Time Emits Calendar Research
Ancient Calendars of the Holy Bible
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Contemporary astrology wields popularity involving zodiac calendar history.  Wider views draw upon many other sciences. Formal calendar science includes remote astronomy, mythology and vast cultural study. Zodiac study includes basic star and ecliptic heavenly observation paramount to early biblical records.


History of the zodiac covers calendar science, astronomy and culture.  The zodiac circle has 360-degrees.  Calendar reckoning purposes translate the zodiac circle to the basic 360-day-calendar-year.  The equator is an imaginary line that circumscribes Earth at 0-degrees latitude.  Extending the equatorial circle into space creates a mathematical plane between the equator on the surface and the corresponding circle in space called the ecliptic.  The equator and the ecliptic are in perfect alignment only at two distinct equinox times during the year.

The zodiac typically refers to the stars and star groups or constellations near the ecliptic band throughout the year.  Modern astrology recognizes 12 different sign constellations spaced roughly 30-days or 30-degrees apart.  The sun and moon travel along the ecliptic and the zodiacal stars vary up to about 8-degrees either side of the ecliptic.  Spiritual concerns span nearly every culture and anchor most world religions.  Astrology here includes the ancient branch of calendar science that mixes beliefs in astrology with early astronomy.  The following list details general dates and typical sign characteristics for each constellation sign.

Zodiac_Signs.jpgSumerian 6 Sign Zodiac and Mayan Calendar 360-Day-Tun-Years

The Antediluvian Calendar in Genesis 5 establishes original counting techniques that carry forward to variations of Jewish and Mesoamerican calendar systems.  Significant 364-day-Ethiopic-years and the matching corollary term, 364-year-Ethiopic-cycles manifest similar traits.  Mayan 52-year Calendar Rounds and Judaic 50-year Jubilee Cycles have nearly identical properties regarding the 360-day midpoint length of year.  Discernable differences arise from how the calendars marked four special days in the old year.  New Year beginnings and the annual tally within each cycle are a direct result.  Many Mesoamerican Calendar variations exist to suggest no firm rules ever did apply.  Middle Eastern influences controlling religious Judaism were contributing factors as well.  An ancient Babylonian tradition recites the Creation epic on the fourth day of the New Year’s festival.  Exactly when and how ancient New Year’s Days increment next year counts within a greater cycle is a contentious subject.

Annual procedures leading to New Year’s Day on the vernal, spring equinox divide a Judaic 360-day midpoint length of year into four equal quarters having 90-days each.  The vernal equinox occurs in springtime when the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator.  One single day each quarter aligns with each Royal day-star.  The four archangel stars conclusively identify as Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut.  These four archangel stars once signified four cardinal points in the ancient year.  Descriptions in the Books of Enoch and elsewhere add these 4-day stars to 360-days every year to create the 364-day-Ethiopic-year.  One Royal day-star adds with each of four quarters.  Early astronomy and astrology combine long ago.  Regulus introduces the summer solstice.  Regulus is the heart of the constellation Leo the lion and leader of the four royal stars.  Aldebaran is a red giant star and the Eye of Taurus the Bull.  Antares is the heart of the Scorpion.  Fomalhaut belongs to the Southern Fish, Pisces.  According to Enoch, the four day-stars are isolated and especially “not included in the regular computation of the year.”

The Antediluvian Calendar is similar to the classical Mayan Calendar in many respects.  A 360-day-Tun-year consists of 18 Uinal periods of 20-days each.  The 18 Uinal glyph names reflect an original group of 18 affiliated Mesoamerican tribes.  Many Old Testament researchers relate the famous 12 tribes of Israel to 12 astrological signs of the ancient Mesopotamian zodiac.  We associate zodiac names with "zoo," because most constellations aptly name animal gods.  Familiar names include Leo the lion, Aries the ram, Scorpio the scorpion, Cancer the crab, Pisces the fish, Capricorn the goat and Taurus the bull.  God made the heavenly bodies to show us SIGNS that serve to mark calendar time.  Since ancient days, humanity has encompassed the pseudo-science of astrology to render interpretations involving motions of the sun, moon, planets and stars.  Our intentions here posit archaic spiritual preoccupations against the backdrop of emerging calendar science.

