The Calendar forms the beat and rhythm of our culture. What does the Gregorian Calendar say about us?
Time for a New Paradigm
If it weren’t forced on us by European Empires, most notably the Spanish and British on Turtle Island, the Julian and Gregorian calendars would never have been adopted as the global standard. In comparison with every major calendar in use, they fall flattest. By far. It’s not even close.
Yet, when the subject of calendar reform comes up (I bring it up a lot), people are very defensive, but not entirely sure why. They can’t explain themselves, and that’s understandable. We don’t think much about the calendar. We spend most of our time trying to negotiate how truly bad it is, with the extra added bonus of Daylight Saving’s Time. Bad ideas compounded by bad ideas, with no one at the helm to fix it.
So, I decided to fix it.
The image above occured to me on December 21st 2005. The image came about as a bit of an experiment with the 13-month calendar (each rectangle represents a month), and that thing with all the circles in the centre.
The image below represents the different periods into which the year can be divided evenly.
Suffice it to say, the Gregorian Calendar doesn’t make this many choices available to its users.
How is it Better?
[A longer list is pending]
- All measures from seconds to years and aeons are numbered from 0.
- Notation of the date is standard. 8~7~4 is an unambiguous.
- Only numbered days, months, years, eras, ages means that each calendar user or community of users can name them as they like, as many times as they like.
- It is aligned with the Solstices and Equinoxes
- Each month is 4 weeks exactly, each quarter is 13 weeks, each half-year is 26 weeks, each year 52. They are regular and precise: 28 days, 91 days, 182 days, 364 days.
- The calendar includes lunar months according to NASA’s tables. Lunar months are numbered as well. Lunar months already have a lot of names, such as Flower Moon or Ramadan.
- It is a new calendar for everyone, so that it’s not as if it is being imposed with an agenda, as has often been the case with empire. Case in point, we don’t use the sophisticated native calendars of the Maya, we use the far inferior calendar of the British Empire. So does everyone else.
- It changes how we think of time from a linear process of days with tension between the uneven cycles of the weekdays and months of the year to one that allows linear, cyclical, radial, and fractal models of time.
- It harmonizes pre-existing timekeeping structures and calibrates them to a common date, December 21st 2012 C.E, the new Era of the Maya long count. The structures include: Unix Time, Julian Day, NASA Ephemeris, USNO’s Earth’s Seasons, NASA Moon Tables, Chinese Lunar Months, 13 Moon Dreamspell, Wheel of the Year, Balinese Pawukon, Coptic Calendar, Holocence Era.
Below, are two images. They are the circle of days of the year according to the amount of daylight at 45 latitude. It represents the change in position of the sun over the course of the year, which is a very different experience depending on what line of latitude you happen to call home.
Consider this challenge of taking the 365 days of the year without attribution – no calendrical definition of the date. Can you imagine a day without a date? Without a weekday assigned to it? It’s hard. It took me years to break out of that box of thinking. See what you think.