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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Calendars

2012
The date of attributed by some to the completion of a particular cycle found in the Mayan calendar. Some people fascinated by this topic even give the date of December 21, 2012, as the end of this cycle. Although some people claim this is the end of the calendar and propose an apocalyptic end of the world scenario, most believe it will simply mark a major evolutionary step for the world where there will be major world changes. Interestingly, NASA predicts that the Sun will reverse its magnetic poles during 2012.

A similar event, based on the Mayan Calendar, was the “Harmonic Convergence” of August 16-17, 1987. It was supposed to usher in a new era of global awakening to love and spiritual transformation. When the expected change did not occur on that date, the concept changed to say that the days marked the beginning of a five-year period of change. Most people today don’t think that change occurred, and negative events such as massacres and wars continued. However, there were positive geopolitical events such as the end of Apartheid in South Africa as well as the Soviet Union splitting into independent states.


2012
Surreal Tarot deck by Marco Nizzoli with booklet by Barbara Moore.


2012
A practitioner of folk magick, especially magick that deals with herbs. A cunning man was responsible for assuring good harvests, protecting against spells, curses, and the evil eye, and provide charms and medicines. Although the expression “cunning man” is most often used by anthropologists, similar terms “cunning folk” and “cunning women” are also used. The expression is considered synonymous with wizards, conjurors, white Witch, and “pellars.”


Annuals
Appear yearly. Since the earliest days of Llewellyn Publications more than a century ago, we have published books dedicated to information for the specific year of publication. Over the decades, this has expanded from strictly astrological books such as the Daily Planetary Guide, the Sun Sign Book, and the Moon Sign Book, to include datebooks, almanacs, and calendars focused on magic, Tarot, Witchcraft and Wicca, and herbalism, as well as those sharing astrological advice. Because each is filled with original articles and information from new and well-known writers, and as they are only available for one year, they often become collectables and rapidly sell out.


Autumn Equinox
The second time in a year when the period of daylight and night are equal, it occurs between September 19 and 24. Pagan names for this holiday include Harvest Home and the popular Mabon, a term coined by Aiden Kelly in the 1970s. It marks the completion of the harvest and is a type of Thanksgiving. It also marks the time to begin preparing for Samhain.


B.C.E.
Before the Common Era. A method of indicating dates based upon the Gregorian Calendar, replacing the religious expression B.C. meaning Before Christ. Although originally used by scientists, it has been adopted by Pagans and other non-Christians.


Blue Moon
The earliest reference to the concept of a Blue Moon appeared in 1528, where it simply meant something absurd or impossible. Later, because of a difference between the physical world and the Catholic church’s calendar, an extra full moon occasionally appeared at the “wrong” time. They referred to this as a “betrayer” moon, and in Middle English, the word for “betray” sounds similar to “blue.” By the 19th century, a Blue Moon was associated to the seasons. Each season—summer, fall, winter, and spring—generally lasts three months, meaning that there are usually three full moons during a season. Because a solar year does not coincide with the lunar year, occasionally a season will have four full moons. When this occurs the third full moon of the season is called a Blue Moon. In 1946, Sky and Telescope magazine ran an article that misinterpreted the seasonal understanding, and stated that in any month of the calendar year that has two full moons, the second full moon was called a “Blue Moon.” This error caught on and is now the most popular interpretation for the source of the expression. Metaphorically, “once in a blue moon” means something that rarely happens.


C.E.
A term of dating that means the Common Era. Used by scientists, scholars, and Pagans as a more appropriate alternative to the religious A.D., Latin for “Year of our Lord.”


Dark of the Moon
See Dark Moon.


Druid New Moon
The first day of the Moon’s second quarter, which occurs six days after the astronomical New Moon.


Era Vulgaris

A Latin expression for “common era” (abbreviated as "e.v.") usually used after a date to indicate a time following the year zero. A non-religious replacement for AD.

Popularly used by Thelemites to identify dates as related to the Gregorian calendar rather than the Thelemic calendar which begins in 1904, the year Aleister Crowley received the Book of the Law.




Fall Equinox
See Autumn Equinox.


Harmonic Convergence
Based on the Mayan Calendar, the “Harmonic Convergence” occurred on August 16-17, 1987. It was supposed to usher in a new era of global awakening to love and spiritual transformation. When the expected change did not occur on that date, the concept changed to say that the event marked the beginning of a five-year period of change. Most people today don’t think that change occurred, and negative events such as massacres and wars continued. However, there were positive geopolitical events such as the end of apartheid in South Africa as well as the Soviet Union splitting into independent states. Some say that the Mayan Calendar was going to end on that day, but this was altered to say it was the beginning of the ending cycle of the calendar. The true end will supposedly occur in 2012.


Julian Calendar

In ancient Rome, the calendar consisted of 12 months, lasting a total of 355 days with an additional month added during leap years. The figuring out of the exact days was quite confusing, and Julius Caesar introduced a reform that was adopted in the year 46 b.c.e. This Julian calendar had a year of 12 months lasting 365 days, with a single leap day added every 4 years. This simpler calendar became the most popularly used calendar in most of Europe, as well as in some other locations, including settlements in the Americas. 

Unfortunately, it was off by more than 10 minutes per year, and after hundreds of years, it was off by several days. This was corrected in 1582 c.e. when Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar, which has become the most accepted calendar in the world (although it wasn't adopted in Greece until 1923). 




Kalpa
In ancient India, the concept of time is cyclic. A Kalpa, also known as "Day of Brahma," is the name for the vast, repeating, cycle of time. Although divided into several subdivisions, a Kalpa is said to lat 4,320,000,000 years before repeating.


Lunar Calendar

Anciently many calendars were based around the movement of the Moon. Most such lunar calendars became obsolete and were replaced by solar calendars. Even so, some ancient holidays are reckoned according to lunar calendars. As a result, some holidays and festivals move their dates from year to year. They are known as “movable feasts.”




Medium Coeli

Latin for "midheaven."




New Aeon of Horus

According to followers of Thelema, the philosophy of occultist Aleister Crowley, it is the age that began in 1904 with the reception of The Book of the Law.




Pandamonaeon
According to Chaos magicians, the coming aeon of human evolution.


Spring Equinox

March 21. Also called the vernal equinox. See: equinox.




Summer Solstice

See: Solstice




Tree Calendar
A calendar aligned to the Tree Alphabet by associating each month of the year with a tree. A relatively modern invention.


Year

An alchemical year is not the same as a normal calendar year. Rather, it refers to the time necessary to complete an alchemical project such as raising gold from a lower element. It is called a year because there are four basic levels or grades to the work (with many sublevels), similar to the four seasons of a calendar year.




Yuga

A Sanskrit term meaning epoch or age. There are said to be four yugas of varying duration: Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. We are currently living in the Kali Yuga, which is believed to have begun in 3102 b.c.e. It will last for 432,000 years.





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