Calendars of the Nine Nations

Belva

Calendars in Anieth are intimately tied to astronomy. The cycles are determined by eclipses and the year begin and holidays are determined by the rising and setting of certain stars. These people counted twenty stars of significance. They used a five-fold system for star mapping and for their observatories. In this picture, you can see the rising and setting of the stars around the horizon superimposed upon the round floor of an observatory. (See the astronomy pages for more information about observatories.) I have also marked out the "home" of each of the stars on the five-fold map.

Rising and Setting of Stars

Also is it useful to remember that we are dealing here with a pre-literate society. Everything had to be memorized. The way that thousands and thousands of lines of lore was memorized was in verse using a correspondence system that allowed for poetic liberties to make the verses easier to remember. Here are just two of the correspondences, animals and trees.


Stellar Correspondences

And here, the stars alone with the letters and the addition of another layer of correspondence with the seasons. We still have not determined if the number of seasons are four, five or six in Anieth since they did not refer to seasons as we do. I am merely using this dating to facilitate my explanation of the differences between the Nations as you shall soon see.

Stars and letters

I'm now going to show you a series of images showing where each of the Nations begin their year and to what orientation is their observatory.


Pine and Aspen

You will note here that although the sky looks the same for each of these Nations, the Fire Nation (Ochre) is observing the setting of Sirius in mid-summer and the Sky Nation (Aspen) is observing the setting of Deneb in February.


Holly

And here is the Moon Nation, with the sacred king ritual taking place in late autumn with the rising of the Wolf constellation and Antares/Mag.


Birch and Yew

Again, the Magenta and Saffron Nations share a sky, but their orientation is opposite. The Deer Nation celebrates the king ritual in the spring with the rising of Aldebaran, where the Gold Nation celebrates with the setting of Altair, each of these their totem animals.


Oak

Although one might expect the Autumn Nation to orient their observator toward the Heart of the Bear (Croi/Sirius) they have put the sign of Croi into a more central position in their observatory.


Ash and Vine

With the adoption of the Thorn King (also the patron of the Gold Nation), the Summer Nation (Green) changed their totem plant to the bramble. Yet nothing else changed with the high position of their totem star, (Thuban in Draco) and their king celebration at the advent of spring. The Red Nation of the Rising Sun, appropriately begins their year at the height of summer with the rising of the Horse constellation (Orion).


Ash and Vine

The Star Nation also begins their year with Beltaine, when the Ducks are overhead, yet they also have another important celebration in mid-summer called the Wake of the King at dawn, again when the Ducks are overhead. This for them signifies the migration of the birds across the river of stars.

Cycles

In the Cycles article, I showed you the patterns of the years for the Nations, which is independent of the time of year of the start of the year. You see how these are staggered so that no two Nations can ally in any way. Please see the articles on politics, yet, in brief, the Clans did not want any of the Nations to be "friendly" to one another. The Animal Kings were elected from foreigners or the lower classes; the Tree Kings were from the noble caste, but from outside of the local ruling family. Jealousies abounded between queens and their kings if each vied for more power or wealth. And in nineteen years it was all over. Queens had to retire, kings were killed in the sacred ceremonies, colleges were changed out; in short, a Nation was in chaos during the change of generations.

Here is the calendar showing the passage of time of the books with the Nations to the left of the years.


Nations

© 2012, A.R. Stone



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