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Re: Archeology Links

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  • Óðr
    This is very interesting, as apparently many heathens also celebrate Ostara as a pre-christian festival. The equinoxes seem to have no native pagan festivals
    Message 1 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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      This is very interesting, as apparently many heathens also celebrate
      Ostara as a pre-christian festival.


      "The equinoxes seem to have no native pagan festivals behind them
      and became significant only to occultists in the nineteenth century,"
      Hutton told me. "There is still no proven pagan feast that stood as
      ancestor to Easter"—a festival that modern pagans celebrate as
      Ostara, the vernal equinox



      --- In HeathenNews@yahoogroups.com, "jordsvin1313" <Jordsvin@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Be sure to check out this particular one:
      >
      > The Atlantic has reprised an article from a few years ago
      > casting doubts on assorted rituals associated with 'the goddess':
      > http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200101/wicca
      >
      > Also, you might want to join the list these links came from:
      > Yahoo site: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Explorator/
      > Past issues of their newsletter are archived.
      >
    • Mike Gehringer
      That article and others about the military s acceptance of Wiccan gravestones touched off a religious debate in my office. Most people initially felt some
      Message 2 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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        That article and others about the military's
        acceptance of Wiccan gravestones touched off a
        religious debate in my office. Most people initially
        felt some disdain for Wicca just because it was
        recently made up. But by the end of the debate we were
        more sympathetic, having noted that all religions were
        made up at some point, and if Wicca lasts a thousand
        years, those future followers probably won't have a
        clue about its origins, or if they do know, they'll
        care even less than they do now.

        An easy example is Chan/Zen...which the Chinese made
        up as a combo of Indian Buddhism and Chinese Daoism.
        And in the face of their contemporaries' disdain, they
        invented an ancient history for it. All these
        centuries later it's a well-established worldwide
        religion and no one seems to care how it was
        concocted.

        Just food for thought.

        Mike

        --- Óðr <odr9@...> wrote:

        > This is very interesting, as apparently many
        > heathens also celebrate
        > Ostara as a pre-christian festival.
        >
        >
        > "The equinoxes seem to have no native pagan
        > festivals behind them
        > and became significant only to occultists in the
        > nineteenth century,"
        > Hutton told me. "There is still no proven pagan
        > feast that stood as
        > ancestor to Easter"—a festival that modern pagans
        > celebrate as
        > Ostara, the vernal equinox
        >


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      • Mike Hinshaw
        That is because it was mentioned in one of the Roman sources - along with the festival and customs of it - which match pretty well to the modern customs. When
        Message 3 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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          That is because it was mentioned in one of the Roman
          sources - along with the festival and customs of it -
          which match pretty well to the modern customs. When I
          scanned the article, I noted that the guy was hostile
          to any possible link to ancient religions, and though
          I am sympathetic to Wicca being an invented religion,
          I am aware that not everything that he wrote was
          actually completely true.

          A woman named Doreen Valiente has claimed to be the
          "witch" that trained both Crowley and Gardner, and has
          written a few books (as I recall). The idea that the
          festivals were not celebrated is definitely false, as
          we have Church documentation of them, and a study of
          Stonehenge and similar sites shows that the ancient
          peoples were aware of the Equinoxes and Solstices. We
          have accounts and traditions of both the Solstice
          festivals (Yule and the Allthing), and accounts of at
          least the Spring Equinox festival. And the fact that
          the old liturgical calendar has a festival on the
          Autumn Equinox (Lammas or "Loaf-Mass") is also greatly
          suggestive. And we have accounts and customs for many
          of the "cross-quarter" festivals as well. I sould not
          take this guy too seriously.

          Mike

          --- Óðr <odr9@...> wrote:

          > This is very interesting, as apparently many
          > heathens also celebrate
          > Ostara as a pre-christian festival.
          >
          >
          > "The equinoxes seem to have no native pagan
          > festivals behind them
          > and became significant only to occultists in the
          > nineteenth century,"
          > Hutton told me. "There is still no proven pagan
          > feast that stood as
          > ancestor to Easter"—a festival that modern pagans
          > celebrate as
          > Ostara, the vernal equinox
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In HeathenNews@yahoogroups.com, "jordsvin1313"
          > <Jordsvin@...>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Be sure to check out this particular one:
          > >
          > > The Atlantic has reprised an article from a few
          > years ago
          > > casting doubts on assorted rituals associated with
          > 'the goddess':
          > > http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200101/wicca
          > >
          > > Also, you might want to join the list these links
          > came from:
          > > Yahoo site:
          > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Explorator/
          > > Past issues of their newsletter are archived.
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >


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        • Dan Miller
          Hail Mike, Odhr and all! The all confusion regarding holy-day festivals, especially Easter, clears up completely when a lunar calendar, of the type we can be
          Message 4 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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            Hail Mike, Odhr and all!

            The all confusion regarding holy-day festivals, especially Easter, clears
            up completely when a lunar calendar, of the type we can be reasonably certain
            many Germanic tribes once used, is rendered out against the 365.25-day of
            the solar calendar we use today.

            There does appear to have been no direct linking between Heathen Easter and
            the vernal equinox as such, but this is not to say Heathen did not celebrate
            Easter. Rather they calculated it according to their lunar calendar year.
            Practically, a lunar year is only 360 days long, meaning that a period of
            12 full moons, a lunar year, or 360 days, elapses between one Easter Moon
            and the next year's Easter Moon.

            For example, tomorrow's full moon is Easter Moon according to the lunar calendar,
            May 2, 2007 by the modern solar calendar. Next year's Easter Moon is roughly
            360 days later on Apr 20, 2008. The year after that, Easter Moon "falls back"
            even further, to Apr 9, 2009.

            At that point in the calendar, the ancient Heathen added a 13th month to the
            year, like a leap-month, called an intercalary month. This was necessary
            to ensure the lunar calendar remained synchronized with winter solstice, so
            that the Yule Month always contained the day of winter solstice. Because
            the lunar year falls short, Yule Moon also "falls back", Jan 3, 2006, followed
            by Dec 23 2007, and the next year Dec 12 2008. At this point, we have to
            add that 13th month to the calendar in order that Yule Moon does not lose
            its attachment to the winter solstice. Accordingly, Yule Moon of 2009 falls
            on Dec 31 2009, making the following Easter Moon fall later again, on Apr
            28 2010.

            Where the elder English Heathen added the needed leap-month was always over
            the summer solstice with a month called Litha or Three-Litha.

            As it turns out, the succession of either 12-month-long years and 13-month-long
            years follows a repetitive 19 year pattern. Simply put, it posits that a
            given full moon, such as Easter Moon, will only happen to fall on the exact
            same solar date, say exactly on April 9th, only once every 19 years.

            This 19 year pattern was known to the Norse, appearing on the calendar staves,
            and even if was not known by English Heathen in Bede's time (which seems
            unlikely) it is attested by the archaeological record to have been known to
            the pre-Germanic tribes dwelling in Germany 1500 years b.c.e., as with the
            Nebra Disk and the gold cone "wizard hats" which both suggest different approaches
            of this 19 year lunar cycle. Modern astronomers call it the Metonic Cycle,
            after the Greek who was erroneously supposed to have discovered it.

