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|Celtic Astrology: A modern Hoax
(with comments by Joseph Monard, Celtic scholar)
by Michel-Gérald Boutet (iconographer)
The following is a description and critical comment on the various models given or proposed by the various interpreters and reconstructionists for a working zodiac labelled as 'Celtic astrology'.
Many attempts have been made at restoring or reconstructing ancient Celtic Astrology, these models are for the most part, fabricated, when not, completely re-invented. Not surprisingly, these tree zodiacs bear very little resemblance to both Western and Eastern Astrology. This being that most of the reconstructionists have worked from false indications given by Robert Graves who seems to have confused Almanac with Zodiac. Certainly, the Almanac is lunar and the Zodiac, solar, but of course, these are two different systems, the first relying on the yearly lunar cycle (354.3 days) of approximately 12 lunations and the second, on the solar cycle (365.6 days). An important reminder is that the Moon visits the zodiacal constellations in but one month while the Sun takes a full year to complete the same course. Worse still, the authors often fail to give their sources, making it impossible to verify them. In short, we can only conjecture on who started it in the first place. And in this case, most evidently, all paths lead to Robert Graves.
Robert Graves, seeing the impossibility of the zodiac being a "perpetual calendar", erroneously thought that the Beth-Luis-Nion letter sequence could not reconciliate the equinoxes and solstices with the twelve zodiacal constellations. He believed that the zodiac emerged from the thirteen month lunar calendar and he suspected that the dual Gemini signs were fused into one in order to harmonise the lunar-solar cycles. His tree order starts on Christmas eve in December on the 24th; an impossibility since the Celtic lunar-solar year commenced mid-Fall around October-November. Also impossible are his fixed dates, we now know from archaeological data collected on the Coligny plates that the Druids had reconciled in a most ingenious way the discrepancies of the two cycles. Monthly dates followed the Moon phases with the Zodiacal months overlapping. Corrections were made by indexing the shorter lunar cycle with the longer solar cycle by adding an extra month every two and three years following a five years turn-around. Therefore, there were no fixed dates in the druidical scheme, just floating dates!
A Quick recall for the reader's sake
Sidereal Month: Is defined as the mean time of the Moon's revolution in its orbit from a constellation back to the same constellation again (the zodiacal constellations defined as lunar mansions), in precisely 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.5 seconds of mean time.
Sidereal Year: Is defined as the mean time in which the earth completes one revolution in its orbit around the Sun measured with respect to the zodiacal constellations as fixed stars(i.e.: from the vernal point and back, from Aries and back to it again): in precisely 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 9.54 seconds of solar time.
The Constellation of Ophiucus served as a marker for the druids' reckoning of the start of the new Celtic year called Samonios. This occurred on the advent of the sun's entry into Scorpio. (credits: M.-G. Boutet)
Indexing cycles: Difficulty arises as one tries to combine the lunar cycles with the solar year. In fact, the average Moon year of twelve months is of 354. 3669 days compared to the average 365. 2422 days of the solar cycle. The task was to combine these two years into one synchronous year and still keeping tract with seasonal changes. The solution was found in the intercalary month and year, which introduces every third year a thirteenth month called Santarana (Santaros\-a\-on = aside). This technique of inserting an extra month is qualified as "embolismic" for "clotting" or leap month. Apart from the use of an additional leap month there was the possibly of adding an extra day in July thus complicating things further. The first leap month was called Ciallosbuis Sonnocingos which means, "check-up of the Sun's course", returns every five years and the second, Mens in Dueixtionu, inserted between October and November also runs every five years at the beginning of each lustrum. Mens in Dueixtionu means "month in duplication", and is found abridged as MIDX in the Coligny Calendar.
Duration of the Planetary Cycles
-Moon: 19.00011 years, lunation on the same zodiacal degree for one metonic cycle;
-Sun: 33.00004 years, for return to the same zodiacal position, same time of the day.
