ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Celebrating Phenology, pt. 2

Updated on April 3, 2016

Embedded in our technogical age, there remains an ancient artifact, [a] strange survivor [that] still recalls an ancient way [that] has, over many centuries, woven...festivals, observances, customs...into a tapestry...It is called the...

— Michael Judge

Celebrating Phenology (pt.1) presented this quote as a riddle.

Did you guess "calendar"? Well done, you are correct!

"Embedded in our technogical age, there remains an ancient artifact, a reminder of days before mechanical time, when the rhythms of earth and sky matched [ours]...This strange survivor still recalls an ancient way of seeing, still celebrates the seasons in their different moods...It has, over many centuries, woven...festivals, observances, customs...into a tapestry...It is called the calendar"

- The Dance of Time by Michael Judge, p.10

The word Calendar comes from the Latin calends, kalends, calendae, and literally means the first day of the month, which in ancient times coincided with the New Moon. The word Month comes from the Germanic monath, a period of 28-29 days spanning from new moon to new moon.

A lunar month from the Lunar press calendar 2006
A lunar month from the Lunar press calendar 2006 | Source

The calendar we use today is an arbitrary division of time, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII. It is a solar calendar and so the beginning of each month has nothing to do with the phases of the moon. If we use a lunar calendar, the argument goes, some years would have 13 months - Chaos! So erratic. And yet it is a more natural way to reckon the division of the year into months (i.e. moons).

I'm not proposing that we suddenly break the consensus and reform the calendar. We can still pay attention to the phases of the moon, and occasionally they actually coincide with the common solar calendar.

"Year with Moon Phase" (first graphic on the left) digital wheels offered by Partners In Place use the Gregorian month divisions, with a circle of moon phases surrounding it. They have available date-sensitive calendars that begin in either January or September, from now until 2020.

Wheels of Time & Place
Wheels of Time & Place | Source

Wheel calendars are arranged by seasons, evenly divided by three months. The Enoch calendar (link below) is exactly 360 days long, so would need to include some intercalary "leap" days to be practical in the workaday business and commercial world. But it fits in nicely with the other Wheels of Time and Place.

Source

Similar in format to the Enoch calendar is the French Revolutionary calendar. It too is arranged in seasonal divisions but names them so:

  • autumn: grape harvest, mist, frost
  • winter: snowy, rainy, windy
  • spring: germination, flower, meadow
  • summer: harvest, heat, fruit

In Britain, a contemporary wit mocked the Republican Calendar by calling the months:

  • Wheezy, Sneezy and Freezy
  • Slippy, Drippy and Nippy
  • Showery, Flowery and Bowery
  • Hoppy, Croppy and Poppy.


More Calendar Month Names

Algonquin nations:Wolf, Snow, Worm, Pink, Flower, Strawberry, Buck, Sturgeon, Corn, Hunters, Beaver, Cold

Northern Cheyenne 13 Moons on Turtle's Back: Popping Trees, Baby Bear, Maple Sugar, Frog, Budding, Strawberry, Acorns Appear, Wild Rice, Moose Calling, Falling Leaves, Deer Drop their Horns, Wolves Run Together, Big Moon (I think this one is cognate our Blue Moon)

First Nations of Turtle Islands named their months after phenological observation, unlike our calendar months named for numbers, gods and emperors. (Except for February "to purify" and April "to open")

The old Celtic Coligny calendar begins in autumn: Seed-fall/Darkest depths/Cold-time/Stay-home time/Ice time/Windy time/Shoots-show/Bright time/Horse-time/Claim-time/Arbitration-time/Song-time

The neo-pagan Celtic Tree months calendar names each month for a local tree. An example of this lunar calendar is featured in the Luna Ruis-Elder graphic toward the top of this page.


Here's an exercise for you: Why not name the months yourself? If the trees are different from where you live, you can create a tree calendar featuring the trees in your area. Or you can name the months for other natural phenomena that usually occurs in your area at that time.

Seasonal Calendars

The neo-pagan Wheel of the Year is evenly divided into 8 seasons of celebration, 6 weeks apart. These are often large scale affairs, but can be celebrated quietly too. You don't have to be pagan to mark these dates, there's a plethora of ideas in books or online to accommodate any religious or cultural worldview.

For example:

The Circle of Life: The Heart’s Journey Through the Seasons by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr, was written by a Sister Servant of Mary and a Benedictine Sister

In Nature's Honour: Myths & Rituals Celebrating the Earth by Patricia Montley features both Christian and Pagan celebrations of the 8 seasonal sabbats


Giving credit where credit is due, the concept of the "Wheel of the Year" comes from Wicca, and Wiccans offer some of the most comprehensive and interesting ideas for celebrating the Solstices, Equinoxes, and cross-points in between:

Ecological Seasons

There are 6 Ecological Seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. It won't be the same every year in every area, some years may be more like March/April, May/June, etc.

  • Prevernal-February/March
  • Vernal (spring)-April/May
  • Estival (summer)-June/July
  • Serotinal (late summer)-August/September
  • Autumnal-October/November
  • Hibernal-December/January

Cathy, the author of the Words & Herbs blog, expands this into 10 seasons:

1. Pre-spring 2. Early spring 3. Full spring 4. Early summer 5. Midsummer 6. Late summer 7. Early autumn 8. Full autumn 9. Late autumn 10. Winter

The link below gives a full description of each of the 10 seasons. This is a lovely blog with beautiful photos:

So there are options in how you choose to allot your time to celebrating nature.

  • If you are able to plan 12 special events a year, you can choose and celebrate a plant, tree, animal of the month, maybe one that is associated with someone's birthday. Or you can do something special to mark each of the 10 seasons of phenology.
  • If 8 times a year is better, look into the local nature correspondences associated with the solstices, equinoxes, and midpoints in between; this seems to be the most popular calendar division of the year into seasonal festivals.
  • Phenomena occurring near to a special tree or in a special sit spot can inspire you during each of the 6 ecological seasons.
  • Super busy? Do set aside at least one seasonal celebration 4 times a year, I guarantee you will find it restorative.

Create Your Own Phenology Calendar

So far we've looked at seasonal calendars created in a wheel format.

You can also create lovely phenology calendars using in the traditional rectangular format or template. For inspiration, have a look at these calendars from Missouri and Wisconsin, and this video of a calendar created by high school photography students and the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

next up:

moon phases & plant morphology

+ more ideas for celebration

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)