Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Time

This article was written by Tadhg MacCrossan on May 10, 2002
posted under Druidism

The earliest Indo-European measurement of time was by the moon, and this reveals the nature of the Celtic calendar. The Celts never deviated from lunar time measurement, as their Druids had preserved it from the Indo-European tradition. Luckily for Celtophiles today, ancient Celtic calendars were unearthed in France. The most outstanding is the Coligny calendar; the others are fragments of duplicate calendars.

The so-called "tree-calendar," in which ogam tree names are used as names of months (in certain forms of neopagan Witchcraft) are not ancient in origin, and unfortunately have no connections with the Druids. They are the creation of Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess. Many neopagan Dianic groups use this invention of Graves’, but the real ancient Celtic calendar (a product of the Druids) was different and a bit more complicated to calculate.

Many month names on the modern Celtic calendars are pre-Christian in origin, such as Mi na Shamna, "the month of Samhain," cognate with the Gaulish Samonios (which appears on the Coligny calendar). The festival of Samhain was the "three nights of the month of Samhain," trinouxtes Samoni in Gaulish, and trenae Shamhna in Old Irish.

Variations on later Celtic calendars show that Latin month names replaced some native month names and that local variations of month names occurred in pre-Christian times. Evidence also shows that in the elder Celtic calendars certain month names were widespread, such as the "dark" month of Dumannios, An Dúdlachd, Mis Du or Miz Du, which occurred around December to January on the Roman (Julian-Gregorian) calendar. But there were no months of Beth, Luis, Fern, or Saille as misunderstood or invented by Graves.

Furthermore, the real Celtic months were divided into fortnights which begin near the first quarter of the New Moon, with the second fortnight being either fifteen or fourteen nights, depending on whether the month was matus, ("good, lucky"— thirty nights long); or anmatus, ("unlucky"—(twenty-nine nights long). The older Celtic calendars were calculated by the Druids and show much in common with pre-Christian Greek, Teutonic and Hindu calendars.


Sensitive people have gotten a bum rap. We live in a world that doesn't embrace the values of sensitivity, so we get told that we are weak, unusual, touchy, and hard to please. The sad truth is that we hear these messages in many ways throughout our lives. Even if it is from a well-meaning teacher or parent who tries to "toughen us up," the crux... read this article
Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos
Sacred Space, Tarot, and Your Magical Practice
The Magical Use of Prayer Beads
The Future of Money Magic: What Do We Put Under the Candle When Our Currency Goes Digital?
Understanding the Moon Signs of Others

Most recent posts:
The Words on the Wheel of Fortune
One thing many students of tarot find fascinating is learning what some of the mysterious symbols on the cards mean. During the Renaissance, when...

Are You a Sensitive Empath?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Kyra Mesich, author of the new Strength of Sensitivity. I've dedicated my holistic psychology...

The Cards as Living Entities
In just a few months (August, to be precise), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot by the knowledgeable experienced, and delightful writer Anthony...




The Madness of Mercury The Madness of Mercury
By: Connie di Marco
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
The Linestrider Tarot The Linestrider Tarot
By: Siolo Thompson
Price: $28.99 US,  $33.50 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN