Did You Know This Is A Leap Year?

Rotwild im Winter
Leap Day: February 29, 2016

A Leap Day, February 29, is added to the calendar during leap years. This extra day makes the year 366 days long – not 365 days, like a common year.

On February 29th, women can ask a man to marry her.

Role reversal on leap day.

When Is the Next Leap Day?
2016 is a leap year, so the next leap day is February 29, 2016.

The last Leap Day was on February 29, 2012.

Why Add a Leap Day?
Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This called a tropical year.

Without an extra – or intercalary – day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days in relation to fixed seasonal days days like the vernal equinox or winter solstice.

Caesar Introduced Leap Years
Roman general Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day in his Julian Calendar, which he introduced in 45 BCE (Before Common Era). A leap day was added every four years. At the time, leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year.

Too Many Leap Years
However, adding a leap day every four years was too often and eventually, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar, which we still use today, has a more precise formula for calculating of leap years, also known as bissextile years.

USA 1752: Why Are Some Days Missing?

Traditions & Folklore

Leap day as a concept has existed for more than 2000 years, and is still associated with age-old customs, folklore and superstition. One of the most well-known traditions is that women propose to their boyfriends, instead of the other way around.

What’s a Leap Second?

Leap Months

The ancient Roman Calendar added an extra month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes, similar to the Chinese leap month.

 

Source:
timeanddate.com

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About the Month of July

Moon & Witch Comments & Graphics

About the Month of July

Until 44 B.C. this month was called Quintilis; it was renamed in honor of the murdered Julius Caesar, who had been born on the 12th. In 46 B.C.E. the previous Roman calendar dar was reorganized with the help of Alexandrian sages to form the new Julian calendar. After a year of chaos and confusion created by the change, the Julian calendar remained the main calendar in the West for the next 1,600 years, when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar.

This middle-of-the-Summer month is a time of sudden storms and hay-making and is associated with the hot and sultry try “dog-days,” when the Sirius-Canciula (the Dog-Star) rises with the sun, often associated with the Goddess Demeter.

July is a fun-filled month with church fetes, family gatherings, ings, smoky barbecues, and celebrations that include St. Mary Magdalen, patroness of prostitutes; Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and the patroness of housewives; and St. Wilgefortis, who supposedly sprouted an immense beard overnight night to rid herself of suitors chosen by her father. Magickally, July is a time of personal growth, learning new ways to be creative, and cultivating friendships.

Feng Shui News for November 16 – ‘Novem’

This may be the eleventh month on the Gregorian calendar but November actually gets its name from the Latin word ‘novem,’ meaning nine. According to Feng Shui, that number is the most powerful of all the single digits. When someone or something is surrounded by the vibrations of the number nine, they are believed to be infused with energies that will encourage them to reached their fullest potential. The number nine also symbolizes the ability to easily manifest health, happiness and prosperity. On this day, put nine coins of any denomination into a red envelope and place it under the welcome mat at your front entryway. This will bring much fortune and good luck right to your door!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Why Does The Chinese New Year Date Change Every Year?

Chinese New Year

By , About.com Guide

If you live in an area that has a Chinatown, chances are that at some point you’ve watched the Chinese New Year celebrations. However, Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival) doesn’t begin and end on a single weekend. Instead, the Spring Festival lasts a full fifteen days, with preparations beginning before the old year has come to a close. By the time the New Year arrives, families have already spent several days preparing for the big event; cleaning the house, buying gifts, and cooking festive foods.

People often wonder why the date for Chinese New Year changes each year. The Chinese calendar  is a combination solar/lunar calendar, based on a number of rather complex astronomical calculations, including the longitude of the sun. Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (all months begin with a new moon). In 2013, Chinese New Year Day falls on February 10th.

How did Chinese New Year come to be celebrated? According to an ancient legend, people were once tormented by a beast called a Nian – a ferocious creature with an extremely large mouth, capable of swallowing several people in a single bite. Relief from the Nian came only when an old man tricked the beast into disappearing. In reality, New Years festivities probably evolved from a desire to celebrate the end of winter and the fertility and rebirth that come with the spring, much like the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. Today, New Years is about family reunions and wishing everyone good fortune in the coming year.