            Nevertheless, when we render the Old English lunar calendar and actually use
            it, we will discover the whole pattern repeats itself every 19 years. Starting
            in 2006 (which was the year in the cycle when the moon in the sky was highest
            on its wobbling orbit, and appeared close to the Pleiades in April and Dec.
            , precisely as depicted on the Nebra Disk), the cycle renders out like so:

            13-12-12-13-12-12-13-12-12-13-12-13-12-12-13-12-12-13-12

            (2006 being a 13-month year, the first year in the cycle)

            Thus rendered, the lunar calendar thus reveals that a given Holy Day, like
            Easter Moon, could, at least in our century, land on any date between early
            April and Early May over the course of this 19 year cycle. (As it happens,
            this is also about the time the Pleiades no longer is visible in the night
            sky, having fallen behind the sun for the next month or two, when it will
            reappear in the pre-dawn hours in the east.)

            Due to precession of the equinoxes, which is another topic altogether, however
            this means that back in Bede's time, the 7th century ce or so, this alignment
            of the sun with the Pleiades, that occurs right around Easter Moon, would
            have happened almost a month earlier, falling anywhere from mid-March to Mid-April.

            So, we can safely conclude that the one author is correct in saying there
            appears to be no vernal equinox celebration as such, but he draws entirely
            the wrong conclusions, being apparently completely ignorant of the fineries
            of the lunar calendar the ancient pagans actually did use to calculate Easter.

            But so to, are many modern Heathen equally as mistaken, as I was before I
            did my homework, in thinking that Easter is a vernal celebration. In fact
            Easter is a lunar one and stellar event initially based on observations, that
            used to occur over Equinox in the 6th century, even if it did vary many days
            from one year to the next, as above, and which today occurs anywhere between
            early April and early May.

            This reconstructed Heathen calendar can be seen rendered in summary on this
            page clear through to 2020:
            http://bc-freehold.org/articles/lunar-calendar.html

            There is a (little rough) essay that transposes evidence from various sources
            in light of the lore, and makes some bold speculations as to the scope of
            a possible reconstructed calendar system of the ages, here:
            http://bc-freehold.org/articles/calendar.html

            The confusing plethora of surviving folk-custom celebrations from across the
            Germanic world, reflect a rather chaotic transition between the Heathen lunar
            calendar and the Christian solar calendar. Depending on in what year a tribe
            was converted to a great enough degree to begun using a Christian solar calendar,
            what celebrations used to be held on the same holy-moon day across all of
            Heathendom, were disconnected from that system and became fixed to the solar
            calendar at whatever the particular solar date the calendar reform took effect.
            This it why it could be argued that May Day and Easter were once the same
            Full Moon Holy Day, which sometimes fell in April and other times May, as
            we have seen, but became "separated at the hip", becoming to different folk-days
            a month apart depending on what particular tribe, somewhere at whatever time,
            happened to convert to the new solar calendar.

            Although the lunar calendar seems a handful to deal with at first, because
            we have become so familiar with thinking in terms of our modern calendar system,
            it is not as complex a pattern as it may appear, and once understood, suddenly
            settles all the confusion regarding the partial survivals of Germanic folk-custom
            in this day. Not mention making a moot point out of Hutton's final conclusion.

            Be well,
            Dan Ralph Miller

            On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 11:48 AM, Mike Hinshaw wrote:

            > That is because it was mentioned in one of the Roman
            > sources - along with the festival and customs of it -
            > which match pretty well to the modern customs. When I
            > scanned the article, I noted that the guy was hostile
            > to any possible link to ancient religions, and though
            > I am sympathetic to Wicca being an invented religion,
            > I am aware that not everything that he wrote was
            > actually completely true.
            >
            > A woman named Doreen Valiente has claimed to be the
            > "witch" that trained both Crowley and Gardner, and has
            > written a few books (as I recall). The idea that the
            > festivals were not celebrated is definitely false, as
            > we have Church documentation of them, and a study of
            > Stonehenge and similar sites shows that the ancient
            > peoples were aware of the Equinoxes and Solstices. We
            > have accounts and traditions of both the Solstice
            > festivals (Yule and the Allthing), and accounts of at
            > least the Spring Equinox festival. And the fact that
            > the old liturgical calendar has a festival on the
            > Autumn Equinox (Lammas or "Loaf-Mass") is also greatly
            > suggestive. And we have accounts and customs for many
            > of the "cross-quarter" festivals as well. I sould not
            > take this guy too seriously.
            >
            > Mike
            >
            > --- Óðr <odr9@...> wrote:
            >
            >> This is very interesting, as apparently many
            >> heathens also celebrate
            >> Ostara as a pre-christian festival.
            >>
            >>
            >> "The equinoxes seem to have no native pagan
            >> festivals behind them
            >> and became significant only to occultists in the
            >> nineteenth century,"
            >> Hutton told me. "There is still no proven pagan
            >> feast that stood as
            >> ancestor to Easter"—a festival that modern pagans
            >> celebrate as
            >> Ostara, the vernal equinox
          • Mike Hinshaw
            ... === message truncated === Actually, I was aware of the 19-year pattern. If you check out the book Earthtime, Moontime by Annette Hinshaw (my mother)
            Message 5 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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              --- Dan Miller <dan@...> wrote:

              >
              > Hail Mike, Odhr and all!
              >
              > The all confusion regarding holy-day festivals,
              > especially Easter, clears
              > up completely when a lunar calendar, of the type we
              > can be reasonably certain
              > many Germanic tribes once used, is rendered out
              > against the 365.25-day of
              > the solar calendar we use today.

              === message truncated ===

              Actually, I was aware of the 19-year pattern. If you
              check out the book "Earthtime, Moontime" by Annette
              Hinshaw (my mother) from Llewellyn Books, you will
              find that she placed tables in it that will help out
              your own research. She was aware of the calendar
              staves from reading Pennick's "Practical Magic in the
              Northern Tradition", and there is some Norse influence
              on the book from my helping her.

              You have also made an erroneous conclusion though.
              Easter moves like it does because it falls on the
              Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -
              and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday. Also,
              most of the festivals were also working around the
              various harvests, cullings, and other factors that we,
              who no longer live by the seasons, did not have to
              worry about.

              You also missed one of my points - that the author was
              innately hostile to the idea of any kind of survival
              into modern times of the ancient religions. He went
              as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out all
              but a few of the symbols. That is not just against
              common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence. Read
              some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about some of
              these things.

              Mike


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            • Dan Miller
              Hi Mike, Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me, that you are trying to educate me, when in fact it is you who should check his facts. It is you have
              Message 6 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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                Hi Mike,

                Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me, that you are trying to educate
                me, when in fact it is you who should check his facts. It is you have have
                made, and are perpetuating, erroneous conclusions, not I, regardless of who
                our mothers happen to be, or what book they have published by Llewellyn.

                On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 03:24 PM, Mike Hinshaw wrote:
                >
                > You have also made an erroneous conclusion though.
                > Easter moves like it does because it falls on the
                > Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -
                > and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday. Also,
                > most of the festivals were also working around the
                > various harvests, cullings, and other factors that we,
                > who no longer live by the seasons, did not have to
                > worry about.

                What I am saying is that *that* is the erroneous conclusion. It is not such
                and such after equinox, but rather so many full moons after Yule.

