Year 3 Southern Solstice

22 December 2015

theAbysmal Wheel of the Year starts us rolling rolling rolling…

theAbysmal Wheel of the Year is simply a result of dividing the year into 364 calendar days, plus one day outside the calendar days, plus the periodic leap year day which is also outside the calendar days.

The New Year’s Day is meant to fall on or about the Southern Solstice. This year qualifies as an “about” year, as the solstice falls today, just after the new moon. Interesting year ahead for us, methinks.

The calendar divides these 364 days into four quarters of 91 days each. Each of the quarters can be further divided into two eighths of the year (or periods of 45 days) provided that one day be excluded (as we do with the new and leap year days). So, the midpoint of each quarter are equivalent as you can see below to Feb 5, May 7, Aug 6, Nov 5. These dates roughly coincide with the neo-pagan dates for major holidays Nov 1, Feb 2, May 1, Aug 1.

Each of these four dates mark a certain turning point in the course of the sun’s journey throughout the year (at least as seen from earth). Feb 5 notes the shift when the sun’s journey north accelerates, and the change in amount of daylight (for those of us in higher latitudes) changes by more and more each day, with the greatest change in and around the Equinox (again, depends at which latitude you live). May 7, the rate of change has slowed again, and the longer days linger. Certainly above the polar circles. Aug 6, the days shorten, and increase the rate of change until Nov 5, when the long dark days linger through to Feb 5.

I know I’m laying a very thick high- northern latitude bias on this, however, the opposite seasons can be said to take place, although I don’t think the higher southern latitudes have near the population as the higher northern ones. Regardless, in global terms, the apparent position of the sun overhead (for those living between the tropics) throughout the year: from southern tropic to equator to northern tropic and back.


These mid-quarter days play an important role in other aspects of the calendar.


Fete of the Abysmale – Day 6

21 December 2015


Today looks ahead at to Month 6, as if across the abyss that separates the longest day from the longest night. The abyss between any two extremes, many of which we think of as opposites in conflict, but rather they are compliments in harmony. Here the Northern darkest day and Southern brightest day look look ahead, as if through a lens across the year. It’s clearer when the months are arranged like this:


In the left-hand image, the Northern Hemispheres, the black dot at the bottom represents today, the New Year as well as Day 6 of our little adventure in planning ahead, at the opposite side of the year, of the circle, at the top, Month 6 is the month during which the solstice occurs, usually at the midpoint. In the image on the right, the Southern Hemisphere, where the white dot represents today, and faces across the year at the darkest months of the year during Month 6. The solstices fall about half a year apart consistently, however, the equinoxes don’t divide the year in even quarters, or halves, however, there is still a symmetry to it.

Today is a day simply packed with activity, and tomorrow, Day 0, will be even busier, as it is the first day of the calendar year (today doesn’t count).

Let’s take a look across the abyss, shall we?



The most noteworthy day would be Month 6 Day 14 or Lunation 6 Day 16 the Northern Solstice (the date’s missing from the above).

This is the month of Ramadan for practicing Muslims, and these are the longest days for them to be fasting in the Northern Hemisphere from dawn to dusk. However, I have had the pleasure of knowing, working with, befriending a number of people who observe Ramadan, and they manage year after year. I can see the advantages to fasting collectively, although fasting once in a while, especially for those who have more than abundant food supplies, seems to be advisable.

This is a special time of year, and this year in particular as the full moon falls within a day of the solstice. Definitely take some time to go outside to watch the moon. Full Moons are a great time to celebrate, all the fishes in the sea are doing it (or at least a goodly number of them are). And at the end of the month, several national festivals take place.

the Story of the Year continues with 6. the Well.

mycelium - theAbysmal Color

Year 3 Day 0

21 December 2015

Day 0 of every measure (dec 22)

Two things to mention here. First, numbering from 0.

Most of the world’s calendars count beginning with 1, such as with years, months, days of the month, and so on. The Mesoamerican Calendar began with 0.

Hardly novel, this is how our digital timepieces work. At midnight, they roll around to 00:00. It’s a means of measuring something unmeasureable, something always in state of change. Counting from 0 means that we count the second (or minute, hour, day, month, year) after it has elapsed, not before.

Just like 1:12 on a clock means 1 hour has passed another 12 minutes have passed, and we’re now in the 13th. Month 1 Day 12 works the same way. 28 days + 12, so 40 days into the year, and we’re in the 41st in progress.

what I like most about this system is that while it is present, time has no number, only once it has passed, when it is measurable. (which might be stretching it, but there it is).

If nothing else, it unites time display.

Y: M: D: h: m. s

Also, makes calculating easier, because months are standardized at 28 days.

3 years = 1095 days
5 months = 140 days
17 days = 17 days

1252 days at almost lunchtime.


Second, the “so-called” market week.


These are weeks observed in different parts of the world of different lengths, typically in the four to six range, but there’s an awful lot of variety.

