Origins of Stellar Calendars

Calendars of Anieth

For a period of five hundred years or more around 2000 BC, at 50 degrees north, one could observe a phenomenon that I call "the girdle". At certain times of the year, the Milky Way forms a ring at the horizon that "girdles" the sky. A thousand years later, the Celts still called the Milky Way, "Arianrod" or "The Silver Wheel" but were confused and were naming the Corona Borealis this because there was no more wheel, it had moved south. About the time of Christ, this phenomenon could be seen across most of Europe and the States, now it can only be seen at about 30 degrees north or in Egypt and Mexico. Due to polar precession this girdle moves south about ten degrees ever 1,000 years. Mythologies speak of the Milky way as a river or street, but when this circle image appears, such as in Greece in 550 BC, astronomers talk of the Galactic Circle, as Eratosthenes. Pliny and other Romans also thought of the Galaxy as a girdle, but further south it was a river. So the myths changed as the circle precessed southward.

What is special about this phenomenon? For us who live in light polluted areas, the Milky Way is non-existent, but for the ancients, the Milky Way dominated the sky. It is not surprising that it has been overlooked as a calendar phenomenon.

For five years I searched for the answer to a question: "when did the pre-Celt peoples begin their year?" This is not just a stupid question, for although many people believe that they began the year in the Autumn, others opt for traditional calendars that begin at the winter solstice. Old Western cultures of which we have information like the Egyptians, Jews, Babylonians and Minoans began their years at different times, sometimes running different calendars for different castes such as a king calendar, a political calendar, and a agricultural calendar.

People have focused on mostly Solar and Lunar calendars with notable exceptions. The Egyptians began their year with the heliacal sighting of Sirius, the Minoans based theirs on the phases and proximity of Venus over and eight year period. There is mounting evidence to support a stellar culture or cultures that spread across the continent from India to Scotland that predated both Lunar and Solar cultures. John North's book on Stonehenge is a fascinating account of the thousands of henges across the British Isles and Northern Europe and his evidence that these henges were used for sighting stars is overwhelming. Yet, even the stellar scholars fail to take into account the best of the stellar phenomena: the Milky Way although folklore points to a interest in the galaxy that cannot be ignored.

I, too made this mistake of overlooking the Milky Way in my initial interest in star calendars. For most European cultures, the Milky Way, is a way or a bridge. The only time the Greeks called it a circle was during the time it was visible like the above on their latitude. However, there is another phenomenon of the Milky Way that makes it useful as a calendar. For many peoples the Milky Way was a bridge to the lands of the dead or the immortal lands. As the bridge, Bifrost, it was a bridge to Asgard. Ovid described it as the "High Road paved with stars to the court of Jove" and Milton as "The Way to God's eternal house". For some it was a path of ghosts.

Seen in this image is the phenomenon I call "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". You will see that on this date in 2000 BC, the sun and the moon are in opposition along the way. In the picture below and above, you can see that the moon goes into eclipse on this date as well. I had already chosen this date as unique because it marks the first appearance of Antares from being occluded by the sun. For a short time, another three hundred years, Antares and Sirius could be seen for a short time together in the sky. This is the first time on the day that the bridge between the sun and the moon turns into the girdle, which is only visible from November 20th to April 20th. This date would have been earlier for preceding years. Is it coincidental that the Celts began their calendar on Hallowe'en?

The explanation has always been that the Celts, being a cattle culture, began their year with the movement of their animals, either from high pasture to low or from range into barns and yards. The festivals Samhain and Beltaine were to mark these times. Well, this is okay, but calendars that began the year with the magnitude and kind of festivals that mark these two dates are just too important to be wholly agricultural. Besides, it would appear that much of what we think as "Celtic" predates the Celts by as much as 1,000 years or more. There has been a debate about why the Celtic calendar drifted off the Autumnal Equinox and to say that it marked the movement of the herds is not a good enough answer. People like Graves almost use this drifting to the Hallowe'en cross-quarter date as proof that the real calendar began on the Winter Solstice. His reasoning seems to be prejudiced by his vast knowledge of the Greeks and Jews in that they both had agricultural calendars and the more important "religious" calendars for the tenure of sacrificial kings. Even in our modern times, Christians rely upon the Jewish calendar to mark their holidays and rely upon the government to mark their tax and common days.

