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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in calendar
No, the Patriarchy Didn't Steal Friday the 13th

There's an article circulating on the net claiming that "before patriarchal times" Friday the 13th was a sacred day for women to honor the goddess and to celebrate their menstrual cycles. However, the time period generally considered "before patriarchy" was the stone age in Europe when goddess figurines like the Venus of Willendorf were made, that is, 7,000 BCE to 9,000 BCE, and / or pre-Minoan Crete, before approprixately 3,000 BCE, which was also the stone age. Friday the 13th didn't exist before the application of Germanic derived week names to a Roman-derived calendar system, which did not happen before approximately AD 200.  

The "fri" in Friday is from the names of heathen goddesses Freya or Frigga, and the artwork illustrating your article is Freya. These are two of the major goddesses of heathenry, commonly called Norse mythology. The Old Norse calendar had every month starting on Sunday, and every month had 30 days (with some extra days added in the middle of summer) so days of the week didn't change number every month like our calendar does.

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Why Charming of the Plough is Celebrated On More Than One Date

If you actually have a farm and use a real plough, it's traditional to bless the plough right before using it. The date that one would begin using one's plough would be different in different locations. 

Most pagan and heathen groups that celebrate Charming of the Plough on a specific date don't actually use a real plough for anything. Some American Asatru groups celebrate Charming of the Plough on the second day after Twelfth Night, which is January 3rd. Some celebrate it on February 2nd, which is otherwise called Candlemas / Groundhog Day / Imbolc / Imbolg / Brigid's Day. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, I love the Old Farmers' Almanac. I live in the Mojave Desert bioregion just south of Las Vegas, Nevada. We have different
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Back when I was still gardening I would use the "Old Farmer's Almanac" to determine planting times for vegetables. I think the ear

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar 2017

The calendar seeds I planted last February and March have come to fruition. The Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar Projects 2017 are now published through Spero Publishing, an imprint of Caliburn Press, and available on lulu. I am incredibly relieved, because producing the Heathen Calendar was a Yule boar oath, and now it is fulfilled. 

I ordered some Calendars and hope they arrive in time to vend them from the American Asatru Association booth I'll be staffing at my local Pagan Pride Day next Saturday. At PPD I'll also be giving a talk about Asatru, teaching a drum circle workshop, and participating in a panel of different traditions from the local community. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Slaying the Seven-Headed Monster

Caution: Rant Alert

It's an arbitrary and artificial cycle without relation to the natural cycles of the world, an oppressive seven-headed monster.

I say, let's kill it. Death to the week!

Yes, I know that pagans invented it. (Since pagans invented just about everything, that's really no great shakes. Pagans invented slavery and genital mutilation too. Face it, they haven't all been winners.) Tart it up with pagan god-names if you like, but we are not fooled. The intrusive Roman proves it's a foreign import.

When Muhammad of Mecca (piss be upon him) was setting up Islam, he intentionally replaced the traditional solar-lunar calendar with a strictly lunar calendar that careened through the solar year like a drunken bicyclist. In this way he guaranteed that the holidays of his religion would never accrete any of those nasty (and inevitably paganizing) seasonal associations, as the holidays of Judaism and Christianity had. Well, you can't say he wasn't savvy.

Same deal with the week. That's why the Hebrew prophets denounced new moons and holidays and championed the Sabbath instead. Stop looking at the Sun and Moon to tell time; you don't need them. Look at the calendar instead. Why measure our lives by the cycles of nature when we've got this nice, convenient, man-made cycle instead?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Undermining Western Civilization is a thankless task. But someone's got to do it.
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    The week is the child of the planetary hours technique for timing astrological magic. Don't you be dissing our timing system!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Calendar Buried in a Jar

In the early 20th century, there were pagan revivals all across Europe. Polish pagans developed a calendar of Polish pagan holidays based on surviving traditions and the best research available at the time. During World War 2, the precious calendar was saved from the Nazis by burying it in a jar. 


In 1946, it was dug up and published in a booklet edited by Władysław Kołodziej. The booklet also contained poetry and articles of interest to Polish pagans. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar Projects

I'm creating a Heathen Calendar and a Slavic Calendar for 2017. I've accumulated holidays from various heathen traditions for the Heathen Calendar, including American Asatru, Icelandic Asatru, Theod, Forn Sed, Forn Sidr, American Northern Tradition, etc. I've also collected holidays from various Slavic traditions, including Old Slavic, Modern Rodnovery, and American Rus.

This is how I came to start this project. The company for which I work was recently purchased, and I'm now working for the same person who published my book American Celebration at Spero Publishing. One day Alan mentioned he'd like to start publishing calendars. And I emailed back, "Calendars, ay? You know what would be cool?" So there we are. Caliburn Press / Spero is going to start with two calendars, a Heathen one and a Slavic one, and hopefully add more calendars in future years.

When I started this project, I didn't realize how much work it was going to be. Now I know why no one has produced a modern calendar with all the different heathen holidays on it. Some holidays on old lunar calendars are set by moon phases, in the old Icelandic calendar all months started on Sunday, most of the historical records that provide Christian calendar dates equivalent to their country's then-current heathen calendar provide dates for the Julian calendar which then have to be translated to the Gregorian calendar, and there's a modern holiday for which I had to appeal to my friends to tell me how to calculate the heliacal rising of Sirius for future years. I've collected quite a list of holidays, but I'll be open to adding more right up until I turn the project over to the boss, which won't be until after I select 12 artworks for each calendar.

I'm looking for classical paintings to illustrate the two calendars. In future years, we hope to use art by living artists, but at least for the first year, we plan to use art that has fallen into the public domain due to its age. I've been deep in Google Image Search. I decided on paintings because I think full color art would look best on a calendar in print. These decisions necessarily mean most of the art will be from the Romantic era, but I promise: no horned helmets.

If anyone would like to suggest art, or holidays, for either the Heathen or Slavic calendars, please comment with your suggestions.

Image: Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt. I see this as an image of Freya, who wept tears of gold and amber while she searched for Odh ("Inspiration.")

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Not specifically, as far as I know. The American Rus holidays are only celebrated by American groups that honor multiple tradition
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Can you point us to more information on the "American Rus" you mention? First I've heard of it.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    American Rus holidays are modern additions to the Slavic pagan calendar which are celebrations of Rus heroes, particularly the ear
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Are there any American Rus groups? Links would be helpful.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    How cool! Excited to see them when they are done!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Astronomy and the Minoan Temple Complexes

These days when we consult an architect to create a new building, we generally orient it with the front toward the street that will access the building, for convenience and practicality. But in much of the ancient world, each new building was carefully oriented toward one or more cardinal directions or astronomical alignments. Ancient Crete was no different. The temple complexes at Knossos, Phaistos, Zakros, and other Minoan cities and towns were built to align to a variety of related astronomical events.

For the most part, the celestial events the Minoan buildings align to are risings of various sorts: sunrise, moonrise, the rising of the planet Venus, and the heliacal rising of certain stars. These astronomical events held a special place in Minoan religion, marking sacred times of the year, and also helped to maintain the Minoans’ complicated lunisolar calendar.

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