The Spring Festival is China’s major traditional holiday, and is also celebrated in other parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam (where New Year’s Day is called “Tet”), Malaysia, Taiwan, and of course, Hong Kong. However, in my research I couldn’t find any mention of Chinese New Year’s celebrations in Japan. Lisa Heupel, an expert on Japanese Culture, came up with a possible reason – apparently the Japanese followed the lunar calendar until the middle of the nineteenth century. However, after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, they adopted the Gregorian calendar. Since that time New Years is celebrated on January 1st. While there are other popular festivals celebrating the arrival of spring, such as Hanami or the cherry blossom viewing festival, for the most part Chinese New Year goes unnoticed in Japan, except for a few small celebrations by the Chinese who live there.

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Author: Bran th’ Blessed

The earliest lunar calendars were small sticks into which some Neolithic hunter carved notches to count the days between full moons. This hi-tech device required no battery replacement and was accurate within plus or minus three days of the actual lunar cycle from new moon to new moon. Depending on the hunter, of course.

By such means, it eventually became clear that the full moon occurred every 29 or 30 days. Rather than leave the one finger uncounted on the third go-round, the length of the lunar cycle was set at 30 days (three hands of days) . This length worked well with the estimated duration of the *Celestial Calendar* year, which was 360 days. You may think that the year-counting stick was not as accurate as the month counting stick, but there is always with us humans the expectation of symmetry, and even today it doesn’t set well with us that our year should not end at the end of the twelfth month—as our 12-month Gregorian calendars so clearly attest.

It is because our years were set to 360 days—in order to match precisely with twelve 30-day months—that the circle is ascribed with 360 degrees. The zodiacal path is set to 360 degrees for the 360 days the Sun takes to encompass that circuit, one degree per day.

The Moon, too, encircles the zodiacal path, but it takes only 30 days to do so. In those 30 days the Sun moves 30 degrees, so the Moon must move 360 + 30 = 390 degrees to catch up to the Sun again. While the Sun moves one degree each day, the Moon moves 13 degrees each day. At the end of 30 days, they are united again, but at the beginning of a different zodiacal sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer; Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio; Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces…the signs (constellations) of the zodiac. (I have excluded the zodiacal signs, Doris and Butch, as these have grown into disuse over the ages. Pity.)

The Celestial Calendar provides further symmetries with 24 fifteen-day *Esbats* in each year, corresponding with the risings and settings of the zodiacal signs. There are three esbats (45 days) in each of the eight *Sabbats* of the year: The Solstices (Yule and Litha) , Equinoxes (Ostara and Harvest) , and four Cross-Quarter Sabbats (Winterwatch, or Imbolc; Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain) , and there are two sabbats (90 days) in each of the four seasons of the year.

This Celestial Calendar, however, is poorly matched by the realities of our astronomy. The Earth takes 365¼ days (not 360 days) to move from Winter Solstice to Winter Solstice. The Moon takes 29½ days (not 30) to move from full moon to full moon, and twelve months is actually only about 354 days. Alas, for a more perfect world, eh?

My *Pagan Seasonal Calendar* corrects the Celestial Calendar’s error in the measure of the year by adding five intercalary days to every year, four midseason, cross-quarter sabbat days and one end-of-the-year day. Winterwatch is added between the third and fourth Esbats (my calendar begins and ends at Yule/Midwinter) . Beltane is added between the ninth and tenth Esbats. Lughnasa is added between the fifteenth and sixteenth Esbats. And Samhain is added between the 21st and 22nd Esbats. Year’s End is added at calendar’s end. At the end of every fourth year (called a Span) , a sixth intercalary day called Span’s End is added, equivalent to our “leap year’s day”. The Span’s End day is not added to the 32nd and final Span of a Gaian Era (which is 128 years) . These few adjustments make my Pagan Seasonal Calendar, incorporating the Celestial Calendar, more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar we use with respect to the length of the year. But of course, it does nothing to resolve the problem with the month.

Real lunar months cannot be conveniently aligned with real seasonal years. Various cultures have tried to devise methods for utilizing a lunar calendar, but the two cycles don’t dance the same dance. The Julian Calendar of the Romans and the Gregorian Calendar of the Catholic Church both follow the lead of the Celestial Calendar in making months as long as desired, 28 or 29 days, 30 or 31 days. Lunar calendar systems make each year twelve of thirteen moons in duration, but the systems are either complex or set by visual observations. For my calendar system, I decided to look for a lunar calendar system that is accurate and works well on its own, and then fret the details of coordination later. This isn’t rocket science after all. The lunar period data available today is accurate to ten decimal places and more, and a handy pocket calculator (batteries included) is all I needed for the simple division problems. So here we go.

