What with the Weekdays?

30 April 2007

Friday? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? when does the week really begin?

Abysmal Days, Weeks and Months
Seven Days of the Week

In the Seven Day Circle, the Hebrew 7-Day Week began with the Sabbath, a Day of rest, our modern Saturday.

The Christians, having divorced themselves ideologically from the Hebrews, needed to identify the Week in a manner unique to them, thus they made their first Day Sunday.

The Muslims chose Friday as their own.

interesting to note that currently, the Hebrew Calendar is Solilunar, the Christian Calendar is Solar and the Muslim Calendar is Lunar.

The astrological week, attributing planets to the days, as almost all languages have adopted in one form or another, if at the very least to have a reference to the rest of the world.

In the circle below, the order of the planets begins with the bottom left, the symbol for Saturn, and Saturday. If you follow the lines of the star, from Saturn upward to the Sun, you follow the order of the planets, and weekdays.

Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

If, beginning again at Saturn on the bottom left, we follow the circle clockwise, we get the order
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon
This order follows the length of days from longest to shortest for the planetary orbital periods (sidereal), the annual cycle of the sun (our year), and the Moon’s lunation period (synodic).

This relationship between the order of the weekdays, and this planetary order was taken to one further level of elaboration in the Hellenistic system. If one follows the order around the circle, from Saturn to Moon, and attributes each of them to one of the hours of the day, beginning with the first hour after midnight, we get the following pattern.

h Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
0 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
1 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
2 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
3 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
4 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
5 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
6 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
7 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
8 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
9 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
10 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
11 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
12 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
13 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
14 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
15 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
16 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
17 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
18 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
19 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
20 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
21 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
22 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
23 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon

note that the first hour of each day coincides with the day of the week.

This also brings us back to the Myth of Ouranos, Gaia, and Kronos, or, Uranus the Sky, Gaia the Earth, and Saturn the Dark Trickster.

Ouranos, a creature of generation, had penetrated deep into Gaia, conceiving monstrous children, down to Kronos, the youngest. As Ouranos lay atop Gaia, and remained within her, the children she generated remained trapped within her, causing her great agony.


She charged Saturn with the task of relieving her, and she provided him with a cycle to do so. Saturn used it to castrate his father, thereby separating the Sky (Heavens) from the Earth. This, in some sense, represents the birth of Time.

Ouranos’ emasculated generative organs fell down into the ocean, where the surface foamed up, and from it emerged Venus… our representation of divine love, and Friday, the last day of the week.


Uranus, incidentally, can be seen from Earth with the naked eye, although it is a challenge to find him. Might we consider an 8-day week?In light of this particular order of Days, it would be most prudent for theAbysmal Calendar to revise its Weekday Sequence. For, if theAbysmal Calendar’s Weeks begin with Saturday, then the seamless passing of the Weeks will first take place on Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 CE.

A full update pends.

Porcini Pasta Noodles

30 April 2007

lasagna ricce

2 C flour
1 to 2 TB powdered dried porcini mushroom
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs

serve with

olive oil & pine nuts
black pepper & sesame

1. sift the flour and porcini powder together onto a floured work surface. Make a well in the centre of the mound. Add the oil and eggs to the well.
2. beat the eggs with a fork, incorporating the flour gradually while doing so, until the dough becomes too thick to operate with a fork.
3. kneading the dough with the right hand, and adding flour with the left, knead the dough for 15 minutes (give or take), until it has the consistency of an earlobe, and springs back when you press it.
4. leave the dough to rest for 1 hour under a damp cloth.
5. cut the dough into 4 pieces. Knead, flatted and cut into pasta either with a machine or by hand.
see also the Cordon Bleu’s pasta advice 

The Seven Day Circle

29 April 2007

an enlightening history of the development of our perception of the week.

The Seven Day Circle – the History and Meaning of the Week
by Eviatar Zerubavel, 1985

quoting Pitirim A. Sorokin from Sociocultural Causality, Space, Time
“We think in week units; we apprehend time in week units; we localize the events and activities in week units; we co-ordinate our behaviour according to the ‘week’; we live and feel and plan and wish in ‘week’ terms. It is one of the most important points of our ‘orientation’ in time and social reality.”

Introduction – Daddy’s What’s Thursday?

[mayan 20-day uinal, 400-day huna, 8000-day may]

“… in many languages the word ‘week’ is either identical to or diretly derives from, the word ‘seven’…”

“From an historical perspective, there are two ways of explaining why the week to which we adhere is seven days long, neither of which necessarily excludes the other. one explanation relates the length of our week to the seven days of the Creation in traditional Jewish cosmology, while the other relates it to the seven planets of ancient astrology.”