                You seem to have missed my point entirely, but I cannot explain it otherwise,
                so I'll leave you to ponder it at length until it perhaps may come clear
                to you.

                As to harvesting, cullings, and so on, how does that contradict anything I
                have said? That almost goes without saying, Not sure I follow what you're
                driving at there.

                I'm saying they used a lunar calendar to calculate Easter, have showed how
                such a calendar renders Easter, and have offered links where I lay out the
                evidence spanning 3000 years. You say I am in error, but offer no evidence,
                just repeating the modern myths of the neo-paganism without substantial evidence
                to back your statements up.

                I'm afraid you've left me unconvinced. If I am to take you seriously, you
                need to offer some evidence of what you are saying, preferably from primary
                sources, with your own translations, as I have done.

                >
                > You also missed one of my points - that the author was
                > innately hostile to the idea of any kind of survival
                > into modern times of the ancient religions. He went
                > as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out all
                > but a few of the symbols. That is not just against
                > common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence. Read
                > some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about some of
                > these things.
                >

                I did not miss that point. I felt it needed no further comment, as I was
                not addressing that particular question I've read some Hilda-Davidson in
                my time... and, yes?

                Anyway, this subject, as interesting as it is, is not really "Heathen News"
                , other than its a story about how many modern Heathen have little idea what
                they are talking about when it comes to the yearly calendar of ancient Heathen,
                so maybe we should move this discussion to a more topical list?

                Be well,
                Dan
              • Dan Miller
                Hi Mike, Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me, that you are trying to educate me, when in fact it is you who should check his facts. I offer that is
                Message 7 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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                  Hi Mike,

                  Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me, that you are trying to educate
                  me, when in fact it is you who should check his facts. I offer that is you
                  have have made, and are perpetuating, erroneous conclusions, not I, regardless
                  of who our mothers happen to be, or what book they have published by Llewellyn.

                  On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 03:24 PM, Mike Hinshaw wrote:
                  >
                  > You have also made an erroneous conclusion though.
                  > Easter moves like it does because it falls on the
                  > Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -
                  > and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday. Also,
                  > most of the festivals were also working around the
                  > various harvests, cullings, and other factors that we,
                  > who no longer live by the seasons, did not have to
                  > worry about.

                  What I am saying is that *that* is the erroneous conclusion. It is not the
                  full moon after equinox, but rather counted as four full moons after Yule.
                  You seem to have missed my point entirely, but I cannot explain it otherwise,
                  so I'll leave you to ponder it at length until it perhaps may come clear
                  to you. Once you understand it, you will no longer think you are contradicting
                  me when you state why Easter jumps around, relative to *any* fixed date in
                  the solar calendar.

                  Perhaps your custom is to call Easter the full moon after equinox, but that
                  is not the way it was calculated in Heathen times, when it was rendered as
                  the fourth Moon following Yule. As to harvesting, cullings, and so on, how
                  does that contradict anything I have said? That almost goes without saying,
                  Not sure I follow what you're driving at there.

                  I'm saying they used a lunar calendar to calculate Easter, have showed how
                  such a calendar renders Easter, and have offered links where I lay out the
                  evidence spanning 3000 years. You say I am in error, reiterate in other words
                  the argument I just laid out as if it is a counter-argument against my position,
                  yet offer no evidence, just repeating the modern urban-myths of neo-paganism
                  without substantial evidence to back your statements up.

                  I'm afraid you've left me unconvinced. If I am to take you seriously, you
                  need to offer some evidence of what you are saying, preferably from primary
                  sources, with your own translations, as I have done.

                  >
                  > You also missed one of my points - that the author was
                  > innately hostile to the idea of any kind of survival
                  > into modern times of the ancient religions. He went
                  > as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out all
                  > but a few of the symbols. That is not just against
                  > common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence. Read
                  > some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about some of
                  > these things.
                  >

                  I did not miss that point. I felt it needed no further comment, as I was
                  not addressing that particular question I've read some Hilda-Davidson in
                  my time... and, yes?

                  Anyway, this subject, as interesting as it is, is not really "Heathen News"
                  , (other than perhaps it is a newsworthy story about how many modern Heathen
                  seem to have little idea what they are talking about when it comes to the
                  yearly calendar of ancient Heathen) so maybe we should move this discussion
                  to a more topical list? Not sure... how "loose" is the topic of this list?

                  Be well,
                  Dan
                • Dan Miller
                  My apologies! My mail-client malfunctioned and I accidently sent out this early draft twice, apparently! And then just edited some more and sent it out
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 1, 2007
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                    My apologies! My mail-client malfunctioned and I accidently sent out this
                    early draft twice, apparently! And then just edited some more and sent it
                    out again, before realizing what went wrong.

                    Sorry about the repetition! It was unintentional. Also about the strong
                    language, which I toned down a bit in the last version to hit the list.

                    OOOPS!

                    -Dan

                    On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 03:24 PM, Mike Hinshaw wrote:

                    >
                    > --- Dan Miller <dan@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >>
                    >> Hail Mike, Odhr and all!
                    >>
                    >> The all confusion regarding holy-day festivals,
                    >> especially Easter, clears
                    >> up completely when a lunar calendar, of the type we
                    >> can be reasonably certain
                    >> many Germanic tribes once used, is rendered out
                    >> against the 365.25-day of
                    >> the solar calendar we use today.
                    >
                    > === message truncated ===
                    >
                    > Actually, I was aware of the 19-year pattern. If you
                    > check out the book "Earthtime, Moontime" by Annette
                    > Hinshaw (my mother) from Llewellyn Books, you will
                    > find that she placed tables in it that will help out
                    > your own research. She was aware of the calendar
                    > staves from reading Pennick's "Practical Magic in the
                    > Northern Tradition", and there is some Norse influence
                    > on the book from my helping her.
                    >
                    > You have also made an erroneous conclusion though.
                    > Easter moves like it does because it falls on the
                    > Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -
                    > and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday. Also,
                    > most of the festivals were also working around the
                    > various harvests, cullings, and other factors that we,
                    > who no longer live by the seasons, did not have to
                    > worry about.
                    >
                    > You also missed one of my points - that the author was
                    > innately hostile to the idea of any kind of survival
                    > into modern times of the ancient religions. He went
                    > as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out all
                    > but a few of the symbols. That is not just against
                    > common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence. Read
                    > some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about some of
                    > these things.
                    >
                    > Mike
                    >
                    >
                    > __________________________________________________
                    > Do You Yahoo!?
                    > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Óðr
                    If this discussion does get moved to another list, please let me know which one. The subject matter is pertinent, especially if we are prone to attack others
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                      If this discussion does get moved to another list, please let me know
                      which one. The subject matter is pertinent, especially if we are
                      prone to attack others for their beliefs as this article was
                      certainly doing. I suppose that was the purpose in it's reposting.
                      Dan, I find your information fascinating. A debate between Mike
                      Hinshaw and yourself should be very informative if it can be kept
                      somewhat civil. We all could learn and Mike Gehringer's words are
                      most worthy to keep in mind when discussing anything of a religious
                      nature.

