Recently, TTR began posting a series of articles about how to add a regional flavor to your calendar and how to bring all of that together to better help you through the lens of celebrations. This topic is near and dear to my heart since the local cultus push has been steadily increasing now that spring has sprung.
I’ve also been looking forward to it because the regional flavoring is supposed to help me in some way to better outfit my calendar throughout the year. My calendar is very busy because I was told when reworking it to add “everything that could conceivably be related to something or someone you have ties to”. I didn’t think my months would look as busy as they ended up, but they did.
After doing this, I started getting regular notifications every morning about anywhere between 2 – 6 holidays related to my gods in some form or way. Most of the holidays don’t actually interest me the way that I had once found myself interested in the handful of Sekhmet holidays throughout the year or the Beautiful Reunion. They were effectively useless.
Ra and Osiris both mentioned that this would eventually change, but I had to at least know what was available for me to celebrate before I could pare it down. While this made sense, I find myself annoyed by each daily notification and have to actively assess each one to ensure I’m not missing something of Great Import [to Me].
When TTR and I began talking about adding to calendars from a regional aspect, I was immediately on board. Ra seemed to be particularly interested as well as he seemed to intimate that this would begin the Great Re-Work of Calendar Nonsense 2020. After having reworked my calendar pretty consistently for the last 3 years (there’s always something that comes up that makes me realize it’s not right), I’m hoping this will be the last push.
Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: Gathering Information
After reading the first post in the series, I was surprised by the focus on weather. When I think local cultus or local ecology, I forget about weather in its entirety. I usually focus on local flora and fauna with only a passing thought given to what the weather and its patterns entail in the region. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important something like weather is to all of this. Weather and its patterns allow the local flora and fauna to exist in the ways that they do; without it, well, things would be drastically different around here.
Part of the other reason that I had a lazer focus on plant and wildlife is because that’s what I see every day. Since moving, it has been the growth and death and rebirth of the plants around us that have snagged my attention in a way that, while they always interested me of course, I have become far more intent on that focus. I also have a different ability after having moved to watch local wildlife; something that was harder in the middle of the city because local wildlife is very, very good about hiding in plain sight.
So, I added a few crib notes on local flora and fauna to the notebook I’ve designated as my “personal practice” notebook and moved on. (This notebook is full of a lot of shit right now that will hopefully, one day, become cohesive and make sense. That, of course, remains to be seen.) I was ready for the weather-specific post and curious to see what I would find.
Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: Creating the Backbone
While the general layout for weather gathering was in the first post, it wasn’t until TTR had published the second post that I actually got around to getting that information together. I felt like I needed the visuals they supplied in that second post to better understand what I had already looked up a few times, confused and not quite sure what I was looking at.
I focused first on the hottest and coldest days of the year for where I live.
The hottest day is July 20th and the coldest day is January 29th around these parts. That tracks with what I’ve found throughout the year, but the item of interest I found was before the pretty little graph and the specific dates. Weather Spark adds a general timeframe for “hot season” and “cold season” and other items that I’ll get into as this post continues on. According to this website, the warm season is 3.6 months long (May to September) and the cold season is 3.4 months long (November to March), on average.
The reason I found these details interesting is because it doesn’t track with what I know to be true due to climate change. Our hotter times tend to last until close to October in recent years. Colder weather isn’t lasting as long and we’ve had unseasonably warm weather in March. While March also brought with it bitterly icy winds, the visual stimulus of cold weather (snow) was notably absent.
Something that TTR didn’t include based on their post was cloud cover. Clouds and cloudiness is a big thing where I live because of the typical weather patterns we should experience. According to the website, we have a “cloudy season” for about 7.6 months of the year with a large portion of this season taking place in winter. The cloudiest day tends to be January 3 while the opposite day is September 5. Both dates track with my own review of what I’ve come to expect from my local weather patterns.
I went through the whole damn website and compiled a list of dates that either will prove useful or I’ll jettison them off into the sun at a later date in time:
- Hottest Day – July 20
- Coldest Day – January 29
- Cloudiest Day – January 3
- Clearest Day – September 5
- Rainiest Day – June 3 & October 3
- Snowiest Day – January 25
- Muggiest Day – July 29
- Least Muggiest Day – December 13
- Windiest Day – February 26
- Calmest Day – August 12
- Predominant Wind Direction – West
- Brightest Day – June 29
- Darkest Day – December 22
- Growing Season – April 30 – October 11
I decided to forego the additions about spring & fall only because of how things have been going as far as both seasons due to climate change. Since I’m not sure where climate change will eventually land us, I felt it safest to, as much as I hate this, bar them entrance to any regional calendar I may make until I can figure out a good average.
And I truly hate this. I love spring and I love fall the most. They are my two very favorite seasons, however I can admit that both have been excessively short in recent years. For a few years running, May started the hot season and air conditioning units would begin to run closer to the first of May and than the first of June. September, usually a beautiful time for fall foliage, has been hotter on average than when I was a child. I’ve spent many a-September day, sweating and cranky or in a pool to cool off than I can recall being the norm from my youth.
This year, we do appear to be getting a spring because May has been cooler than it has been the last few years. Mornings, I wake up deliciously chilly with all of my windows open wide to temps in the 40s. I wear a sweater or hoody to start the day before jettisoning it around 10 or 11 in the morning. And I love it, but I also recognize that this will most likely not be the norm for a very long time.
So for now, my seasons will simply have to fall within the dynamic of winter, summer, and rainy.
Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: The Backbone
With the backbone all but created, I’m taking a break from working further on the calendar. The next steps, for me at least, require a good deal of further research since I’m still relatively new to this area. I only know the bare bones of historically significant sites, local landforms, and have only just started to source local foci that feel like they need my attention.
Ra had been the driving force in getting me to get these details together and now seems perfectly content with letting me take a break before I move onto the next section in the series. He seems to prefer that I better focus on the ritual prep for the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion, which is currently 23 days out for me.
For the hilarity, I recently pulled out the current iteration of my religious calendar and looked up some of the dates that I had come up with for this project. Each date on my religious calendar actually does correspond with an existing ancient Egyptian holiday. Some of them actually line up pretty well, I think, with those existing holiday forms, so I may keep them when I complete the reworking of the overall calendar. But then again, I might not.
I’m glad that the first portion of this calendar rework project is at least completed. I have a lot more to do besides and it sounds like this will most likely take me the entire year (much like my last calendar rework did). I’ve already at least made a small list of important festivals that have to be kept (The Osiris Mysteries, WR/Intercalary/Propitiation of Sekhmet, and the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion) and those that can go (the smaller one-offs, many of which have to do with Hathor since she had a holiday just about every day) and I’m looking forward to seeing how things look once I’ve finally gotten this project completed.