The Royal Calendar
Do you remember a version of this rhyme?
Thirty days hath September, April, June and November…
This traditional English mnemonic is used to remember the months of our Gregorian calendar. But it has no rhythm which suggests that it doesn’t reflect our seasonal cycles. It’s a mess because we took the fractional length of the Earth year and divided it unequally by a random number of periods. To remember these varying lengths, we developed the knuckle mnemonic on the grounds that using your fist was easier.
Happily, the real tempo of the cosmos is governed by the feminine cycle. In humans, the menstrual period is the natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system (specifically the uterus and ovaries) that makes pregnancy possible. Governed by Seshat, this 28-day cycle starts with ovulation and is reflected in the lunar month:
The Royal Calendar is based on the 13 Moon, 28-day cycle. So were the Mayan, Incan and Druidic calendars. Every Moon in the calendar has exactly four, seven-day weeks which makes 28 (perfect) days in total. So a lunar year is made up of 13 cycles and so is an Earth year. This pattern implies that time is a universal factor of synchronisation: it distinguishes between a natural timing frequency that aligns the universal order and an artificial timing frequency that governs modern human civilisation.
Today, most of us know that we have four seasons in an Earth year. Some of us know that each season is 13 weeks long or 91 days in length. The middle day of each season is referred to as an equinox or a solstice. At the solstices, the Sun will appear at the top or bottom of an analemma (below). Equinoxes, in turn, appear below the neck. So 13 rules the number of cycles (of 7 days each) in a lunar season and the number of cycles (of 28 days each) in an Earth year. This can be written:
» 13 weeks of 7 days = 91 days «
» 13 months of 28 days = 364 days «
Above: a winter solstice above the Callanish Stones, Scotland
The Royal Calendar, of course, is based on this Möbius pattern. If we do a time exposure of the Sun in the sky, the resulting analemma governs not just our seasons but also those of the solar system. The north–south component of the analemma results from the change in the Sun’s declination due to the tilt of Earth’s axis of rotation. The east–west component results from the nonuniform rate of change of the Sun’s right ascension, governed by the combined effects of Earth’s axial tilt and orbital eccentricity.
So the 13 Moon, 28-day calendar is the true standard of time for anyone wishing to divinely align their awareness. As a perfect measure of cosmic time, this calendar is actually a “synchronometer”. Followed daily, it gives us a new cadence to our lives. But how to convert one calendar to the other? Well, if you look carefully below you can see the Gregorian calendar dates in smaller type beneath the lunar cycle. Indeed, each of the 13 moons has a power and quality which define an annual program to synchronise our consciousness with deeper solar cycles.
So how did we justify adding a synchronous day above to take us to to 365 days? Well, this special day falls on the heliacal rising of Sirius or July 26 in our current calendar. It means that we add a day every four lunar cycles. But it also means we add a day every four Earth cycles. This order and balance is called the Law of the Cosmos. The calendar is suddenly synchronous:
» 4 Moon cycles + 1 day = 1 Earth cycle (365 days) «
» 4 Earth cycles + 1 day = 1 Sun cycle (1,461 days) «
What we used to do, and what all advanced races still do, is to ensure that the Moon, Earth and Sun cycles work in harmony without disrupting each other. This way we start to see that an Earth year of 365.25 days is fractional: it is really a solar season that is one quarter of a solar year of 1,461 whole days.
The question then becomes: what is the star that governs our solar system? Well, the Egyptians figured it out—they knew that our Sun takes 1,461 complete days to reappear in the sky in the same place (the solar cycle) and that Sirius takes 1,461 complete years to do the same thing (the Sothic cycle). Sirius, therefore, was known as the “spiritual sun” of our Sun because it had a synchronistic time cycle:
» 365.25 solar years = 1 Sothic cycle «
So while Earth travels around the Sun every 365.25 cycles, the Sun travels around Sirius every 365.25 cycles, too. It means that Earth is harmonic and part of a flower that blooms far out into the galaxy. This is why the goddess Sopdet was portrayed with a pentagram above her head. Furthermore, it was Sopdet’s Song the people sang to herald the New Year on July 26. So the combined analemmas of the Sun and Sirius formed an equilateral pentagon:
When the equilateral pentagon is dissected into triangles, two of them appear as isosceles (the orange and blue triangles) and the other as a scalene (the green triangle):
Here we are reminded of the Egyptian hieroglyphic for Sirius (below) which has three symbols: the pentagram, the isosceles triangle and the dome. The dome represents the equilateral pentagon as a function of two variables that can be plotted in the 2D plane. Each pair of values (α, β) maps to a single point of the plane and to a single pentagon.
When the Moon “occults” the Sun during an eclipse it happens when the Sun, the Moon and the Earth have the same elliptical longitude. When this new moon eclipses the vernal equinox sun the energy of REBIRTH can be profoundly felt on Earth. This implied that the Zep Tepi calendar began with the ultimate quadfecta: Leo rising due east—on the vernal equinox—before a total solar eclipse—at noon.