Genesis 2.2-3
Exodus 20.8-11, 23.12, 31.15-17, 34.21, 35.2-3
Deuteronomy 5.12-17

“It has been argued, for example, that the Sabbath was originally the seventh day of the year and was observed, upon the conclusion of a six-day commemoration of the Creation, only once a year.”

“[A broad symbolic significance of the number 7] was also true of the ancient civilizations of mesopotamia where the number seven played a prominent role in liturgy, ritual, magic, and art. The ancient Babylonians… regarded the universe as a sevenfold entity governed by a fusion of seven deities.”

“… the ‘pentecontad‘ calendar, an agricultural calendar… was… based on fifty day intervals, which were possibly divided into seven, seven-day intervals plus an additional day known as atzeret.”

“The designation of the seventh, fourteenth, nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days of a lunar month in a religious Assyrian calendar from the seventh century BC as ‘evil days,’ provides some further evidence.”

“… it is important to note that the evolution of the synagogue [after the destruction of the Temple, while in exhile ~ 586BC] is historically associated with that of the Sabbath.”

“Consider… the practice of subdividing the lunar month into quasi-weekly cycles other than seven days long – three 10-day intervals (in ancient China and Greece as well as among the Ahanta of Ghana and the Maori of New Zealand), four 8-day ones (in Northern Ethiopia), six 5-day ones (among the Wachagga of Tanzania) and so on.”

“Accomplishing [temporal] regularity essentially involves rigidifying the rate of recurrence of periodic activities, which, in turn, presupposes a uniform duration of the various cycles along which human life is temporally structured.”

“The dissociation of the week from the lunar cycle, is, therefore, the most significant breakthrough in the evolution of this cycle…”

“The first people to have established a continuous weekly cycle that was entirely independent of the lunar cycle were the Ancient Egyptians… Through marking the beginning  of each week by the rising of the main star of a particular celestial constellation, they managed to establish a perfect harmony between the thirty-six constellations of the heavens and the thirty-six weeks of the civil calendar.”

“It is interesting to not that the rise of the Sabbath cult with judaism coincided with the withdrawal from worshiping the celestial bodies, and particularly the moon.”

“Not being personified as any particular natural force, the jewish god was to be regarded as untouched by nature in any way.”

“… the astrological seven-day week actually came into being only in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s conquest of western Asia, and was essentially a Hellenistic invention… This cycle is therefore the product of the successful fusion of astronomy, astrology, and mathematics, as well as of the great cultural heritage of Egypt, Babylonia and Greece.”

“The sequence of the seven days of the astrological week is essentially based  n the arrangement of the seven planets in the fixed, invariable order Saturn – Jupiter – Mars – Sun – Venus – Mercury – Moon, a distinctively Hellenistic arrangement that evolved only in the second century BC.”

Dio Cassius:
“[claimed]… one would astrologically ‘assign’ the first hour of the first day to the most distant planet, Saturn, and then proceed to assign each following hour to the following planet in the traditional sequence Saturn – Jupiter – Mars – Sun – Venus – Mercury – Moon. The second hour of the first day wold thus be assigned to Jupiter, the third one to Mars, and so on. As there were only seven planets, the eighth hour would again be assigned to Saturn, and the seven-hour cycle would begin anew. The twenty-fifth hour of the first day would have been assigned to the sun, yet the daily cycle was divided into only twenty-four hours, so it would be the first hour of the second day. Since the controller of the first hour of each day was also supposed to dominate that entire day as a whole, the entire first day came to be astrologically assigned to Saturn, the second one to the Sun, the third to the Moon, the fourth to Mars, the fifth to Mercury, the sixth to Jupiter, and the seventh to Venus. At that point, the 168-hour cycle [7 x 24] would be completed and the regent of what would have otherwise been the eighth day would once again be Saturn the regent of the first day of the cycle.”

“… it was Julius Caesar’s conquest of Egypt that, in making Rome heir to the glorious Hellenistic heritage, was responsible for importing the oriental cycle to the occident.”

quoting Justin Martyr:
“… the day before that of Saturn, he was crucified; on the day after it, which is Sunday, He appeared to His apostles and disciples.”

“The observance of the Lord’s Day originated not as a substitute for the Sabbath observance, but, rather, as an addition to it, and the early Christians used to observe both Sunday (as Christians) and Saturday (as Jews).”

