Shapes in the Night Sky
Long before TV and radio, movies and organized theater, there were only the stars
at night and the tales told about them, often around a crackling camp fire, to entertain us.
Shepherds, cattlemen and
hunters would go to sleep out in the open on hot summer nights and
look at the stars in wonder. What were these points of light that
seem to stay in a constant formation and travel across the night sky
together? And what were the other points of light, those that seemed to wander? These wandering stars were called Astra Planeta in the language of the Greeks. We now know these wandering
stars as planets.
The Planets didn't stay in
formation like the other stars but seemingly zigzagged across the heavens, their trails discernible only over
a period of time. The Greeks had no way of knowing that the planets, including our earth, were orbiting the sun and that it only our earthbound perspective made the planets' paths look chaotic.
predictable part of the planets’ course was that they all traveled
in the same narrow path through the sky, even the sun and the moon.
Ancient people looked into the heavens and projected meaning onto the patterns
they perceived. In much the
same way, people of today look up and try and see shapes, including animals, in
This narrow path had star formations that
the ancients became familiar with over time. These constellations of stars were named after famous gods, heroes and mythic beasts. The
narrow path became special, and each of the constellations became closely associated
with the seasons of the year and of our lives. These constellations eventually evolved into our
When are We?
“What day is it? And more importantly when is
Determining the exact time of the year was very important to
the ancients as one had to know when to expect the next change in
seasons. The only problem was that there was no exact way of measuring a
The earliest and most obvious way to measure a year is by the
phases of the moon. Starting with an empty sky the new moon is born
and then gets larger every night until it's a whole round disk and
then shrinks back to nothing. The problem is as we know now a year is
365 and one fourth day long and a cycle of a moon is on average 29.53
days long and 29.53 goes into 365.4 days in a year 12.35 times.
That’s twelve and a third moon cycles in a year. So if you track
time by the moon you will get roughly 12 moons, or months as we call
them, in a year. But then there are some days left over and after a
few years these left over days add up. Soon the spring festival is
happening in the middle of winter, and no one is sure when to plant
crops. So an extra month has to be added so the months match the
correct season. This adding up of extra days into a new month usually
happens in winter.
The Dreaded 13th Month
You're in the 12th
month and everyone is looking forward to Spring. Then the New Year
starts and Winter doesn't go away. It should be the end
of Winter, only it’s not getting any warmer. So a new month is
tacked on to the year. The dreaded thirteenth month. Everyone hates
that thirteenth month. Yet at the end of the thirteenth month
things are finally getting warmer. It's Spring, the crops begin to
grow, and the stricken land begins to heal.
thirteenth month was added in different places to the old calendar. Sometimes it
was added before December and sometime after December. Julius Caesar,
the Roman General and statesman, created the modern calendar
with 365 and ¼ days. Re called this extra month “Undecimber”
as it was the eleventh month and it came after December. (December
means tenth month).
There is even a Zodiac sign for the extra month
which appears between Scorpius (November 23) and Sagittarius
(December 18). This extra Zodiac sign is called “Ophiuchus - the
Serpent Healer” and appears November 30.
Olympian Starseeds Initiative
By Oscar William-Smith
Larger Than Life Living In The World Today
(c) 1975 - 2017 Hercules Invictus