The Moon orbits the Earth about twelve times for every one time the Earth orbits the Sun (a year). The Earth rotates on its axis (daily) about twenty-eight times during a single lunar orbit of the Earth (a month).The zodiac is a belt of twelve constellations that delineates the paths of the Sun, Moon, and planets. Viewed from the north, the Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the sun (and the Moon orbits the Earth) in a counterclockwise direction. If one looks southward from the northern hemisphere, the Sun (and the Moon) appear to move through the zodiac in a counterclockwise direction (right to left, west to east). In a months time the Sun appears to move from one constellation in the zodiac to the next. The Moon appears to move from one constellation in the zodiac to the next in a little more than two days.
It is the Earth's counterclockwise rotation (west to east) on its axis that makes the entire celestial sphere appear to daily traverse the sky in a clockwise (east to west) direction. The Sun's movement relative to the horizon is measured in hours. One hour is the time it takes for the sun to move one twelfth of the distance from horizon to horizon, about the distance of the width of a hand held at arm's length (why clocks have hands). A finger is one fifth of an hour, a minute one twelfth of a finger, dividing an hour into 60 parts. When a minute is likewise divided into 60 parts, it yields a second, which is about the duration of a heart beat.                                                                                                                                                              Back to Codex