Genesis 1:14-15
“And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.  And it was so.”

Mayan worship spread the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year amongst polytheism.  Numbered day signs from 1 to 13 associate with animal god names in the Maya glyph language.  The ecliptic marks the double-headed serpent path of the Mayan zodiac.  According to the Paris codex, Mayan god animals were in position at the time of the vernal equinox in 3113 B.C.E. or the presumed starting date of the Mayan Calendar.  Of course, not all 13 constellations in the zodiac were visible together.  Only four constellations were viewable while the other nine were below the horizon in the nether underworld.  Known parts of the zodiac appear in a manner that compare with other zodiacs.  Scorpio equates with the scorpion.  Gemini appears related to a pig.  Mayan turtle stars form sections of the Gemini and Orion constellations.  The ecliptic ends with the rattlesnake tail we call the Pleiades.  The Pleiades rest midway between Aries and Taurus.  Aries is the Jaguar god, Leo is a frog and finally Scorpion.  Dual Mayan Calendar years worked like meshed gears to perform one 52-year Calendar Round that has 18,980-days.  Counterpart to the 360-day-Tun-year was the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year.  Continuation of religious festivals has preserved beliefs surrounding the zodiacal Tzolken.

The ancient Mesoamerican Tzolken zodiac includes the constellation Ophiuchus according to many archeo-astrologists.  Stargazers recognize Ophiuchus as the Serpent Holder 13th sign between Scorpio and Sagittarius.  Lunar months favor traditional 12 astrological sign zodiacs in a 360-day format.  The 12-month zodiac omits Ophiuchus even though the ecliptic passes through it.  The Serpent Holder was the mysterious Grecian god healer Aesculapius, who had the ability to raise the dead and cure the sick.  Obscure ties with Sumerian or Babylonian zodiacs entwine Ophiuchus with Creation tales of Tiamut, Enki and Marduk - Jupiter.  Ophiuchus is the hidden constellation.

Judaic views about monotheism recognize a single omnipotent God without regard to any other form of idolatry, man made or celestial.  Lunar months have always been traditionally important to Jewish Calendar reckoning.  Whether three 30-day months culminate in 90-day quarters or as part of Metonic 19-year lunar/solar cycles, sighting the new moon crescent was of paramount importance to Jewish Calendar reckoning.  Jewish month names show Sumerian-Babylonian influence.  Sumerian and Babylonian calendars also began months according to new moon crescents.  Monotheism replaced polytheism for Jewish people living in Mesopotamia.

Sumerian cosmology is responsible for an early set of core beliefs found in the Holy Bible.  Sumerians have the distinction of being the earliest inhabitants of the Fertile Crescent region.  Beginning 8,000-years B.C.E., Sumerian culture realized a priest-astronomer class, improved agrarian techniques and developed the first sexagesimal (base 60) numbering system.  Sumerian language bears affinity to vocabulary and similar concepts found in the ancient tongues of India and Africa.  They referred to themselves as “Black Heads.”  The name Sudan traces the “Land of the Blacks.”  Biblical references may include the famous Kingdom of Kush from Northern Sudan eastward to the Nile River.  One other point is worth mentioning.  Etymology for the name Adam shows derivation from the Assyrian Adami or man.  Some references also indicate Adami was particularly the black headed man.  In light of the Ethiopic 364-day-calendar-year and full knowledge that cultural exchanges took place between Northern Africa and Egypt, there is reasonable assurance that Sumerian astrology and astronomy predicates later Babylonian and Egyptian zodiacs.  Astrological signs are the ancient mathematical interpretations that measure time.  Entire pictures decorated minds and artwork long ago.  Astronomical constellations are the modern approach that purely references scientific observation.  Many star charts contain line diagrams that signify astrological sign shapes.