“One of the most effective ways to accentuate social contrasts is to establish a calendrical contrast. Schedules and calendars are intimately linked to group formation.”

“[The Church’s] later decision to calendrically segregate Easter from Passover – [ought to be regarded] as one of the most significant political moves made by the early Christians as a self-conscious group.”

“… it was the convergence of both Jewish and astrological weeks around the time Christianity was being introduced into the Roman Empire that produced the seven-day cycle that has since spread throughout most of the civilized world.”

“… the Persian Magi… may indicate some possible early contact between Christianity and Mithraism, a Persian religion…”

“While India played the major role in the diffusion of the astrological week throughout South and Southeast Asia, it is the European colonization of Africa, the Americas, and Oceania that was responsible for introducing its Judeo-Christian cousin to large parts of these continents.”

“Starting from the seventh century, Islam was responsible for importing this seven-day week cycle  to the east coast of Africa, the Sudan, Central Asia, large parts of North and West Africa, and even as far as the malay peninsula and parts of Indonesia.”

“Mohammed [chose] Friday as the weekly day of Moslem public worship…”

Ch 2 – The Seven-Day Wars

“In the establishment of the length of the week, and it diffusion throughout the world, religion was clearly a dominant force.”

Ch 3 – Cultural Variations on a Theme

“The evolution of the week generally coincided with the rise of a market economy, and it i, therefore, hardly surprising that the regulation of economic transactions was one of the earliest functions of this cycle.”

“The three-day market weeks of ancient Columbia and New Guinea, the five-day market weeks of ancient Mesoamerica and Indochina, and the ten-day market week of ancient Peru all serve to remind us that such weekly market cycles have not always been seven days long.”

“The ancient southern Chinese twelve-day week is a classic example of a weekly cycle that served to regulate economic transactions. Three-day market cycles  regularly held on the first, fourth, seventh and tenth days of the week – were clearly derived from it. So were the six six-day market cycles…”

“Quite popular in Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Togo, and Zaire only a few decades ago, three-day, five-day, six-day, nine-day and ten-day market cycles still regulate the economic life of various tribes in Ghana, Nigeria, and the Upper Volta The most popular o al lndigenous African weeks, however, is the four-day market week.”

“West Africans very often also do not make a conceptual distinction between the days of the weekly cycle and the places where weekly markets are being held.”

“Space, time, and social structure are all interrelated in the West African market, since the system of market days that constitute a week is intimately associated with the social system of villages known as the market ‘ring’ or ‘circuit.'”

“One of the major manifestations of the interdependence among parts of whole social systems is temporal coordination.”

“… villages that belong to one and the same market circuit must hold their markets on different days of the week. This is designed to minimize the competition among them…”

“… a nineteen-day cycle of social and religious activity… was adopted by the Baha’u’llah who… created the international religious movement known to this day as Baha’ism.”

“the nineteen-day week is actually only one of five Baha’i units of time that are all nineteen times longer or shorter than one another – the day, the 19-day week – the 19-week year, the 19-year vahid, and the 361-year kull-i-shay.”

The Indonesian Week Calendar
“The most  remarkable week calendar ever invented evolved sometime around the ninth century on the island of java, from where it has also spread to some other Indonesian islands, such as Bali.”

“The five-day week… serves to regulate market activity… The six-day, five-day and seven-day weeks play a major role in chronological dating, and it is also in terms of their combined position within these three cycles that ‘annual’ festivals are celebrated As a whole, however… its main function is divinatory.”

“… each day belongs to no less than nine weekly cycles!”

[two-, three-, four-, five-, six-, seven-, eight-, nine-, & ten-day cycles]

“The entire calendar ‘year,’ the 210-day odalan, essentially consists of 210 unique types of calendar days…”

odalan = 210 days = 5 x 6 x 7

“While Indonesians use the Hindu lunisolar saka year, they have yet to integrate the odalan cycle into it. Being based entirely on weekly cycles, created by human beings, the Indonesian week-calendar is a rare example of an exclusively artificial time-reckoning system that is totally disregardful of nature and its rhythms…”

Ch 4 – The Harmonies of Timekeeping

“… the card deck also consists of fifty-two cards plus a  ‘Joker.’ … Note also, … that the numerical values of the fifty-two cards adds up to 364…”

“… the legendary antediluvian figure Enoch [is associated] with the establishment of the calendar, it is probably not a coincidence that his life on earth is traditionally recorded as having lasted 364 years.”

from ‘the Book of Jubilees
“And command thou the children of Israel that they observe the years according to this reckoning – three hundred and sixty-four days, and these will constitute a full year…”

“At the very end of this passage, the author of Jubilees makes an explicit connection between the abandonment of the 364-day calendar was gaining considerable popularity in Judea, particularly among… the relatively modern Pharisees, who were somewhat more receptive to the Hellenization of traditional jewish cultural institutions such as the calendar.”