This date at Salisbury of November 20, 2000 BC, shows the bridge at sunset, followed by the eclipse of the moon, then by the first heliacal sighting of Antares with Sirius in the "king" position of directly southwest, and then by the girdling of the sky at dawn. The "king" position of a star or planet is that position indicated by henges like Stonehenge that are oriented southwest. In viewing hundreds of monuments, the rising and setting of stars was most important to the ancients, according to North. I would add that the position of stars in relationship to each other was also important, enough so to create the mnemonic of the constellations and the stories about them. My assumption is that since the Celts, like many of the ancient world, put emphasis on viewing the sky beginning at sunset, this "king" position is the sacred position. So, in April, the last viewing of Sirius before it's occlusion by the sun would be at sunset, with Antares in the king position. The girdle would be visible for the last time at sunset to be followed by the girdle breaking up. But at dawn, although the sun is in line with the galaxy, the galaxy is in its NE-SW position and not directly East-West. This favors the spring holiday as secondary to the autumn holiday.

To mark the year by the rising and setting of stars has been verified. To mark the year with the girdle would be easy enough for the ancients to do. Not only do you have certain constellations heralding the coming of certain seasons, but the position of the Milky Way would have been almost like a clock. I think that the spring date would not have been used because in Northwestern Europe, the seasons are shifted so that the weather in November is generally better than the weather in June. Within reason, of course, but cloudy weather is going to hurt your viewing of the night sky more often than not. Summer is out in the North because of the night being two hours at best and much of the night being polluted with twilight. Marking the calendar with the first appearance of a star might be okay, but marking with an eclipse or another phenomenon that happens only once is not going to be weather proof in the North. In Babylon and Egypt star gazing would have been a more reliable means of marking time. But the monuments show that the stellar calendar was widespread despite the conditions.

All over Europe exist stone monuments long thought to be religious. Hawkins and North, among others, have demonstrated beyond a doubt that many of these sites could have been used for archeoastronomy. Much of ancient astronomy was involved in timekeeping. Predating the stone monuments were what many call woodhenges. Anieth had no stone monuments, but had many of these woodhenges for calendar keeping. The above reconstruction from North's book on Stonehenge is a demonstration of another ancient phenomenon, that of a picture used to designate the rising of a constellation. The White Horse of Uffington is a well known ancient picture carved into a chalk hill. North precesses the constellation of Taurus and readily demonstrates that this and other great carvings marked the rising of stars and their constellations. The ancients also used tors and rock formations as sighting markers to create astronomical observatories on the ground. We cannot reconstruct the religious nature of these sites, but the astronomical information is overwhelming.


The following is very complicated. Much of the information is lost. Calendars were used for many purposes and much of the information that is over 2,000 years old is warped and pied by the imposition of invaders or new systems of government. What we are concerned with is not the agricultural year or the taxation year, but the holy year, or the royal year. This was the tenure of kings and rulers. In Anieth, the only calendars in use were to describe the tenure of kings. The Zelosian invasion introduced taxation and a completely different idea in calendars.


