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BLUE BALL PRESS

Blue Ball Cottage

2 Stile, Triangle

Sowerby Bridge,

West Yorkshire,

HX6 3LW

ABOUT THE MOON CALENDAR

Pagan Sun Festivals and Fire Festivals

Pagans mark the annual cycle of the Sun by four points:the Solstices, seasons of 'Lith' at midsummer and 'Yule' at midwinter and the Equinoxes in Spring and Autumn. There are also ancient pagan fire festivals to mark four mid points between these.

Imbolc; candles are lighted in the dark to mark the new strengthening of the Sun after Winter, (Imbolg – Irish for ‘in the belly’)

Beltane, (tr. ‘bright fire’) the bold fires of Spring,

Lughnasadh; with sacrifice to the sky god, campfires and barbecues. Samhain, when the Autumn bonfires burn off decaying vegetation and blaze against the dying of the light.

Moon years, Sun Years and the Great Year

The moon’s cycle slips back and forth in her relation to these Sun festivals. Imbolc corresponds to the Feb. 1st or 2nd in the Gregorian calendar, during the ‘Sun’s Moon’

November 5th falls in the ‘Moon of Blood’

Easter follows the full moon of the ‘Moon of Eggs’

Lughnasadh or Lammas is celebrated in the ‘Sky’s Moon’


There is a ‘Great Year’ cycle of nineteen years, where solar and lunar times catch up with each other. This includes about seven extra moons over the nineteen years. So in some years an extra moon makes a longer Summer or Winter, to keep the moons in synchrony with the Sun’s cycle. This is called ‘intercalation’.

The Days of the Week

It may have been the Babylonians who chose the five planets, together with the Sun and the Moon to represent the days of the week. Because the movements of the planets, sun and moon in the sky were different from the slow progression of the stars, and each seemed to move independently, they were taken to represent gods whose lives were independent of Fate.

These gods and the days that they honour have been given many names, in different cultures. You will see that it is these Germanic deities which most English calendars use today in a slightly distorted form, except they retain Roman Saturn for Saturday. French days of the week on the other hand are closer to Latin

Because Odin, the Allfather god is sometimes confused with Woden or Wotan. I have used the Celtic High God Bran for Saturday. Each moon season can be celebrated. Some of these celebrations will be familiar. It is hoped that these names and natures point to ancient traditions underlying religious celebrations linking them with natural events and seasonal concerns. Significant days from several religious traditions have been included, as far as space permits.

English Days

Germanic

Babylonian

Latin

French

Celtic

Tree

Monday

Moon

Sin

Luna

Lundi


Willow

Tuesday

Tiw/Tyr

Nergal

Mars

Mardi


Holly

Wednesday

Woden/Wotan

Nabu

Mercury

Mercury

Gwydion

Hazel/Ash

 Thursday

Thor

Marduk

Jupiter

Jeudi


Oak

Friday

Freya

Ishtar

Venus

Vendredi


Apple

Saturday

Odin

Ninib

Saturn

Samedi


Bran

Sunday

Sun

Smas

Sol

Dimanche


Birch

Sources used for the Moon Calendar include: Runestaves and Oghams, Nigel Pennick,pub. Runestaff-Old England 1987

The Druid Renaissance, Ed Philip Carr-Gomm, Thorsons (Harper Collins) 1996

Leaves of Yggdrasil, Freya Aswynn, self published 1988

The White Goddess, Robert Graves, Faber and Faber 1984

www.interfaithcalendar.org