuh, the Maya creation myth, and a discussion of the mysterious god Quetzalcoatl and the Four Suns legend of the Aztecs.
- The day-signs are at the core of Mesoamerican astrology and students will learn their traditional meanings, god rulers, and modern interpretations.
- An analysis of the planet Venus, which so important in this tradition’s astrology and how the ancient Mesoamericans regarded the Moon and planets.
- The Long Count, the longest time cycles of the Maya that maps out the ages.
- Future possibilities of Mesoamerican astrology will be considered by creating a horoscope based on the symbols studied in this course.
- Scofield, Bruce. Signs of Time: An Introduction to Mesoamerican Astrology. Amherst, MA: One Reed Publications, 1994.
- Scofield, Bruce and Barry Orr. How to Practice Mayan Astrology. Rochester, VT: Bear and Company. 2007.
These two texts are available from Bruce Scofield’s website, www.onereed.com or Amazon.com.
Enroll in a self-directed course if you’d like to study at your own pace. Although there are no live meetings, you will benefit from a structured classroom with a myriad of educational resources and periodic guidance from the instructor.