It’s time to change the calendar and embark on a new year. But have you ever wondered where the calendar system we rely upon came from? Is it serving us well? The ancients used a system that aligned with the natural world around them: Women. Let’s look at some of the long history of calendars and you will see how women were replaced by a more masculine system.
Women as Time Keepers
There is great evidence from the Upper Paleolithic times indicating that women were the original time keepers. Connecting to the rhythms of nature comes naturally to women, because menstrual cycles sync with the moon’s 28-day renewal period. A woman’s body is designed to naturally tune in, and keep rhythm with the natural world.
The Lunar Calendar
Keep in mind that the moon is a transformer and symbolic of the feminine nature. The original calendars were thus lunar, and aligned with the circular patterns of the moon. They were used in Mayan, Islamic, Chinese, and Babylonian cultures. Lunar calendars kept us in sync with the cycles of nature because they are based on the natural world rather than what is most convenient for humans. Though some cultures and groups still use lunar calendars, most of the industrialized world has gravitated toward calendar systems that are more structured, linear and masculine in nature. While there are benefits to these newer masculinized methods of time-keeping, the onus is upon us to reconnect with the real rhythms of life around us. To help us better understand the reasons calendars have changed over the centuries, we can look at the history of time-keeping.
The Julian and Gregorian Calendars
The Julian calendar was introduced by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. This calendar was based on a 12-month year rather than the 13-month pattern of the moon. To correct a miscalculation in the Julian Calendar, Pope Gregory updated it in 1582, and it became known as the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian calendar “adjusted” the length of the solar year, ensuring that the seasons would not migrate and that Easter would always fall on or near the spring equinox. The Julian and Gregorian calendars were supposed to make things easier and more convenient for people, but they also pulled us away from the natural rhythms of the earth.
Getting Back in Touch with the Cycles of Nature
As women, we find that our natural bodily cycles do not resonate with the linear, masculine calendars most people use to keep time in our modern world. Instead, our bodies yearn to obey the laws of nature rather than the laws of man. We may find that our spiritual and emotional selves want to follow those rhythms as well, but we are under pressure to conform to the hours, days, and months of the world at large. Though some of this may be necessary, we can still allow ourselves to tune back in to the lunar phases and flow with the changes and patterns of mother nature. We can return to the practices of observing the cycles of the moon, setting intentions at the new moons, celebrating at the full moons and going inward during the dark moon. By giving thanks to nature and the universe for all it gives us, we can tap into ancient wisdom while reclaiming our inner goddess.
As we approach the winter phase of the year, we are encouraged to undertake new beginnings from both a spiritual and a practical perspective. This is the perfect time to become more grounded in our feminine wisdom and tap into the power that flows into us when we connect with the rhythms of nature.