Modern Meaning Classical Babylonian Egyptian
Sirius(-1.44) bright one, dog Canicula Surya, Kal-bul Sihor, Sothi
Arcturus(-.05) bear, keeper, tender Arcturus Haris, Azimeth Menat, Smat, Bau
Kentarus(-.01) foot of the Centaur
Vega(.03) harp star, vulture star AuraDilgan, Wega Ma'at
Capella(.08) little goat, driver, leader Capella I-ku Ptah
Rigel(.18) left (left leg), foot Pod Rahab, Nimrod Osiris
Procyon(.40) before the dog, pillar Procyon Pallura Isis
Betelgeuse(.45) armpit, arm Glunea Gula, Nimrod Osiris
Hadar(.61) belly, weight
Altair(.76) eagle Aetoi Zu Horus
Aldebaran(.80) follower, leader, bull's eye Oculus Tauri, Omma Boos Ku-Iku, Shu, Siva Serapis
Acrux(.87) cross, beam Crux Shula
Spica(1.0) ear of wheat, sceptre Spicum Shiru Min(also lute-bearer)
Antares(1.06) rival to Mars, red one, lusty Ant-ares Gel, Lugal Tudda Serk-t
Pollux(1.16)/Castor east/west, head Hercules/Apollo Arku/Mahru Horus
Deneb(1.25) hindmost, tail, flower Os Rosae, Galina Arided
Regulus(1.36) lion's heart, sphinx, sickle, ruler Rex Sharru, Magh, Ser Sekhmet
Algol(2.15 var) Ghoul, Lilith's head, Nixie Lamiae, Lemures Lilit, Lilu, Guph Neith
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) sisters, witches, elohim Axerios, Kabiri Kimtu, Kima Aye
Thuban(3.64) serpent, reptile, cursed - Dayan(Judge)Tanem

The ancient saw the sky very differently from one another. However, in common to them all were stories of the Gods seen in the form of pictures which were constellations. This was a verbal mnemonic. The zodiac has been compared to the Twelve Labors of Hercules or the Epic of Gilgamesh. Although I see constellations as a distraction when trying to infer a new stellar mythology for a people, there are clues in the gods and goddesses associated with them. As seen above, Canis Major and Minor as associated with Hathor/Isis, while Orion is associated with Osiris and Geminii and Aquila with Horus. Medusa (in the hand of Perseus) gets typical short shrift, but associated with Neith, the Egyptian goddess of weaving, we suddenly see why Athene carried Medusa on her shield. Both goddesses were associated with owls but tying the creative goddess with the ogress is informative. Ptah, the god associated with Capella and the Chariot, is the smith god, or creator god. Suddenly, Capella is associated with "opening" or "leading" in that he is a creator. Haris and Menat were protectors, making sense of Bootes, the herder. Lugal Tudda and Serk-t were fertility "overseers" but also associated with rape and lust, giving that aspect to Scorpio. Sekhmet was the lion that almost destroyed Egypt, thus making sense of the lion and the sickle or sword all the way to the modern Saint Michael. The part played by the male in the corn pageant is suddenly revealed when Virgo is revealed to be an ancient fertility god, her ear of corn turning into the penis held by Min. And the Pleiades were seen as both muses and as elusive bearers of knowledge, almost like spirits. I was struck by the correspondences between the serpent and the ruler, but Egypt again makes that clear in the ruling cobra carried by so many of the pharaohs and gods. About half of people see Lyra as another bird, but the connection between the harp and the goddess Ma'at who weighed souls is interesting, but the Egyptians saw her constellation as a vulture.


Star Association Anieth Name Constellation Meaning
Sirius(-1.44) bright Croi Mathun Bear's, Seer's Heart
Arcturus(-.05) protector Ingin Ilar Eagle's Talon
Kentarus(-.01) healing, mysticism Gob Geg Beak of the Goose
Vega(.03) judgement, death KionFemel Head of the Lapwing
Capella(.08) leader, chariot Mol, Mag Cerb, Ron Chariot Hub, Seal's Foot
Rigel(.18) hoof Speir Merc Horse's Hoof
Procyon(.40) before Kog Huan Owl's Wink
Betelgeuse(.45) arm Biadh Merc Raven on his Shoulder
Hadar(.61) mysticism, healing Earr Bratan Tail of the Salmon
Altair(.76) eagle Griof Seirg Claw of the Hunter
Aldebaran(.80) bull's eye Seall Taroo Stag's, Bull's Eye
Acrux(.87) cross Jas SinniSouthern Fox
Spica(1.0) tip Tapan Oan, Sneue Lamb's Tuft, Distaff
Antares(1.06) red one, lusty Mag Vel Wolf's Womb/Maw
Pollux(1.16)/Castor heads Kintorii/Srona Kintorii/Duachu Speakers/Otters
Deneb(1.25) hindmost Skian Ela Swan's Wing
Regulus(1.36) ruler Brolla Sherr Lion's Breast
Algol(2.15 var) head Gnos Banu Sow's Snout
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) spirits, birds Lagha Lagha Ducks
Thuban(3.64) serpent Kest Ayr-NerTwist of the Great Serpent

