Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy (Late) New Year!!!

It is that time of the season again, my fellow Witches. The start of a new Pagan year. But wait, what year? :O

I was thinking about this a few days ago. The calender we use in the US and most other English speaking countries is the Gregorian Calender, based off the death of Jesus of Nazareth. This year, 2012, it has been two thousand and twelve years since the supposed death of Jesus.

Well, as Pagans, we don't believe or worship Jesus (Christo-Wiccans can take their "buts" and  leave), so why do we still adhere to the Christian calendar? "Because it is easier and everyone here uses it," you might say. Well, Muslims, Baha'is, and Hindus all use different measurements of time, just to name a few. They can work in both their own religious measurements and the Christian measurement just fine (supposing they are in a place that uses the Gregorian calender).

So, here is what I suggest for a Pagan calender:

  • Eight months instead of twelve, having each of the solstices and equinoxes mark the beginning of four months and the other four being the halfway mark for each. This would mean that all the Sabbats would represent the start and end of each month, but that the calendar is connected with the movement of the Earth and not the celebrations we do to honor that.What I mean by the "start and end" of each month is that each holiday is actually two or more days of celebration. For instance, Samhain is Oct 31st and Nov 1st.
  •  It would still have the same 7 days a week, but each month would have roughly 6 weeks in it. Some compensation will be needed, like an extra week here or there, but 6 weeks a  month. 
  • We can keep the same day names, since they are based off our gods anyway, but month names need to be suggested. Perhaps...
    •  Proserpius - (Yule) Named for Persephone, the life-death-rebirth Goddess.
    • Januarius - (Imbloc) Named for Janus, God of Beginnings and Transitions.
    • Februarius - (Eostre) Named for Februus, God of Purification.
    • Aprilis - (Beltaine) Named for Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Sex.
    • Martius - (Midsummer) Named for Mars, the God of War.
    • Maius - (Lammas) Named for Maia, an Earth Goddess.
    • Junius - (Mabon) Named for Juno, Goddess of many things, including vitality and wealth
    • Ploutarius - (Samhain)  Named for Pluto, God of the Underworld and death.
 So, day 1 would be Proserpius 1st (which, to translate that into the Gregorian calendar, would be Nov 1st), and would go all the way until day 41, which would be the start of Yule. Januarius 1st would be the second day of Yule, and would also be 41 days until Imbloc.
Apparently, this is a t-shirt!
  • Proserpius - 50 days 
  • Januarius - 43 days
  • Februarius - 47 days
  • Aprilis - 41 days
  • Martius - 51 days
  • Maius - 41 days
  • Junius - 51 days
  • Ploutarius - 39 days
Of course, these will have to be flexible since the exact days of the equinoxes, solstices, and the midpoints of each vary every year. The above days are calculated only for the 2013 year in Gregorian calender years.

Which brings me to a problem. What year should I start the calendar on? The supposed beginning of Rome or the end? Perhaps the year that Britain repealed the Witchcraft Acts, which gave birth to our modern movement? I personally like the latter, making our birth the start. In that case, today would be Proserpius 8, 63 (63 because it is supposedly a new year).

This is such a crazy idea. Seriously. I hope, however, that the community might just pick it up. That would be awesome. :D

Edit: I have decided that we should do the abbreviated date as day/month/year like Europe. I also wish the US would adopt the metric system, but whatever. 


  1. I'm a Kemetic and I use a recalculated version of the ancient Egyptian festival calendar (not to be confused with their lunar calendar). There are three seasons of four months each.

  2. There have been several proposed continuous calanders, (see wikipedia).

    For both spirital reasons and scientific I say we start the new calander at 1950. This would roughly corespond to the founding of the UN, the start of carbon dating, and the repeal of witchcraft laws. This would also allow for easy conversions in peoples head, year wise.

    I think the first day of the year really is a matter of taste as far as I'm conserned, but I think it should be a solstice. It is a lot like saying sine starts here, when mathmatically it's arbritrary.

    1. 1950 is a great year, which is what I like. In the lore about our holidays, Samhain is said to be our new year, right? But you are right, it really is arbitrary. Perhaps Yule or maybe Midsummer?

  3. I like this. All we need now are a few official calendars and personal planners, and perhaps a device that will automatically convert the dates from Gregorian to Pagan. We'll have the beginning of a new timeline set up.

    1. Whew boy, don't even get me started on that stuff. :O

  4. Interesting idea, except that you're forgetting that the months were originally based on the actual cycles of the moon.

    If we want a completely nature based calendar, seems to me that we have to go lunar, with seasonal resets that happen at the Solstices, Equinoxes, and maybe the Celtic fire festivals.

    Six weeks in a moonth/month just doesn't make sense to me.

    Or, if we must ignore the moon, why not just go with the Solstices and Equinoxes as the beginnings of each 3 month quarter of the year? Those, as hard astronomical events that happen regardless of culture or belief, make good markers. I think the Celtic holidays would be less appropriate as not every Pagan is Celtic flavored.

  5. And this is why I love following your blog (: I've been reading quietly for a while, but I feel like commenting on this one :D

    I love when people create new things like this, just because they can. In one of my English classes, the teacher spoke of changing the calendar from gregorian/christian to of the age of the spoon/fork -- or when civilization grew to a point where there was a more complex society. We'd be well past 2012 at this point, in theory, if that was how we counted years, lol.

    Keep writing fabulous posts! :D