Sacred Months

The blending of the Gregorian Calendar with the Celtic Calendar

The Celtic Solar Cross is thought to date back to the ancient Celts that lived in the boreal forests of what is now Germany.

The Celtic Sun Cross was often placed on top of an Irminsul that stood in the center of a sacred and open grove.  Irminsul’s were wooden poles made from Oak Trees to honor the connection between man on earth and the world of spirit.   The Germanic Celts lived in the forests until they were forced to move to the British Isles as Roman soldiers forced them out and Christian conquerors such as St. Boniface and Charlemagne forced their conversion to Christianity by cutting down their sacred Irminsul’s.

The Celtic Sun Cross tracks the eight season of the years and  is also in alignment with the directions of the compass.  When placed on top of a pole and oriented toward the North Pole it can track the movement of the Sun and tell the time of day.  The Celtic “Holy Days” were incorporated into Christian tradition.  It is good to know our roots…..from that place of truth we can heal the separation we may feel deep within us.

Egyptian/Roman/Christian Civil Calendar – the calendar most of the world uses today was originally a lunar calendar based on the seasons of agriculture. The calendar began at planting time, and ended after the harvest, the year was approximately 304 days long.  The two months of winter, when there was no work in the fields, were not counted. This lunar calendar was also used for religious festivals.

A second solar calendar was created for civil purposes, and was based on the observation that there were usually 365 days between the helical rising of Sirius (365.25 to be exact). This civil calendar was split into twelve months of 30 days with an additional five days attached at the end of the year to again match the 365 days. These additional five days were considered to be unlucky. This calendar is known as a wandering calendar, since it slowly gets out of synch with the solar year.

A third calendar, which dates back at least to the fourth century BC was used to match the lunar year with the solar year. It was based on a period of 25 civil years, which was approximately 309 lunar months.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar instituted a purely solar calendar. He consulted with Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes and created a regular year of 365 days which was divided into 12 months. The new Julian months were formed by adding ten days to the pre-Julian Roman year of 355 days, creating a Julian year of 365 days. Two extra days were added to the months Ianuarius (January), Sextilis (August) and December, while one extra day was added to Aprilis (April), Iunius (June), September and November. An additional leap day was then  added to February every four years to account for fact that a solar year is actually 365.25 days long.  This calendar was named the Julian calendar and the Roman senate named the month of July in his honor.

In 1582, the Julian calendar was replaced with the more accurate Gregorian calendar. The astronomical solstices and the equinoxes had advanced by about 11 minutes per year against the Julian year, causing the calendar to gain a day about every 134 years. Due to this dramatic change, Pope Gregory was able to separate the equinox and solstice celebrations from the church’s religious holy days.

Roman Names of the Month

January – Janus, the god of doors and gates

February – Februa, the god of purification

March – Mars, the god of war

April – Latin for “to open” (buds)

May – Maia, the Earth Goddess

June – Mother Goddess Juno

July – Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.

August – Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.

September – “seven”

October – “eight”

November – “nine”

December – “ten”

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