Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is there any escape from those damned Gregorians?

Okay, so. Here's what I know: the last three days of the Greek lunar calendar's months were all considered to be the best days with working with the “lower world,” or the cthonic world, or the world of the dead. Or whatever. These were oriented around the new moon.

However: the specifics of how the Greek lunar calendar worked? No idea about those. I'm aware that our idea of what the new moon is divergent from what a fellow in ancient Greece would have meant, as well.

Nonetheless, I still find myself desiring to know when those days are, and orient the dedications I make to the dead and work of similar matters around that time-frame. As such: is anyone aware of where I might find more information on this subject? Even better, is there a website that would transpose such a calendar with our current Gregorian one?

6 comments:

Lady Scylla said...

I think you're looking for the Attic calendar. It's fairly easy to figure out, but the transposing you'd have to do yourself.

The Scribbler said...

OK. I'll bite. What's the difference between the contemporary concept of a new moon and an ancient Greek's understanding of a new moon?

anphivena said...

Well I'm at work so I can't find the sources of how it works but there is the HMEPA calendar: http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/

But I tend to follow the Hellenion one as it's easier to read (and print out) based off the HMEPA: http://www.hellenion.org/calendar/calendar2010vb.pdf

Hope this helps.

Jack Faust said...

@Anphivena: Oh, that Hellenion calendar looks fantastic.

@Scrib: The new moon originally signified (at least as I understand it) the first crescent marks showing; these days we tend to use it to designate the black phase of the moon.

On the other hand, I could be wrong...

The Scribbler said...

That actually makes more sense in a common sense sort of way than calling something new that ain't even there. It's not new, it's potential, like a tarot ace.

ianphanes said...

Yes, the older definition of "new moon" (which is still current in Judaism and Islam) is the first visible crescent. That means that the three days at the end of the lunar month are the dark of the moon. It's not really a surprise that those days are associated with chthonic powers and death, now is it?

For those who are interested in seeing a modern pagan lunar calendar, mine is posted at: . Feedback is always appreciated.