Zodiac (Zoo-diac) or in ancient Greek zōidiakòs kýklos (ζῳδιακὸς κύκλος), meaning “circle of little animals” is the circle of astrological sign that surrounds us and that all the planets are moving across or travelling through.
Long time back Egyptians, Babylonians, Indians and Chinese made advanced systems to divide time. The day, week, month and year and also longer cycles where divided into different cycles with different numbers of sections. Each division got a name according to the qualities they perceived as connected to it.
According to Rudolph Steiner humans in ancient times could still perceive the influence from the cosmos as colours with qualities streaming towards them.
Imagine walking between different rooms playing different kinds of music like classical, latino, folk, jazz, heavy metal, house and rapping. You would see that people behaved and dressed differently in each room and that the whole atmosphere would be distinct in each. The same applies for the qualities streaming towards us from the cosmos. You could imagine it as 12 rooms in a circle or a rainbow of colours.
Understanding this also makes it easier to realize that dividing the zodiac differently does not change anything but the amount of subdivisions. The same qualities are still at the same place. It is like watching a rainbow and discussing how many colours it has. Is it red, yellow and blue or is it six, seven or eight colours. The rainbow does not become broader or colours change place, it is just you that draw a line in different places.
From time to time we see discussions of 13 signs instead of 12 as a point making astrology out dated or your sign wrong, but this is a lack of understanding of the principles behind. The same goes for the difference between astrological and astronomical allocations of the signs. Astronomers use the current place the stars have moved to since the place they had that time when the colours streaming towards us still was perceived. So you can say the astrological location is connected to where the qualities are despite that the stars that used to be located there have moved on.
Many traditions divided into 12 but also 20, 36 and 60 has been used.
Here is a way to divide the year in 12, 36, 60 and 360 according to astrological qualities.
If you know the degrees of any of your planets at birth you can see that their qualities and influence could be more complex than in ordinary 12-sign astrology. If you have read about your sun sign, you can calculate from the colourful circle which of the three sub-divisions of your sign you belong to and which planet that is allocated to that area.
Remember signs change between 18th-23rd depending on which year you where born. If you know how to use ephemerids you can find out if not use 20th and the first third of your sign will be until the change of the month. The next 10 days will be the middle and the last 10 days the last third. You might miss, but anyway you are in between “two” neighbour colours. If you know the amount of degrees your sun is in a sign you can be more precise. Each of the outer colourful fields represent a degree and every sign has 30 degrees.
Maz(z)aloth מַזָּלוֹת or Mazzaroth מַזָּרוֹת,
The difference between the words is uncertain, but can be clarified. Mazal is the Hebrew name of a sign in the Zodiac, Mazaloth is the plural or the signs of the zodiac. Is has been used as the term “astrology” as well as “the planets”.
Mazal means influence of benefit of luck. It is surviving in the expression “mazel tov” meaning god luck (fortune/influence). Mazaloth is also used as the way through which the planets go.
The letter L or Lammed is the difference and signifies number 30. The numbers 3, 30, 300 have the quality of exchange, communication or transport.
(Read more about the hebrew letters here)
Mazzalot is a hapax legomenon meaning a word that is only used once. In this case in the Bible 2 Kings 23:5.
The Mazzaroth has a R or Resh which reflects the cosmic container or home, the area of the sky of a sign or constelation rather than its influence. It is used as the zodiac or rather star constellations. Literally it means “a garland of crowns” or the door or transition gate (Mem) to the crown (Zain) or star of each constellation (Resh) picture.
Some regard the Mazaloth as the greater world of light shining through the Mazzaroth and into our solar system and our earth.