                      Óðr





                      --- In HeathenNews@yahoogroups.com, Dan Miller <dan@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi Mike,
                      >
                      > Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me, that you are
                      trying to educate
                      > me, when in fact it is you who should check his facts. I offer that
                      is you
                      > have have made, and are perpetuating, erroneous conclusions, not I,
                      regardless
                      > of who our mothers happen to be, or what book they have published
                      by Llewellyn.
                      >
                      > On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 03:24 PM, Mike Hinshaw wrote:
                      > >
                      > > You have also made an erroneous conclusion though.
                      > > Easter moves like it does because it falls on the
                      > > Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -
                      > > and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday. Also,
                      > > most of the festivals were also working around the
                      > > various harvests, cullings, and other factors that we,
                      > > who no longer live by the seasons, did not have to
                      > > worry about.
                      >
                      > What I am saying is that *that* is the erroneous conclusion. It is
                      not the
                      > full moon after equinox, but rather counted as four full moons
                      after Yule.
                      > You seem to have missed my point entirely, but I cannot explain
                      it otherwise,
                      > so I'll leave you to ponder it at length until it perhaps may
                      come clear
                      > to you. Once you understand it, you will no longer think you are
                      contradicting
                      > me when you state why Easter jumps around, relative to *any* fixed
                      date in
                      > the solar calendar.
                      >
                      > Perhaps your custom is to call Easter the full moon after equinox,
                      but that
                      > is not the way it was calculated in Heathen times, when it was
                      rendered as
                      > the fourth Moon following Yule. As to harvesting, cullings, and so
                      on, how
                      > does that contradict anything I have said? That almost goes
                      without saying,
                      > Not sure I follow what you're driving at there.
                      >
                      > I'm saying they used a lunar calendar to calculate Easter, have
                      showed how
                      > such a calendar renders Easter, and have offered links where I lay
                      out the
                      > evidence spanning 3000 years. You say I am in error, reiterate in
                      other words
                      > the argument I just laid out as if it is a counter-argument against
                      my position,
                      > yet offer no evidence, just repeating the modern urban-myths of
                      neo-paganism
                      > without substantial evidence to back your statements up.
                      >
                      > I'm afraid you've left me unconvinced. If I am to take you
                      seriously, you
                      > need to offer some evidence of what you are saying, preferably from
                      primary
                      > sources, with your own translations, as I have done.
                      >
                      > >
                      > > You also missed one of my points - that the author was
                      > > innately hostile to the idea of any kind of survival
                      > > into modern times of the ancient religions. He went
                      > > as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out all
                      > > but a few of the symbols. That is not just against
                      > > common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence. Read
                      > > some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about some of
                      > > these things.
                      > >
                      >
                      > I did not miss that point. I felt it needed no further comment, as
                      I was
                      > not addressing that particular question I've read some Hilda-
                      Davidson in
                      > my time... and, yes?
                      >
                      > Anyway, this subject, as interesting as it is, is not
                      really "Heathen News"
                      > , (other than perhaps it is a newsworthy story about how many
                      modern Heathen
                      > seem to have little idea what they are talking about when it comes
                      to the
                      > yearly calendar of ancient Heathen) so maybe we should move this
                      discussion
                      > to a more topical list? Not sure... how "loose" is the topic of
                      this list?
                      >
                      > Be well,
                      > Dan
                      >
                    • Dan Miller
                      ... Odr, Mike H., and all, Wassail! I am all for continuing this discussion here if there is a little wriggle-room on this list for such matters. I d like to
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                        On Wednesday, May 2, 2007, at 07:36 AM, Óðr wrote:
                        > If this discussion does get moved to another list, please let me know
                        > which one. The subject matter is pertinent, especially if we are
                        > prone to attack others for their beliefs as this article was
                        > certainly doing. I suppose that was the purpose in it's reposting.
                        > Dan, I find your information fascinating. A debate between Mike
                        > Hinshaw and yourself should be very informative if it can be kept
                        > somewhat civil. We all could learn and Mike Gehringer's words are
                        > most worthy to keep in mind when discussing anything of a religious
                        > nature.
                        >
                        > Óðr
                        >

                        Odr, Mike H., and all, Wassail!

                        I am all for continuing this discussion here if there is a little wriggle-room
                        on this list for such matters.

                        I'd like to offer my apologies anew today, both to the group as well as Mike
                        H., for the tone of my posts yesterday. Other stressors in my life seemed
                        to seep through into my posts, giving a much heavier tone to my writing than
                        would seem wise today.

                        Therefore, Mike H., please accept my apology for any slight I may have directed
                        against you and your clan, particularly your mother, in my response to yours.
                        Surely I can debate my point without that kind of vitriol. It is just that
                        your citing your mother's book only vaguely, with no specifics, does not support
                        your argument in the least. At any rate, I hope you accept my apology.

                        Perhaps I can restate myself more politely when asking you to illuminate your
                        statements with evidence.

                        For example, I remain curious to learn how you came to believe Easter Moon
                        was the *first* one after equinox? I personally have never seen that rule
                        in *any* primary source I have investigated, and in fact all my renderings
                        of the lunar calendar, and I have been using it solid for a few years years
                        now, demonstrate that your "rule" is not always true, and therefore not a
                        rule consistent with the lunar calendar, but rather is some sort of solar
                        calendar rule. For example, this year is an exception to your rule, when
                        the lunar month called Hreth Moon occurred on April 2 and Easter Moon not
                        until today, May 2.

                        And perhaps I can better express my slight frustration at the appearance, based
                        on your arguments, that you did not even take the time to read and comprehend
                        my post or of the material at the links I furnished, before proceeding boldly
                        to declare me "in error".

                        I am certainly open to constructive feedback, especially on any attempt at
                        scholarly work, and I believe peer-review to be a very important part of the
                        process. I have made errors here and there in my calculations, but they are
                        not the ones you imagine, and I will know when you have come to an understanding
                        of my argument because only at that point will my errors become obvious to
                        you.

                        So forgive my knee-jerk reaction when I perceived that (a) you had not actually
                        read and understood my argument before (b) proceeding to insinuate my incompetence
                        by suggesting I am wholly in error, and all (c) without supplying a single
                        whit of evidence in support of your assertions. It came across to me as really
                        very insulting.

                        And to the list, whom I accidently spammed with drafts, I see today that my
                        post was not seeming to further fellowship on this list and therefore threatened
                        to be counterproductive. My apologies. My usual reserve of patience seemed
                        to run a little short yesterday.

                        Live well,

                        Dan Miller
                      • Mike Hinshaw
                        Never took anything personal. I will try and keep the information pertinent, as long as the moderator lets us go on. Mike ...
                        Message 11 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                          Never took anything personal. I will try and keep the
                          information pertinent, as long as the moderator lets
                          us go on.

