Uropian and Anuropian Cycles

 

Astlan has two moons.

The larger appearing moon is Uropia and the smaller is Anuropia. Uropia represents the femine aspect of nature and Anuropia the masculine.

Both moons are actually the same size, (balancing male and female), but Anuropia is farther away and thus appears smaller. Both moons have synchronous periods of revolution, although Anuropia's is one half that of Uropia.

Thus, for every 2 months of Uropia, Anuropia has one. Each month of Uropia has a name but Anuropian months are not named, as a whole, rather the quarters of the Anuropian month are named. The 5 Anuropian months correspond to the 5 seasons. The logic behind this comes from the Anuropian phases.

Having two moons does make for interesting tidal pattern as well as other Ropian based effects (as the joint moon cycles are called). However, unusual moon effects are further complicated by Anuropia's unorthodox behavior. Uropia revolves in the plane of the ecliptic (it follows the same path as Fierd, the sun). Anuropia, however, in a manner that some would insist is completely masculine in its contradictory behavior, has somehow managed to achieve a polar orbit (it traverses the sky north to south and south to north, passing over the poles), much to the consternation of more than one sage. This orbit is also perpendicular to the motion of Astlan about Fierd. The polar orbit of Anuropia, combined with the more stable motion of Uropia is what drives the Ropian cycles, the months and the seasons.

Months of the Year: There are ten Uropian months and thus 5 Anuropian months (thus 5 seasons). Each Anuropian month is divided into quarters indicating the moon's current position in the sky. Each Anuropian quarter is 20 days long (thus a month and season are 80 days long), and each Uropian month is 40 days long. There are thus 400 days in one year.

Fortunately, the Fierdal year also happens to correspond to the same length of time, approximately. Slight differences in Ropian and Fierdal cycles result in leap years every 5th year, and to keep the calendars in balance, these leap years require 1 day to be added the calender every five years to keep the cycles of the moons in line with the cycles of the sun. This leap day always occurs between the 20th and the 1st quarter-month. It also has its own day of the week so as not to throw off the other days of the week.

Aspects of the Months: The combination of the two moons' phases gives rise to the various aspects of the months. The Aspects are combinations of the negative and positive phases of the moons and the masculine, feminine combination of the moons.  

Phases of the Moons

Ultimately it is the phases of the two moons that drive the entire life cycle of Astlan.

Uropia: Uropia has four phases: Submissive (when it is between Fierd and Astlan, thus unlit); Ascendent (moving towards Dominant); Dominant (on the other side of Asltan from Fierd, full moon); and Descendent (moving away from Dominant, towards submissive). Further, when Uropia is visible in the day sky, it is said to be in its Negative Aspect and when it is visible at night, it is in its Positive Aspect.

Anuropia:The polar orbit of Anuropia gives it very unusual behavior. For one-half of its month it traverses over the northern hemisphere, and the other half it traverses over the southern hemisphere. When in one hemisphere, it is not visible from the other. If Anuropia is traversing the opposite hemisphere and not visible, then Uropia is the only moon present, this period of time has a Feminine Aspect. When both moons are visible in the sky (not necessarily at the same time, e.g. one could be up in day and the other at night) that period of time has a Masculine Aspect.

What one actually sees with Anuropia's motion (in the northern hemisphere) is that after a period of forty days of absence, Anuropia appears upon the daytime horizon. At this point, it is between Astlan and Fierd and thus is unlit by Fierd and is in its Submissive phase. On this first night, due to the rotation of Astlan, Anuropia (unlit however) appears to walk along the horizon from East to West. On each successive day it traverses the sky farther and farther North (and becoming fuller), until eventually it reaches the North Pole where it does not taverse the sky at all. This motion, from South to North over a period of 20 days is called retrograde motion. When Anuropia is in retrograde and simultaneously visible during the day, (which is always the case, due to the orbit, retrograde and Anuropia's daytime presence always occur together) this is its Negative Aspect (like Uropia's Negative Aspect). When it reaches the North Pole, Anuropia is now in its Ascendent Phase (and half of it is lit up by Fierd).

Upon reaching the Pole, for a few days, it appears to never set (since being at the north pole it is visible to people on both the night side and the day side). After reaching the North Pole, it then begins to progress over the night sky North to South. While it traverses from the North to the South, it is in is in its Positive Aspect (it's in the night sky where moons have power, and it's no longer moving retrograde). As it nears the horizon of the night sky, it becomes fuller and fuller until it is Dominant at the equator.

