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Author Topic: Determining the date for Wep Renpet (the Opening of the Year) for Kemetics  (Read 22217 times)
Setnakht
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« Topic Start: June 24, 2009, 09:36:49 pm »

 The religious calendar of ancient Kemet is both lunar--with each
month starting on the day of the New Moon--as well as sidereal--with the New Year
--called 'Wep Renpet' or the Opening of the Year--
celebrated on the morning of the visible rise of Sopdet (Sirius) just prior to sunrise.
 To determine the date for the beginning of the New Year we need to
calculate the precise date that the star Sirius (called 'Sopdet' in Egyptian)
rises just before sunrise. Sirius had been invisible for some 70 days--
which means it arose when the sun had already risen and hence
could not be seen by the naked eye due to the illuminated atmosphere.

Today we can utilize a government astronomical website that
provides us with the necessary information. Here's what to do:
Go to
http://www.usno.navy.mil
 
In top toolbar click on 'Astronomy';
Then click on Data Services;
Click on Rise/Set/Transit Times for Major Solar System Objects and
Bright Stars
Fill out the required fields, including your location, the star Sirius,
and dates from late July to August 14 or later.
Print a copy of the resulting table of Rise/Set/Transit Times.

Then go back and fill out the form again, but this time you will
select Sun so you can get Rise/Set/Transit Times for the sun.

Finally, compare the two sets of Times, remembering that you
are looking for the first date when Sirius appears BEFORE Civil Twilight.
You will see that for the city of San Francisco
 for 2009 the date of August 6 Sirius rises at 5:45 a.m.
and the time for beginning Civil Twilight is 5:49. That means
that on that date the human eye will see Sirius just 4 minutes
before Twilight begins. Once the suns actually rises at 6:18
it will be far too bright to see the star.
The date of New year will vary considerably, depending on latitude
and longitude in our very large country.  For example, in Miami, Florida,
the date for New Year 2009 will be July 27--and not August 6 as in
San Francisco--because Civil Twilight begins at 6:20 a.m. and Sirius rises
at 6:16, just four minutes prior.  That means Sirius will be visible for
the first time in this season.  On dates prior to July 27 Sirius will be rising
after the start of Civil Twilight and Sunrise and hence will not be seen by
the naked eye because the sky will be too bright.
This does raise some issues that could to be explored by the various Kemetic
temples.  Would it be "within the Tradition" to have such variation in celebrating
the new year across this country?  Would it be better to select one date for the nation
or for a fellowship of affiliated temples, even though they're geographically far apart?
Might we use the date based on calculations for Egypt instead of the United States?
And, if so, which location in Egypt--since Egypt is also a very large country?
You see, the questions multiply.  
My sense of things is that we are not wrong to use our own location in determining
the date for Wep Renpet.  Human's experience of their world is in fact local, not global.
The sun rises for us in our location at a certain time, and for other folks in their
locations at different times.  On the other hand, perhaps we Kemetics should select
one location--let's say, the nation's capital--to calculate the date of Wep Renpet.
At this very early stage in our development as Kemetic Reconstructionists I think we
can begin a period of reflection and discussion on the topic--in a spirit of mutual
respect for the varying insights and opinions that will likely emerge.  Just as in
ancient Kemet there were a number of differing creation myths, and all were honored,
so today we can learn from their example to honor diversity of opinion.    

You may like to read Jeremy Naydler's Temple of the Cosmos, pages 67-73
about Sirius's role.  Several thousand years ago I believe
the rising of Sopde (or Sopdet, i.e. Sirius)
would have occurred earlier, in late June or July. Due to celestial
movements, however, today it occurs in late July or early August.
i hope this information is helpful.

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« Reply #1: June 24, 2009, 10:08:52 pm »



Sweet, thank you.

Wep Renpet is August 8th for me in Boulder  Grin
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« Reply #2: June 25, 2009, 09:01:09 pm »




Awesome!  I was just trying to do something like this.  Thanks for sharing the info.
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« Reply #3: June 25, 2009, 10:38:44 pm »

Awesome!  I was just trying to do something like this.  Thanks for sharing the info.

I'm currently playing with this, trying to make a calendar for myself in Boulder.

Right now I have two frames of reference with regards to the festivals, this book:  http://www.amazon.com/Feasts-Light-Celebrations-Egyptian-Mysteries/dp/0835607445 and the House of Nejter.  http://www.wepwawet.org/wiki/index.php?title=Kemetic_Calendar#Major_Holidays_Listed_by_Season

I'm not sure where HoN got their sources.  I mined the bibliography of Ellis' book, looking for books that pertained directly to calendars.  I tried to find them on Amazon, and dug up two:

C.J. Bleeker, Egyptian Festivals: Enactments of Religious Renewal-one copy on Amazon, for $200.00.  Yeah...er, maybe we can check the library
Anthony Spalinger, Three studies on Egyptian feasts and Their Chronological Implications:  Still in print, and not too expensive.