The period from one full moon to the next is very close to 29½ days. Two moons are twice that, or 59 days. This 59 day lunar cycle is called a *Doublet*. The *Morning Moon* of any doublet begins at midnight opening the 1st day of the doublet and ends at midday of the 30th day of the doublet; the *Evening Moon* begins at midday of the 30th day and ends at midnight closing the 59th and final day of the doublet. Morning moons begin and end in the morning, between midnight and midday; evening moons begin and end in the evening, between midday and midnight. Both moons go halfsies on the 30th day of the doublet.

The degree of error in a 59-day doublet is such that one day must be added after sixteen such doublets (32 moons) . This period of 32 moons is called a *Cynthiad*. The sixteenth and final doublet of each cynthiad has 60 days instead of 59 days. That makes each cynthiad 945 days, or precisely 135 weeks. The degree of error in a cynthiad is much smaller and in the opposite direction, requiring us to eventually remove one day after 47 cynthiads. This period of 47 cynthiads is called a *Lunar Age*, and it’s about 121 years and pocket change. The last doublet of the last cynthiad in each lunar age does not have a day 60. This last modification keeps the calendar within one day of accuracy for about 66 lunar ages—which is eight millennia and pocket change.

Every cynthiad in this age begins on Sunday; it’s the 7th Age of Balder (or some other Sun God/dess of your choice?) in this *Lunar Epoch*. Because of the dropped day at the end of each age, the cynthiads of succeeding Ages begin one day earlier than those before them. Thus the next Age will be the 7th Age of Saturn, in which all the cynthiads will begin on Saturdays…then Fridays (Freya) , Thursdays (Thor) , Wednesdays (Woden) , and so on. (The Age of Woden, with its Wednesday cynthiads, will begin the 8th cycle of ages.)

As I write this, the upcoming new moon of October 26th, 2011, will be: the 1st day of the Elder Moon, the 16th Morning Moon of the 41st Cynthiad in the 7th Age of Balder, and the 1311th moon in that 46th full Age of the Lunar Epoch. This is the first day of the 16th doublet in the 41st cynthiad of this age.

I associate the 32 moons of a cynthiad with various totem creatures, although I’m not settled on any but the 28th moon (Crow Moon) at this time (and that of course only because it is the moon of my birth, so I name it for my own totem animal, the Crow) . Here are the sixteen doublets of a cynthiad and the names of their morning and evening moons. You should change these totems where you feel it appropriate, but I hope you’ll leave the 28th (Crow Moon) as it is.

Doublet – Morning Moon and Evening Moon
01 – Oak and Owl
02 – Redwood and Bear
03 – Ash and Fox
04 – Walnut and Deer
05 – Hawthorn and Rabbit
06 – Willow and Dove
07 – Pine and Coyote
08 – Cedar and Snake
09 – Holly and Otter
10 – Maple and Mouse
11 – Cottonwood and Buffalo
12 – Hickory and Hawk
13 – Cypress and Spider
14 – Sycamore and Crow
15 – Birch and Badger
16 – Elder and Wolf

There are only six and a fraction doublets in any given year. The doublets of this year (2011) have begun or will begin on the following dates.

(0) – November 6, 2010
(1) – January 4, 2011
(2) – March 4, 2011
(3) – May 2, 2011
(4) – June 30, 2011
(5) – August 28, 2011
(6) – October 26, 2011
(7) – December 24, 2011

(To find later dates, simply count down eight weeks and over three days on your calendar from the last known beginning doublet date.)

