Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Calendars are an essential part of astrology. DUH!! Astrologers, when dealing with very early dates, must be careful to take into consideration changes of calendar calculation in both western and eastern civilisations over the centuries.

Leading from which deep and meaningful observation: Today, March 25th is Lady Day. The name is a reminder that March 25th was honored as the date and festival of The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - the date of conception of Jesus Christ, just 9 months from the supposed date of His birth, 25 December. It's now widely accepted that 25 December was not Christ's birthday, however, so Christian festival dates have become symbolic.

(The Annunciation by J.W. Waterhouse)

Lady Day was adopted in Britain and Ireland as one of four Quarter Days. These were days when servants were hired, and rents and rates were due. They fell on four religious festivals roughly three months apart and close to the two solstices and two equinoxes.

Lady Day (25 March)
Midsummer Day (24 June)
Michaelmas (29 September)
Christmas (25 December)

In the UK, the tax year still begins around Lady Day (actually 6 April to 5 April) a relic of those traditional Quarter Days.

Lady Day, 25 March, was also New Year's Day in England until 1752 when a crossover from the Julian to Gregorian calendar took place, moving New Year's Day to first of January. When I worked with a County Archivist long ago, I had to carefully remember, when dealing with documents from before 1752, which were dated January, February or March(up to 25), to catalogue them as, for example, 16 March 1714/5.

(See here - for further detail on the history of calendars).

"Calendar is a word that comes from Latin calendarium, or account book, and is derived from calendae or the calends, the first day of all of the old Roman months. This was the day on which accounts were due and on which the priests of Rome called the people together to proclaim (calare) that the new moon had been sighted.

Calendars generally have been based on some combination of celestial observation and observance of the pattern of human activities and rituals.
Despite all of the astronomical dilemmas (lunar, solar, seasonal, etc.), we have arrived at our present Gregorian calendar because of the astronomical and political skills of many generations.

To which I'll just add that religion has played a major part in defining calendars throughout the world.

Sidelight: Lady Day is also the nickname of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, who, though not born on this day, was born with Sun in Aries (7 April 1915.....chart and biography at Astrodatabank's Wiki, here.)


anthonynorth said...

Yep, no matter how we feel about religion, Christianity was main media for so long that everything, time wise, still reflects it.

Wisewebwoman said...

Yes, T, the pagan influence on Christianity is very strong. In parts of the west of Ireland, the pagan symbols were incorporated into the early churches. a lot of concesssions were made to druidic and fertility icons.
Excellent post.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Yes, and what doesn't reflect Christianity reflects what went before, as in Sun-day, Moon-day, Wodens-day, Thors-day etc.

We are regulated by deities, past and present. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Layer upon layer.....and so it goes. :-)

R J Adams said...

I suppose Gregory was one of the few popes to actually achieve anything useful.

Interesting post, Twilight.

Twilight said...

RJ ~~ Yes. Well, by the law of averages one or two of 'em must have done some positive stuff! ;-)
Glad it was of interest.