                          Mike

                          --- Óðr <odr9@...> wrote:

                          > If this discussion does get moved to another list,
                          > please let me know
                          > which one. The subject matter is pertinent,
                          > especially if we are
                          > prone to attack others for their beliefs as this
                          > article was
                          > certainly doing. I suppose that was the purpose in
                          > it's reposting.
                          > Dan, I find your information fascinating. A debate
                          > between Mike
                          > Hinshaw and yourself should be very informative if
                          > it can be kept
                          > somewhat civil. We all could learn and Mike
                          > Gehringer's words are
                          > most worthy to keep in mind when discussing anything
                          > of a religious
                          > nature.
                          >
                          > Óðr
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In HeathenNews@yahoogroups.com, Dan Miller
                          > <dan@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Hi Mike,
                          > >
                          > > Your self assured tone suggests, at least to me,
                          > that you are
                          > trying to educate
                          > > me, when in fact it is you who should check his
                          > facts. I offer that
                          > is you
                          > > have have made, and are perpetuating, erroneous
                          > conclusions, not I,
                          > regardless
                          > > of who our mothers happen to be, or what book they
                          > have published
                          > by Llewellyn.
                          > >
                          > > On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 03:24 PM, Mike
                          > Hinshaw wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > You have also made an erroneous conclusion
                          > though.
                          > > > Easter moves like it does because it falls on
                          > the
                          > > > Sunday after the first full moon after the
                          > Equinox -
                          > > > and Oestra's festival did not wait for Sunday.
                          > Also,
                          > > > most of the festivals were also working around
                          > the
                          > > > various harvests, cullings, and other factors
                          > that we,
                          > > > who no longer live by the seasons, did not have
                          > to
                          > > > worry about.
                          > >
                          > > What I am saying is that *that* is the erroneous
                          > conclusion. It is
                          > not the
                          > > full moon after equinox, but rather counted as
                          > four full moons
                          > after Yule.
                          > > You seem to have missed my point entirely, but
                          > I cannot explain
                          > it otherwise,
                          > > so I'll leave you to ponder it at length until
                          > it perhaps may
                          > come clear
                          > > to you. Once you understand it, you will no
                          > longer think you are
                          > contradicting
                          > > me when you state why Easter jumps around,
                          > relative to *any* fixed
                          > date in
                          > > the solar calendar.
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps your custom is to call Easter the full
                          > moon after equinox,
                          > but that
                          > > is not the way it was calculated in Heathen times,
                          > when it was
                          > rendered as
                          > > the fourth Moon following Yule. As to harvesting,
                          > cullings, and so
                          > on, how
                          > > does that contradict anything I have said? That
                          > almost goes
                          > without saying,
                          > > Not sure I follow what you're driving at there.
                          > >
                          > > I'm saying they used a lunar calendar to calculate
                          > Easter, have
                          > showed how
                          > > such a calendar renders Easter, and have offered
                          > links where I lay
                          > out the
                          > > evidence spanning 3000 years. You say I am in
                          > error, reiterate in
                          > other words
                          > > the argument I just laid out as if it is a
                          > counter-argument against
                          > my position,
                          > > yet offer no evidence, just repeating the modern
                          > urban-myths of
                          > neo-paganism
                          > > without substantial evidence to back your
                          > statements up.
                          > >
                          > > I'm afraid you've left me unconvinced. If I am to
                          > take you
                          > seriously, you
                          > > need to offer some evidence of what you are
                          > saying, preferably from
                          > primary
                          > > sources, with your own translations, as I have
                          > done.
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > You also missed one of my points - that the
                          > author was
                          > > > innately hostile to the idea of any kind of
                          > survival
                          > > > into modern times of the ancient religions. He
                          > went
                          > > > as far as to claim that the Church had wiped out
                          > all
                          > > > but a few of the symbols. That is not just
                          > against
                          > > > common wisdom, but largely ignores the evidence.
                          > Read
                          > > > some Hilda-Davidson - she actually talks about
                          > some of
                          > > > these things.
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > > I did not miss that point. I felt it needed no
                          > further comment, as
                          > I was
                          > > not addressing that particular question I've read
                          > some Hilda-
                          > Davidson in
                          > > my time... and, yes?
                          > >
                          > > Anyway, this subject, as interesting as it is, is
                          > not
                          > really "Heathen News"
                          > > , (other than perhaps it is a newsworthy story
                          > about how many
                          > modern Heathen
                          > > seem to have little idea what they are talking
                          > about when it comes
                          > to the
                          > > yearly calendar of ancient Heathen) so maybe we
                          > should move this
                          > discussion
                          > > to a more topical list? Not sure... how "loose" is
                          > the topic of
                          > this list?
                          > >
                          > > Be well,
                          > > Dan
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >


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                        • Mike Hinshaw
                          ... So, until the moderator asks us to leave, let us continue under frith. ... Happens to the best of us. I always read the messages and then mark them unread
                          Message 12 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                            --- Dan Miller <dan@...> wrote:

                            > Odr, Mike H., and all, Wassail!
                            >
                            > I am all for continuing this discussion here if
                            > there is a little wriggle-room
                            > on this list for such matters.

                            So, until the moderator asks us to leave, let us
                            continue under frith.

                            > I'd like to offer my apologies anew today, both to
                            > the group as well as Mike
                            > H., for the tone of my posts yesterday. Other
                            > stressors in my life seemed
                            > to seep through into my posts, giving a much heavier
                            > tone to my writing than
                            > would seem wise today.

                            Happens to the best of us. I always read the messages
                            and then mark them unread and deal with the rest of my
                            e-mail before coming back and replying. I have been
                            doing this for a long time. In fact, the shortness of
                            my replies are typically because I started out at 300
                            baud on local BBS's where bandwidth and time were very
                            short.

                            > Therefore, Mike H., please accept my apology for any
                            > slight I may have directed
                            > against you and your clan, particularly your mother,
                            > in my response to yours.
                            > Surely I can debate my point without that kind of
                            > vitriol. It is just that
                            > your citing your mother's book only vaguely, with no
                            > specifics, does not support
                            > your argument in the least. At any rate, I hope you
                            > accept my apology.

                            Only reason that I cited it was for the tables, and so
                            that you would know that I was familiar with the
                            Solar-Lunar calendar cycles. I have also some
                            familiarity with the similar Jewish calendar from my
                            mom's researches at the time. She cites her sources
                            in the book, but, since I am in the Public Library to
                            do my e-mail, I do not have a copy on hand.

                            > Perhaps I can restate myself more politely when
                            > asking you to illuminate your
                            > statements with evidence.

                            Always worth it.

                            > For example, I remain curious to learn how you came
                            > to believe Easter Moon
                            > was the *first* one after equinox? I personally
                            > have never seen that rule
                            > in *any* primary source I have investigated, and in
                            > fact all my renderings
                            > of the lunar calendar, and I have been using it
                            > solid for a few years years
                            > now, demonstrate that your "rule" is not always
                            > true, and therefore not a
                            > rule consistent with the lunar calendar, but rather
                            > is some sort of solar
                            > calendar rule. For example, this year is an
                            > exception to your rule, when
                            > the lunar month called Hreth Moon occurred on April
                            > 2 and Easter Moon not
                            > until today, May 2.

                            The original method was the one that I cited, and my
                            source was the Catholic Church, who originally made
                            the work. I have no source I can name, though my mom
                            may have the source listed in her book. But, if you
                            look up the history of Easter, you can find out the
                            information pretty readily. Now, if you look, you
                            will find that the celebration of Easter was not tied
                            to a specific month in the lunar calendar, but was
                            tied to the interaction of the lunar calendar and the
                            solar one - that is why Easter occurred a month ago.
                            Remember that the calandar was much more flexible
                            until it was standardized, first by the Romans, then
                            later by the Church.