On the smaller scale of time, each moon (month) is viewed differently in this lunar calendar system. Three days make a *Lunar House* (or *Temple*) . Three houses belong to the *Maiden Goddess*, three more to the *Mother Goddess*, and three to the *Crone Goddess*. These nine houses mark the visible days of each moon. The other days of each moon belong to the dark moon House of Kore/Persephone. The days of each doublet are as follows:

Day 01 – (Morning Moon Begins) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

Day 02-04 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 05-07 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 08-10 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 11-13 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 14-16 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 17-19 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 20-22 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 23-25 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 26-28 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 29-30 – (Morning Moon Ends) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore
Day 30-31 – (Evening Moon Begins) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore

Day 32-34 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 35-37 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 38-40 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 41-43 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 44-46 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 47-49 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 50-52 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 53-55 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 56-58 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 59 – (Evening Moon Ends) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

I hope this lunar calendar will be useful to those who hate to wait for the Farmer’s Almanac to come out each year in order to know the new and full moon dates, which is what I used to do back in the age of dinosaurs when there were no computers. I have found this doublet system quite reliable for well over a decade. Sometimes the moon dates may be off about a day due to astronomical variations or when an intercalary day is coming due or has just been added. But I have noted very little such inaccuracy actually. I hope I have provided enough information for you to take it from here should you so choose. – Bran th’ Blessed


Footnotes:
None

OK, Let’s take a break, It’s Leap Year, So What Does It Mean To You?

’Leap Day’ is February 29, which is an extra (intercalary) day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a common (normal) year. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar.

Ever since Leap Years were first introduced over 2000 years ago with the transition from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era), Leap Day has been associated with age-old Leap Day traditions and folklore.

Women propose to their men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition. 

World Record of Leap Day Babies

People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are world record holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

Bad luck

In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day, just like Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. In Greece it’s said to be unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day

Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after an archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. The memorial is celebrated on February 29 during Leap Years and on February 28 during common years.

 

Calendar of the Sun for Jan. 23rd

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

Calendar of the Sun for Friday, Jan. 13th

Calendar of the Sun
13 Wolfmonath

Compitalia Mania, Day of the Mother of Ghosts

Colors: White and Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of black lay many sheer cloths of white, which each person takes as they enter and places over their heads. Lay out also four white candles, incense of myrrh, many loaves of bread made in the shape of men and women, and many skeins of handspun wool.
Offerings: Woolen effigies, to be made in the ritual. Make offerings in a graveyard.
Daily Meal: Fasting today until the evening meal.

Compitalia Mania Invocation

We call upon thee, Mania, Mother of Ghosts,
On this your day when you arise to admonish us.
Let not the spirits of the Dead torment us,
For we love and remember them.
Let not the spirits of the Dead pursue us,
For we wish them peace and rest.
Let not the spirits of the Dead wail in our ears,
For we cannot give them life, or comfort,
And so we beseech thee, Mother of Ghosts,
To take them into your dark arms
And sing them to sleep until it is time
For them to come once more
Into the world of life and breath and body.
(The bread loaves are passed around. Each is named with the name of someone dead who refuses to be forgotten. They are eaten.)
Hail, Mania, Mother of Ghosts!
We take these your children into our bodies,
We make them part of our lives,
And then return them again to the Earth.
May they live again in our flesh and blood
For these few days, and share our thoughts
And hopes, and dreams, and make themselves ready
To come once again into flesh of their own.

(The wool skeins are passed around, and fashioned into the shape of men and women, the Children of Mania, the Manes. These are hung about the house, over windows and doorways, in order to honor the Manes and keep them from tormenting the living.)

Feng Shui Tip of the Day for November 17th

It’s the ‘Great American Smokeout’ today and if you’re one of the millions of smokers who are taking steps to quit, you might want to put this next Feng Shui idea to quit addiction in your proverbial pipe. This modality says that addictions such as smoking can be effectively addressed by using a specific space inside the main floor of your home. First, you need to find a photo of youreslf at a time in your life when you were not a smoker. That picture can be from when you were two months old or twenty-two years later, as long as the image reflects you in a happy state of mind and not yet smoking. You then need to place that photo in a wooden frame. Next, locate the Family/Friends area of the main floor of your living space and position this picture there. Place a lamp or even a green candle somewhere close by. If you can install a light of some sort, you will need to illuminate that image for at least three hours a day for 49 days straight. If you’re using a candle, make sure it’s green. Some Feng Shui purists says that only a green Buddha candle will work it’s anti-addiction magic for this cure. Either way, the only thing you should be lighting up for the next 49 days is that old photo of you. Soon enough, you’ll be smoke free and feeling fine. At least that’s the promise. But I can safely say that people have used this stop smoking cure to great success, so I am happy to share this information with confidence!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Author: Bran th’ Blessed

The earliest lunar calendars were small sticks into which some Neolithic hunter carved notches to count the days between full moons. This hi-tech device required no battery replacement and was accurate within plus or minus three days of the actual lunar cycle from new moon to new moon. Depending on the hunter, of course.

