Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shanatu Qadishtu: The Natib Qadish Sacred Year

The holiday calendar for qadishuma (people who practice Natib Qadish, Canaanite religion) is based primarily on Bronze Age cuneiform texts found at the city of Ugarit. These texts date to around 1200 BCE (about 3212 years ago). We also take into consideration the Gezer Calendar, a writing in early Hebrew found in Gezer, and written in 925 BCE (about 2937 years ago). Our sacred calendar is called the Shanatu Qadishtu, which means "holy year" in the Ugaritic language.

Unlike the temperate European climate where there are four seasons (spring-summer-autumn-winter) there are basically two seasons in Canaan (wet and dry) with a little transition between the two. The wet season corresponds to a temperate climate's seasons of autumn and winter; and the dry season includes some of a temperate climate's spring and summer. There are two harvests: one around the transition of the dry season to the wet season for fruit (sometime around August-September on the secular calendar); and a grain harvest as the wet season transitions to the dry season (somewhere around March-April-May on the secular calendar).
Although we take into consideration the seasons of ancient Canaan, we appreciate nature but are not "nature-based" or "earth-based." We are centered on the deities first, community second, and nature third. The ancient holiday calendar of the Canaanite city of Ugarit was based on civil and dynastic (kingly) concerns as well as seasonal themes. Many of our holidays occur near solar or lunar events such as equinoxes, solstices, full moons, and new moons: secular months given below are approximate.