Hello, this is Petra from Kalenderkind bringing you background information on life calendars you never knew you didn’t need.
But I can promise you, reading this is time well wasted. Just look at this calendar printed in 1720, a calendar that is continuously being published, called “the 100 year calendar”. I discovered it by accident during my research for “Little Boxes” and at first I thought “Jesus, another lunatic who drew a 100 year life calendar”.
I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I found out that the 100 year calendar is actually a 7 year calendar. Between 1652 and 1658, Monk Mauritius Knauser observed Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun and Venus and recorded the weather during times of their “influence”. It was a scientific attempt for practical reasons. He wanted to discover patterns that would allow him to predict the weather to improve his monastery’s harvest yield. He then published the calendar under the title Calendarium oeconomicum practicum perpetuum, which means economical, practical and eternal calendar. And then the one thing happened that would give this book it’s advantage: the title seems to have been changed by a clever publisher in 1700. With it, the calender has outlasted the centuries.
The Staatsbibliothek Bamberg has the original handwritten books. Here is the first from 1654
This was apparently written before Knauser started his 7 year observation. It seems as if he started to write the book, and after 2 years, added his daily observations. Imagine writing a book about your scientific assumptions first, then adding the proof later.
On this page Knauser associates the planets with years where these planets were “active”, meaning they had an influence over the weather on Earth
The mythology of the number 7
Nothing better than researching mythology when I have so many more important things to do, like WORKING. So what’s up with these 7 planet weather classes? For seven years, these planets (whereas the moon is not a planet, but let’s not allow reality to destroy this beautiful theory) rule earth weather for an entire year. He calls it “Regentschaft” (Regency) of a planet. After that, the 7 year cycle repeats.
7, always this mysterious number 7. Quick, a bit of research because I really have nothing better to do right now. The ancient greek philosopher Philon von Alexandria searched for a pattern in life and divided it into 7 year cycles. (He also had some ideas about the numbers three and ten, but anyway). Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf schools built the concept of education around 7 year cylces. The cell biologigst Jonas Frisen became known for his studies on renewal of organs, which seems to take place at 7-10 year intervals. Dr. med. Henning Elsner, head physician at the psychosomatic hospital Lahnhöhe has observed 7 year cycles in his clinical work. It’s not chiseled into stone, he says, but there are cycles we can’t ignore.
Okay, that is interesting. Back to Knauser. To use his 100 year calendar, one needs to know what planet rules the current year.
How to calculate your year
You could either take Knauser’s table, or simply do this: take your year, subtract 4, divide by 7, but only with a full number so that a rest remains. The rest defines the planet. If 7 remains, then you are in the year of the moon. If the rest is 4, it is the year of the sun. There, you figured out the laws of the planetary system around us,
The official start of a year, according to Knauser was not the first of January
21 of march is the day
The day for the regency of a planet to begin. And he explains why,
In the unanimous opinion of the theologians and philosophers, God created the world in spring and similarly handed recency to the planets. Because the creation of the world took place on the spring equinox, it is not likely that this reign was begun at the winter solstice, especially not at the preceding ones, because the world had not yet been created at that time.
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything could be explained so simply.
The regency patterns of the planets that create earth weather
Kalt und feucht.
(cold and wet)
Von mittelmäßiger Wärme, mehr feucht als trocken.
(Of medium warmth, more wet than dry)
Mehr trocken als feucht und mehr warm als kalt.
(More dry than wet and more warm than cold)
Von einer mittelmäßigen Wärme, fast durchaus trocken.
(Of a medium warmth, almost pretty much dry)
Mehr feucht als trocken, jedoch sehr warm.
(More wet than dry, but very warm)
Mehr trocken als feucht und zugleich mehr kalt als warm, daher auch selten fruchtbar.
(More dry than wet and simultaneously more cold than warm, therefore rarely fertile)
Mehr feucht als trocken und mehr warm als kalt.
(More wet than dry and more cold than warm)
His daily observations looked like this
The calendar on its way to eternity
Another hand-drawn version of the calendar from 1660
It seems Knauser drew the Calendar again and again with different layouts. I wonder if the content changed from version to version, or if he was happy with his initial observation from 1652 and 1658. He must have realised by then that his weather predictions didn’t always match reality. He did state that there are other influences like comets which can alter the planet weather. But I guess his work looked so official and true already by that time, with so many handwritten copies in circulation, it didn’t seem wise to question it.
Here is another one from around 1750. Why did he draw so many of them?
I imagine him sitting at his desk and then drawing this daring circle as if to say “There you have it. I explained the weather for you. Now go and plant something”
A printed version from 1704. Already looks much more official
A printed version of 1836. The transformation from fiction to science is almost complete
A couple of covers from publications up until today. As scientific credibility declines, the quality of graphic execution does, too
What I learned
Still today the calendar is printed by several publishers, mainly in German. Pretty astonishing for a book with a false title containing a collection of false weather observations. Ah, the power of marketing. The title promises so much more, even I caught myself attempting to read a “higher understanding” of the cosmos into Knauser’s observations. The indestructibility of a story too good to be true reminds me of Jame’s Fry’s A million little pieces. Did you personally mind that most of the story was not true? I didn’t. It sounded true. It felt true. In my part of the universe, it was true. I wished the monk’s planet weather was true. It sounds true. And boy does the calligraphy look true.
The calendar online
I found the beautiful large images of the calendar in the