An Amazon search for Egyptian Calendars yielded:

The Ancient Egyptian Calendar And Its Revision:  Norman Lockyer.
The Egyptian Calendar: A Work for Eternity:  A.S. Bomhard, Jean Yoyotte. Er...does anyone speak German? There seems to be an English version but once again, out of print and price in the triple digits.

(scratches head)

This is going to be challenging research.
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« Reply #4: June 25, 2009, 10:52:33 pm »




For my calendar, I used:

Bob Brier's AE Magic for the Cairo Calendar inside only.  (The book itself is disrespectful to Kemetic religion, imo).

El-Sabban Sheriff's Temple Calendars of AE.

And Anthony Spalinger's book you mentioned above. 
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« Reply #5: June 27, 2009, 02:34:47 pm »

For my calendar, I used:

Bob Brier's AE Magic for the Cairo Calendar inside only.  (The book itself is disrespectful to Kemetic religion, imo).

El-Sabban Sheriff's Temple Calendars of AE.

And Anthony Spalinger's book you mentioned above. 

Thanks. Sheriff's book is prohibitively expensive but I managed to find it in inter-library loan.  Good to know the Spalinger book is worthwhile Smiley

Ever buy a book and not look at it, and then come back to it later and realize it has something useful in it?  There is actually a Cairo Calendar in Circle of Isis:  Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches by Ellen Cannon Reed.  It's a Wiccan book, but as far as I can see she hasn't incorporated Wiccan elements into the calendar. 

There is also an example of one here: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/wily/cal.html, though the author doesn't list hir sources. At a cursory glance the two look very similar, though it looks like the names of the months are different.  Reed lists the 2nd month of Akhet as "Ptah", for example, while the calendar that I linked to above lists it as "Menhet".  HoN calls that month "Paopi".  This is complex, to say the least. 

I think the Cairo calendar gives me occasional good excuses not to go to work.  If I can't take off for a religious holiday, I can always say:  "Sorry, can't leave the house today...I'll be eaten by a crocodile." 
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« Reply #6: June 27, 2009, 06:13:11 pm »

Ever buy a book and not look at it, and then come back to it later and realize it has something useful in it?  There is actually a Cairo Calendar in Circle of Isis:  Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches by Ellen Cannon Reed.  It's a Wiccan book, but as far as I can see she hasn't incorporated Wiccan elements into the calendar. 

The Cairo Calendar from Bob Brier's book is in that book. 

Quote
There is also an example of one here: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/wily/cal.html, though the author doesn't list hir sources. At a cursory glance the two look very similar, though it looks like the names of the months are different.  Reed lists the 2nd month of Akhet as "Ptah", for example, while the calendar that I linked to above lists it as "Menhet".  HoN calls that month "Paopi".  This is complex, to say the least. 

Well, I think there are season names (Akhet, Peret, Shomu months 1-4 each) and then the months themselves having names in either AE or Greek.  I think some of the months were either sacred to and/or named after a deity.

Quote
I think the Cairo calendar gives me occasional good excuses not to go to work.  If I can't take off for a religious holiday, I can always say:  "Sorry, can't leave the house today...I'll be eaten by a crocodile." 

LOL!  Yeah. 
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« Reply #7: June 28, 2009, 01:45:53 pm »

The Cairo Calendar from Bob Brier's book is in that book. 


Well that saves me the trouble of tracking down a book that's probably going to offend me.  I'm glad I dug through the stacks.  Thanks. 
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« Reply #8: July 12, 2009, 05:58:06 pm »

Well that saves me the trouble of tracking down a book that's probably going to offend me.  I'm glad I dug through the stacks.  Thanks. 

Just FYI, for all those folks outside the US, you can use this site to do the same thing:

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/mrst.php#formb

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« Reply #9: July 24, 2009, 04:58:19 am »

There is also an example of one here: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/wily/cal.html, though the author doesn't list hir sources. At a cursory glance the two look very similar, though it looks like the names of the months are different.  Reed lists the 2nd month of Akhet as "Ptah", for example, while the calendar that I linked to above lists it as "Menhet".  HoN calls that month "Paopi".  This is complex, to say the least. 

This might help you out in figuring out month names. Smiley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_calendar#Reformed_calendar


This page also compares Greek months with Egyptian ones.

http://www.neosalexandria.org/calendars.htm
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« Reply #10: July 31, 2010, 02:00:42 pm »

The religious calendar of ancient Kemet is both lunar--with each
month starting on the day of the New Moon--as well as sidereal--with the New Year
--called 'Wep Renpet' or the Opening of the Year--
celebrated on the morning of the visible rise of Sopdet (Sirius) just prior to sunrise.
 To determine the date for the beginning of the New Year we need to
calculate the precise date that the star Sirius (called 'Sopdet' in Egyptian)
rises just before sunrise. Sirius had been invisible for some 70 days--
which means it arose when the sun had already risen and hence
could not be seen by the naked eye due to the illuminated atmosphere.