By such means, it eventually became clear that the full moon occurred every 29 or 30 days. Rather than leave the one finger uncounted on the third go-round, the length of the lunar cycle was set at 30 days (three hands of days) . This length worked well with the estimated duration of the *Celestial Calendar* year, which was 360 days. You may think that the year-counting stick was not as accurate as the month counting stick, but there is always with us humans the expectation of symmetry, and even today it doesn’t set well with us that our year should not end at the end of the twelfth month—as our 12-month Gregorian calendars so clearly attest.

It is because our years were set to 360 days—in order to match precisely with twelve 30-day months—that the circle is ascribed with 360 degrees. The zodiacal path is set to 360 degrees for the 360 days the Sun takes to encompass that circuit, one degree per day.

The Moon, too, encircles the zodiacal path, but it takes only 30 days to do so. In those 30 days the Sun moves 30 degrees, so the Moon must move 360 + 30 = 390 degrees to catch up to the Sun again. While the Sun moves one degree each day, the Moon moves 13 degrees each day. At the end of 30 days, they are united again, but at the beginning of a different zodiacal sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer; Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio; Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces…the signs (constellations) of the zodiac. (I have excluded the zodiacal signs, Doris and Butch, as these have grown into disuse over the ages. Pity.)

The Celestial Calendar provides further symmetries with 24 fifteen-day *Esbats* in each year, corresponding with the risings and settings of the zodiacal signs. There are three esbats (45 days) in each of the eight *Sabbats* of the year: The Solstices (Yule and Litha) , Equinoxes (Ostara and Harvest) , and four Cross-Quarter Sabbats (Winterwatch, or Imbolc; Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain) , and there are two sabbats (90 days) in each of the four seasons of the year.

This Celestial Calendar, however, is poorly matched by the realities of our astronomy. The Earth takes 365¼ days (not 360 days) to move from Winter Solstice to Winter Solstice. The Moon takes 29½ days (not 30) to move from full moon to full moon, and twelve months is actually only about 354 days. Alas, for a more perfect world, eh?

My *Pagan Seasonal Calendar* corrects the Celestial Calendar’s error in the measure of the year by adding five intercalary days to every year, four midseason, cross-quarter sabbat days and one end-of-the-year day. Winterwatch is added between the third and fourth Esbats (my calendar begins and ends at Yule/Midwinter) . Beltane is added between the ninth and tenth Esbats. Lughnasa is added between the fifteenth and sixteenth Esbats. And Samhain is added between the 21st and 22nd Esbats. Year’s End is added at calendar’s end. At the end of every fourth year (called a Span) , a sixth intercalary day called Span’s End is added, equivalent to our “leap year’s day”. The Span’s End day is not added to the 32nd and final Span of a Gaian Era (which is 128 years) . These few adjustments make my Pagan Seasonal Calendar, incorporating the Celestial Calendar, more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar we use with respect to the length of the year. But of course, it does nothing to resolve the problem with the month.

Real lunar months cannot be conveniently aligned with real seasonal years. Various cultures have tried to devise methods for utilizing a lunar calendar, but the two cycles don’t dance the same dance. The Julian Calendar of the Romans and the Gregorian Calendar of the Catholic Church both follow the lead of the Celestial Calendar in making months as long as desired, 28 or 29 days, 30 or 31 days. Lunar calendar systems make each year twelve of thirteen moons in duration, but the systems are either complex or set by visual observations. For my calendar system, I decided to look for a lunar calendar system that is accurate and works well on its own, and then fret the details of coordination later. This isn’t rocket science after all. The lunar period data available today is accurate to ten decimal places and more, and a handy pocket calculator (batteries included) is all I needed for the simple division problems. So here we go.

The period from one full moon to the next is very close to 29½ days. Two moons are twice that, or 59 days. This 59 day lunar cycle is called a *Doublet*. The *Morning Moon* of any doublet begins at midnight opening the 1st day of the doublet and ends at midday of the 30th day of the doublet; the *Evening Moon* begins at midday of the 30th day and ends at midnight closing the 59th and final day of the doublet. Morning moons begin and end in the morning, between midnight and midday; evening moons begin and end in the evening, between midday and midnight. Both moons go halfsies on the 30th day of the doublet.

