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#60218 - 10/19/11 08:57 AM 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated)
Milchar Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Göteborg, Sweden
Hail everybody!
This is a translation of my article that I wrote in 2001 for my Russian website.
Please, if you find any errors or something difficult to understand, let me know.

----------------------------------------------------

Designing a Satanic Calendar
by Milchar


Calendar is not merely an instrument of measuring time; it's a way of viewing time and history in the culture that has created it. For example, using the prevailing Gregorian calendar means counting the present historical epoch from a bit more than 2000 years ago, and viewing the middle of winter (or summer in the Southern hemisphere) as the start of a new cycle of life. Months and weeks as well influence the idea of time for everybody who lives by this calendar. This is also the reason for every religion to have its own calendar, and to keep on using it despite of the fact that everybody in the world is accustomed to the Gregorian calendar now.
This can suggest an idea that Satanists should have their own unique calendar that would reflect the Satanic view on time cycles and history, and would show the astronomical aspects that could be important for Satanic occult practices. Why do we need to use astronomical tables or programs to find moon phases, for example? It's the calendar that has to show us all necessary information on any time cycles longer than one day!
However, the task of including all necessary information into the calendar is more complicated than it can seem at the first glance, because, as it's already known since the Antiquity, the solar and the lunar time cycles are disproportionate to one another. This means that we need to design a double calendar, consisting of a solar and a lunar part.

The solar cycle
It's mathematically simpler, because the dates of solstices and equinoxes coincide with the first day of an oncoming sign of the zodiac (with one exception, which is to be considered later). Therefore, we can use the signs of the zodiac as months and start a new year from the vernal equinox, which is the first day of the Aries month. The only complication appears at the moment of the autumnal equinox, which falls on September 22 or 23, while the sign of Libra begins on September 24. How can we manage this disparity? I would give a preference to astronomy rather than astrology in this issue; this means that September 23 will be counted both as the day of the autumnal equinox and the 1st day of Libra month.
In addition, we need to state the system of leap years counting. The most accurate formula for it was derived by Johann Heinrich von Mädler, a 19th century German astronomer and mathematician. He advised to add a leap day every forth year, excluding it once per 128 years; so an error of one day would accumulate only after 86,400 years! However, we have to take the practical side into account too; therefore, copying the Gregorian system of leap years will be more convenient, because a direct correspondence between dates of the Satanic and the Gregorian calendars will exist so. The Gregorian system is accurate enough for practical purposes; it produces a one-day error in 3300 years.
Thus, the solar part of the Satanic calendar will look so:

Month_____# of days____Corresponding Gregorian dates
Aries________31____________Mar.21-Apr.20
Taurus_______30____________Apr.21-May 20
Gemini_______32____________May 21-Jun.21
Cancer_______31____________Jun.22-Jul.22
Leo__________32____________Jul.23-Aug.23
Virgo________30____________Aug.24-Sep.22
Libra________31____________Sep.23-Oct.23
Scorpio______30____________Oct.24-Nov.22
Sagittarius__29____________Nov.23-Dec.21
Capricorn____30____________Dec.22-Jan.20
Aquarius_____31____________Jan.21-Feb.20
Pisces______28/29__________Feb.21-Mar.20


The lunar cycle
Building a lunar cycle in the calendar poses a task of finding an accurate proportion between lunar months of 29 and 30 days. A fine approximation can be the cycle of 49 lunar months, of which 23 will have 29 days and the remaining 26 will be of 30 days. In this case, a one-day error will accumulate in 3300 years.
The lunar new year's day is usually linked to some solar date, for the length of any period in years to be equal in both the solar and the lunar cycles. In order to make life easier for astrologists, we can choose to count the lunar new year the same way as it's being done in the Sino-Japanese lunar calendar. This means that some lunar years will consist of 13 months, and the date of the lunar new year will be counted as the second new moon after the winter solstice. So the lunar new year will always fall on a different day of Aquarius solar month.
What will be convenient with such lunar cycle is that a new moon always will come on the 1st day of every lunar month, as well as the full moon on the 15th. Other moon phases will be also easy to calculate.
For the names of the month, we can take the Latin translations of the Chinese ones:
1. Primens
2. Apricomens
3. Peacimens
4. Plumens
5. Guavamens
6. Lotumens
7. Orchimens
8. Osmanthumens
9. Chrysanthemens
10. Benimens
11. Hiemens
12. Ultimens
13, additional. Lamens.
However, the length of each month (29 or 30 days) for some particular year cannot be determined by a simple rule as it's done for the solar cycle. This difficulty appears due to the nonexistence of any simple proportion between the cycle of 49 months and the length of the lunar year (12 or 13 months), especially due to the fact that we need to link the lunar calendar to the solar event of winter solstice {*}. Therefore, calculating the lengths of month for each year based on the astronomical data will be a better solution from the practical point of view.