The following table maps god and mythic images onto the stars. This is necessary to get a "feeling" for the import of the star, or its character for the peoples who named it. Almost like an astrological personality for the star. Some of this is based on the color of the star or its brightness; most of it is based on the time of year when the star rose. For instance, Regulus, was mapped with ruling qualities, but earlier with ruling and destructive qualities because the star was a summer star and summer, for some people, was a terrible time--the culmination of the dry season that was only broken by the monsoon. For many Northern peoples the rise of winter stars became tied with the destruction of the world in ice, parts in which Hel, Fenrir and Loki played large parts.


Star Association God(s) Calendar Association
Sirius(-1.44) bright, dog, inundation Isis, Osiris August, May Dog Days, Nile flood
Arcturus(-.05) ruler, protector, hermit Smat, Menat October, November Tibitu, Tishri
Kentarus(-.01) healing, mysticism Centaur September Autumnal Equinox
Vega(.03) judgement, orgiastic death Orpheus, Ma'atFall ploughing, Greece
Capella(.08) plenty, chariot Ptah, Amalthea Winter wind, storms
Rigel(.18) hoof Osiris November or April death/resurrection Osiris
Procyon(.40) drowning, weeping Isis, Horus Summer preceding Sirius
Betelgeuse(.45) arm Osiris November or April death/resurrection Osiris
Hadar(.61) mysticism, healing September Autumn Equinox
Altair(.76) eagle, ambition Horus, Zeus, Prometheus Summer Solstice height
Aldebaran(.80) bull's eye Serapis, Siva Spring Vernal Equinox
Acrux(.87) cross Shula May
Spica(1.0) tip Min, Isis May-June harvest
Antares(1.06) red one, lusty Serk-t, Typhon November, July death Osiris, Typhon
Pollux(1.16)/Castor twins, protect/deceive Horus, Hermes, Marduk April
Deneb(1.25) hindmost, golden egg Aphrodite, Brahma Spring, Fall migration, egg-laying
Regulus(1.36) ruler Sekhmet, Asharte June Summer Solstice
Algol(2.15 var) head Neith, Lilith, Athene, Brigit February destruction/creation
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) spirits, birds Kabiri November Hallowe'en, floods
Thuban(3.64) serpent Tanem, Dayan Wintersea serpent, darkness


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 9-20
Capella(.08) 10-27 3-20 4-20
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 3-20
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20
Antares(1.06) 4-23 4-20 8-20
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 9-20
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 8-20 6-1
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0

What is obvious from doing these calendar dates, is that the stars themselves are a calendar. They are a different positions in the sky and the arcs they describe rise or fall with respect to the viewer: southern stars like Acrux barely touching the horizon in the 3rd Millennium BC, northern stars like Arcturus barely going below the northern horizon. In later times Acrux has vanished below the horizon and Arcturus never sets. But how do we decide which stars are in which order? The ancients were divided. Some people marked a star by its highest point, in the first column where it will hit the southernmost point of its arc at midnight. Other peoples celebrated a star's return (heliacal rising or the star's first siting after it is occluded), others by the star's "death" (heliacal setting). Note the calendar jump from heliacal setting to heliacal rising. This is the time when the star cannot be seen. For many myths this was an important time. The following charts show some different orders.


