Saturday, November 1, 2014

Astronomical Cross Quarter Dates 2015 to 2019

There are two sets of dates which can be used to determine when the cross quarter days fall. The first is simply a set of fixed dates, although those dates can vary slightly from person to person, tradition to tradition. Fixed days are perhaps more commonly used. With fixed dates Imbolc is always from sundown on the 1st to 2nd of February, or Samhain is sundown on October 31st to sundown on November 1st - or whatever dates one chooses to use, the same dates will be used every year.

However, there is also the method where the dates are calculated by the position of the solstices and equinoxes of the year. For example, Imbolc would be the exact midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, and Beltaine would be the midpoint between the spring equinox and summer solstice, and so on. Since the solstices and equinoxes can shift slightly from year to year, so can the cross quarter dates when using this method.

The following is a chart of cross quarter dates based on the solstices and equinoxes for 2015 to 2019, all based on Eastern Standard Time.

2015
Imbolc - February 3
Beltaine - May 5
Lammas - August 7
Samhain - November 7

2016
Imbolc - February 4
Beltaine - May 4
Lammas - August 6
Samhain - November 7

2017
Imbolc - February 3
Beltaine - May 5
Lammas - August 7
Samhain - November 7

2018
Imbolc - February 3
Beltaine - May 5
Lammas - August 7
Samhain - November 7

2019
Imbolc - February 3
Beltaine - May 5
Lammas - August 7
Samhain - November 7

19 comments:

  1. There are actually three ways to calculate this, Allie. The third way has to do with the Sun and Moon in the Fixed Signs. ;)

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    1. Admittedly, I don't really have much interest in astrology, but the last time I saw that explained it seemed to work out to the same dates as above. Is that not the case?

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  2. I do not know if that equals the same dates or not, but the traditional "fixed signs" are commonly:
    Samhain – Sun at 15° Scorpio
    Yule (Winter Solstice) – Sun at 0° Capricorn
    Imbolc – Sun at 15° Aquarius
    Ostara (Vernal Equinox) – Sun at 0° Aries
    Beltane – Sun at 15° Taurus
    Litha (Summer Solstice) – Sun at 0° Cancer
    Lughnasad – Sun at 15° Leo
    Mabon (Autumn Equinox) – Sun at 0° Libra

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    1. As far as I can tell, this seems to be another way to calculate the same mid-points. As an example, 15° Scorpio (Samhain) is the direct midpoint between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, which would land on Nov 7th. Unless the astrological solstices and equinoxes don't fall at the same time the astronomical ones do? It seems they do, but again, not really something I've put a lot of study into, myself. :)

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    2. What book did you find these degrees in? Ive heard bits of this from teachers but its hard to find solid reading on it! Thanks!

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    3. Sara each sign is 30 degrees.
      Autumn is 0 Libra to 30 Sag, so 15 degrees Scorp is mid way through.

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    4. I found the degrees listed in a book about Celtic druidry quite a while back (which was a terrible source otherwise, and I no longer have it/remember the name), as well as on a few astrology websites. If you google something like crossquarter astrology degrees, or solstice/equinox crossquarter degrees, you should get some more info. It doesn't seem to be a very popular way to list the dates, so the info is sometimes a bit hard to come by, but there are some who do it that way.

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    5. 15 degrees is the height or "zenith" of the sign, while 0 degrees marks the transition from one sign to the next. The "Greater" Sabbats occur at the "high tide" of the four signs represented by Cherubim in the Major Arcana "World" card (and elsewhere): Samhain then is the height of Scorpio, Beltane the height of Taurus. The Lesser Sabbats are the ebb of one sign and the flow of another, and as such are associated with two signs: Yule is the end of sagittarius and the start of capricorn, and so on...

      Complicating this, while the Equinoxes are holy days in their own right, Ostara and Mabon are traditionally celebrated on the Full Moons closest to the solar events.

      Blessings on your journey.

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    6. Ever heard of precession? Fixed zodiacal positions are, like all of astrology, a myth. So it matters not what 'source' you use for bs because, give or take a constellation or two, it is all bs! But the cross quarter days are astronomically significant as they are the true start/end of the seasons.

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  3. Thank you very much for doing this!

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  4. If observing the cross quarter date from the sunset to sunset; for Samhain 2018, would observation begin at sunset on Nov 6 or sunset Nov 7?

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    1. I would say sundown on the 6th through sundown on the 7th.

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    2. That's correct, not that you needed me to vouche for you.

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    3. Does the same apply for Imbolg? Beginning at sundown and ending at sundown, and in this case from the second to the third?

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    4. Yep! For 1029, sundown on the 2nd to sundown on the 3rd.

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  5. Hmmm . . . every ephemeris I look at states that November 8th is when the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio.

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    1. Ephemerides generally show the position of a body at 0:00 UT, so at midnight Universal Time. The ephemerides show 15* Scorpio (for 2018, it actually shows 15* 31') because it's there when the 8th starts.

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  6. Reading this in 2019 thank the GODS you are a life saver.

    - M

    PS I think I will read your blogs from now on.

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