31 October 2006

Happy Samhain and the Pepper Calendar

16 Wandering - 39 p.r.S.P.

For about five or six years now, I have been marking the Celtic new year's eve--also called Samhain (pronounced 'Sow-in'--like the pig, not sowing seeds)--mainly to remind myself that "reality" isn't just contained in an X-tian/Gregorian matrix. Not all new years start on January 1st--in fact, only the Gregorian new year does. I did get a small inkling of this when I was younger, because I would see footage of Chinese New Year celebrations and those took place in February (Gregorian)--if I'm recalling correctly, which seemed strange to me at the time because they didn't mark their new year in January "like everyone else".

I only really became aware of calendar differences after reading this piece by Robert Anton Wilson (it appears in one of his books--maybe Cosmic Trigger III--I can't remember which one at the moment, but I read it there before I read it in an on-line form). It hits home the idea of how your "reality" is shaped by others' ideas of timekeeping and imposed "order" on universe.

I've been asked by Pixie and Singing Bear about "those weird numbers" and words above each of my posts. I've taken R.A.W.'s advice as an exercise (yeah, I'm ripping him off a bit) and I'm heading each of my posts with a date from a different calendar, whether it's the Hebrew, Islamic, Discordian or Thelemic (Aleister Crowley's calendar), even the Mayan 'Long Count' calendar. I've also developed my own system, based partly on Ezra Pound's calendar, which uses the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses in 1921 (Gregorian) as it's 'Year Zero' start. My system is based on the 1967 album by The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The record seems to be the high (no pun intended...maybe)-water mark of the fabled "Summer Of Love" to me. It was released on June 1, 1967--so that becomes the Year Zero date. Each month has 33 days (from the original album turntable speed of 33 and 1/3 r.p.m.)--making a total of 11 months and 363 days in a year.

The month names are:
Month 1 - "Pepper"
Month 2 - "Shears"
Month 3 - "Lucy"
Month 4 - "Change"
Month 5 - "Wandering"
Month 6 - "Home"
Month 7 - "Kite"
Month 8 - "Wight"
Month 9 - "Rita"
Month 10 - "Tea"
Month 11 - "Dream"

As you may have guessed--the names come from either words in the title of the tunes, or part of the lyrics in each tune (barring "Within You Without You" and "Sgt. Pepper's (reprise)"--I couldn't do much with those two). I haven't come up with any weekday names yet--so the days are just numbers, such as: 3 Lucy, 10 Dream, etc. The year is shown as "p.r.S.P."--meaning 'post-release Sgt. Pepper's'. It's been a fun exercise to throw off the shackles of Pope Gregory's reality-tunnel, even if I lapse back into his concensus "reality" for work hours and social occasions.

Speaking of the good Dr. Wilson--he had a couple of bad falls over the summer, due to the worsening of his post-polio condition. He has been in care since and is slowly recovering. Since the U.S. still (and probably never will) has no national health-care system, R.A.W.'s medical bills went through the roof. Douglas Rushkoff, another ontological guerilla and friend of Wilson, put out an on-line appeal and the Wilson-heads responded in droves. After seeing R.A.W.'s grateful 'thank you' to his fans at his website, I wanted to give a bit back to the man who's inspired me greatly with his writing--so I made a donation as well. If you're a Wilson-head and want to help the man out, you can make a donation by going to PayPal and sending it to R.A.W.'s account: olgaceline@gmail.com

Enjoy your Hallow's Eve.


Anonymous said...

Excellent calandar concept! Can't make up my mind whether to start mine from the date of the first time i saw Bristol Rovers play (against Chesterfield back in the early 70's...Gregorian!) or from the release of 'Electric Warrior'! Of course, the release date of 'Sugar Baby Love' is another contender, with all the Rubette's hat sizes as months! Rock on!

The Purple Gooroo said...

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha--nice one, Bear!

Start yours from wherever you want--let me know what you come up with.

I do like the Rubettes idea--you could start it from their "Top Of The Pops" appearance ;-) :-)

Anonymous said...

In time, there shall be a Rubettes Calandar.