Ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East studied the night sky and named each group of stars, specifying the zodiac and the zodiac signs.
The mapping of the zodiac signs describe symbolically and pictorially the characteristic attributes of the zodiac signs and their forces. For example, the characteristics of the zodiac sign of Aries assembles those of a young, untamed ram running zestfully over spring meadows, ready to ram down obstacles with its horns… Indeed in astrology Aries’ impact is described as energetic, aggressive, enthusiastic, and heady.
Dividing the year into 12 sections, astrology designates 12 different zodiac signs. Each sign matches a certain group or cluster of stars. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the astrological year does not start on January 1st but with the spring equinox on March 21st. The cluster of stars the sun travels through from March 21st through April 20th is named Aries. Subsequent star clusters or groups are Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, concluding with Pisces.
Your star sign is appointed by the zodiac sign in which the sun traveled at the time of your birth. If you are born for example between March 21st and April 20th, your star sign is Aries.
Even though the section of each zodiac sign on the chart has the same size, in reality they have slightly different sizes. This is due to the elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun and the rounding of the orbits to full days. Hence the zodiac sign of Capricorn lasts only 29 days, while the zodiac sign Leo lasts 31 days.
Just like the sun, the moon also travels through all of the zodiac signs. But while the sun takes 356 days to travel through all zodiac signs and 29 to 31 days to travel through a single sign, the moon only takes 28 days for all zodiac signs and hence stays only 2 to 3 day in a single sign.
Indigenous people always lived in close connection with nature’s rhythms. The natural world was central to their economic, spiritual, physical, and cultural well-being. For centuries they observed the effects and results of their activities in connection with nature’s rhythms. They measured and compared their observations, including the movements and constellations of celestial bodies and the lunar cycle, the latter being readily observable both in rhythm and appearance. It was easy for them to track the moon and its phases as well as its position in the night sky and in relation to other groups of stars.
Indigenous people did not have the knowledge of gravitational forces as modern science teaches. But patient observation made them aware of the lunar influence on nature, plants, animals, and humans. They discovered how to utilize the influence of the lunar cycle to improve the harvest, the health of plants, animals, and humans, forestry, building, crafting, cooking, and preserving as well as to explain psychological fluctuations and human interrelations. The positive outcome of their activities was often crucial to survival. The observations made reliable forecasts possible, thereby providing a valuable transfer of knowledge to future generations.
A regular daily calendar page is sectioned off based on the earth’s rotation around its axis and the resulting phases of days and nights. A lunar calendar, however, is based on the duration the moon takes to travel through the zodiac signs. Since it takes the moon 2 to 3 days to travel through one zodiac sign, many lunar calendars are divided into one page or one section for every 2 to 3 days.
The zodiac sign the moon travels through on any given day as well as the layout of a lunar calendar do NOT correlate to the star sign of any person, since the star sign is determined by the zodiac sign the sun is positioned in at the time of one’s birth.
The page layout in a lunar calendar is based on the moon traveling through a zodiac sign.
The exact time the moon transitions from one zodiac sign into the next is listed in the ephemeris, an annual publication giving the positions of the sun, moon, and planets during the course of a year, information concerning eclipses, astronomical constants, etc. However, most lunar calendars do not list the exact time of transition.