raccoon's zone!

This web is still being woven. Please don't be surprised if it changes from time to time...


revision 1

hemisphere-absolute quarters

an update to the symbols which define the quarters that should solve some of the problems mentioned in an earlier release:

these quarters are referred to as "hemisphere-absolute", as opposed to "hemisphere-relative", introduced in the following section. both hemispheres experience the same quarter at the same time.

their symbology, with □ representing northness and ○ representing southness, is again arbitrary, but it is an attempt to avoid giving the symbols directionality, discouraging the "north ~ up" metaphor.

the former symbols are now discouraged from use as they carry tenuous metaphors biased toward the northern hemisphere but their absoluteness is unspecified. the first release's behavior may be referred to as "hemisphere-ambiguous". i was also forced to use the ugliest pluto symbol available due to widespread font support.

if you still wish to use the deprecated symbols for archaic stylistic purposes, i recommend using them in a strictly hemisphere-relative manner (as in the following section), and replacing pluto's symbol with the more usual orb and bident if the situation allows.

hemisphere-relative quarters

for expressing hemisphere-relative dates, such as to emphasize a certain "season", the following may be used:

you can also express e.g. □🜄🜃 (northern far, N.f.), which is identical to ○○ but carries the connotation of "the winter solstice as experienced by the northern hemisphere".

this symbology is loosely inspired by Aristotelian physics, in an attempt to emphasize the shared qualities between quarters, that this is a continuous cycle that we have simply chosen to discretize at certain "apexes". far expresses the water/earth quality of "coldness", and midnear shares this water-affinity but aligns to the water/air quality of "wetness", etc.

if you don't appreciate the classical element metaphor, then the orientation of these symbols still serves another mnemonic purpose: "near" is represented by a triangle pointing up--the sun tilted subjectively "upward" toward your hemisphere--and "far" is represented by the opposite. 🜂🜃 can be understood as "near becoming far", etc.

halving; ascii short representation

the use of ☉ (rising, r.) and ☽ (setting, s.) to halve each quarter into an "oct" (since "eighth" is inelegant to speak, this is now the preferred term) remains the same.

if you only have access to ASCII, a fully specified oct might look like r.S. (☉○○), or s.f. (☽🜄🜃), or even s.N.mn. (☽□🜄🜁)

additional comments

to address outstanding issues:

these measures are the core of the system: to remedy these issues would mean an entirely different system with different thoughtpatterns. i am okay with the concessions made. this is not a "universal calendar", it's just a bit of fun :).

and, some thoughts about highly local time:

defining time directly with an "apparent" measure, a measure as observed in the sky at a given position, is a failure to coordinate time across any meaningful distance at all. even just a few lieues away, your ☉00 is not your friend's ☉00.

i don't see this as a failure. we already have a perfectly fine coordinated time system that fails to correspond to any actual subjective notion of the time of day.

however, incidentally, a highly local time system happens to make inventing rudimentary "time zones" incredibly transparent and easy to understand: just get your community to agree on some particular geographic points which are equidistant in longitude and identical in latitude, and use a computer model with an ephemeris instead of manual observation to measure from those specific points instead of from your present location!

i do not specify any "standard geographic positions" here, but you're welcome to try something like this yourself :) may i recommend "@" as the location-absolute symbol? e.g. "☉00:00 1☉🜄🜃 @ location", where "location" is some commonly-understood place identifier.

initial release deprecation notice

this calendar is not recommended for new designs

issues include:

documentation is still provided and you may still purchase extended support licenses from your preferred vendors.

initial release

hello i
(for) raccoon has
have made a scheme
for writing the current day

it is not very useful
for the regular things
a person(s) might use the date
for which benefit from the ubiquity of a single system

it can nevertheless be useful for a thing or two. check it

a "day" begins with sunrise, meaning when the edge of the sun appears to reach the horizon, meaning when the geometric center of the sun is about 50 arcminutes below the horizon.

a "year" is divided into "quarters" whose first days are those which contain an equinox or solstice.
e.g. in the year of our lady of discord thirty-one eighty-six these days were (in gregorian) the 20th of march, the 20th of june, the 22nd of september, the 21st of december.

these quarters are further subdivided into two parts of roughly equal length ("halves") by determining the day during which the sun's declination from the celestial equator is half of that reached in the equinox/solstice.
this is mainly for the purpose of allowing holidays such as imbolc which are defined by the midpoints between these astronomical events to be held on the first day of the second half of each quarter.

as an example, the fifth day of the second half of the third quarter is to me written as follows: 5☽♆.
the astrological symbols for the sun and moon are used metaphorically to mean the first and second halves, respectively. the symbols ♅, ♇, ♆, ⊕ are used to mean each quarter in chronological order.
you may wish to arrange your quarters differently from mine. winter is intuitive to me as the start of the year: it (metaphorically) directly precedes the dawn, and seems to represent the north (from the perspective of someone who lives in the northern hemisphere) which feels like a good direction to start from.
yes, i realise that this solstice is the southern one in the literal astronomical sense.
the symbols are used as such because of the association of uranus to the heavens to the air to winter, pluto to the underworld to fire to spring, neptune to water to summer, and earth to earth to autumn.

this system is meant for arranging recurring yearly events or ones relating to the current year and does not itself need a particular scheme for notating which year you are talking about.
you are welcome to use another calendar's years despite incongruity with the cycle, or to define some arbitrary southern solstice to be the first day of the first year.
for convenience i have decided to use three digits which correspond to the lower three digits of the year in the gregorian calendar. since the southern solstice occurs before january, this value advances a bit earlier than the one in the gregorian calendar. 1☉♅ 000 is 22 december 1999.
i figure that this is relatively unambiguous, as this system will not be used to discuss history, and by the time anyone would want to talk about, say, the year 3000 CE, the year 2000 CE will have no relevance to present events.
we will by then be gone either way :)

i have also found it interesting to express local time as the number of hours, minutes, and seconds since sunrise, and if some equivalent of 12-hour time is desired, switching to time since sunset once the sun sets.
the full datetime format ends up looking a bit like this: ☉00:00:00 1☉♅ 000.
this format does not go in order by unit scale:

day segment > hour > minute > second < day < half-quarter < quarter < year

i believe this is acceptable. the symbol for the moon points out from the right to the left and so appears associated with the value to the right of it. it cannot appear correct and in order simultaneously.

ok thats about it. bye