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 1-20 6-1
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1
Antares(1.06) 4-23 11-20 8-20
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 12-1
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 12-1
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1
Capella(.08) 10-27 4-20 4-20
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 4-1
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0

Note how stars are clumped together in this arrangement. This might indicate a reason for holy days at Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice, Samhain, and Winter Solstice. Other than that, it verifies some of the dates celebrated by the Romans and Greeks who preferred stellar dates at midnight such as Jupiter's star, Altair, that was marked at Summer Solstice.


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 12-1
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 12-1
Antares(1.06) 4-23 11-20 8-20
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 1-20 6-1
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20
Capella(.08) 10-27 4-20 12-20
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 4-1
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0

There is still some clumping, but far less. This system was favored by the Egyptians. However, most people contemporary with the Babylonians began their day at sunset. The moon, a favored way to begin a month was first sited as a heliacal rising of the moon at dusk, impossible for stellar viewing. A complication is that the moon and sun are moving in the same direction against a stellar background, so the stars that appear at dusk will be the ones next to be occluded. The moon moves in the opposite "direction" appearing "behind" the sun after occlusion. So what of a dusk siting of a stellar death, or a heliacal setting? Also realize that some of these stars are always visible at some time of the night and others are not visible for a long time because of the shortness of the night in summer. Although occlusion may only be one month, apparent occlusion (loss of the star due to daylight) can be much longer.


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 1-20 6-1
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20
Antares(1.06) 4-23 11-20 8-20
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 12-1
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 12-1
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1
Capella(.08) 10-27 4-20 12-20
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 4-1
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0

Note the big dead zone after August 20th to December 1st. For Northern peoples, this would have been prime viewing time. For the peoples of the Monsoon region, this would have been a bad viewing time and may have influenced their choices.

The other position that could be effective for a dusk viewing is a acronycal rising, or a stellar rising in the east at dusk, or in opposition to the sun. Let us now look at a table showing heliacal settings combined with acronycal risings.


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting Acronycal Rising
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1 2-1
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1 2-1
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1 2-1
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20 3-1
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 12-1 4-1
Antares(1.06) 4-23 11-20 7-20 4-20
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 12-1 4-20
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1 4-20
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20 5-1
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20 5-1
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1 5-20
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20 7-1
Capella(.08) 10-27 4-20 12-20 8-1
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1 9-1
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 4-1 10-20
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20 11-20
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 1-20 6-1 12-20
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20 1-1
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1 1-20
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0 0

These dates give us a very regular calendar with no clumping. I want to add one more column, that of the acronycal setting, or the position of the star at dawn in opposition to the sun.


Star Midnight Zenith Helical Rising Helical Setting Acronycal Rising Acronycal Setting
Sirius(-1.44) 12-8 9-1 4-1 2-1 11-20
Betelgeuse(.45) 11-17 8-1 4-1 2-1 11-20
Algol(2.15 var) 10-3 3-20 3-20 7-1 11-20
Aldebaran(.80) 10-27 7-1 4-1 10-20 11-20
Procyon(.40) 12-12 8-1 5-1 1-20 12-1
Capella(.08) 10-27 4-20 12-20 8-1 12-20
Acrux(.87) 3-6 12-20 5-1 4-20 12-20
Hadar(.61) 3-20 12-1 5-20 5-1 12-20
Kentarus(-.01) 3-25 12-1 5-20 5-1 12-20
Pollux(1.16)/Castor 12-3 7-20 5-20 11-20 1-20
Regulus(1.36) 1-15 1-20 6-1 12-20 2-20
Spica(1.0) 3-12 10-20 7-20 3-1 3-20
Antares(1.06) 4-23 11-20 7-20 4-20 4-20
Arcturus(-.05) 3-27 9-20 12-1 2-1 7-20
Altair(.76) 6-21 12-20 12-1 5-20 8-20
Vega(.03) 6-18 10-20 12-1 4-1 9-1
Deneb(1.25) 7-18 11-20 12-1 4-20 9-20
Rigel(.18) 11-12 8-1 3-20 1-1 10-20
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) 10-14 6-20 3-1 9-1 11-1
Thuban(3.64) 0 0 0 0 0