Positions of the Sun and Moon in the Zodiac:
Sun in FM (Full Moon) in LQ (Last Quarter) in NM (New Moon) in FQ (First Quarter) in Libra Aries Cancer Libra Capricorn Scorpio Taurus Leo Scorpio Aquarius Sagittarius Gemini Virgo Sagittarius Pisces Capricorn Cancer Libra Capricorn Aries Aquarius Leo Scorpio Aquarius Taurus Pisces Virgo Sagittarius Pisces Gemini Aries Libra Capricorn Aries Cancer Taurus Scorpio Aquarius Taurus Leo Gemini Sagittarius Pisces Gemini Virgo Cancer Capricorn Aries Cancer Libra Leo Aquarius Taurus Leo Scorpio Virgo Pisces Gemini Virgo Sagittarius
Here is a detail of a representation of the fabled Tree Battle as found on the famous Gundestrup cauldron (dated ca. 250 before common era +/- 50 to 150 years) belonging to the Pontic culture. Note the rough pole, a representation of the world axis and warriors figuring calendar names. This because the Celtic word Latis both stands for "warrior", "hero" and "calendar day" (La in Irish). The calendar itself was called Lation. The letter ascriptions for the Lates follow linguistic indications and traditional manuscript sources. These details confirm tree letter connections to stellar symbolism! (credits: M.-G. Boutet)
Under the assumption that the Celtic alphabet derived from the Greek and Roman ones, Graves went through great pains explaining the tree order through Classical myths. But where he really went wrong was when he took poetical licence for the literary truth. Ironically, his muse, the White Goddess, took him down the wrong path. One wonders which Celtic white goddess he was referring to, was it Uinda Branna, the white raven of dead heroes, or was Uinda Soibra, the white spectre, the white lady, a ghost of the past?
Robert Grave's Tree Calendar:
Birch: December 24;
L Service tree: January 21;
N Ash February 18;
F Alder: March 18;
S: April 15.
SS (Z) Prune tree: April 15;
H Whitethorn: May 15;
D Oak: June 10;
T Holy: July 8;
C Hazel: August 5;
CC (Q) Apple: August 5;
M Vine: September 2;
G Ivy: September 30;
NG Reed: October 28;
R Elder: November 25;
I Ivy: November 25;
E Poplar: December 23;
U Heather: December 23;
O Furze: December 23;
A Spruce: December December 23;
AA Palm: December 24;
Robert Grave's Tree Zodiac:
Sagittarius: B/R: Birch/Elder
Capricorn: L: Service tree
Aquarius: N: Ash.
Pisces: F: Alder
Aries: S: Willow
Taurus: H: Whitethorn
Gemini: D/T: Oak/Holy
Cancer: C: Hazel
Leo: Q: Apple
E/O : Poplar/Furze
Virgo: M: Vine
Libra: G: Ivy
Scorpio: NG: Reed
But much of this relies on modern interpretations derived from the book Ogygia by the seventeenth century bard Roderick O'Flaherty. O'Flaherty claimed that his information was gained from Duald MacFirbis, clan bard of the O'Briens. Credited scholars such as R.A.S. Macalister, not least, argue that the ogham ascriptions given by O'Flaherty were 'artificialities' having little to do with the original bearings (Nigel Pennick 1991). If these were late musings inspired from the Bardic tradition, then these had to be re-adaptations of the old medieval ascriptions. Since the Bardic schools were essentially Christian, it is very unlikely that the druidic ascriptions were carried on that long into the Christian era.