The era of the Satanic calendar
This is the last question we need to elaborate: what historical moment we will count as the starting point of our calendar. Certainly, Christ's birthday does not fit to the needs of Satanists. We have to find something else.
Probably, the first that you think about is the Anno Satanas era used by the Church of Satan. However, with all our respect to Anton Szandor LaVey and everything that he has done for Satanism, we should not forget that Satanism originated long before. We don't know the exact moment when somebody was called Satanist for the first time. Therefore, the best we can do is to choose something among the existing eras that can suit us the most. I think that Kaliyuga era can be exactly what we're looking for. So, our calendar starts at year 3102 before the Christian era. In my work 'Satan in History' I tried to explain why that moment was crucially important for all of us and still matters today.

How it will look like
As it's been said, the Satanic calendar will be double, consisting of the solar and the lunar part. We need to show both of them; in addition, the corresponding dates of the Gregorian calendar, used by the society, are also necessary. Therefore, the calendar will be triple in fact. Its appearance needs to be planned well to avoid any confusion.
We can use different colors and different positions of numbers to clearly discern what is where. Let's make the solar cycle the main part and show 12 solar months grouping the weekdays exactly the way it's being done in usual Gregorian calendar editions. If we use a white background, let the solar days be shown in black. The lunar days can be printed as upper right indices close to the corresponding solar dates and shown in red. Similarly, the Gregorian days can be shown in blue as lower left indices of the corresponding solar days. The borders between the lunar and the Gregorian months will be depicted with red and blue lines, respectively. Following the same principle, the names of the lunar months will be shown above in red, as well as the Gregorian months below in blue. So the calendar will be easily readable and convenient to use. We can have a computer program that generates and prints the Satanic calendar for any year we need.


{*} The shortest possible cycle with acceptable accuracy could be the one of 725 years, which, however, would require to change the system of solar leap years to a less precise one. So, the cycle of 725 years would consist of:
549 normal solar years;
176 leap solar years;
4758 lunar months of 30 days;
4209 lunar months of 29 days;
264801 days total.
Such calendar would accumulate a one day error for 1786 years, which is less precise than the Gregorian. Anyway, its main disadvantage would be just the inconvenience of using such a long cycle.

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Translated from Russian by Milchar, 2011

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#60233 - 10/19/11 05:40 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Milchar]
Goliath Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 93
Hello Milchar,

Though I like the idea of a Satanic calendar in principle, I think there are a number of serious problems with this proposal.

First, it offers no obvious advantages over the Gregorian calendar. I don't need a special calendar to help me keep track of things like the New Moon: all I have to do is check my Daily Planner, in which the New Moon is clearly indicated with a dark circle.

The second problem is related to the first: namely, that certain dates on the Gregorian calendar (such as Walpurgis Night and Halloween) are important to at least some Satanists.

Third, there's nothing obviously "Satanic" about your proposed calendar. This problem is most obvious in your proposal to adopt the Latin names of the Chinese months: I don't see anything Satanic about a "month of lotus blossoms," or a "month of chrysanthemum blossoms".

The fourth problem is related to the second: namely, I'm not even sure there is a "Satanic view on time cycles and history" for your calendar to reflect. Rather, there seem to be many such views. Your choice of the year 3102 BCE as this calendar's epoch, for example, is interesting, but meaningless to me: I'd never even heard of the Kali Yuga until I read your post.