From these tables is is apparent that many stars are marker stars in the year because they just don't appear for the entire year. The briefest appearing stars are Acrux, Hadar and Rigel Kentarus. Altair, at the opposite end, vanishes for a brief time, but Deneb, Vega, Arcturus and Thuban never vanish. Although it would be more obvious for a calendar map to place these five stars on the inner pentagram, the Hazel use the stellar map as a positional guide and also a calendar, which complicates matters. So, Hadar, Rigel Kentarus, and Acrux have to be in the time of year between winter solstice and Beltaine. Sirius, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Procyon, Rigel and Pollux/Castor have to be on the calendar between Lammas and Beltaine, better yet, cannot be on the calendar at midsummer. Antares and Spica cannot be on the calendar between Lammas and Samhain and so forth.

On the Mnemonics page, I introduced the Anieth star map. This map has the Earth star names. Although a spacial map, this map doubles as a calendar. This calendar runs clockwise, in a stellar direction, not a planetary direction. The sun will move , counter-clockwise with the stars during the day. If you look at the 5/1 or Beltaine position, that is summer dawn. Think of the wheel shifting forwards as the sun rises each day and you will see the clockwise march of the zodiac. Also note that this calendar is based on the acronycal rising of the stars, but at the time of year of the acronycal rising, there are also some other interesting events. Look at November 1. This date is not fixed, but represents a date in autumn after the equinox. At any given time between 9/20 and 11/20, you have the rise of the Pleiades, Algol, and Aldebaran, followed by the rise of Rigel, Betelguese, Pollux and Castor, Procyon and Sirius. At this time you have the stellar death of Altair, Capella, Arcturus, Vega and Deneb. At midnight, Orion rules the sky with Capella and Algol. At dawn, Antares rises to reside very briefly with Sirius for the first time since spring as the girdle of the Milky Way carries the entire map of stars. So, even if a calendar was marked by the acronycal rise of Aldebaran, the night's celebration finishes with the heliacal rise of Antares and the acronycal set of Sirius. An observatory could have points aimed at Antares at SSE, Sirius, at SW/SE and Aldebaran at E.

Note also that by shifting the dates one point counter-clockwise, you have a good heliacal rising map. Antares rises about August first, Sirius about March 20th, Acrux in May, and Deneb after the Winter Solstice. It also works as a midnight map if Sirius begins the calendar at February first, Acrux at March 20th, Antares at May first, Deneb at August 1st and the Pleiades in October. This makes this calendar a robust tool for anyone beginning the year with any star at any date, with allowances for minor shifting in the arrangement, such as putting Rigel or Regulus as a point star rather than Sirius.

Here again is the translation of the main stars into the language of the Tualárach. You will note again the letters marking the positions of the stars on the map. I shall now explain this.

Calendar Correspondences
and the Progression to Tree
and Animal Calendars

You saw above a reference to some of the gods and goddesses associated with certain stars. I will go more into depth on this on the Religions page. For many thousands of years, people have tied stellar mnemonics to images, usually of animals or people. Calendar months were also tied to images of animals. Days of the week were tied closely to gods, so closely that many atheist countries have tried to change those names to numerical references. Our modern calendar is a blend of god names, emperor names, and numeric names. However, for the ancients, even the years were labeled with names, for most did not count from some date further back than the ascension of a ruler. Alphabets, too, were tied to animal names, and some tree names. Because of this, mythographers like Robert Graves mapped the alphabet onto a calendar of trees and animals and gods.

One of the things that first intrigued me about Anieth, was the correspondences between constellations, animals, and trees. A large part of this was due to the political system of client Animal Clans to Tree Clans. The stellar map and corresponding tree and animal maps were very old and had some interesting corollaries to Earth. All of the trees and animals I encountered in Anieth were exactly that of Earth, of Northwestern Europe, to be exact, which convinced me, with the similar linguistic patterns, that Anieth was an Earth reflection rather than an extra-terrestrial body. I think I did not leave earth when I went through the gate at An Doras, but shifted dimensions so that I was in an alternate Earth at a different time. Well, an almost Earth, for Earth has no magic to speak of.

