Symbols of time, space, and theAbysmal Calendar.
I’ve been ruminating on the relationship between the ancient planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) as well as the constellations of the sidereal zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces). These were used as an integral part of the calendar by the time of the Babylonians (minus the constellation Ophiuchus). We’ve come to use the astrological zodiac, which is more akin to the Persian calendar than it is to the Gregorian calendar or astronomy.
So, with the re-introduction of Ophiuchus in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union, I’ve been playing with the 13 signs, and have discovered some interesting symmetries. Nevertheless, I wanted to label certain measures of the week using the signs of the zodiac in addition to the planets (as we currently do with weekdays). Here’s the mess I’ve come up with. It is by no means final, or conclusive. Just a riff, more or less. Some aspects of this are stronger than others. Don’t let me influence your decision – decide for yourself.
Integers of the Year
The math of the Year for theAbysmal works out as follows:
2 x 2 x 7 x 13 = 364
+1 (New Year Day) = 1
+ 1/4 – 1/128 (Leap Year Day) = 0.2421875
The 364 Days of the Year have been divided into 7~Day Weeks and 13~Day Fortnights. There are 7 ancient planets associated with the Weekdays, so the extension of associating the 13 signs of the zodiac with the Fortnight seems reasonable. I’ve followed the steps by which the weekdays have been determined. Follow along. It may be fun.
Here is the circle of the Year divided into 7~Day Weeks, 4~Week Months, and 13~Week Quarters:
And here is the Year divided into 13~Day Fortnights, 4~Fortnight Houses, and 7~Fortnight Quarters:
Planetary Hours and Days
First, let’s take a look once again at the star from which the 24 Hours of the Day and 7 Days of the Week are derived.
There are two orders in which the symbols for the planets can be read, both beginning with Saturn at the bottom to the left. Following the circle clockwise, we get the order of the planets from their longest orbital period to the shortest: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun (365 days for Earth to orbit the Sun), Venus, Mercury, and the Moon (29.53 days to orbit the Earth). Tracing the star within the circle, again starting from Saturn upwards, we get Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus. This is the sequence of the weekdays, using traditional planetary associations: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
I begin with Saturn, because he was the Roman equivalent of Cronus, the Greek Deity who divided the Earth (Gaia) from the Sky (Ouranous) and began time. Cronus is the root for words such as chronological, chronometer, and so on. He is the deity of time.
The 24 Hours of the Day begin at midnight. So the Hour between midnight and 1 a.m. is the first Hour of each Day. Beginning with Saturn, and following the sequence around the circle, we assign a planet to every Hour of every Day. You will note that the first hour of each corresponds to the weekday it represents, i.e. Saturn is the first Hour of Saturday, the Sun is the first Hour of Sunday, the Moon is the first Hour of Monday and so on. Here’s the table:
Constellation Hours and Days
Here’s the same process applied to the Constellations of the sidereal Zodiac. The circular order is already established. Here’s the key (note the symbol for Ophiuchus has gone from the question mark to a U with a tail wrapped around it. You’ll see):
For the traditional order of the zodiac, begin with Aries at the bottom left, and proceed clockwise through Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and so on. If we follow the lines of the star as we did with the planetary symbols, we would get a new sequence: Aries, Libra, Pisces, Virgo, etc… which doesn’t tell us much. I tried applying the Constellations to each Hour of the Day, and the end result wasn’t particularly satisfying (call me an aesthete, or a stickler. Go ahead, I double dog dare you).
So I decided instead to do as the Chinese, which is to apply a 2~Hour period to each sign (which works out well with their 12~symbol system of earthly branches, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, and so on). This was a much more satisfying result, as the Days of the Fortnight are in reverse order to the sequence of the circle above. This follows the order in which the Sun enters each sign of the Zodiac on any given Day as it progresses through the 25,772 year long Precession of the Equinoxes. However, in order for this to retain its symmetry, the first Hour begins with Pisces, and we get the following table:
Naming the Months and Houses
Currently, the Months and Houses are assigned numbers from 0~12 and 0~6 respectively, however, we can still name them after constellations and planets, as the numerology of the calendar allows. Here are the 13 Months:
I’ve already published this idea before, and it turns out it wasn’t even original. A 13~month calendar with the New Year at the Winter Solstice and the Months named after the Constellations was proposed previously (although I can’t for the life of me find the references to it). Nevertheless, the names of the Houses are new, so here they are:
This would give us the House of Saturn, House of Jupiter, House of Mars, House of the Sun, House of Venus, House of Mercury, and House of the Moon. This has nothing to do with traditional Western astrological houses. It was suggested to me by a commenter on the site, and it sounded better than anything I’d come up with.
This same system of labelling can be applied elsewhere. There are 13 Weeks per Quarter, and 7 Fortnights per Quarter. There are also 28 Days per Month, and 28 Fortnights per Year, as well as 52 Days per House, and 52 Weeks per Year.
Just don’t get me started on the Market Weeks.
114 Days to Dec 21st 2012