So theAbysmal developed a market week calendar. As with the 364-day year (52 weeks, 13 months, 7 houses, 4 quarters), each market week begins with 0, and all of their Day 0s fall today. They never synchronize again until next year’s Day 0.

In order to create the maximum number of market weeks, the following days aren’t included in the market week calendar, so they’re like leap year days that don’t always fall conveniently, but so it goes.

Leap Year Day (dec 20), New Year Day (dec 21), Month 1 Day 17 (feb 5), Month 4 Day 24 (may 7), Month 8 Day 3 (aug 6), Month 11 Day 10 (nov 5).

The remaining 360 days has a great number of factors, and so, a great number of market weeks (limited to 20 days).

180  2-day weeks numbered 0-1
120  3-day weeks numbered 0-2
90   4-day weeks numbered 0-3
72   5-day weeks numbered 0-4
60   6-day weeks numbered 0-5
45   8-day weeks numbered 0-7
40   9-day weeks numbered 0-8
36  10-day weeks numbered 0-9
30  12-day weeks numbered 0-11
24  15-day weeks numbered 0-14
20  18-day weeks numbered 0-17
18  20-day weeks numbered 0-19

So, Day 0.

Year 3 Month 0

21 December 2015

(dec 22 – jan 18 incl.)


Weeks begin with Tuesday, named after Tiw, Norse god of war, and in Romantic languages, Mars, Roman founder and god of war, and Fire.

Make of it what you will.

What of our first four weeks?

Day 0 Southern Solstice
Day 3 Full Moon

Day 10 Gregorian and many other New Years
Day 11 Perihelion

Day 23 Julian New Year

And whichever birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, festivals and such you wish to have.

Year 3 House 0

21 December 2015

 (dec 22 – feb 11)


Houses are a less developed aspect of theAbysmal Calendar, however, they are another tool to be used.

Similar to the four-week month, the house is a collection of four 13-day periods (not yet decisively named anything). As a result there are 7 houses in a year, each house is 52 days long.

Day 0 – Southern Solstice
Day 3 – Full Moon
Day 10 – Gregorian and other New Years
Day 11 – Perihelion

Day 23 – Julian New Year

Day 48 – Chinese and Vietnamese New Years

Year 3 Quarter 0

21 December 2015

Anyway you slice it, it’s 90 + 1 days – (dec 22 – mar 21)

Two things. First, the quarter of the year is a great bit of design (not mine, btw). Each quarter is either 13 seven-Day weeks, or it’s seven 13-Day somethings (no name yet for this period of time. The Spanish called them “trecena”, Mesoamericans likely have their names for them.)

At any rate, it’s the period (91 days) where the Weeks and 13-day periods come together. Also a great many market weeks.
Y3Q1 - fortnights


Once it was discovered that theAbysmal Year divides into even 91-day Quarters, and excepting one day each quarter, the day midway between its beginning and end, thus midway between the Southern Solstice and the Northward Equinox. That creates eighths of 45 days excepting the mid-Quarter day.

For Year 3 Quarter 0, the mid-Quarter day falls on Lunation 1 Day 26; it always falls on Month 1 Day 17, House 0 Day 45, Quarter 0 Day 45, Year 0 Day 45 (feb 5).

Wheel-of-the-Year.jpgThis provides us with the spokes for a Wheel of the Year. Each Quarter begins and ends on or about the Solstices and Equinoxes, beginning with the Southern Solstice (Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer in the Southern). Here we begin with the Southern Solstice, and in these northern latitudes, the day by day, we see more and more sunlight for longer and longer. This rate of change from day to day manages to go from about a minute more of sunlight from one day to the next just after the New Year, to seven or eight minutes from one day to the next. In the Arctic and Antarctic regions, it must be a dramatic change across the course of this Quarter.

Please keep in mind (or don’t, it’s your mind) that the Quarter are approximate and don’t always fall on the Solstices (and rarely on the Equinoxes). The approximation better aligns us with the changes in sunlight and seasons. Scheduling by quarters with these changes in mind might be a way of better distributing annual responsibilities, events, celebrations.

Fete of the Abysmale – Day 5

20 December 2015


Here we are, nearing the midpoint of our festival of foreshadowing or whatever this is, exactly. This looks ahead to Month 5.


In terms of project developing using the annual calendar the way some people use the lunar month, the idea is to build up momentum and peak at the full moon, or in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, Month 6, when the summer solstice occurs.

For example, in the ancient Olympic games, they would begin on the New Moon and end on the Full Moon. I imagine as the competitions got closer to crowning champions in the most popular events, the energy must have built and built. I doubt modern stadiums could withstand that kind of tumult from the size of modern crowds.

Aside from the year ahead, this is also the last day of the calendar Year 2. I hope you enjoy your holidays, for surely the few we have are precious.

the Story of the Year continues with 5. Maiden.

mycelium - theAbysmal Color