If you had asked me, I would have suggested either the year 1417 CE or 1543 CE as the "Year Zero". The former is the year that the Epicurean philosophical poem On the Nature of Things was rediscovered. The latter is the year that Copernicus and Vesalius published their works on astronomy and anatomy. In my opinion, both would be much better epochs for a new Satanic calendar, but I'm sure others would disagree. And there's no point in trying to devise a new calendar unless it truly reflects the Satanic viewpoint.
_________________________
An illusion--with intelligence! A malignant vision, with a will of pure evil!

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#60236 - 10/19/11 07:56 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Goliath]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1640
Loc: Orlando, FL
As Goliath suggested, it's not so much Satanic as it is "random esoteric doctrines from wildly different cultures thrown together".

 Quote:
The fourth problem is related to the second: namely, I'm not even sure there is a "Satanic view on time cycles and history" for your calendar to reflect.


Though many Satanic groups have their own perspectives on Aeonics (which bear resemblance to the concept of Yugas), the only attempt at an alternate dating system outside the CoS has been made by the ONA (using the "Year of the Fuhrer" system as a holdover from their nazi days, which in turn is merely a copy of the Gregorian calendar with a different year-zero.)

While I can understand the appeal of using an alternate calendar, it's really not practical for anything other than window-dressing. Like it's been said, Hallow's and Walpurgisnacht are the closest thing Satanism has to "official holidays", and these are inextricably bound to the Gregorian system.

 Quote:
If you had asked me, I would have suggested either the year 1417 CE or 1543 CE as the "Year Zero". The former is the year that the Epicurean philosophical poem On the Nature of Things was rediscovered. The latter is the year that Copernicus and Vesalius published their works on astronomy and anatomy.


That would be more of "Secular Humanist" calendar than anything else... Hesiod and Ovid wrote of the classical Ages of Man, which would be more ideal for a pagan-western revival, but determining the exact dates has never been conclusive. (Presently we live in the Era Ferri (Age of Iron), which like the Kali Yuga is characterized by greed, war, and spiritual decay).


Edited by The Zebu (10/19/11 08:09 PM)
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«Recibe, ¡oh Lucifer! la sangre de esta víctima que sacrifico en tu honor.»

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#60278 - 10/20/11 08:00 AM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Goliath]
Milchar Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Göteborg, Sweden
Goliath,
Most problems in our life are no longer problems if we take a second look on them ;\)
First: Why do we have to use something extra to find the information that the calendar should provide us? This is the main function of any calendar anyway -- to tell us in what phase of every important time cycle longer than 1 day we are now.
Second: Walpurgis Night and Halloween, as well as Candlemass and Lammas, are not related to the Gregorian calendar. These days (and nights) used to be celebrated by many folks with different calendars. The fact that Walpurgis Night and Halloween fall on last days in months in the Gregorian calendar is a pure coincidence.
Third: Yes, the names for the lunar months could be better; can you suggest anything on this point?
Fourth: There are many prominent dates in history. I chose what seemed the most Satanic among the eras that have ever really been in use. Why the starting point of Kaliyuga is an important moment for Satanism, is a topic for another serious discussion. I expressed my point of view on it here.
I agree that the calendar we are talking about has to reflect the Satanic viewpoint, and I have done my best about it. If you have any ideas for improvement, it will be interesting to discuss them.


The Zebu,
I can agree that it's not practical. Moreover, it's not practical to be a Satanist at all; the same can be said about any other minority in the society. But we are who we are, and making such unpractical things is a part of our individuality.

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#60280 - 10/20/11 08:46 AM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Milchar]
Vondraco Offline
stranger


Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 28
Loc: Houston, TX
Hello Milchar,

First: Right.
Second: Right. So, if they "used to be celebrated by many folks with different calendars," why not just fit them into our own calendars?
Third: Don't really care what you call them. Not a big deal for me. If it is to you, feel free to make up your own names.
Fourth: I read the article you linked to. Huh? Listening to seasons and stars and such means accepting you as being a little part of a big cosmic machine. Is that what Satanism means to you?
_________________________
Mathematician by training, Philosopher by nature
Genius by genetics, Hedonist by desire!