To compare, here is Hageneder's fairly credible construction relying on traditional information:
Friedrich Hageneder's Tree-signs:
I- Chieftain trees and landmarks for Quarterly Festivities
A Ailm (Fir!) on the next day after Winter Solstice
O Onn (Broom!) by Spring Equinox
U Ura (Lime-tree!) by Summer Solstice
E Eadha (Aspen) by Fall Equinox
I Iohu (Yew) on Winter Solstice
II The thirteen tree signs, each lasting over 4 x 7 = 28 days, start from Winter Solstice
B Beth (Birch) H Huath (Hawthorn) M Muir (Bramble)
L Luis (Service-tree) D Duir (Oak) G Gort (Ivy)
N Nion (Ash-tree) T Tinne (Holly-Oak) Z Straif (Blackthorn)
F Fearn (Alder) C Coll (Hazel) R Ruis (Elder)
S Saille ((Willow)
Hageneder's very odd but unpretentious 'Tree Calendar' was presented by the author very carefully insisting that: "It is not proven that such a calendar had been in actual use... However, I wished to use this system to recall trees in our mind: more than ever they need our care and love". His tree signs sequence was in fact built on a weekly pattern. The week is now in world-wide use. Disregarding the fact that the ancient Celts ignored it, an additional complication is brought about by the much too cumbersome seven-based pattern. This being, that seven is neither compatible with the solar cycle and neither with the lunar cycle. As mentionned, Hageneder's proposal is second hand information firstly owing to an oghamic sequencing recognised as being freely inspired from Roderick O'Flaherty's Ogygia, again, which he himself said to have borrowed from Duald Mc Firbis. (J. Monard)
Carol Carnac's Celtic Astrology
Another example is no doubt Carol Carnac's "L'Astrologie Celtique". Although very intuitive and oftentimes brilliant, this work eludes any explanation on how the author came to this unique system. All we are told is that Carnac devised the order from an "oral tradition" that goes as far back as the Megalithic Age!? And, not unlike Robert Graves, not only is his informant not given, but no bibliography is given either(!?). So if there was an unbroken line of oral astrological lore in Brittany going as far back as the megalithic age, then this is important; we certainly would like to know more about it. But then again, if the informant is another celtomaniac, then we can understand the author's discretion on his identity. This being said, in it is found an original special tree order along with its related constellations. The tree order is not only different from the oghamic order, but from the Cat Goddeu's (Battle of Trees) order as well. His astral system could in no way qualify as a solar zodiac because: 1, it does not cover the usual sidereal constellations visited by the Sun during the year; and, 2, it does not reflect the Moon's monthly sidereal passage either since it is divided as a 36 part almanac, that is, what one may regard as such with each part as an approximate third of the zodiacal twelfth of the tropic year. But then, the assigned dates are irrelevant from the bases of the astronomic timing of the zodiacal turnover.
March 15 - March 24: The King and the Elder-tree,
March 25 - April 4: The Pear-tree and the Enchained Princess,
April 5 - April 14: The Queen and the Elm-tree,
April 15 - April 24: Triangulum and the Oak,
April 25 - May 4: The River of Life and the Linden-tree,
May 5 - May 15: The Solar Hero and the Spruce-tree,
May 16 - May 25: Lepus (Hare) and the Beech-tree,
May 26 - June 5: The Hunter and the Cherry-tree,
June 6 - June 15: Auriga (Coachman) and the Mistletoe,
June 16 - June 25: Ursa Minor and the Fir-tree,
June 26 - July 5: Canis Major and the Fig-tree,
July 6 - July 16: Ursa Major and the Chestnut-tree,
July 17 - July 26: Canis Minor and the Walnut-tree,
July 27 - August 6: Hydra and the Willow-tree,
August 7 - August 17: Navis and the Yew-tree,
August 18 - August 27: Crater (Cup/Cauldron) and the Service-tree,
August 28 - September 6: Centaurus and the Quince-tree,
September 7 - September 17: Corvus and the Juniper-tree,
September 18 - September 27: Bootes and the Nettle-tree,
September 28 - October 7: The Earth Hero and the Poplar-tree,
October 8 - October 17: Corona Borealis and the Hazel-tree,
October 18 - October 27: Serpens and the Birch-tree,
October 28 - November 6: Draco (Dragon) and the Cornel-tree,
November 7 - November 16: Lupus and the Alder-tree,
November 17 - November 26: Ophiuchus (Snakeman) and the Pine-tree,
November 27 - December 6: Ara (Alter) and the Box-tree,
December 7 - December 16: Corona Australis (Southern Crown) and the Hawthorn-tree,
December 17 - December 26: Lyra (Harp) and the Hornbeam or Yoke-elm-tree,
December 27 - January 5: Aquila (Eagle) and the Ash-tree,
January 6- January 14: Sagitta (Arrow) and the Plum-tree,
January 15 - January 24: Gygnus (Swan) and the Apple-tree,
January 25 - February 3: Delphinus (Dolphin) and the Larch-tree,
February 4 - February 13: Piscis Austrinus and the Maple-tree,
February 14 - February 23: Equuleus (Pony) and the Cypress-tree,
February 24 - March 4: Pegasus (Winged Horse) and Medlar-tree,
March 5 - March 14: Cetus (Whale) and the Chestnut-tree.
