Time at Þunresfolc Heorþ

Here at Þunresfolc Heorþ, the Old Ways of the peoples known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons are the first (though not nearly the only) source of inspiration for our Ways. If not for the fact that there is much about the Old Ways of the Anglo-Saxons that we either don’t know, or may be of great difficulty, or be impractical to reconstruct (I’d like to think that most of our lives are worth more than two or twelve hundred shillings), our own experiences of the world around us, and their impact, along with our own histories certainly play a major role in our Way. As it should for any, since we all live who we are every day. It is, at least, my own belief that our customs are inseparable from our identities, and thus encompass our whole selves.

With that being said, we do have knowledge of how the Anglo-Saxons kept time. At the least, in the sense of days, weeks, and months. Or, so far as those being things that can be discussed at a fair length. We will start with the days of the week. A refresher, though I doubt it is needed, the days of the week in Old English are as follows:


I doubt I have to tell any of you which days are which, or of whom they are named. Of course, we speak Modern English. Since the days of the week have only really changed with the language, I’m more than comfortable using the Modern English names for the days of the week. To note, we count each day to begin at sundown, as opposed to sunrise.

The lunar months that were used are also, in this case, written down by the monk Bede in ‘Di Temporum Ratione‘, or in English, ‘The Reckoning of Time’. Those months are as follows:

Ærra Géola
Æfterra Géola
Ærra Litha
Æfterra Litha
(Thrilitha, when an extra month was needed, every few years.)

Easy enough. We use these months, and at least try to keep up a calendar. We used the old names on the first calendar we made, but I gave my own names for the months as well. These will be the months for our Year Two. A reminder that I am not a linguist. So someone who is may one day do this, and they will likely get different answers. I’m just a guy who looked at Old English words and came up with ways to fit them to his own speech.  Here they are:

Ere Yule
After Yule
Ere Lithe
After Lithe
Third Lithe (when needed)

Not exactly a huge difference, but again, I find these terms a bit smoother on the tongue. However, to each their own. “Ere” is archaic, but I like the way it fits, and comes from “Ærra” anyway. Personally, I don’t think it a big stretch to use these months to gloss the modern calendar, but I like the lunar calendar. Other than it being what the Anglo-Saxons, and many other ancient cultures used, it reminds me of that history when I look at the calendar we made. I only play a small part in putting the terms in a more casual tongue. I’m glad to be a part of that tradition. So, there you all have it. The days and months as reckoned by us here at Þunresfolc Heorþ! Thanks for reading.


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