The Sumerian year had 12-lunar-months, based upon phases of the moon and just two seasons.  Summer began on the vernal spring equinox, lasting 6-months through until the autumnal equinox.  Winter was the harvest season and outlined by monthly written characters for hand, seed, grain and cutting.  Sighting new moon crescents determined the length of month and intercalary lunar months were necessary to keep the lunar year on track with the solar year.  Sumerian, ancient Hindu and later Semitic days began at sundown.

The Sumerian zodiac had only six houses or star groups.  Modern astrology includes 12 houses or sky divisions, including the hidden part beneath the horizon, and numbers the position from the east at the time of observation.  The first house is rising when the seventh house is setting in the west, so six houses are visible at night.  Sumerians spaced their houses some 60-degrees apart or about 60-days during the course of a year instead of today’s 30-day monthly division.  Sumerians cast the first spiritual underpinnings that relate astrological positions to governing events in the future.  National affairs such as war, drought and a plentiful harvest were the concerns of original astrology.  Priests advised the king and other ruling authorities when and how to act in order to appease the gods.  The sky heaven “An” had a masculine nature.  Earth “Ki” had a feminine nature and together An and Ki bore “Enlil.”  Enlil was the god of the air, who ruled over the “lil” wind or atmosphere.

Babylonian astrology-astronomy provides clues we need to study 360-day-Tun-years in more detail and bridge the gap between Mayan and Jewish Calendars.  Consider looking at the zodiac on the vernal equinox.  Babylonian astronomer priests established a standard set of 18 constellations along and around the ecliptic as early as 2,000 B.C.E.  Stars outside the zodiac belt were useful for orientation purposes.  Babylonian astronomer priests later divided the year into 12 star constellations.  Dawn heliacal risings for each sign were separate by about 30-days.  Precision involved erecting fixed sacred pillars called Baals in the Old Testament for observation purposes.  Egyptian and early Babylonian zodiacs had 36 Decans or star groups which were separated by about 10-days during the year.  Prior to the Roman Julian Calendar, the Romans were using a 10-month calendar with 36-day-months.  Eventually 12-months stabilized more or less in their current configuration.  Lunar months having 29-days or 30-days became the norm for nomadic people and expanding Greco-Roman culture into larger geographic areas.  Mesoamerican Calendars are the exception to strict lunar observation.  Fixed ceremonial centers encourage dividing 360-day-Tun-years into 18 Uinals of 20-days each.  The Mayan lunar series or supplementary series evidences that moon glyphs tracked phases and cycles.  However, the majority of lunar scripts are still unknown.

Babylonian worship divided the starry sky into three different bands around 3,000 B.C.E.  The northern band was the Path of Anu.  Winter constellations correspond primarily with the Path of Anu.  Our latitude limits the stars we see with respect to the Tropic of Capricorn.  Extending the equator into space creates a mathematical plane that aligns with the celestial equator.  Babylonians replaced the earth-mother Sumerian “Ki” with “Ea.”  From eastern to western horizons, the central Path of Ea identifies our modern celestial equator.  To the south is the Path of Enlil band.  Latitude position again limits the stars seen in the summer sky with respect to the Tropic of Cancer.  Calendar months reckon 30-days according to the rule of “three stars each.”  Each Decan star was from a different band in the sky.  Carved figures often represent sprits for each of the 36 Decan stars.  A new Decan star rose about every 10-days.  The Decans were mighty, great gods.  Decan stars were companions and guides to help the deceased.  Some stars bestowed blessings while others were hostile or adverse.