Edgar Bliss's Gaulish Astrology
Another similar example is Edgar Bliss's "Astrologie Gauloise". He too offers a tree order in 36 parts (plus 4 for the equinoxes and solstices) that defies all comparison. Interestingly, it has the same structure as Carnac's Astrologie Celtique, but neither the same cut-off dates nor the same order of tree signs.
March 21, Spring equinox: Oak-tree (Force),
March 22 - 31 : Hazel-tree (Prosperity),
April 1 - 10 : Hazel-bush (Fertility),
April 11 - 20 : Maple-tree (Combat, Strife),
April 21 -30 : Walnut-tree (Charisma and Mystery),
May 1 - 14 : Poplar-tree (Otherworldly realm of the dead Heroes),
May 15 - 24 : Chestnut-tree (Foresight),
May 25 - June 3 : Ash-tree (World Tree),
June 4 - 13 : Hornbeam or Yoke-elm-tree (The Way),
June 14 - 23 : Fig-tree (Abundance),
June 24, Summer Solstice; Birch (Life),
June 25 - July 4 : Apple-tree (Love and Beauty),
July 5 - 14 : Yew-tree (Eternity),
July 15 - 25 : Elm-tree (Obscurity, Protector of Animals),
July 26 - August 4: Cypres-tree (Longevity, Protector of travellers),
August 5 - 13 : Poplar-tree (Otherworld),
August 14 - 23 : Nettle-tree (Secrecy),
August 24- September 2 : Pine-tree (Permanence and material power),
September 3 - 12 : Willow (Soothsaying and prophecy),
September 13 - 22 : Linden-tree (Friendship and Compassion),
September 23, Fall Equinox: Olive-tree (Brilliant Light, Fire and Heat),
September 24 - October 3: Hazel-tree (Prosperity),
October 4 - 13: Hazel-bush (Fertility),
October 14 - 23: Maple-tree (Combat, Strife),
October 24 - November 2: Walnut-tree (Charisma and Mystery),
November 3 - 11: Poplar-tree (Otherworldly realm of the dead Heroes),
November 12 - 21: Chestnut-tree (Foresight),
November 22 - December 1: Ash-tree (World Tree),
December 2 - 11: Hornbeam or Yoke-elm-tree (The Way),
December 12 - 21: Fig-tree (Abundance),
December 22, Winter Solstice: Beech-tree (Renewal).
December 23 - January 1: Apple-tree (Love and Beauty),
January 2 - 11: Yew-tree (Eternity),
January 12 - 24: Elm-tree (Obscurity, Protector of Animals),
January 25 - February 3: Cypres-tree (Longevity, Protector of travellers),
February 4 - 8: Poplar-tree (Otherworld),
February 9 - 18: Nettle-tree (Secrecy),
February 19 - 29: Pine-tree (Permanence and material power),
March 1 - 10: Willow (Soothsaying and prophecy),
March 11 - 20: Linden-tree (Friendship and Compassion),
Comment for both Carnac's and Bliss's proposals
Although their tree-sign assignments raise serious objections, the notion of a split of the zodiac in time periods otherwise known as decans, a device known since Celtic Antiquity, certainly makes a lot of sense. The Gaulish language even had a word for this notion which as Decamnoctiacon, standing for "ten nights sequence".