                            > And perhaps I can better express my slight
                            > frustration at the appearance, based
                            > on your arguments, that you did not even take the
                            > time to read and comprehend
                            > my post or of the material at the links I furnished,
                            > before proceeding boldly
                            > to declare me "in error".

                            I did read your post, and did look at your links,
                            though I did not examine them closely. But, though I
                            perhaps did not express it as diplomatically as I
                            should have, meant that you made some errors in some
                            of your assumptions - you did not take into account
                            that the celebrations were tied not just the
                            interaction between the Solar and Lunar calendars, but
                            that they also varied by the weather and the harvests.
                            And they were not tied to certain months as much as
                            they were to the interaction.

                            > I am certainly open to constructive feedback,
                            > especially on any attempt at
                            > scholarly work, and I believe peer-review to be a
                            > very important part of the
                            > process. I have made errors here and there in my
                            > calculations, but they are
                            > not the ones you imagine, and I will know when you
                            > have come to an understanding
                            > of my argument because only at that point will my
                            > errors become obvious to
                            > you.

                            As I said, the errors that I saw were in some of your
                            assumptions, not in your basic thesis. But you have
                            to be careful not to allow your modern assumptions and
                            ideas to disallow you to see the patterns that you may
                            have missed. Calling a particular moon an "Easter
                            Moon" is simply not held up well when you study the
                            customs that go with the celebration - there are times
                            when the moon falls later than would be practical for
                            the symbols. Yes, a primary calendar was the lunar
                            one - but just as important was the seasonal one - a
                            solar calendar. They lived by both, and their
                            interactions, not by one or another.

                            > So forgive my knee-jerk reaction when I perceived
                            > that (a) you had not actually
                            > read and understood my argument before (b)
                            > proceeding to insinuate my incompetence
                            > by suggesting I am wholly in error, and all (c)
                            > without supplying a single
                            > whit of evidence in support of your assertions. It
                            > came across to me as really
                            > very insulting.

                            I never implied that you were incompetant - any more
                            than you did with what you had said that I was
                            replying to. But, I will admit to a bit of a
                            knee-jerk reaction as well. You seemed to assume that
                            no one else had looked into the subject. I have been
                            studying some things for 35 years, and on my best day,
                            I cannot remember all of my sources - I read very fast
                            and practically grew up in a library. But I have read
                            source, primary through quaternary sources, on this
                            subject - but many of them I read over twenty years
                            ago. I am not trying to be an Academic - just to
                            understand how our ancestors actually lived.

                            > And to the list, whom I accidently spammed with
                            > drafts, I see today that my
                            > post was not seeming to further fellowship on this
                            > list and therefore threatened
                            > to be counterproductive. My apologies. My usual
                            > reserve of patience seemed
                            > to run a little short yesterday.
                            >
                            > Live well,
                            >
                            > Dan Miller

                            Let us just keep things civil.

                            Mike



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                          • Dan Miller
                            Hail! This post is quite lengthly, so I will dispense with quoting anybody and get right into it. Most of the below I wrote this morning, but some of it I
                            Message 13 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                              Hail!

                              This post is quite lengthly, so I will dispense with quoting anybody and get
                              right into it. Most of the below I wrote this morning, but some of it I pasted
                              it in from my own emails to other lists on this same topic, as I have been
                              doing a lot of explaining of this calendar system of late. My cross-posted
                              text is mixed throughout, so any previous readers of mine may want to give
                              it scan anyhow.

                              Yes, the Catholic Church does have a different way of calculating the date
                              of Easter, based on a solar calendar, that is exactly what I am saying. Prior
                              to their own calendar reform, it was calculated according to Jewish Passover,
                              using the Judaic lunar calendar. After the Church penetrated NW Europe, for
                              that holiday it misappropriated the name "Easter", based on the Heathen holy-day
                              which occurred *approximately* around the same time of year.

                              However, no where outside the Catholic Church do we find any mention of that
                              method of calculating Easter. Continental sources such as Grimm which describe
                              Ostara celebrations in Germany, and what not, all refer to the transition
                              period between Heathenism and Christianity, or survivals late into the Christian
                              era, and all refer times when the Christian solar calendar reckoning of the
                              date would have been used.

                              The only other reference to Easter that I recall, is in Bede's 7th century
                              De Tempore Ratione ("On the Reckoning of Time"), where the lunar calendar
                              month names and basic rules are laid out very clearly, and where he state
                              quite clearly that Easter-Month is the month in which rites are held for the
                              goddess of the same name.

                              Here, Bede is reporting not on his own, Christian solar calendar, but rather
                              the lunar calendar that was in use by the heathen locals. While there is
                              often reason to maintain a grain of doubt when regarding Christian sources,
                              something as mechanical as a calendar system description, especially when
                              it refers to a perfectly workable system, can probably be relied up on fairly
                              accurate.

                              And while I make the suggestion that the lunar calendar was universal among
                              Germanic tribes prior to Christianization, at no point do I mean to say that
                              I think all the calendar months had the same name or symbolism for each and
                              every the various tribes all over ancient Heathendom. On the contrary, other
                              than the month of Yule, there is a high degree of variability in month-names
                              from one tribe to the next, obviously reflecting local traditions, environmental
                              conditions, climate, game and agricultural cycles. This high degree of symbolic
                              flexibility is seen throughout surviving folk-customs, for only one example
                              the tradition of poles and pole-dancing, which for the more southern tribes
                              in relatively temperate conditions figured in the holy rites as early as April
                              and May, while for the Northerly tribes such as the Norse, pole dancing does
                              not figure in until high midsummer.

                              Because Tactitus also reports clues which are most sensical in light of a
                              lunar calendar system, and because we can demonstrate with various artifacts
                              that lunar calendars have been used in unbroken tradition in NW Europe for
                              the last 3500 years at the very least, not to mention the abundant etymological
                              evidence in surviving Germanic languages, it is can be said we a fair degree
                              of certainty that lunar calendar systems *were* used universally by Germanic
                              tribes prior to the coming of Christianity, whatever the particular month-names
                              and symbolism from one tribe ot the next.

                              Bede does mention that the year is divided into two seasons, summer and winter,
                              at the time where day and night are of equal length. But this does not mean
                              that the Germanic tribes followed a solar calendar, rather that the lunar
                              month in question occurred at that time of year. He goes on to state that
                              the beginning of winter is two full moons before Yule Moon. In light of that
                              fact, why would the beginning of summer, Easter, six months later, the fourth
                              moon after Yule Moon, be calculated any differently? To suggest that they
                              had a different method of calculating the first day of summer than they had
                              for the first day of winter is nonsensical and therefore probably in error.

                              Snorri mentions that there are three main holy-days, the first day of summer,
                              the first day of winter and midwinter or Yule.

