Halfway through another quarter – how’s the view?
Here we are, midway through Quarter 1 already. This means that 45 days are behind us, (or 45+91 all the way back to the last New Year), and 45 are left (or 45 + 91 +91 to the next New Year). This day falls midway (give or take a day or so) between the Equinox and the Solstice. It is typically celebrated on May 1st, heralded as the International Day of the Worker, or going further back to Gaelic Ireland, Beltane. It was a fertility festival, no doubt associated with the spring (and spring fever), the preparation of the fields, and the hardier flowers. (there are a number of festivals of spring that use the flower as their primary motif, as with Hanamatsuri and Wesak to celebrate Buddha’s birthday).
The dates in the pagan/gaelic calendar are not fixed in stone, and vary. As such, theAbysmal dates are within the acceptable range of common dates, which is reassuring. You don’t want to piss off pagans. They know the magicks.
see previous posts:
As it happens, the midway days all fall on the middle day of theAbysmal week (a Tuesday – note: this year theAbysmal is following Gregorian weekdays, and starting December 22nd 2012, they will be the same – so in future, every midway day will fall on Tuesday), and it also falls on the middle day of theAbysmal fortnight.
I think these are perfectly set up for a week, or a fortnight of celebrations, to include traditions from all over the world (although to be honest, I’ve done more research with respect to the final midway day on November 5th, which we’ll have to wait to get around to). theAbysal Calendar is nothing if not a means to celebrate more, and to have more holidays. If the French can take the entire month of August off, what’s up with the rest of us?
And the season of Spring (or the beginning of the construction season locally) deserves at least a week or two of celebrations – to acknowledge that once again we’ve survived the long winter, we are undefeated, and ready to face another sweltering, hot, humid, volatile summer (we do get some pretty hairy lightning storms, with hail and everything).
Midway Days and Market Weeks
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, the 364-day year lends itself to market weeks of 4 days, 7 days and 13 days. Other annual calendars divide the year into 361 days (the Baha’i, 19×19 = 361 + 4) and 360 (Haab, Persian Calendar, Coptic, and others). The 360-day calendars divide their years up differently, but they all add 5 days (or 6 in a leap year) in a chunk at the end. 360 is a great number, as it has so many factors, it can be divided into all sorts of smaller units. I’ve been trying to devise how to fit theAbysmal into a 360-day cycle, and there are two options: skip the 5 days at New Year’s (December 19th-23rd), or skip the New Year’s Day (December 21st) and the four Midway Days (Feb 5th, May 7th, Aug 6th, Nov 5th).
This is what I’d like to take a closer look at. It may be viable, it may not. Either way, it bears exploring.
360-Day Market Weeks
360 days divide evenly into periods of 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20. I’d prefer to skip anything over 9, as they are multiples of the other numbers, and 13 is already present as a longer period. 4 is already part of the 364-day part of theAbysmal Calendar, so this leaves us with: 3, 5, 6, 8, 9.
Symbolically speaking, 5 and 8 lend themselves well to two Chinese systems: the five elements and the eight trigrams of the I Ching.
The only question is the sequence in which to arrange these elements. I was thinking that for the elements, the first half of the year, from Winter to Summer Solstice should follow the generating cycle, and from Summer to Winter the overcoming. As for the trigrams, starting with the three broken lines at the bottom, and moving clockwise around the yin-Yang circle would be suitable. The trigrams represent a number of different things, and are symbolically rich, however, they are linked to the following elements: earth, thunder, fire, swamp, heaven, wind, water (theAbysmal), mountain.
This leaves us with 3, 6, and 9. I think that 3 and 9 are sufficient, as 6 is a measure of two 3-day periods. 9 is special (at least for me), and I refuse to dismiss it out of hand.
3 can be any number of things, and I’m undecided what to use to represent the three days. Father-Mother-Child will do for now. For the 9-day period, we can borrow the system the Mesoamericans used, where one of the Nine Lords of Night were assigned to each day. Each is a divine force governing: fire, flint, flowers, maize, death, water, love, mountains, rain. We already have deities tied to our weekdays, so why not add a few more to the mix?
Organizing the Year
So the 360-day year has the following periods, which skip over the five dates mentioned above (equivalent to Dec 21st, Feb 5th, May 7th, Aug 6th & Nov 5th). This breaks the year into eight periods of 45 days each, or three periods of 90 days and two periods of 45 days.
- 120 x 3-day periods
- 72 x 5-day periods
- 45 x 8-day periods
- 40 x 9-day periods
the 3-, 5-, and 9-day periods fit into each 45-day chunk (or 90-day) chunk, so that the midway days don’t interrupt the cycles. This isn’t the case with the 8-day period, which may be a reason to discount it.
I’ll try to illustrate this more clearly (or more confusingly, depending on how it works out). However, this allows theAbysmal Calendar to potentially account for market weeks of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20 days and beyond. This could even work in harmonizing itself with a form of the pawukon, the market week calendar extraordinaire.
228 Days to Dec 21st 2012