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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in calendar

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar Projects

I'm creating a Heathen Calendar and a Slavic Calendar for 2017. I've accumulated holidays from various heathen traditions for the Heathen Calendar, including American Asatru, Icelandic Asatru, Theod, Forn Sed, Forn Sidr, American Northern Tradition, etc. I've also collected holidays from various Slavic traditions, including Old Slavic, Modern Rodnovery, and American Rus.

This is how I came to start this project. The company for which I work was recently purchased, and I'm now working for the same person who published my book American Celebration at Spero Publishing. One day Alan mentioned he'd like to start publishing calendars. And I emailed back, "Calendars, ay? You know what would be cool?" So there we are. Caliburn Press / Spero is going to start with two calendars, a Heathen one and a Slavic one, and hopefully add more calendars in future years.

When I started this project, I didn't realize how much work it was going to be. Now I know why no one has produced a modern calendar with all the different heathen holidays on it. Some holidays on old lunar calendars are set by moon phases, in the old Icelandic calendar all months started on Sunday, most of the historical records that provide Christian calendar dates equivalent to their country's then-current heathen calendar provide dates for the Julian calendar which then have to be translated to the Gregorian calendar, and there's a modern holiday for which I had to appeal to my friends to tell me how to calculate the heliacal rising of Sirius for future years. I've collected quite a list of holidays, but I'll be open to adding more right up until I turn the project over to the boss, which won't be until after I select 12 artworks for each calendar.

I'm looking for classical paintings to illustrate the two calendars. In future years, we hope to use art by living artists, but at least for the first year, we plan to use art that has fallen into the public domain due to its age. I've been deep in Google Image Search. I decided on paintings because I think full color art would look best on a calendar in print. These decisions necessarily mean most of the art will be from the Romantic era, but I promise: no horned helmets.

If anyone would like to suggest art, or holidays, for either the Heathen or Slavic calendars, please comment with your suggestions.

Image: Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt. I see this as an image of Freya, who wept tears of gold and amber while she searched for Odh ("Inspiration.")

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Not specifically, as far as I know. The American Rus holidays are only celebrated by American groups that honor multiple tradition
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Can you point us to more information on the "American Rus" you mention? First I've heard of it.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    American Rus holidays are modern additions to the Slavic pagan calendar which are celebrations of Rus heroes, particularly the ear
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Are there any American Rus groups? Links would be helpful.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    How cool! Excited to see them when they are done!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Astronomy and the Minoan Temple Complexes

These days when we consult an architect to create a new building, we generally orient it with the front toward the street that will access the building, for convenience and practicality. But in much of the ancient world, each new building was carefully oriented toward one or more cardinal directions or astronomical alignments. Ancient Crete was no different. The temple complexes at Knossos, Phaistos, Zakros, and other Minoan cities and towns were built to align to a variety of related astronomical events.

For the most part, the celestial events the Minoan buildings align to are risings of various sorts: sunrise, moonrise, the rising of the planet Venus, and the heliacal rising of certain stars. These astronomical events held a special place in Minoan religion, marking sacred times of the year, and also helped to maintain the Minoans’ complicated lunisolar calendar.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Happy new year! (No, I haven't lost my mind.)

And no, I don’t have a faulty calendar. Let me explain.

The Mediterranean region is lovely: a marvelous sea surrounded by sun-kissed lands all the way around in a huge oval that reaches from the Atlantic to the Levant. But one thing this area doesn’t have is four seasons. Those of us who live in the temperate zones are so used to spring, summer, autumn, and winter that we often forget there are other climates, other seasonal cycles. The Mediterranean has a very interesting set of seasons, and this cycle had a powerful influence on Minoan religion since the island of Crete lies in the middle of the wine-dark sea.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    Apologies, but I’m going to call this out. The Hellenic archaic new year is based on the Egyptian calendar of the rising and fall
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    The Minoans pre-dated the Hellenes by centuries. Educate yourself.
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    I’m well aware of that, thank you. I used Hellenic as a descriptor for the land and associated cultures. I never said the that the
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    Actually the chapter is 2. I misread my Roman numerals
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    It's a pretty sure bet that they used greenery decorations as soon as the rains started, but the several-week-long celebratory sea

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Seasons of Dreams

For some, winter is the time of dreaming. The long dark night, the glow of the fire, and much of nature seeming to be inactive or hibernating, can be suggestive of human sleep and resting. Winter can be the time of storytellers. It depends a lot on your way of life though, as it can also be a time of hunger, cold, struggle and death.