Among the tree-signs proposed by Bliss, the Nettle-tree, Fig-tree, and Olive-tree can be noticed. But the problem here, is that these trees only grew in southern Gaul and were not species growing in most of the countries of ancient Western Celticity (J. Monard).
Helena Paterson's Celtic Astrology
Another bad example of authors taking poetic licence for serious methodology is Helena Paterson with her 'Celtic Astrology' which picks-up from where Graves left off. Grave's proposal now serves as model for most of the contemporary Celtic buffs and pseudo-Druids so it does not come as a surprise to find it in Paterson's phoney "lunar zodiac of the Ancient Druids" as it is called in her "Handbook of Celtic Astrology". Her lunar zodiac only makes the ancient Druids look like senile lunatics. Paterson also generously gives much credit to a highly contested source such as that of Olo Morganwg's Barddas which she qualifies as "ancient knowledge" and "esoteric wisdom".
"Welsh Bardic tradition has an ancient pedigree and, if the writings of Morgan and other teachings such as the Barddas - a collection of ancient manuscripts copied by Olo Morganwg and presented by the Welsh Manuscript Society in 1862 - have any merit at all, it confirms an ancient knowledge of an esoteric wisdom." (Helena Paterson in Celtic Astrology p. xvi).
Her proposed "Celtic Lunar Zodiac" (sic) follows the beth-luisn-nion, oghamic sequence ... as does Hageneder's . However, where Hageneder proposes "straif" in penultian position, she prefers "ngetal² . using Robert Graves's Tree-calendar
Helena Paterson's 13-sign "Lunar Zodiac of the Ancient Druids":
(Civil calendar period -- Tree Ruling Planet -- Celtic Symbol)
Dec 24 - Jan 30: Beth/Birch Sun the White Stag
Jan 21 - Feb 17: Luis/Rowan Uranus (Brigantia) the Green Dragon
Feb 18 - Mar 17: Nion/Ash-tree Neptune (Lir) Trident (or Sea-Horse)
Mar 18 - Apr 14: Fearn/Alder Mars (Maurth) Pentacle (Hawk)
Apr 15 - May 12: Saille/Willow Moon (Llun) Sea-Serpent
May 13 - June 9: Uath/Hawthorn Vulcan (Govannan) the Chalice
Jun 10 - July 7: Duir/Oak Jupiter (Jovyn) the White Horse (or Golden Wheel)
July 8 - Aug 4: Tinne/Holly Earth (Abred) the Unicorn (or Flaming Spear)
Aug 5 - Sept 1: Coll/Hazel Mercury (Mugher) Rainbow Salmon
Sept 2 - Sept 29: Muine/Vine Venus (Gwena) White Swan
Oct 30 - Oct 27: Gort/Ivy Persephone ("veiled by the Moon") Butterfly
Oct 28 - Nov 24: Ngetal/Reed Pluto (Pwyll) White Hound (or Stone)
Nov 25 - Dec 22: Ruis/Elder Saturn (Sadorn) Black Horse (or Raven)
This formula appears as an ingenious if not crafty musing but, unfortunately not only does it fall from its promise of giving a coherent zodiac, but does it also, literally, just fall apart. For it is neither solar/zodiacal nor lunar/almanacal because of its 13 periods distribution contrary to the twelve-part zodiacal division of the ecliptic, and not lunar either, because of its duration and fixed dates of periods.