Graves's calendar is a start at mapping an alphabet, particularly the Celtic tree alphabet onto a calendar. He was prejudiced on many accounts. He wanted to begin the year at Winter Solstice. He also was studied in the Kabbalah and the Greek Myths and wanted to map in the calendar to some Gnostic secrets. For many years I took this idea to heart and tried to make a map that fit with Graves's theories. Impossible. So, the map had to go. I went back again to my stars.

This alternative star map is slightly different in some letters and positions to accomodate the "B,L,F" which is a short name for the Celtic Tree Alphabet. The sequence of letters is B,L,F,N,S, H,D,T,C,Q, M,G,NG,Z,R, A,O,U,E,I. This is an ogham alphabet in flights of five sets of notches. Here, I have swapped Sirius to the other star leg, made Acrux "H" and Procyon "S", put Rigel in the left leg, made Kentares "Q", Algol "Z", Altair "M", Thuban "NG" and switched Deneb with Arcturus. It's not as good as the other map, but it still works. Although I will use the previous arrangement favored by the Hazel, this is to show that the map works with the Celtic alphabet and some of Graves's theories.


Star Letter Sound WordTranslation Animal
Sirius(-1.44) D Da, Ta, palatal-dento voiced Dar, Tan Oak Bear, Dog
Regulus(1.36) O cOw, Aura, round soft-palate Onn, Aur Furze, Pine Robin
Rigel(.18) N No, Nya, labia-dento fluid Nin, Onnen Ash Horse, Snake
Procyon(.40) H Hu, Wa, bilabial fricative Uath, Wath Hawthorn Owl, Bat
Acrux(.87) S Sa, Sh, aspirated unvoiced Sal, Shel Willow Fox
Spica(1.0) U Ur, round, hard palate Ura, Utha Heather Lamb, Lark
Hadar(.61) C C, CH, guttural unvoiced Coll, Hull Hazel Salmon, Heron
Kentarus(-.01) G Gau, KNot, guttural voiced Gort, Yar Ivy Goose
Arcturus(-.05) I Ye, Jir, slender labial-nasal Iur, Yer Yew Eagle
Antares(1.06) T Te, Khe, Ffi, palatal-dental unvoiced Tinn, Ffom Holly Wolf
Altair(.76) Z St, Sm, Jz, aspirated voiced Strif, Smach Blackthorn Falcon
Vega(.03) P Ng, Pia, labial-nasal fluid Gnetal, Peith Rush Lapwing
Deneb(1.25) E bEt, bAt, slender hard palate Eadha, Aes Aspen Swan
Thuban(3.64) M Ma, Wa, bi-labial voiced Muin, Win Vine Snake, Horse
Algol(2.15 var) Q Hw, Qw, labial-dental fricative Uil, Yul, Hwin Apple Pig
Capella(.08) R Hr, Ro, Rw, soft-palate unvoiced Ruis, Rush Elder Seal
Pleiades(2.86-5.0) L Lu, Li, hard palate fluid Luis, Blush, Rowan Duck, Lynx
Pollux(1.16)/Castor A hAy, hEy, wide hard palate Ailm, Elf Fir, Juniper Otter
Aldebaran(.80) B Bia, Bwi, Gwe, labial-dental voiced Beth, Birkh Birch Stag, Bull
Betelgeuse(.45) F Va, Fa, Fi, labial-dento unvoiced Fearn, Var Alder Raven

For the basic structure of stellar observatories see my paper: "The Stellar Observatories of Anieth". For the individual observatories and calendars of the Clans and Nations see the pages dedicated to Comparison of Calendars and Time Lines. For more information on correspondences, go to Religion pages; for more information on the languages of Anieth, go to the Language, Clan or Family pages.

© 2007, A.R. Stone

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