Mesoamerican Calendars distinguish a visible nighttime sky that divides the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year zodiac into 13 animal constellations.  The ecliptic or celestial equator subsequently determines the Tzolken part of the Mayan Calendar.  Babylonian and Egyptian zodiacs concentrate upon the entire 36 Decan star array during the year with a “three stars each” notion.  Half of 36 Decan stars are the visible 18 Decan stars during 6-months of either winter or summer.  The other 18 Decan stars belong to the opposing 6-months and are below the horizon.  Again, Sumerians noticed six 60-degree houses that later evolved into the earliest Babylonian 18 astrological signs.  By 1,200 B.C.E., Mesoamerican Olmecs concerned themselves with 13 visible astrological signs of a 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year.  The 360-day-Tun-year and 365-day-Haab-years are later additions to the Mesoamerican Calendars.  The ecliptic pathway eventually replaced the central Path of Ea as reference to divide the Semitic sky by a factor of three.  Reducing the Sumerian-Babylonian numbering system from sexagesimal (base 60) to the later Mesoamerican vigesimal (base 20), infers that Mesoamerica 360-day-Tun-years were using 20-degree houses for their astrological signs.  Each astrological Uinal continued to have three Decan stars in the tribal Tun schema of 18 Uinals.  The Mesoamerican zodiac supplants the 12-house Sumerian-Babylonian zodiac that had three Decan stars each.

Babylonian and Egyptian 360-day-calendar-years are equal to 36 Decan stars multiplied by 10-days each (Eqn. 1).  The 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year results from 13 Tzolken sacred zodiac signs of 20-days each (Eqn. 2).  The Mayan Calendar 360-day-Tun-year answers for 18 Uinals multiplied by 20-days each (Eqn. 3).  Compared with Semitic cosmology, the Mayan moon goddess seems like the Venus Ishtar goddess of rebirth and fertility.  As the moon goddess moved through 13 sacred signs and 18 star groups coincident with 18 tribes, she held the fertility profile of a “Rabbit in the Moon.”

Mesoamerican cultures may have alternatively adapted the Babylonian Eighteen Stars Path of the Moon to the ecliptic that marks apparent motions of the sun and moon.  The Greek zodiac 2,000-years ago borrowed 12 astrological sign names from 12 astronomical constellations.  Greco-Roman zodiacs consistently lay along the ecliptic.  Concordance with the Egyptian zodiac has shown the ecliptic was a focus for astral worship.  Today, there are several different permutations of the zodiac and personal horoscopes are an outgrowth resource once reserved for kings and leaders.

Equations 1-3

Semitic 360-day-calendar-year
1.    36 Decan stars
x 10-days
= 360-day-midpoint length of year

Mayan 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year, 13 animal gods relate with 13 Zodiac Constellations
2.    13-animal gods
x 20-days
= 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year

Mayan 360-day-Tun-year, 18 Uinals relate with Early Babylonian 18 Zodiac Constellations
3.    18 Uinals
= 360-day-Tun-year

Study of the heavens includes the seven wandering stars, or moving celestial bodies that give us weekday names. Greek and Roman mythologies placed the wanderers against the fixed constellations called the zodiac.  Twelve signs of the zodiac begin with the first point of Aries.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)  At the two equinoxes, the sun crosses the celestial equator in the spring and fall.  Mars was the Roman god of war, and equates to the Greek god Ares.  Spelled Aries by modern English, the sun rises in Aries for a month beginning at the spring equinox.  The Pleiades are seven stars that once marked the New Year by advancing the zodiac to the next sign of Taurus.  Greek architecture featured the seven sisters facing east.  The Porch of the Seven Maidens honors the feminine deities that appeared on the cusp separating Aries and Taurus.  The Porch of the Seven Sisters attaches to the famed Parthenon Temple of Athena.  Located high atop the Acropolis hill outside of Athens, the Greek home of the gods served tribute to the stars.

