The Coligny Calendar and the Sequani Calendar are one and the same. The name Sequani was chosen because it is the name of the Celtic Goddess of the Seine and this is where the tablets were found. Let me give you a little bit of it's history here.
A number of engraved copper-alloy fragments were discovered in 1897 in a bog at the headwaters of the River Seine, France. They were found to be pieces of a single, large bronze tablet, which measured some 5 feet wide by 3½ feet in height when reassembled. The assembled tablet contains information arranged in sixteen vertical columns, with what seem to be notes on the weather being systematically recorded.
J. Monard, a French archaeologist studied the inscriptions on this tablet for several years, and finally decided that the Coligny tablet represents the most accurate reconstruction of the Celtic calendar by far. He believed this information to be the work of Gallic druids who wished to preserve their ancient system of timekeeping.
Dubbed the "Coligny Calendar", and also known as the Sequani Calendar, this calendar has been the subject of much speculation. So much so, in fact, that another group decided to take up the cause and examine it.
Clay and Barbara Carter, an astronomer and astrologer, respectively; Eadhmonn Ua Cuinn, a Celticist and sculptor; Helen Benigni, a writer and mythologer; Mark Butervaugh, a Naturalist and artist; and Tim Krantz, a printmaker as a team studied this calendar. It is an integral part of Celtic culture. Up until this time, we didn't have much to go by. Upon studying the Sequani Calendar, this same group found that this calendar was even more accurate than any others that have been uncovered thus far.
They noted that the calendar followed the patterns of the moon and stars. By taking notice of the positions of constellations in the night sky, the ancient Celts would have been able to keep track of time with an amazing degree of accuracy. Clay and Barbara Carter also discovered that the beginning of each month was indicated by the appearance of a star of first magnitude, marked as PRIN on the calendar. This star would appear on the Eastern Horizon shortly after sunset and then begin to set on the Western Horizon at sunrise. This tells us that time is measured at night by the stars traveling in conjunction with the orbit of the moon. Then studying the myths and legends that surround the stars and constellations, this study group was able to figure out how the Celts marked their plantings times, harvests and holidays. It had also explained how they divided their seasons.
As shown below, the ancient names of the twelve lunar cycles are listed on the Sequani calendar as: Samonios, Dumannios, Rivros, Anagantios, Ogronios, Cutios, Giamonios, Simivisonnios, Equos, Elembivios, Edrinios, and Cantlos. (Recall, if you will that this calendar was found in France and not in Ireland or Scotland.) This Calendar coincides with ancient monuments such as Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, and Stonehenge which base their astronomical orientation on the Winter Solstice.
The Sequani Calendar indicates that the Winter Solstice or Samonios is the New Year and the beginning of the light half of the year and Summer Solstice or Giamonios is the beginning of the dark half of the year.
These holidays have now been accurately marked in several Celtic stone monuments such as Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, and Stonehenge and they all coincide with the Sequani Calendar's markings of the Solstices, the Equinoxes, and the lunar cycles.
I would like to amend this page by including a letter that I received from Helen Benigni. Please note the corrections as you are reading this page. I was thrilled with her interest in this site, and hope that you will all gain something from this, as I did.
After reading your webpage on The Sequani Calendar, I thought I would write to you and, first of all, thank you for a marvelous job in acknowledging our work on the Celtic calendar! Unfortunately, my computer is on the blink, and I had to have a friend print the information for me. I don't have the complete text, but I would like to make some points on what I do have.
In your chart of the Druid Moons, the note on Samon and Giamon is really something that has never been explained linguistically. The calendar is a Gaulish text for which there is very little translation. The only month title that has been translated, as far as I know is Ogronios, which means the last frost or cold spell. I am reluctant to translate the months or match them to Gaelic, as Gaulish and Gaelic are two very different languages. What I do understand from working on the calendar for so many years is that the Druids start their light period at the moment of the winter solstice in the month of Samonios and their dark period at the summer solstice in Giamonios.These periods are half of the year each. Anyway, I hope that helps. Be careful with the linguistics as little or nothing is really known. Peter Berresford Ellis is now working on an Indo-European sky calendar; he might come up with some root translations.
Also, in your Druid months:
There are two harvest moons: the vegetable harvest is in Simivisonn and the grain harvest is Elembivios. Elembivios corresponds with the Greek lunar calendar of the Eleusinian Mysteries to the grain mother, Demeter who is represented as The Matrona in Celtic mythology. I have a book coming out this year entitled The Myth of the Year where I explain the goddesses and gods for each of the constellations on the calendar comparing them to the Greek references, which are very close; I trace their Neolithic roots to archetypes way back when.
I have also attached an article entitled "Stonehenge and The Sequani Calendar" that will be published in the winter solstice issue of Celtic Connections, a British magazine edited by David Barton. It is now on the website of The Mystica (Alan Hefner's site) www.themystica.com It is linked to my other article on "The Discovery of The Sequani Calendar" I hope you enjoy it.
If you would like a calendar or more information, let me know.
Also, check out her other work at www.themystica.com.
And if you'd like to read first hand about the calendar, then check out the groups website at the link below. They can tell you much more than I ever could about it.
Based on the Coligny calendar. Recall please that the tablet was found in France, and this would not be the spoken Irish. The calendar is written in the Latin alphabet and was found along with a Roman-style statue. (said by some to be Apollo, by others Mars). This language is definitely Gaulish.
Note: SAMON (for Samonios) and GIAMON (for Giamonios). The names of these two months are clearly related to the terms samos "summer" and giamos "winter" (cf. Gaelic samh(radh) "summer", geamh(radh) "winter"; Welsh haf "summer", gaeaf "winter").
Today, using the modern Gaelic languages, the festival Samonios is called Samhain (Irish), Samhuinn (Scots Gaelic), and Sauin (Manx). To see the differences in the celt languages, and to use as a guide when viewing other tables or charts, go to Different Celtic Languages
|CORRESPONDING MONTHS||DRUID MOONS|
|April-May||Moon Of Ice|
|May-June||Moon Of Winds|
|July-August||Bright Moon/Vegetable Harvest|
|August-Sept.||Moon Of Horses|
|Sept.-Oct.||Moon Of Claiming/Grain Harvest|
|Nov. -Dec.||Singing Moon|
|Last three days of October only||Dead Moon|
Now let's do as the ancients did and divide the year into a dark and light half. This is what you get:
TIME TO STAY INDOORS
TIME OF WINDS
FIX WOOD FENCE TIME
Below you will find the names of modern day months in the gaelic language. (Ireland) To see the differences between the Celt languages, go to Different Celtic Languages.
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