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#60289 - 10/20/11 12:13 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Milchar]
Goliath Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 93
 Originally Posted By: Milchar
First: Why do we have to use something extra to find the information that the calendar should provide us?


Let me turn this question around: why do we need a calendar to provide us with information that we could be providing for ourselves?

I also think you're overlooking the fact that, to most people, a "calendar" is a physical object that is either hung on the wall, or sits on the desk. Either that, or it's computer software of some kind. In my case, it's a Moleskine Weekly Notebook, which (as I said earlier) came printed with information about lunations, and which allows me to write in anything else of significance to me. The result is a calendar that provides me with all the information I need: nothing "extra" is required. And what's more, I rather enjoy the element of DIY involved.

 Quote:
This is the main function of any calendar anyway -- to tell us in what phase of every important time cycle longer than 1 day we are now.


That's true. But the most important time cycles in my life all revolve around my work, not the seasons or astronomical events. And the reason calendars have traditionally followed the rhythm of the seasons is because, in an agricultural society, the rhythm of the seasons and the rhythm of work were one and the same.

As the saying goes--Satanism is a tool, not a cause. For my own personal purposes, an ideal "Satanic calendar" would be one that made it easier for me to count the days between events. The easiest and simplest way to do that would be to simply discard weeks and months altogether, and number the days of the year from 1 to 365, with a day 366 thrown in every four years. It would then be a simple matter to print each day's number, and other information concerning things like lunations, over top of a conventional Gregorian calendar.

 Quote:
Second: Walpurgis Night and Halloween, as well as Candlemass and Lammas, are not related to the Gregorian calendar. These days (and nights) used to be celebrated by many folks with different calendars. The fact that Walpurgis Night and Halloween fall on last days in months in the Gregorian calendar is a pure coincidence.


This is a bunch of half-truths. Walpurgis Night, for example, is called Walpurgis Night precisely because it's the night before the feast day of Saint Walburga, May 1st. Similarly, Halloween is called that because it's the night before All Saints (or Hallows) Day, November 1st. If you want to revive some older pagan celebration that took place at the same time of year, or introduce something new in place of both, that's your business. But they won't be be Walpurgis Night or Halloween. They'll be something else.

 Quote:
Third: Yes, the names for the lunar months could be better; can you suggest anything on this point?


Frankly, I'm not in favour of lunar months at all. They remind me too much of the Muslim calendar.

 Quote:
Fourth: There are many prominent dates in history. I chose what seemed the most Satanic among the eras that have ever really been in use. Why the starting point of Kaliyuga is an important moment for Satanism, is a topic for another serious discussion. I expressed my point of view on it here.


I'm sorry, but the Kaliyuga means nothing to me.

And in my opinion, this problem reflects a wider problem with this whole project: namely, that you seem to be trying to put the cart before the horse. At present, Satanism is still in what Thomas Kuhn would call its "pre-paradigmatic phase". While, as I said, I like the idea of a Satanic calendar in principle, I would argue that there's no point in trying to develop such a calendar until or unless a paradigm of Satanism does emerge. You say that you agree that a Satanic calendar has to reflect the Satanic viewpoint, but at present, it seems to me there is no single "Satanic viewpoint" for this calendar to reflect.
_________________________
An illusion--with intelligence! A malignant vision, with a will of pure evil!

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#60290 - 10/20/11 12:48 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Goliath]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
I personally see no reason to change something which works quite good.

Sure, the fact that our dating system is based upon a year in which a supposed christ was supposedly born is silly. That we now 2011 years after this "world event" still consider it as the best that happened in history says a lot of how inferior we feel about our human accomplishments in that time.

But the advantage of these things is that they are only important when you consider them important. To me, it means nothing besides it all being very practical.

When I make an appointment with someone, I sure find it easy if we first not need to compare systems and calculate which moment that is for both of us.

So why change it at all unless it somehow improves it for all?

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#60292 - 10/20/11 12:54 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Goliath]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1640
Loc: Orlando, FL
 Quote:
I would argue that there's no point in trying to develop such a calendar until or unless a paradigm of Satanism does emerge. You say that you agree that a Satanic calendar has to reflect the Satanic viewpoint, but at present, it seems to me there is no single "Satanic viewpoint" for this calendar to reflect.


