A Bioregional Calendar

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There have been many different calendars used by various cultures during different periods. At present human society is dominated by a single calendar system. This is a reflection of a culture of dominance permeating humane society. A Bioregional Calendar (ABC) is an alternative that provides humanity with the ability to organize while encouraging autonomous cultural expression.

All calendars have some relationship with the solar system - the earth, sun and moon. In humane society growing food is the most important activity. Naturally nothing else can happen if there is no food. For this reason ABC uses the seasons as determined by the solstice and equinox in its basic structure. In A Base the fourth and fourteenth quarts begin on an equinox. The eighth and eighteenth quarts begin on a solstice.

In this case the convention is that the calendar is determined by events in nature. Whatever day a solstice or equinox occurs is the beginning of the corresponding quart. The day begins and ends at mean solar midnight and is relevant in every location. There is no arbitrary date line. These events can easily be determined to any degree of accuracy , the important thing is that we, as human beings, are in sympathy with the seasons.

The earth revolves around the sun in an ellipse. When the earth is near the sun the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun and experiences winter. Coincidentally the earth must travel faster around to sun. When the earth is farther from the sun it moves slower. What this means is that the seasons have different lengths. On day may be added or taken away from alternate quarts to reflect this.


A Bioregional Year

Years begin and end on the winter solstice. There is no need to add a day every four years because ABC does not require the new year to begin at midnight. The new year begins when the earth is at the winter solstice. That will occur at a different time of the day around the world.

The seasons regularly begin midway between the Solstice and Equinox. The astronomic conditions are being described as opposed to the incidental changes in more local climates. For this reason the calendar is appropriate for members of all communities throughout the world.

The Names of the Days

symbol for Sunday
symbol for Airday
symbol for Waterday
symbol for Grounday

The days are named Sunday, Airday, Waterday and Grounday , reflecting our dependance on the environment for our survival. This emphasizes a social orientation towards preservation of the biosphere. Individuals and communities further refine this structure to suit their needs.

Counting the Years

Humanity has come of age. The use of technology has made humanity immensely powerful. The question is will this power be used to create or destroy. This is like an adolescent marveling in new abilities of strength and intelligence. But will this child survive when there is no wisdom to moderate behavior? Modern society is at this point in development. This will always be demonstrated by the phenomenon of technological warfare and the development of nuclear energy. A Bioregional Calendar counts the years from the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The prefix A.H. represents After Hiroshima, B.H. represents Before Hiroshima. The time of this writing is Grounday Athwinter 25 AH65.

Naming the Quarts

Each season has specific characteristics and so it has a unique identity. The angle of the earths axis of rotation relative to the plane of revolution and the angular velocity of the earth define the seasons. ABC uses a number-symbol combination to identify each of the quarts. Numbers are used to represent quarts and symbols are used to describe the seasons.

ABC uses two methods of naming the quarts. One method is the standard form and is used between cultures. The other method is cultural. In this case any culture, community or individual can name the quarts as they wish. The number-symbol combination is used between groups unfamiliar with each others particular naming practices.
 symbol for northern winter

The symbol for the for quarts of winter. The horizontal line represents the horizon, the circle describes the daily arc of the suns path across the sky. In the north the sun is low in the sky and the day is short. Symultaniously in the south the sun is high in the sky and the day is long. The horizon line cuts through the arc of the sun. This is a description of what is actually experienced.There are four quarts in each season. The quarts are defined by a number preceeding the symbol. In winter the numbers are six, seven, eight and one consecutively. The first day of eight-winter or Athwinter in this edition always begins on the winter solstice.
symbol for northern spring

This is the symbol used in conjunction with the numbers two, three, four and five, the four quarts of spring. In this case the horizon line bisects the arc of the sun idicating that the day is of equal lenght in the north and the south. The verticle line indicates that the daily arc of the sun is moving higher in the north. The first day of four-spring or Charwiosna always ocurrs of the vernal equinox.
symbol of northern summer

This represents the northern summer and the southern winter. The sun is high in the north and the arc is low in the south. The numbers six, seven, eight and one proceed this symbol to describe the quarts of summer. The first day of Athrorum or eight-summer always begins on the summer solstice.
symbol for northern fall

In the symbol for the quarts of fall the verticle line indicates that the hours of daylinght are decreasing in the north and increasing in the south. Two, three, four and five proceed this symbol. Although I have been refering these sysmbols to the seasons their actual reference is the ellips of the earth around the sun. It is difficult to describe sections of an ellips without naming the sections and I haven't thought of any way to name the sections. This is why I'm refering to the northern seasons. At this point I believe it is okay to do so because it is unlikely that anyone in the south or equatorial regions will have access to this information.

This particular edition of A Bioregional Calendar uses a unique naming method. The number-symbol combinations were transcribed into different languages found in the local community. These words were then arbitrarily recombined to maintain their original meaning. The quart known as eight-winter was recombined as ath-winter. The eight was replaced by an African word for eight (ath). The word for the season of winter just happened to come up as the English word (winter). The quart following Athwinter is Onezima. Zima is a Polish word for winter.

Some Names for the Quarts

These words were gathered from people living and working near the artist. They include translations of the words "one" through to "eight" and the names of the four seasons. There are African, Asian, European and Amerindian pronunciations included.

Read an ASTUC Manifesto A Bioregional Calendar Startime Sundial A Real Startime Clock Currency ASTUC Thermometer


Some Definitions

Solstice and Equinox

The solsticeis either to longest or shortest period of daylight for the year. It is the time when the sun shines directly over the tropics. We experience the solstices as summer, winter or perhaps a monsoon .When the sun shines directly over the equator we experience an equal period of daylight and nighttime. This happens between the solstices and is called an equinox. The equinox coincides with spring, fall or a dry season in equatorial regions. Back to solstice

A Quart

This is a name I made up to describe the four units of each season. There are four quarts per season and four seasons per year. In A Base four times four equals eighteen quarts. Usually quarts have A27 days. Some quarts are shortened or lengthened by one day depending on the length of the season.Back to quarts

Mean Solar Midnight

Mean solar midnight would be the time that the sun is directly on the opposite side of the earth. Variations in the angular velocity of the earth combined with the earths rotation cause this to vary throughout the year. For this reason the mean or average value is used. return to ...mean solar time

Angle of Rotation

The earth rotates once a day and revolves once a year. The angle of the axis of rotation refers to the tilt that the earth is spinning on as it revolves about the sun. We understand this as the difference between the equator and the tropics. Back to...axis of rotation

Read an ASTUC Manifesto A Bioregional Calendar Startime Sundial A Real Startime Clock Currency ASTUC Thermometer


Site Last Modified on AH82 Sungspring 22 at 12 Stars 15 Eggs