Tīma and tīd

I bought a new journal the other day and decided it was high time I pinned down a rough lunisolar calendar for my hearth in order to get an idea where our observed tides will fall during the calendar year.

After much deliberation, 7 tides were decided upon. Five of the tides are ‘fixed’, meaning they fall on the same period each year and two are dependent on the lunar cycle and move accordingly.

Lunisolar Calendar for 2017 

Æftera Gēola – Dec 30 – Jan 28
Solmōnaþ – Jan 29 – Feb 26
Hrēþmōnaþ – Feb 27 – Mar 28
Ēastremōnaþ – Mar 29 – Apr 26
Þrimilcemōnaþ – Apr 27 – May 25
Ærra Līða – May 26 – Jun 24
Æftera Līða – Jun 25 – Jul 23
Þrilīða – Jul 24 – Aug 21
Weodmōnaþ – Aug 22 – Sept 20
Hāligmōnaþ – Sep 21 – Oct 20
Winterfylleþ – Oct 21 – Nov 18
Blōtmōnaþ – Nov 19 – Dec 18
Ærra Gēola – Dec 19

Making this calendar actually took more time than one might suspect. My initial error was placing the ‘new moon’ of the night of the ‘dark moon,’ as opposed to the first night of the waxing cycle, which is how many lunisolar calendars in antiquity would have operated[1]. The second mistake I made, and it was a large one, was neglecting to put an intercalary month, which messed up all subsequent years. I was sat, scratching my head, confused as to why Geol and Midsumor didn’t fall where they ought to. Turns out my first year (2017) needed an intercalary month to push everything into the right position. Ah well…

Ēastre- Falls on the full moon in Ēastremōnaþ (April 11 in 2017)
Blōstmfrēols- Runs from April 28 – May 3 each year
Midsumor- Falls on the Summer Solstice (June 21)
Hærfest- Falls on the Autumn equinox (September 22-23)
Winterfylleþ- Falls on the first full moon of Winterfylleþ ( Nov 4th in 2017)
Mōdraniht- Falls on the eve before Gēol begins (fixed to Dec 20th)
Gēol- The Winter Solstice (for simplicity’s sake, fixed to the 21st each year), lasting until Jan 1st (twelve nights)

Now, these are simply a rough starting point and might require adjustment based on my particular region (or poor calculations on my part). Canada is quite cold, so the date of Blōstmfrēols, a celebration associated with flowers, might need to be moved ahead a few weeks to coincide with bloom. Not to mention, work schedules and the like could make it difficult to celebrate certain lunar observances if they fall mid-week, so they may have to be adjusted accordingly. I foresee this as being a fluid thing to start, at least until all of the ‘kinks’ are worked out. For instance,  I was initially sceptical as to whether or not Blōstmfrēols and Ēastre shouldn’t be amalgamated in some way, but I decided to observe them separately based on the fact that there probably wouldn’t be any flowers during the period when Ēastre typically falls.

Speaking of Blōstmfrēols, I think it might be appropriate to share where that particular tide comes from. Blōstmfrēols appears as an Old English gloss for the Roman Floralia, a floral celebration associated with the goddess Flora and fertility. While there is no direct evidence that the Anglo-Saxons ever celebrated Floralia proper, there are folkloric accounts of similar floral observances being celebrated around the beginning of May throughout rural England. So, while Blōstmfrēols may have simply served as a gloss for a Roman festival, it certainly isn’t out of place among the other celebrations on the list. I intend it to be not only a celebration of renewal and flowers, but also a celebration of fertility, pollinators and honey.

[1] I was inspired upon seeing Ealdrīce‘s lunisolar calendar quite late in my calendar’s development. If only I’d seen it sooner, it would have saved me a lot of headache.  I was also inspired by the Hindu / Vedic calendar, as most of their calendars (there are several different ones in use)use the first day when the crescent is visible as the beginning of the month.



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