The degree of error in a 59-day doublet is such that one day must be added after sixteen such doublets (32 moons) . This period of 32 moons is called a *Cynthiad*. The sixteenth and final doublet of each cynthiad has 60 days instead of 59 days. That makes each cynthiad 945 days, or precisely 135 weeks. The degree of error in a cynthiad is much smaller and in the opposite direction, requiring us to eventually remove one day after 47 cynthiads. This period of 47 cynthiads is called a *Lunar Age*, and it’s about 121 years and pocket change. The last doublet of the last cynthiad in each lunar age does not have a day 60. This last modification keeps the calendar within one day of accuracy for about 66 lunar ages—which is eight millennia and pocket change.

Every cynthiad in this age begins on Sunday; it’s the 7th Age of Balder (or some other Sun God/dess of your choice?) in this *Lunar Epoch*. Because of the dropped day at the end of each age, the cynthiads of succeeding Ages begin one day earlier than those before them. Thus the next Age will be the 7th Age of Saturn, in which all the cynthiads will begin on Saturdays…then Fridays (Freya) , Thursdays (Thor) , Wednesdays (Woden) , and so on. (The Age of Woden, with its Wednesday cynthiads, will begin the 8th cycle of ages.)

As I write this, the upcoming new moon of October 26th, 2011, will be: the 1st day of the Elder Moon, the 16th Morning Moon of the 41st Cynthiad in the 7th Age of Balder, and the 1311th moon in that 46th full Age of the Lunar Epoch. This is the first day of the 16th doublet in the 41st cynthiad of this age.

I associate the 32 moons of a cynthiad with various totem creatures, although I’m not settled on any but the 28th moon (Crow Moon) at this time (and that of course only because it is the moon of my birth, so I name it for my own totem animal, the Crow) . Here are the sixteen doublets of a cynthiad and the names of their morning and evening moons. You should change these totems where you feel it appropriate, but I hope you’ll leave the 28th (Crow Moon) as it is.

Doublet – Morning Moon and Evening Moon
01 – Oak and Owl
02 – Redwood and Bear
03 – Ash and Fox
04 – Walnut and Deer
05 – Hawthorn and Rabbit
06 – Willow and Dove
07 – Pine and Coyote
08 – Cedar and Snake
09 – Holly and Otter
10 – Maple and Mouse
11 – Cottonwood and Buffalo
12 – Hickory and Hawk
13 – Cypress and Spider
14 – Sycamore and Crow
15 – Birch and Badger
16 – Elder and Wolf

There are only six and a fraction doublets in any given year. The doublets of this year (2011) have begun or will begin on the following dates.

(0) – November 6, 2010
(1) – January 4, 2011
(2) – March 4, 2011
(3) – May 2, 2011
(4) – June 30, 2011
(5) – August 28, 2011
(6) – October 26, 2011
(7) – December 24, 2011

(To find later dates, simply count down eight weeks and over three days on your calendar from the last known beginning doublet date.)

On the smaller scale of time, each moon (month) is viewed differently in this lunar calendar system. Three days make a *Lunar House* (or *Temple*) . Three houses belong to the *Maiden Goddess*, three more to the *Mother Goddess*, and three to the *Crone Goddess*. These nine houses mark the visible days of each moon. The other days of each moon belong to the dark moon House of Kore/Persephone. The days of each doublet are as follows:

Day 01 – (Morning Moon Begins) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

Day 02-04 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 05-07 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 08-10 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 11-13 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 14-16 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 17-19 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 20-22 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 23-25 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 26-28 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 29-30 – (Morning Moon Ends) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore
Day 30-31 – (Evening Moon Begins) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore

Day 32-34 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 35-37 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 38-40 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 41-43 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 44-46 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 47-49 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 50-52 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 53-55 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 56-58 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 59 – (Evening Moon Ends) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

I hope this lunar calendar will be useful to those who hate to wait for the Farmer’s Almanac to come out each year in order to know the new and full moon dates, which is what I used to do back in the age of dinosaurs when there were no computers. I have found this doublet system quite reliable for well over a decade. Sometimes the moon dates may be off about a day due to astronomical variations or when an intercalary day is coming due or has just been added. But I have noted very little such inaccuracy actually. I hope I have provided enough information for you to take it from here should you so choose. – Bran th’ Blessed


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