Sadducees – 364-day
Pharisees – 354-day

“… as late as the first century of the present era, the perpetual 364-day calendar was still being used by the monastic community generally known as the Dead Sea Sect.”

Ch 5 – Living with the Week

“in those days at that time’

“… a circular conception of time allows not only for the reactualization of mythical pasts in an ‘eternal present’ but also for the establishment of regular routine.”

“this apparently ‘indispensable [7-day weekly] cycle can actually be found only in those civilizations that  either generated a complex divinatory system; developed a market economy; or have come under the influence of Judeo-Christianity or Islam with their distinctive extranatural liturgical cycles.”

“The invention of our own seven-day week essentially boiled down to the establishment of a weekly work/rest rhythm, based o a periodic abstention from work once every seven days.”

“Particularly since the Industrial Revolution, which played a crucial role in pulling human beings away from nature, the week has been gradually replacing the year in significance, becoming second only to the day as the major cycle regulating work rhythms.”

Ch 6 – Experiencing the Week

“… as Henri Bergson demonstrated in his seminal work on the psychology of time mathematically equivalent durations can nevertheless be experienced as having quite different qualitative ‘intensities’ or feeling tones.”

“… the etymology of he English word ‘week’ (which, in its old Gothic form ‘wiko,’ was first used as early as the fourth century). The Latin word ‘vicis’, from which it most probably derived, was associated with such notions as movement, change, turnabout, and alternation.”

“The most significant ‘break of continuity’ identified by Durkheim was that between the sacred and profane domains and, thus, also between sacred and profane time.”

Ch 7 – Culture, not Nature

“Given its considerable temporal regularity, our social environment can easily function as a most reliable clock or calendar.”

“… despite the pervasive – often constraining – presence of this [weekly] rhythm, it is only us ho created it in the first place.”

Mango Fried Rice

29 April 2007

simple. fast. tasty.

4+ TB cooking oil
2 C leftover cooked brown jasmine rice
2 eggs, beaten
1 big mango, peeled, seeded* and chopped
1 TB shoyu, or other type of soy sauce
1 tsp salt

serve with

1. heat the oil in a wok over high heat. add the rice and stir-fry quickly to heat through.
2. move the rice to one side of the wok, and add the beaten eggs to the other. When the bottom of the eggs starts to firm, break them up and cook like scrambled.
3. when the eggs are mostly cooked, mix them in with the rice.
4. add salt and shoyu to taste.
5. add mango. mix throughout the rice, cooking for a scant minute or two.

* if you soak a mango seed for a couple of days in water, it makes the leftover flesh very easy to remove. You can then plant it in a pot in a partially sunny window, and grow your own mango tree. Make sure to only use organic mango seeds, and keep it well-watered.

Blue Lentil Stew

28 April 2007

aka puy lentils

1/4 C cooking oil
4 to 6 onions, chopped
2+ cloves garlic, minced
1 handful dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp dill seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
coarse salt
2 handfuls of blue lentils
1 large red potato, cubed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 C red wine (a leftover merlot in this case)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried savoury
water as needed

serve with
fresh dill

1. heat the oil over medium-high to high heat, and fry the onions until reddish-brown. add the garlic, reduce heat to medium.
2. using a food mill, grind the dried mushrooms, fennel, dill, peppercorns and salt to a fine powder.
3. add the mushroom & spice powder to the onions, followed by the lentils. Mix to coat the lentils thoroughly. Add the potato and carrots, and stir to mix evenly. Add the red wine and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Add tarragon and savoury and 1 C water to begin.
4. simmer until lentils are tender yet still retain their shape, and potatoes are cooked through (and likely nucular-hot)

The Sun’s Days

28 April 2007

Another  rising & falling, linear & radial life cycle.

the life of the sun
courtesy of
wikimedia commons

Round and Round She Goes

27 April 2007

Animated Orbits

The spiral orbit of the moon about the orbiting earth, well animated on the tortuga. calendar change for peace site.