There are actually a multiplicity of Satanic paradigms, but one of course cannot realistically expect a uniform consensus across the board. (However, I argue that the quintessence of the "Satanic Viewpoint" can be succinctly defined as "non serviam".)

Of course, the diversity of practitioners does not allow one to simply declare some arbitrary thing to be "Satanic", especially if it does not have any wide currency among the demographic. The grimoires and goetia are one thing, but Chinese astrology and hindu mytho-chronology are probably the some of the worst choices imaginable.
_________________________
«Recibe, ¡oh Lucifer! la sangre de esta víctima que sacrifico en tu honor.»

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#60296 - 10/20/11 02:29 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: The Zebu]
Alex Crowley Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
I personally see no reason to change something which works quite good.

Agreed. There's no point to creating a Satanic calendar when what we have works perfectly fine. If you wanted to include the solstices, maybe. Or if you wanted to make one of those calendars that count down to the solstices with little chocolates inside - then I'd definitely go for it. ;\)

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#60320 - 10/21/11 04:57 AM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Goliath]
Milchar Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Göteborg, Sweden
Vondraco,

 Quote:
Listening to seasons and stars and such means accepting you as being a little part of a big cosmic machine. Is that what Satanism means to you?

Absolutely no! Investigating how the things work, even beyond the frontier of science, -- this is the most important for me. This includes also the mechanisms of history; for example, studying how Christianity came to be able to destroy the Greco-Roman civilization, which makes me see that we are in a similar danger now.




Goliath,

 Quote:
As the saying goes--Satanism is a tool, not a cause.

Not for me. For me Satanism is a way of thinking, and a way of life in some sense.

 Quote:
Walpurgis Night, for example, is called Walpurgis Night precisely because it's the night before the feast day of Saint Walburga, May 1st. Similarly, Halloween is called that because it's the night before All Saints (or Hallows) Day, November 1st.

It's just names given as a camouflage to keep on celebrating them under the Christian rule. These days have nothing to do with any christian saints. I agree that they should not be called so.

 Quote:
And in my opinion, this problem reflects a wider problem with this whole project: namely, that you seem to be trying to put the cart before the horse.

I'm rather trying to carry the cart myself, because I'm already bored of waiting for that bloody horse to come...

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#60336 - 10/21/11 02:19 PM Re: 'Designing a Satanic calendar' (translated) [Re: Milchar]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1640
Loc: Orlando, FL
While I may agree with some of your sympathies, there is only so much leeway when it comes to positing both a practical and esoteric dating system, especially in the context of Satanism.

Walpurgisnacht and All Hallow's, despite having origins in pre-Christian festivals, owes a great deal to Christian-influenced mythos and is inextricably bound in our cultural consciousness to the Gregorian Calendar. Although there have been attempts to nail the harvest and planting festivals to the equinoxes and solstices, these "amendments" have hardly seen any sort of currency outside of a handful of neo-Druids.

 Quote:
This includes also the mechanisms of history; for example, studying how Christianity came to be able to destroy the Greco-Roman civilization, which makes me see that we are in a similar danger now.


While not a machine-debaser by any stretch, I also have a soft spot for the (admittedly idealized) traditionalism of our forebears, which is in danger of being rendered moot by an increasingly hyper-consumerist society. If these are to survive in any meaningful form, then it stands to reason that the best option is to utilize the most widespread consensus of tradition; namely that which is based on the Gregorian. All Hallow's and Walpurgis/Mayday are celebrated worldwide, not just by neopagans and practitioners of witchcraft, but by communities, heritage societies, and revivalist movements worldwide. It would be much more effective to ride the current of the prevailing traditions, rather than start from scratch and propose a radical re-fabrication based on rather arbitrary criteria, that will almost certainly never gain any significant following.


Edited by The Zebu (10/21/11 02:20 PM)
_________________________
«Recibe, ¡oh Lucifer! la sangre de esta víctima que sacrifico en tu honor.»

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