But was there such a conjunction? Finding a solar eclipse on the vernal equinox is one thing, but we also needed a point of reference outside the solar system. If we accept Thotmoses IV’s Dream Stele that the Sphinx was built upon the “Holy Place of Zep Tepi” then the Hermetic phrase “as above, so below” gives us a clue that a star alignment once marked the start of the Royal Calendar.
Above: the leopardess rises due east in the morning twilight
Although Leo is associated with the heart and with the Sun in astrology, astronomy reinforces this idea because Regulus follows the Sun’s path on the ecliptic. Due to the fact that this star moves just like a “mini Sun” and also remains the brightest in the constellation of Leo, it carries the title “Little King”. So what era reflects the image above? Well, about -9,100 in astronomical units. If we transition anywhere outside this time frame, Leo (with its belly on the horizon) rises away from Azimuth 90°.
Above: a noon solar eclipse in Leo on the vernal equinox
By rocking the sky backwards and forwards with Stellarium we can search for solar eclipses on the vernal equinox in Leo that might suit our start date of -9,100. Sure enough, we can infer a conjunction at midday on March 20, -9,124. Converting this to our calendar the starting year of The Royal Calendar then becomes:
» 9,125 BCE «
Although programs like Stellarium can be illuminating, we must take into account the shorter tropical year when dealing with these vast time spans. This shortfall of about 0.0078 days a year results in the date slipping by several months over 11,000 years. In the screenshot above, Stellarium mistakenly shows a “vernal equinox” on 2/6/-9,124.
Above: Leo rises in the east just as Aquarius sinks in the west
So this lunar, solar and stellar conjunction in 9,125 BCE marked the beginning of time. A few months later the Nile would flood upon the helical rising of Sirius and the Sothic cycle would commence. To celebrate this astronomical “Schelling Point,” our ancestors carved a massive monument from the living limestone that eventually became an enduring legacy. While the Sun and stars once held the eyes of the Sphinx, it was the Moon that swelled our hearts to these conjunctions.
This profound feeling of REBIRTH guided the shamans who seeded this wisdom for future generations. While this golden age has been washed away, its influences are still apparent when we look to the heavens. Once upon a time, Leo and Aquarius brought together “big heart” and “big mind” as polarities on opposite sides of the zodiac. This best of both worlds once resulted in a playful, generous culture with an inquisitive nature.
Diametrical signs are really like two sides of the same coin—they are concerned with identical issues but are just oriented in opposite directions. Both houses are concerned with creativity, progress and expression yet approach them quite differently: Leo deals with these issues from a PERSONAL standpoint while Aquarius addresses these concerns from a COLLECTIVE point of view. As we enter this new age we will revisit many of the same dramas from our past albeit from a contrary perspective.
Over 11,000 years ago Egypt was subject to the great deluges. The glaciers were melting and the Earth was coming to life after a long ice age—it was a time of rebirth and renewal. This was due to the new active cycle of the Sun which would even result in the Nile changing direction. These torrential rains would also leave their erosional legacy around the Sphinx enclosure and reveal that this monument was built before the pyramids. It was a time of profound conjunction between Leo and Aquarius: for “barbarians” to have measured time in this monumental way takes a level of sophistication that boggles the mind.
Above: Seshat was built at a time of extreme precipitation and climate change
Although the shamanic vision of Seshat was eventually obscured, this era was a high water mark in human history because the wisdom of the Milky Way informed the Nile directly. During this golden age of the Shemsu Hor, the river temples were mapped and the gods were named. Where there had only been forts or ports in various parts of the country, now there emerged towns with their own unique influences. Egypt matured as a scientific, cultural and spiritual centre and began to develop priest, merchant and military classes.
Four Sothic cycles later in 3,281 BCE this pre-dynastic period would come to an end and Egypt would take its first steps towards unification. As the First Dynasty emerged however, the gods themselves would be muddied as the Nile deviated from the Milky Way—even the Sphinx would devolve from a leopardess to a lion. The Feast of the Tail would obscure the real reason why pharaohs were depicted this way as esoteric Egypt slowly became exoteric Egypt. Over thousands of years the climate transitioned from wet to dry and the country became a caricature of itself. As John Anthony West put it:
Egyptian civilisation was not a development, it was a legacy.
As dusk fell we came to believe that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Even though we corrected this spacial error, our temporal worldview hasn’t evolved in line with this: in calendar terms we are still trying to place Earth at the centre of the cosmic clock by ignoring the Moon and Sirius.
Above: each seasonal face of El Castillo has 91 steps
However, by dealing with cosmic wholes we can enlarge our context and align ourselves with deeper cycles. Prime numbers like 13 are prevalent in these rhythms because the universe prefers wholes: primes are symbolic of unity and indivisibility. As we journey through the seventh Sothic cycle of the Royal Calendar, remaining synchronous is a powerful way to live our lives. It is time to remember the eternal mnemonic that reconciles our lunar, terrestrial and solar rhythms. Like El Castillo at Chichen Itza we start from the bottom and add one day at the top:
Four swings plus one.
Ninety one beats the drum
In their slow dance with the Sun.
Thirteen songs the Moon and Earth hum