The Romans divided the month according to the Calends on the first day of each month, the Nones for the ninth day proceeding the Ides, and the Ides.  The Nones of March, May, July and October were on the seventh of the month, and on the fifth day during the other months.  Months of March, May, July, and October had the Ides on the fifteenth, and the other months held the Ides on the thirteenth.  The first day, Calends, of April, is now on March 21 due to leap adjustments via the Gregorian Calendar.  The 10-month Roman Calendar began the new year following the end of December on April 1.  The expression "April Fool's Day" is a modern remnant of the 2,000-year old calendar.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20) is the zodiacal constellation that includes the star Aldebaran as the right eye of the bull.  Taurus is charging Orion in the night sky. Aldebaran was one of the four "royal stars" said to rule over the heavenly quarters of the year.  The Book of Enoch I alleges the four royal stars preside over all of creation.  Aldebaran presided over the first quarter.  The face of Taurus, horns, and shoulders are visible amongst the other stars in heaven.  A cloud cuts off the body of Taurus to allow space for other figures.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20) is named for the twin stars of Castor and Pollux.  Cardinal points of the year were the two equinoxes and the two solstices.  The summer solstice near June 21 earmarks the end of the zodiacal constellation Gemini.  Describing the duality of the solstices, Gemini twins often face opposite directions.  Gemini twins and the two faces of Janus look opposite to symbolize facing the past and future.  The month of June comes to us from the Latin Junii or gens.  Several families of a house or clan sharing a common ancestor provide the meaning behind the sixth month.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22), the mythical Crab Nebula, was easily visible some 2,500 years ago when it was farthest north and marking the solar rising position at the beginning of summer.  Located between Gemini and Leo, the Crab Nebula was equal to Jupiter in brightness about the year 1,000 A.D.  Due to calendar changes and the procession of the equinoxes, the sun does not pass near this beehive cluster until around 1 August.  From Cancer, the Tropic of Cancer marks the imaginary maximum latitudinal solstice line of 23.5 degrees to the North above the Equator.  The Tropic of Capricorn is the latitudinal solstice line of 23.5 degrees to the South of the Equator.

July and August continue the namesake months inserted by Julius and Augustus Caesars.  The Julian calendar reform shortened 10-months from 36 days to 30 days each.  Two months we call July and August account for some 60-days in the 12-month calendar.  The former Roman Calendar, like Egyptian, had 360-days with an extra intercalary 5-days being added to the end of the year.  The Julian Calendar spread the 5-days amongst January, March, May, July and October.  February was supposed to have 30-days in leap years to alternate with the 31-days of January and March.  Augustus Caesar shortened February to 29 days in leap years, making the month of August 31 days long.

Leo (July 23 - August 22) is the zodiacal sign and constellation for the lion.  Both the bull and the lion had significance in Babylonian mythology.  Six stars form the sickle of Leo.  The brightest star, Regulus, is at one end of the handle.  Regulus was a royal star that ruled over the second quarter of the ancient year.  The lion probably represented summertime heat in Mesopotamia and the kingly qualities found in leaders.  Julius and Augustus chose to insert their named months under the sign of Leo.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22), the virgin goddess, denotes the sign and constellation of Astraea.  Man's increasing complexity caused the Greek virgin goddess of justice to leave the Earth when she felt no longer needed.  Linked to Phoenician Astarte, she represented the Earth - mother fertility issue by announcing the fall harvest.  The last four months of the old Roman Calendar had numerical names.  Sept is the Latin prefix for the seventh month, in September of the former Roman year.

Libra (September 23 - October 23) opposes the spring equinox in the center of the zodiac.  The balance scales show the distinction of the autumnal equinox.  From the Latin, Libra means balance and symmetry.  During the equinox 2,000-years ago, the sun crossed the celestial equator, or ecliptic near to Libra.  The beginning of autumn has drifted westward into Virgo.  Libra depicts scales for the goddess of justice, Virgo.  Libra has been the claws of Scorpio.  Libra owes its importance to the position held in the zodiacal circle.  Octo is the Latin prefix that describes October as the eighth month.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) is the constellation for the scorpion and the first of the watery signs.  Probably, the watery signs once marked the rainy season of Mesopotamia.  Scorpio is the eighth constellation of the zodiac belt.  Scorpio lies between Libra and Sagittarius and contains the brilliant red star Antares.  Antares is the royal star that once marked the fourth quarter of the year.  Novem resulted in the ninth month, November.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) is the celestial archer in the heavens.  Pictured as a centaur, Sagitta translates from the Latin phrase to represent an arrow.  Sagittarius is also a traveler, or an explorer, whose arrow aims at the scorpion.  Deca provided December for the tenth and last 36-day month in the former year.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20) is related to the festival Saturnalia of the Romans.  The goat constellation is named from the Latin Caper or goat, plus the Cornu, which means horn.  The mythological animal has the body of a horse, or goat, with usually a single horn pointing outward from the forehead.  The sun enters Capricorn on the winter solstice, or about December 22 in our Gregorian Calendar.  Saturnalia attached Capricorn to Saturday in the early Roman Calendar of 10-months.  Saturday ends the week and Saturnalia once ended the year.  In the Julian 12-month calendar, Capricorn began the New Year after 360-days by adding the last 5-days.  A year of 365-days in the original Julian system completes on December 31.