                              Snorri in the Heimskringla:

                              þâ skyldi blôta î môti vetri til ârs, enn at miðjum vetri blôta til grôðrar,
                              it þriðja at sumri, þat var sigrblôt

                              "On winter day there should be blood-sacrifice for a good year, and in the
                              middle of winter for a good crop; and the third sacrifice should be on summer
                              day, for victory in battle." (Ynglinga Saga Chapter 8)
                              (Translation from http://www.ealdriht.org/modules/tides/ )

                              It is safe, nevertheless to assume the existence of a midsummer celebration,
                              based on modern survivals of the same, and it is understandable that Midsummer
                              might not be listed by Snorri as a high holy day simply because in the only
                              just concluding "Viking Age", midsummer is prime traveling, trading, slaving,
                              raiding and hunting season, and many men were likely to be away at trading,
                              etc. that time of year. Those Heathen left at home, however, generally continued
                              to celebrate their own smaller Midsummer celebrations. Thing-tide, on the
                              other hand, varied by months from one tribe to the next, but tended to be
                              called later in the summer, after the travelling traders had returned home
                              to begin helping with the first harvests, namely in the couple of months after
                              summer solstice.

                              Tacitus also mentions a great celebration in the spring, but also curiously
                              notes their odd division of the year into different seasons than the Roman
                              custom. Oddly, he mentions three seasons, as I recall.

                              From Tacitus to Grimm we have reference to Germanic tribes meeting on full
                              moons.

                              None of this detracts from the assertion that the date of Heathen Easter, the
                              first day and month of summer, *was* indeed calculated according to a lunar
                              calendar, and not a solar one. That the Catholic Church later calculated
                              their own festival of the same name in a different method is really irrelevant,
                              even if it did occur at *about* the same time of year, usually within a
                              few weeks.

                              Now, when I posit all this, I do not mean to suggest the Germanic tribes were
                              unaware of the vernal equinox. On the contrary, as I will go on to show. Rather,
                              I am suggesting that the 4 weeks of "play" for a date like Yule Moon or Easter
                              Moon over the 19 year cycle might be objectionable to the modern mind, with
                              its tendency to want all its ducks in a row, and so many of us reject the
                              notion outright, "That couldn't possible be right, because one year Easter
                              would be in April and the next in May? How could that be?"

                              It is all too obvious that activities like planting, culling, hunting and
                              harvesting, etc., to which many of the month names refer, must actually be
                              executed after observation of the local environment, wildlife and livestock.
                              Obviously the ewes do not ask the Godhi if it is yet Three-Milkings Month
                              in order to start producing copious amounts of milk. Even using a solar calendar
                              like ours, we cannot predict the weather. Where in the celestial sphere the
                              sun happens to be is only a most general predictor of conditions. Some years
                              might well have frost at Midsummer night and no snow all winter long. All
                              that is a no brainer, and to use the fact of the unpredictability of weather
                              to dispute the use of a lunar calendar by Germanic tribes is simply a kind
                              of strawman argument.

                              What I am suggesting is that a month's "error margin" in these matter is only
                              so objectionable to the modern mind, not to ancient Heathens, who it can be
                              reasonably argued, did in fact us a lunar calendar and *not* a solar one.

                              Mike H., you have suggested that the Germanic calendar was a blending of solar
                              and lunar calendars, and in this you statement you are correct. But you state
                              that the solar anchor, if you will, that solar date upon which we hinge the
                              whole lunar year, is vernal equinox. However, this assertion is in contradiction
                              to any primary source I have encountered, most notably Bede who states that
                              in fact it was the solar date of winter solstice which served to anchor the
                              lunar year to the solar one. To ensure that Yule month always occurred over
                              winter solstice necessitated the addition of the 13th intercalary month (over
                              midsummer).

                              Mike, you cite the Catholic Church, a citing which I must, for the reasons
                              laid out above, reject as valid to the debate, other than on a specifically
                              Christian tangent. If you can cite any reference to any Heathen tribe using
                              the rule that Easter is the full moon after Vernal Equinox, please supply
                              it. The library would seem like the ideal place to answer such a question,
                              so fire away! Until you do, I am afraid your argument remains unconvincing.

                              I have offered reasonable evidence that the solar anchor was winter solstice,
                              and that the lunation in which it occured was always named Yule, and that
                              Easter Moon was four full moons after it, just as Winterfull is two Moons
                              before it, and that these rules are true whether the current year as 12 or
                              13 months. Further I have boldly stated that according to my research, which
                              is ongoing, many modern Heathen are simply mistaken as to the nature of the
                              Heathen calendar rendering of holy days like Easter.

                              It is the first day of Heathen summer, however you want to cut it, and it
                              can occur anywhere from late March to early May, depending on the lunar calendar
                              year. Yes, it happens to occur around the equinox, but it is being counted
                              from the previous winter solstice, not the equinox itself. So, as respectfully
                              as I am able today, Mike, I have to put forward that you, and a hoard of other
                              modern Heathen, are mistaken. Call me too bold if you must.

                              By the way, today is the first day of summer, Easter Moon, so Season's Tidings
                              to all!

                              Now, Mike, as to your earlier mention of the four quarter festivals and the
                              four cross-quarter festivals, language which is patently neo-pagan, if you
                              will forgive me, my research has uncovered something different again that
                              either the mainstream neo-pagan 8 sabbats or the neo-Heathen 8 solar holy
                              days, which are said to include, as you mentioned, something similar to:

                              Yule (Dec 21),
                              Thorrablot (Feb 5),
                              Ostara (Mar 21)
                              Valpurgisnacht (May 5),
                              Midsummer (Jun 21),
                              Loaf-Night (Aug 5),
                              Winterfinding (Sept. 21),
                              Einharjar's Day (Nov 5)

                              (Names may change from kindred to kindred, etc.)

                              Whereas, here is an example of a traditional lunar calendar, both the 12 month
                              year and the 13th month year.

                              WINTER
                              1. Winterfylleth Moon
                              2. Blot Moon
                              3. Yule Moon (always containing winter solstice)
                              4. After-Yule Moon
                              5. Sol Moon
                              6. Hredh Moon

                              SUMMER
                              1. Easter Moon
                              2. Thrimilki Moon
                              3. Before-Litha Moon
                              4. After-Litha Moon
                              5. Weod Moon
                              6. Holy Moon

                              The Heathen year began with six full moons of winter and six full moons of
                              summer, like above. As we've discussed, they needed a 13th month every few
                              years to re-synchronize the lunar year to the solar year. They added it over
                              Midsummer, so on these "leap-years", the 13 months looked like this:

                              WINTER
                              1. Winterfylleth Moon
                              2. Blot Moon
                              3. Yule Moon (containing winter solstice)
                              4. After-Yule Moon
                              5. Sol Moon
                              6. Hredh Moon

                              SUMMER
                              1. Easter Moon
                              2. Thrimilki Moon
                              3. Before-Litha Moon
                              4. THREE_LITHA Moon (containing summer solstice)
                              5. After-Litha Moon
                              6. Weod Moon
                              7. Holy Moon

                              These 13 month long years were called "three litha years" because, as you
                              can see, three of the moons are Litha moons.

                              As to why they chose to add the leap-month over the summer months? I mean,
                              if any season were to have to have an extra month, wouldn't we want it to
                              be summer? ;^)

                              Now I am sure the gods and ancestors appreciate anything in the way of reverent
                              attention from the living, and could probably care less whether we follow
                              a solar or a lunar calendar in our execution of our troth, as long as continue
                              to make the appropriate offerings according to the time and tide. I am sure
                              a few weeks margin of error, between those Heathen who follow the modern solar
                              wheel of 8 holy days and those Heathen who follow the elder and traditional
                              lunar calendar, is of little concern to the gods.

