Months and Weeks

An Doras

The calculation of months and weeks turns out to be one of the most variable aspects of Earth calendar history, so it is no surprise that it should also be so in Anieth which is a world that is very similar to Earth 4000 years ago. Why should this be so? While it was possible for ancient people to understand that they had to mark the year by the position of a star or the sun and not the moon, there was no straightforward way to mark the months. Although the Zodiac is an example of Babylon's answer to the lunar calendar, their are not major star groups in a nice ring around the equator of the skies to make it easy to see that "now we just entered Pisces out of Aquarius." The constellations overlap and the bright Zodiac stars are sometimes 35 degrees apart, sometimes 55 degrees, or not brilliant enough that it is easy to see the constellation at all.

For most ancients, the moon marked the calendar as it still does.

Lunar Calendar

You can see by this modern lunar calendar that the days of the moon do not line up with the days of the month. The full moon occurs earlier each month. For many ancients, this did not matter and still does not matter. Religious calendars are conservative and have been the same, unchanged, for over 5000 years. Some people insert an extra month into their calendars every few years to "get back on track" with the months of the year. This leads to much confusion and variable feast days like the holidays of Passover and Easter. It is not any more awkward than the Muslims celebrating their holidays at different times during the year, each year a bit earlier until they run again full cycle.

However, the lunar and solar cycles coincide at variable times as well. The only true "line up" or time when the moon and sun are almost exactly in the same place occurs every 56 years. This 56 year cycle is called a "metonic year" and is the basis for the yearly calendars of Anieth. Generations are broken into 18 or 19 years and three generations are a "great cycle" or the life of a human being. Yet this cycle does not help with the fact that the moon runs a cycle of 27 to 29 days and some odd minutes depending on if you measure it by where it ends up in the sky every month or when it appears to be full or new.

A number of historians have tried to reconstruct ancient European calendars. One solution, used by the Egyptians, was to ignore the moon entirely and just divide the year up into six months of sixty-one days or sixty days and some holidays. Researchers have spent years and years with Celtic calendars doing lunar calendars of 27 days for a year of 351 days and some left over, or a "full to full" month of 29 days or a compromise of 28 days of 13 months, but drifts off pretty quickly. Recent understanding puts the Ancient Atlantic seaboard in contact with Egypt and Crete. This is born out by stellar circles and other astronomy sites and the obsession with the sun, not the moon as evidenced at Newgrange and Stonehenge. One might conclude that the Ancient Europeans used a calendar similar to that of Ancient Egypt of 6 months of 60 days and some 5 or 6 for holidays. Also a calendar of 12 months might be in order as well. However, this calendar violates what we know of European numerology which was obsessed with three, five, nine, and thirteen.

If we divide the year into four quadrants of 90 days (plus holidays) and each of those 90 days into 2 months of 45 days: five weeks of 9 days each, we get something more similar to the numerology of Europe. But what of the circle of trees and the hints that the trees might be tied to the months? There are 19 letters in the Ogham alphabet, a number that seems more tied to years than to months. Yet 19 months of 19 days is almost the number in a year. If we throw on 4 to 5 holidays, suddenly we get a more interesting picture, for the two gods and the three goddesses that were obviously the sun and moon. Three months of 19 days is equal to 57, or a cycle of 27 and 27 and 1. In Celtic studies we hear of light months and dark months, which also fits this pattern. What if the moon's position were important to the month, but in addition to the year division, not despite it?

It was this realization we came to when we learned of calendars in Anieth and realized that in Anieth, there was no week. Weeks were an invention of peoples from another tradition.

Months 1

Here is a picture of the Nine Nations and their order of years/stars/animals/trees/letters. I have begun the year at the spring equinox, which no one did in Anieth, but you can begin to see that, by this calendar we can align the holidays with the Celtic modern "cross days" or days that marked the middle of the season. I have arranged the Julian days by the equinox as well so you can see the count for the year.

Months 2

Here, I have altered the year to begin on November 7th. However, the problem that we had in Anieth was that even though we knew the way that they numbered the months, we did not know the order of the months and when each Nation and Clan began their year at first. At first, we did not even realize that any of the Nations or Clans should be different! It was not until we understood the orientation of the observatories that we realized how to make each Nation's calendar. On the page about the Nations, you will see each Nation's individual calendar.

© 2012, A.R. Stone

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