Aquarius (January 21 - February 19) is the famed water bearer sign that pours the water upon the ground so that the crops will grow.  The named watery constellations of the zodiac include Capricornus, the sea goat, followed by Aquarius, the careless water carrier and dominant figure of the watery zodiacal scene.  Aquarius spills the water urn to mark an irregular stream of dim stars.  The waters of life descend into the mouth of the Southern Fish or Pisces.

Pisces (February 20 - March 20) is the last watery sign and the last constellation in the annual zodiac.  Two imaginary fish tie together with a long ribbon, knotted at either end or center.  The bright Pisces Austrinus star is a first magnitude star and the brightest in the watery constellations.  Called Fomalhaut and pronounced Fo-mal-hut, the name is corruptive of the Arabic Fum al Hut, meaning the mouth of the fish.  The cord ties together one fish before the upcoming equinox and the other for the dual end of the equinox that leads into Aries and the new zodiacal year.

Early church fathers combined the Julian Calendar with Jewish Calendar influence.  Declaring Sunday, rather than Saturday, as the persistent Christian Sabbath Day served the Roman definition of changing the days at midnight.  Subtracting 5-days from December 31 results in the older Roman year ending on December 26 of the later Julian dating scheme.  To maintain the Roman purification festival on February 15, the Romans observed the same 50-day interval between the day after the New Year's Day and Februarius by reducing January from 36 days to 31 days.  Reducing December from 36 days to 31 days accomplished the same omission of 5-days as returning to the former 360-day Roman year.  Augustus Caesar modified the calendar by 354 C.E, which spread the last 5-days prior to December 26.  Christ's Mas observation on December 25 instead of December 26 maintained Jewish tradition of counting days at twilight on December 25.  Another way of figuring the winter solstice or the New Year of the Julian Calendar, is to use the modern solstice approximation on December 22.  Since the Gregorian Calendar rule concerning centennial leap days was not yet effective, 3-days would have to be added to slip the winter solstice for each 100-years of the total 300-years.  Three days added to December 22 places the winter solstice on December 25 of the year 354 A.D.  The intentions of the founding church fathers were to place Christmas Day on New Year's Day and the Roman festival Februarius on February 15 every year.  Gregorian Calendar changes in 1,582 C.E. dealt only with the days between New Year's Day and the spring equinox.  The other days fell into place.

Are you a pastor, educator or a student of the Holy Bible?  Timeemits.com seeks anointed people to review and contribute to the Ages_of_Adam ministry.  Ancient lunar/solar calendars like the Jewish and Mayan calendars provide the background to understanding early time.  Ancient calendars of the Holy Bible use differences between the moon and sun, numerical matching and a 364-day calendar year to describe X-number of days that match with X-number of years.  Ages_of_Adam is a free read at timeemits.

Clark Nelson is webmaster for http://www.timeemits.com/Get_More_Time.htm, author of Ages_of_Adam and sequel, Holy_of_Holies. Copyright 2006  Clark Nelson and timeemits.com  All Rights Reserved. URL http://www.timeemits.com/HoH_Articles/Zodiac_Calendar_History.htm

tags Antediluvian, Genesis, Sumerian, zodiac, astrology, signs, house, Decan, stars, Babylon, Egypt, Hindu