After it falls below the equator, once again the Aspects of the Months are Feminine, as Anuropia moves in its Descendent state moving towards Submissive when it will dare to climb into Uropia's sky, forty days after disappearing. Naturally, if one lives south of the equator, things are simply reversed.
Thus, to summarize, from the northern hemisphere [NH=North Hemisphere, SH=South Hemisphere]:

Notes on Aspects and Phases

One thing to note is that Anuropia is rarely completely dominant, as half the time that it is in the night (or day) sky, Uropia is also in the sky. The height of the Masculine aspect occurs when Uropia and Anuropia are on opposite sides of Astlan, (e.g. Positive Anuropia and Negative Uropia or vice versa). The strongest such occurance is with Uropia in the Negative Submissive Aspect, and Anuropia in the Positive Dominant Aspect. This is occaisionally a time of greater strife; in the Northern Hemisphere it also occurs in the last week of each season, in the Southern Hemisphere during the first week of each season (except that in this case Uropia is in its Dominant Phaser rather than submissive).

One other thing to note is that due to Anuropia's motion, Anuropian Eclipses of Fierd are not uncommon. More uncommon is an Uropian Eclipse of Fierd, and most uncommon and always of great import is a dual Uropian-Anuropian Eclipse (when Fierd, Anuropia, Uropia and Astlan are all aligned). Other rare but important moments also occur when Uropia and Anuropia are on exact opposite sides of the planet, with Fierd also in complete alignment (major upheavals usually occur).
Notes on Southern Hemisphere: In the Southern Hemisphere the Masculine-Feminine Aspects are reversed. The Polarities however, stay fixed. The phases of Uropia stay the same, since its orbit is equatorial. Thus, quarter-month 20 is Morthus, which in the NH is Negative Masculine Spirit, whereas in the SH, it is Negative Feminine Spirit. Further, note that in the SH there is no month of Hearth before Winter. Rather after Winter there is the long period of Sustenance. The reason for this is that due to the elemental oppositions; in the NH the long cold, but dry season of Hearth comes before the wetter and harsher season of Winter. In the SH, on the other hand, the cold dry season, Sustenance, comes after the coldest and wetter weather of Winter. At least this is the general case, and obviously local weather conditions may vary from season to season, and no place too near the equator gets cold or snowy, but it does get wet in Winter.

Finally, in the NH, Anuropian months begin when Anuropia is at the North Pole, while in the SH, Anuropian months begin when Anuropia is at the South Pole.

Measuring Time

Weeks:Astlanian weeks are based upon the Uropian month and her phases. Each week corresponds to a phase of Uropia. The names of the weeks are thus Desen, Subime, Asen and Domine. Each week is 10 days long and is exactly one half of an Anuropian quarter.

Days:There are 10 days in a Uropian week. The ten days are Fierday, Desday, Anday, Suday, Restday, Landay, Asday, Urday, Domday, Godsday. In many lands, Restday is a day of relaxation, and Godsday a day of religious celebration. Different lands and cultures, however, do tend to vary from this.

The numbering of the days is generally done in either one of two ways. Most commonly the days are numbered 1-20, in accordance with the days of the Anuropian quarter-month, and the date is written as QM/Day/Year, where QM is the quarter-month (1-20) and the day is the day of that quarter-month. A more archaic form is to number the Uropian months (1-10) and the days of the Uropian month (1-40). However, since mixing both can lead to confusion, the general convention if using the Uropian system is to give Day-Name of Month-Year. From a practical point of view, the first system based on the Anuropian quarter-month is usually preferred, since among the common people, more people can count to twenty than can count to 40.

Every five years is a leap year. At this time, a single day is added between the 20th and 1st quarter months (10th and 1st Uropian month). In other words, add an extra day between the fifth and sixth years. This day does not fall on the regular calendar, and even has a special name, so that the names of the days of the week will not get out of synch from year to year. The name of the leap day varies from place to place, but is usually either referred to as Leapday or Festival. The second name is more common because in most places, great carnivals are given at this time. It is also a popular time for Coronations, if the demise of the previous ruler can be arranged conveniently enough.

Hours:Time keeping in many parts of Astlan, is not always an exact science. Most common people divide the day into quarters or fifths with major meals or getting up and going to bed marking the turning point. More precise measurements are done using clocks and other devices, however, the scaling factors on these devices tend to vary from maker to maker. However, logically, and from a Ropian point of view, it would make sense to divide the day into 20 hours. This accamodates both people who divide days into fifths and those who use quarters.
The one surety in all time keeping is that during the Positive Masculine Aspect of the moons, Anuropia is directly overhead at midnight. During the Negative Masculine Aspect, both Fierd and Anuropia lie in a line in the sky directly overhead. This fails, of course, during the Feminine months and when Anuropia is at the Pole

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