The 260-day astrological calendar, also known as the sacred calendar or divinatory calendar, was used by all the major cultures up to the Aztecs, and is still being used by Mayas in the more remote sections of Mexico and Guatamala. It consists of a cycle of 20 days, each having a name and a specific symbolism, that cycles 13 times. A person's birth is recorded as occurring during one of the 20 signs, the day-sign, and also during a 13-day period or sign. Again, These are signs of time, not of space like the zodiac.
Twenty signs or symbols form the core of the Mesoamerican astrological tradition. The Mayan word for the 260-day calendar is Tzolkin, the Aztec word is "tonalpouhalli" and the order of the days was kept in picture-books called "tonalamatl," which means "book of fate."
In Western astrology, one is born under a particular sign, or more properly, the Sun was in a particular sign at birth. Likewise in the Aztec sacred calendar, one is born during a day that is "ruled" by one of the twenty named-days. Like the twelve signs of the zodiac, the day-signs follow a definite sequence and symbolize a kind of evolutionary movement. The 260-day calendar was also used to find auspicious times. When merchants were to set off on a long journey, the astrological calendar readers were consulted.
An understanding of these 20 signs, similar to an understanding of the zodiac, is the key to Mesoamerican astrology. Here is a system in the process of rehabilitation that offers an extraordinary personality matrix.
Bruce Scofield, PhD has been a practicing astrologer since 1975. Bruce is one of the very few astrologers who has studied MesoAmerican astrology in depth. His books include Timing of Events: Electional Astrology; The Aztec Circle of Destiny; and Signs of Time: An Introduction to Mesoamerican Astrology.
Articles and more information about Bruce can be found on his website at http://www.onereed.com/.