Today we can utilize a government astronomical website that
provides us with the necessary information. Here's what to do:
Go to
http://www.usno.navy.mil
 
In top toolbar click on 'Astronomy';
Then click on Data Services;
Click on Rise/Set/Transit Times for Major Solar System Objects and
Bright Stars
Fill out the required fields, including your location, the star Sirius,
and dates from late July to August 14 or later.
Print a copy of the resulting table of Rise/Set/Transit Times.

Then go back and fill out the form again, but this time you will
select Sun so you can get Rise/Set/Transit Times for the sun.

Finally, compare the two sets of Times, remembering that you
are looking for the first date when Sirius appears BEFORE Civil Twilight.
You will see that for the city of San Francisco
 for 2009 the date of August 6 Sirius rises at 5:45 a.m.
and the time for beginning Civil Twilight is 5:49. That means
that on that date the human eye will see Sirius just 4 minutes
before Twilight begins. Once the suns actually rises at 6:18
it will be far too bright to see the star.
The date of New year will vary considerably, depending on latitude
and longitude in our very large country.  For example, in Miami, Florida,
the date for New Year 2009 will be July 27--and not August 6 as in
San Francisco--because Civil Twilight begins at 6:20 a.m. and Sirius rises
at 6:16, just four minutes prior.  That means Sirius will be visible for
the first time in this season.  On dates prior to July 27 Sirius will be rising
after the start of Civil Twilight and Sunrise and hence will not be seen by
the naked eye because the sky will be too bright.
This does raise some issues that could to be explored by the various Kemetic
temples.  Would it be "within the Tradition" to have such variation in celebrating
the new year across this country?  Would it be better to select one date for the nation
or for a fellowship of affiliated temples, even though they're geographically far apart?
Might we use the date based on calculations for Egypt instead of the United States?
And, if so, which location in Egypt--since Egypt is also a very large country?
You see, the questions multiply.  
My sense of things is that we are not wrong to use our own location in determining
the date for Wep Renpet.  Human's experience of their world is in fact local, not global.
The sun rises for us in our location at a certain time, and for other folks in their
locations at different times.  On the other hand, perhaps we Kemetics should select
one location--let's say, the nation's capital--to calculate the date of Wep Renpet.
At this very early stage in our development as Kemetic Reconstructionists I think we
can begin a period of reflection and discussion on the topic--in a spirit of mutual
respect for the varying insights and opinions that will likely emerge.  Just as in
ancient Kemet there were a number of differing creation myths, and all were honored,
so today we can learn from their example to honor diversity of opinion.    

Just a note to update everybody--the navy website referred to above has changed. the new website is   http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services
Wep Renpet is fast approaching, for northern CA it's August 6.
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« Reply #11: August 01, 2010, 12:37:31 am »

Just a note to update everybody--the navy website referred to above has changed. the new website is   http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services
Wep Renpet is fast approaching, for northern CA it's August 6.

Thank you very much for the update, Setnakht!
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« Reply #12: August 01, 2010, 04:12:59 am »

Just FYI, for all those folks outside the US, you can use this site to do the same thing:

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/mrst.php#formb



This link needs to be updated.  Do you know of a current address?
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« Reply #13: August 01, 2010, 09:06:59 am »

This link needs to be updated.  Do you know of a current address?
<pokes around on USNO site a bit> The site Setnahkt gives is a top level, from which all kinds of useful stuff can be accessed.  The specific pages to use are:

To find by US town/city:  http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/topo-pos-us

To find by latitude/longitude, if you're not in the US or if you're not in (or close enough to - I've no idea how much distance makes what kind of difference, so how close is "close enough" you'll have to figure out yourself) a town/city that they give data for:  http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/topo-pos-world

At the bottom of the latter page, you'll find links to help you get your latitude/longitude if you don't know it.

Sunflower
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« Reply #14: August 01, 2010, 09:45:27 am »

<pokes around on USNO site a bit> The site Setnahkt gives is a top level, from which all kinds of useful stuff can be accessed.  The specific pages to use are:

To find by US town/city:  http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/topo-pos-us

To find by latitude/longitude, if you're not in the US or if you're not in (or close enough to - I've no idea how much distance makes what kind of difference, so how close is "close enough" you'll have to figure out yourself) a town/city that they give data for:  http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/topo-pos-world

At the bottom of the latter page, you'll find links to help you get your latitude/longitude if you don't know it.

Sunflower

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