                              And trying to live our lives by a lunar calendar could be challenging,
                              unless we own our own business of the type that we make our own hours and
                              days off. But then, most of our friends and families work a regular five
                              day week, anyways. I suppose modern Heathen could use the lunar calendar as
                              a liturgical calendar of sorts, to time out the holy-tides, at least loosely.

                              But I think it is much more important that when we state that we are Heathen,
                              that we know what we are talking about. If we are to say the ancient Heathen
                              did this or believed that, it had better be true. If we are not sure, we
                              had better say. If we are simply guessing, we should let everybody know.

                              This applies to every aspect of our research, including the holy tides.

                              If we, like some others, sit back and state "The ancient pagans of Europe
                              celebrated the 8 Sabbats," or something similar, as, Mike, you appeared to
                              me at least to be saying, or some other similarly bold sounding statement,
                              we (a) are simply ignorant of the facts, or (b) are guilty of woeful negligence
                              or gross ineptitude in our research, or (c) are bald-faced liars who are knowingly
                              misleading others.

                              If we on the other hand, state that "The evidence suggests that the Germanic
                              tribes used a lunar calendar to compute the holy-days, probably met on regularly
                              on full moons, and held at least three community-wide High Holy Days a year,
                              " it will sound impressive mostly because it is most likely true, and because
                              it has been properly qualified. And our public statements must reflect the
                              facts, and reasonable suppositions derived therefrom, or else our wayfaring
                              folk, governments, academics and everybody else will just look at us like
                              we are just a bunch of dreamers, losers and flakes. (Wait a sec- Isn't that
                              *just* what happened to the neo-pagan movement in general?)

                              But back to our topic, so far we have established only two main linch-pins
                              of solar elements in the Germanic lunar calendar:

                              Yule: midwinter, roughly Dec. 21 (winter solstice)
                              Ere-Litha or Litha: midsummer, roughly Jun. 21 (summer solstice)

                              The calendar is systematic, in a very elegant way, but it is not the kind
                              of system
                              many modern Heathen take to, who seem to prefer a more easily predictable,
                              regularly occurring, annual calendar date. The "orthodox Asatru" calendar
                              as well as the Wiccan Eight Sabbats are two prime examples of this.

                              Yet there are hints of some kind of eight-fold division of the heavens, and
                              by extension, therefore, an eight-fold division of the sun's yearly journey
                              around the celestial sphere. From the Voluspa:

                              5.
                              Sol varp sunnan,
                              sinni mana,
                              hendi inni haegri
                              um himinjodhur;
                              sol thadh ne vissi
                              hvar hun sali atti,
                              stjornur thadh ne vissu
                              hvar thaer stadhi attu,
                              mani thadh ne vissi
                              hvadh hann megins atti.

                              Sun cast from south,
                              in company with the Moon,
                              to the right-hand home
                              of heaven's edge;
                              Sun wit not
                              where were her hall's eighths,
                              Stars wit not
                              when their steads to take,
                              Moon wit
                              not what were his mighty eighths.
                              (translation my own)

                              Interesting here is the fact that there seems to be an eight-fold division
                              of the Sun's hall ("sali" - the front entrance of a house or hall) in "...hun
                              sali atti", or '...her halls eight'.

                              Also interesting, that even though we can otherwise prove that the Germanic
                              tribes viewed the lunar cycle as consisting of two half months, nyd and nydhum,
                              or waxing and waning phases, we see here that the moon is also described
                              as not also knowing his "eight".

                              This leads me to speculate that what is being divided into eights, here, is
                              the celestial sphere itself, or more rightly the band of the ecliptic, which
                              marks the sun and planet's paths around the equator of the celestial sphere.
                              It is not being said that the moon has eight phases, rather it is being
                              said that there are eight possible sectors of the sky in which the moon could
                              find itself, whatever its phase.

                              Adding weight to this speculation are two other interesting facts.

                              First, the traditional Germanic names of the directions, North, South, East
                              and West, the names of the famous dwarves of Freya's affections, of course,
                              are an integral part of the eight-fold compass which we inherit from the
                              Nordic Culture, which is even today, as it has ever been, N, NE, E, SE, S,
                              SW, W and NW.

                              Secondly, this basic compass is also seen in the tradition of Old Norse "Daymarks"
                              , which were used to "tell the hour of the day". There were eight daymarks,
                              not coincidentally, some of the names of which still survive today, including
                              "Midnight", "Midday", "Morning", "Evening", etc. The daymarks tides are also
                              said to have been established by the gods in Volsupa. Each of the eight-fold
                              divisions
                              of the day referred to the sun's position on the compass. At Midnight the
                              sun was due North (and also "underground" for anyone below the Arctic Circle)
                              ; at Midday the sun was due south. Etc...

                              So my speculation is this, that both the celestial sphere, and the terrestrial
                              "disk" (containing the observer at the center of a surrounding horizon), were
                              divided into eights, and depending on the time of day, month and year, and
                              where in the 19 year Metonic cycle, the celestial sphere and the terrestrial
                              "disk" were always spinning in an ever changing and grand cyclical dance.

                              Anyway, not to wax too poetic, or loose you in astronomical details, what
                              I am trying to say that in terms of German stargazing and astronomy, which
                              was likely more sophisticated than we know, there is evidence to suggest that
                              the sun's yearly path through the stars was indeed seen as a journey through
                              "eight halls". But this is not to say that popular public festivals were
                              privy to these obscure astronomical facts, and in fact we see the popular
                              calendar, in use for when to plant, cull, blot and party, etc. was the lunar
                              calendar we have been discussing. This is to suggest that the specialists
                              whose jobs it was to observe the heavens had a practical system of describing
                              heavenly phenomena in ways that applied equally to navigation at sea as it
                              would to reckoning of time and holy-tides.

                              My speculated eight halls of the sun, or more rightly, the eight entrances
                              to the hall of the sun, transpose onto to the modern solar calendar roughly
                              as below. These are the dates when the sun passes into the next eighth-part
                              of its yearly circle through the stars.

                              Winter:
                              Sept 21
                              Nov 6
                              Dec 21
                              Feb. 5
                              Summer:
                              Mar. 21
                              May 6
                              Jun 21
                              Aug 6

                              In terms of aiding navigation, this system simply and easily placed the sun
                              against the stars in terms of its N-E-S-W position on the circle of the ecliptic
                              at any time of year, allowing sailors to more accurately gauge the hour of
                              the night and their North-South latitudinal position by the orientation of
                              the stars throughout the year.

                              The Eighths of the Moon's cycle alluded to in the Volsupa, I speculate simply
                              reflect a similar positioning system for the moon, but on its monthly circle
                              around the celestial sphere. This is not as straight forward a reckoning,
                              as I have been trying to convey, because the moon's phase, every month it
                              brushes by a particular star, will vary in a grand 19 year cycle.

                              And yet, all this still does not detract from the fact that Germanic tribes
                              can be said to have reckoned holy days according to the lunar calendar. What
                              we see in the 8 steads is the celestial background upon which the whole 19
                              year lunar calendar cycle plays out.

                              Live bold!
                              -Dan Ralph Miller
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