Moon guides have existed for thousands of years and below you can find out why they are still so important and how you can use them for your daily benefit. But at first, let’s look a bit at how they came into the world.
From as early as 30,000 B.C. hunter and gather societies have used the moon cycle to guide them through their life, give them light throughout the night, and scheduled their days. One of the earliest known ‘calendars’ was found in the Dordogne Region of France and consisted of animal bones. You can find out more about the origin of the moon calendar on this blog.
Many civilizations, more notably the Greeks and Romans scheduled their lives according to the path of the moon, and the first moon guides were established. Each generation added extra information and observations to these calendars. Eventually, this knowledge developed into an almanac.
What is an almanac?
Generally speaking, we think about an annual calendar publication that includes the movement of the sun, moon, eclipses,
black moons and blue moons, tide tables, planting dates, and various tips and lifestyle advice.
The first ever documented use of the word almanac was in 1267 by Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar and medieval English philosopher. He set out to publish a set of tables to detail the path of the moon and other well-known planets and referred to it as an almanac. The actual word almanac comes from the Coptic-Egyptian literature where these tables were called almenickiaka.
There are also other sources that claim it comes from the Arabic work al-manakh, but the exact origin remains a mystery.
But never mind where the word comes from, almanacs have been in use for thousands of years, giving structure to people’s lives, and highlighting good and bad days for agriculture, fishing, and hunting. Until not so long ago they were the backbone of the agricultural systems all around the world.
The Babylonian Almanac
These keen stargazers connected all sorts of events to the rhythm of the universe and collected this information in their own Babylonian Luni-solar Calendar. Still one of the most impressive examples of lunar guides. Their interpretations of certain star patterns, good and bad dates for certain activities were passed down through the generations.
Some examples of these handwritten moon guides have survived and can be viewed in the British Museum in London. When Guttenberg invented the printing press these guides were among the first commercially printed books and traveled on ships to the New World.
Poor Richard’s Almanack
There the imported European guides were soon superseded by homegrown US versions. The most successful was called Poor Richard’s Almanack which saw a yearly print run of nearly 10,000 copies a year and this publication ran from 1732 to 1758. It was written and published by Richard Saunders and sold exceptionally well. Apart from the usual calendar tips, it also contained puzzles, household tips, and amusements for the whole family.
Later versions added proverbs with life advice, stories on how to run the household, and tales of moral behavior. All delivered with a touch of humor, and a dash of cynicism.Not surprising as Richard Saunders was in fact the pen name of no other than Benjamin Franklin, who later became one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.
How can I benefit from an almanac today?
These valuable guides have not lost their benefits. In fact, with so many other news channels, TV, streamers, social media, etc vying for your attention, it is really important to have a constant guide in your life. It turns your focus on what really matters in your life.
Your health, your environment, your relationships, your career/vocation, and your spirituality. And as we saw in a previous article – where focus goes, energy flows.
Once you have these elements under control and in balance, you are able to take on the world with a positive mindset. And down-to-earth tips and recipes prove especially useful in a time when money is scarce and the future is uncertain.
I am in the process of publishing my very first almanac with useful tips and recipes, partly passed down from my grandmother and partly gained through my extensive research. And I can not wait to share it with you all!
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