It can in no way be called an astrology "of the Ancient Druids" for these reasons:
1- Because beginning near the winter solstice;
2- Because of its reference to planets not having been observed before "modern" times: Uranus, maybe?, Neptune and Pluto certainly not!;
3 - Because of the lack of Celtic character of several of the quoted non-Celtic deities;
4 - Because of its ignorance of the ancient Celtic names of several planets and/or of deities attested in mythology, Book of Ballymote and epigraphic sources; and,
5 - Because of the erroneous use of recent Welsh and Gaelic names of planets and/or deities. (J. Monard)
Many of the fictitious planets given by Paterson are explained in terms of 'Druidic' to the past tense thus leading the reader into believing that things went accordingly to what she affirms. She tells us that Celi was "the great invisible god of the Druids" (p. xvi). Celi (if the name stems from the root Cel- = "to conceal") has certainly escaped the notice of most of the specialists of Celtic religion. Her sense of etymology is just as bad as her knowledge Celtic mythology, for example she gives Luis (Rowan) as stemming from Luisiu when the established etymology of Rowan is is Alisos. Luis which derives from Lusis stood for "mountain ash". Or that the "Welsh Bards referred to the Druids as "Naddreds" or "Adders", a literal term for wise men." (p. xxi). Natro (Adder in Celtic) always meant snake, it was latter used as a pejorative term by the early Christian monks to discredit the druids in that Natro puns with Nadrô "to slip" (Nadromi, "to move as a snake").
Just to give an example among mny others, here is the list of planets according to Paterson (NB: the ? marks are my interrogations):
Uranus: Brigantia (?)
Neptune: Lir (?)
Vulcan: Gouannan (?)
Earth: Abred (?)
Persephone: Arianrhod/Rhiannon (?)
- Maurth, Mugher, Gwena and Jovyn are of late Latin etymology and Brigantia, Lir, Gouannan, Abred, Arianrhod and Pwyll are fictious. While Earth as a planet was known as Crundion and not Abred!
Compare with the names of the known planets of ancient Celticity:
Sun: Sauelios, Sonnos/Sonna, Grannos/Greina
Moon: Luxna, Leucara/Leucaros, Diuon, Eidsciia
Mars: Cocidios, Roudios
Mercury: Lugos, Luxtos, Boudios
Jupiter: Tectos, Taranis
Venus: Reiia/Riia, Uasnia
Saturn: Melnos, Uosiros, Nucturos.
and, Uranus (maybe since it was bearly visible in the best of conditions): Cenos (> Cean < Cian).
Most of these symbols are also found in numismatics and in Gaulish art.
In this light, this book can only please the fringe romantics and the misinformed of the Neo-pagan, New-Age and Neo-druidical circles.
Kaledon Naddair's Shamanistic Calendar
Then there is that of Kaledon Naddair ('Shamanistic Calendar', under strict reservations). The 'Shamanistic Calendar', unfortunately, is "strictly copyright"; therefore, if one wishes to take notice of it, will have to purchase the book, or contact the publisher, or write to the author! But if its a Calendar, then it cannot be considered as a Zodiac. And then again, if it is shamanic, therefore, has nothing to do with the Celts, and even less with the Druids for that matter. This being said, here are a few words on Kaledon Naddair's tree-signs wheel:
As mentioned, the works of Naddair are under copyright so I will remain brief.
- His system is based solely on the tropical solar path and the usual twelve zodiacal periods of time are respected.
- If it is shamanic it is Pre-Celtic; good as Solar, not as Luni-solar. We know that the oldest Druidical scheme was based on the lunar mansions.
The tree-sign assignments abide by a rigorous oghamic ranking (But which cannot be Celtic). But if we forget the shamanic label, here are its qualities for the Celtic domain:
Each twelfth of this year pertains to one tree-sign. This system, primarily based on the Goidelic culture as ogham-patterned offers several developments:
1- Thanks to an Ogham-Coelbreni reconciliation, it is open to the P-Celtic domain.
2- Each quarter of the solar year is governed by a chieftain-tree sign.
3- The identification of several deities and animals per zodiacal twelfth of the solar year permits assignments for decans. So much for Naddair... (J.Monard)
Joseph Monard's Coligny based Zodiac
The most trustworthy model that remains is Joseph Monard's Astrological Order. Monard's system has the quality of relying on the standards of scholarly research backed by a solid knowledge of Celtic linguistics and traditions. Monard was the first to suspect that there were astrological indications on the Coligny Calendar. These being marked by the abbreviated inscriptions Prin, Prinn. for Prinni. (< PRENNOS: or Uidus = "tree" for cusp, a mathematical point marked by the House's ascendant.