For others, spring is suggestive of dreams because it is the time of new beginnings. Everything is growing afresh, new life is coming into the world and this suggests possibilities. We can throw away the old, make something new and dream big.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A few spokes shy of a wheel?

The Wiccan Wheel of the Year is a wonderful thing. The eight evenly-spaced sabbats provide a balanced, coherent view of the seasonal cycles over the course of a year. The Quarters and Cross-Quarters are a great way for modern pagans to connect with nature and to become more in tune with the shifts and changes of the natural world, particularly in temperate climates. But the Wheel of the Year is a recent invention, compiled from a wide variety of sources. Ancient cultures didn’t follow the Wheel, or at least, not all of it.

For instance, my Celtic reconstructionist friends tell me that their historical sources mention only the Cross-Quarters sabbats: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh, often called Fire Festivals in their tradition. Hilda Ellis Davidson’s work on the ancient traditions of northern Europe suggests that some cultures celebrated the solstices but not necessarily the equinoxes, and harvest festivals fell whenever the crops were ready and not on a particular calendar date. The ancient Roman sacred calendar contained more festival dates than you can shake a stick at. So what about the ancient Minoans?

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My Personal Religious Calendar (The Pagan Experience)

(This post was written as part of The Pagan Experience, a community blogging project. You can find more information on the project and how to join in yourself here.)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for two or three weeks now, but unfortunately, the letter “C” came up in the posting prompts around the same time as my doctor changed my pain maintenance meds, which put me in withdrawal for two weeks. In that state, I ranged between low-grade fevers with chills, periods of complete exhaustion, and extreme mood swings, and while making stuff was okay, writing an actual content post was probably ill-advised, if even possible.

I wonder what my doctor would say if she knew that it was a Norse god who had mandated the change. My memory and critical thinking skills had been getting progressively worse over the past several years while taking Gabapentin, during the past year especially. I had become incredibly accident prone; I concussed myself pretty badly once, and overdosed the dog on his heart pills twice, but it wasn’t until I forgot that Pyrex gets hot in the microwave and ended up with first degree burns over a good portion of my right hand that Odin finally said “Enough, I want you OFF of that already, before you do irreparable damage to yourself.” My new doctor had already been saying that she didn’t know how I was even walking around with the dosage my old doctor had put me on. Going down from three pills a day to one came with pain and withdrawal as a trade-off, which a low-dose Prozac in the morning has helped to counter, and two weeks later I’m finally starting to feel better—more like myself, actually, than I have in years. (There is still some fibro fog, but the Gabapentin was making it much, much worse than it needed to be.)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
When is Samhain?

All Hallows Eve falls on the 31st of October – the night before All Hallows Day, also known as All Saints Day. It’s part of the Catholic calendar. All Hallows Eve is also, in this tradition, known as All Souls Night – a time for remembering the less saintly-dead. It’s this tradition that Mexican day of the dead festivities, and pumpkin lanterns would seem to belong to.

We know that Samhain was the end of the Celtic summer. However, as with all ancient festivals, the issue of dates is a tad compromised by the problems of calendars. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar came in, adjusting the previous Julian calendar and fine tuning when leap years happen. The reason for this is that the date of Easter is calculated (because the only reference to it is the Jewish lunar calendar) in relation to the spring equinox, so calendar drift was causing the Church some headaches.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • HighburyPaul
    HighburyPaul says #
    Using leaf fall is slightly vague though. Leaves fall in temperate climates for over a period of 2-3 months (different species loo
  • Maria OToole
    Maria OToole says #
    And then there's the Southern Hemisphere...our Samhain is their springtime...
  • Maria OToole
    Maria OToole says #
    Oct. 31 for me marks the beginning of the 3rd harvest in an agricultural calendar: Lammas for grain, Mabon for the late fruit like
  • Arranell
    Arranell says #
    I was just thinking about exactly this the other day. I woke wondering if anyone else thinks we might be celebrating Samhain when
  • warren rake
    warren rake says #
    It is my understanding that the cross quarter days are the midway point between the solstice and the equinox, or vice versa... The

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