PRINNIOS: - zodiacal constellation, - zodiacal period, w. for w. arborescence). No point now in ignoring the fact that the tree signs, the Prenes < Prinnoi, refer to the constellations. Monard's research on the Coligny Calendar so far supersedes everything written on Celtic Astrology.
LIBRA, MANTA the Scale; CANTLI PRINNIOS (of song, cycle-settling), September/October, tree sign: Lemos (Elm-tree).
SCORPIO, SGORPIU the scorpion; SAMONI PRINNIOS (of the meeting, summer-end), October/November, tree sign: Sappos (Fir-tree).
SAGITTARIUS, UARCUSTOS the archer; DUMANNI PRINNIOS (darkening), November/December, tree sign: Salixs (Willow).
CAPRICORNIUS, GABROS or IOCOS the goat; RIURI PRINNIOS (frost), December/January, tree sign: Olioiaccetos (Mistletoe).
AQUARIUS, DUPROSOPOS the water-bearer; ANAGANTI PRINNIOS (inactive, punning with calamitous), January/February, tree sign: Aballlos (apple-tree).
PISCES, EISCOI the Fishes; OGRONI PRINNIOS (cold), February/March, tree signs: Padis (Pine-tree), Scopos (broom).
ARIES, PUTIOS the ram; CUTI PRINNIOS (fiery, punning with ram), March/April, tree sign: Deruos (oak).
TAURUS, TARUOS the bull, GIAMONI PRINNIOS (of the buds), April/May, tree sign: Squiats/Spetes (Hawthorn).
GEMINI, EMNI the twins, SEMIUISONI PRINNIOS (capricious-breezed), May/June, tree sign; Uernos (Alder).
CANCER, CARABOS the Crab, EQUI PRINNIOS (adjusted, punning with equos/epos = "horse"), June/July, tree sign: Abolos/Cormisio (Servive-tree).
LEO, LEU the Lion, ELEMBIUI PRINNIOS (fawn, punning with "of claims"), July/August, tree sign: IUOS/EBUROS (Yew).
VIRGO, MAGULA the Maiden, EDRINI PRINNIOS (of arbitration, connotation: "hot flux" Aedrinios), August/September, tree sign: Idato/Critacos (Aspen).
Mogh Ruith, from the Celtic root Magus Retas, literally "Servant of the Wheel" (that is, the Wheel of Time comparable to the Vedic Kalachakra) shown here in his stellar representation. (credits: M.-G. Boutet)
Lets face it, Druids, as were the other sages of Antiquity such as Mathematici, Rishis, Chaldeans and Magi, were certainly no 'space cadets'. That they would confuse the 13 months lunar cycles with the 12 months zodiacal cycles, tells more on the state of confusion of some of our contemporaries than on the state of astral-science in Antiquity. As fine observers of the skies, the Druids worked within the limits of 'naked eye' astronomy. In this light, they could only speculate on the possible number of planets. To give more than the five known planets (with perhaps Uranus) and two luminaries takes more than just an educated guess; more than speculation, one needs solid understanding!
Bliss, Edgar. Astrologie Gauloise. (cards), Editions Gendre, Paris.
Book of Balymote: M.S. compiled about the year 1391; Library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.
Carnac, Carol. L'Astrologie Celtique. Ed. Primeur/Sand, 1986.
Graves, Robert. The White Goddess, Faber and Faber, London, 1948.
Monard, Joseph. Notice sur les Oghams. monograph, 1995.
Monard, Joseph. Glossaire trilingue celtique-français-anglais. 1994.
Monard, Joseph. About the Coligny Calendar. monograph 1996.
Monard, Joseph. Éléments divers d'astronomie pour l'élaboration d'un almanach. 1996.
Monard, Joseph. Découpage saisonnier de l'année celtique. monograph, 1996.
Monard, Joseph. Letters from 1994 to 1999.
Paterson, Helena. The Handbook of Celtic Astrology. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1995.
Pennick, Nigel. The secret Lore of Runes and other Ancient Alphabets. Rider, London, 1991.
All rights reserved © 2002 Michel-Gérald Boutet