Ancient Minoan Calendar and our Heritage of (yes, relative) Peace

Happy Summer Solstice!

Announcing publication of a small (50pp) color-illustrated booklet The Knossos Calendar: Minoan Cycles of the Sun, the Moon, the Soul and Political Power, published in English and Greek versions by Mystis Editions:

Description. Minoan Cycles of the Sun, the Moon, the Soul & Political Power. AUTHOR’S NOTE. Minoan civilization returned to the sun over 100 years ago.


In 2001, UK archaeologist Lucy Goodison demonstrated a core feature of Minoan astronomy in plain sight all along. The throne of Knossos—which stood for over 1500 years circa 2500-1400, inscribed with a solar disc and lunar crescent—is positioned to be touched by the light of Winter Solstice. With Summer Solstice sunlight also built into this chamber, this can hardly be other than the Minoans’ essential prime counting-anchor for the New Year Day of their central calendar.

A New Moon at Winter Solstice (as we saw last December 2015) pairs the sun’s and moon’s cycles at their newborn beginnings; and today in the sky is their paired complement of a Full Moon at Summer Solstice, with both bodies at their cycles’ peak. From here (hot as it is), the sun begins to fall again toward shadow, and so does the month’s moon. These doubled pairs of events repeat every 8 and 1/2 years, and a huge body of evidence suggests that this was the central Minoan reconciliation of solar and lunar time.

Along this cycle, the sun presents 18 solstices (9 Winter, 9 Summer)—and, month by year, the moon’s particular phases are highly regular along the way between them. Hence, as generations of observation and teaching went on, this was a very practical calendar, whose uses ranged from agriculture to the Minoans’ highest and deepest mysteries, woven in rhythms of light and shadow.

Why, after all, did “Minos” (or Minoan leaders) reign for a uniquely limited “8 or 9”-year term? In the sacred arts of Knossos, there was a predeliction for doubling significant features (even the blades of their central symbol, Labrys the double axe). And, this doubling had its match in their astronomy, as their cycles of solstice lights were matched by shadows of the greater 18/19-year Saros Eclipse Cycle. (The first written record of predicting an eclipse, circa 5th century BCE, is called the beginning of Western science.)

As many other scholars explore the bases for the timing of Olympic Games, for the cycle of time in Homer’s Iliad/Odyssey, and for the central functions of The Antikythera Mechanism, they independently detail the same calendric periods. There simply was no other possible place than Minoan Crete to have begun and bestowed so much understanding.

This little book includes all the central evidences, while Calendar House: Clues to Minoan Time from Knossos Labyrinth (free at presents the full range of studies demonstrating the patterns of Bronze Age Crete’s sacred astronomy.

Thanks, and a wonderful Summer to all—

Jack Dempsey


About Dr Jack Dempsey

Always good to hear from you! A life-long freelance writer/editor, Brown University Ph.D. (in Native & Early American Studies)---novelist ("Ariadne's Brother," "People of the Sea"), historian and biographer ("New English Canaan," "Thomas Morton," "Mystic Fiasco" and more), producer ("Nani: A Native New England Story"), Book Editor/Public Speaking Coach: Bentley University Adjunct Assistant Professor of English, Media Studies & Communications (Best Part Time Prof 2010). Latest works? Scientific nonfiction on the lunar/solar calendar of ancient Minoan Crete---"The Knossos Calendar: Minoan Cycles of the Sun, the Moon, the Soul & Political Power" (Iraklion, Mystis 2016), based on lectures drawn from "Calendar House: Clues to Minoan Time from Knossos Labyrinth" (2011). Come and enjoy multimedia resources including filmed Native American interviews at ANCIENTLIGHTS.ORG
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4 Responses to Ancient Minoan Calendar and our Heritage of (yes, relative) Peace

  1. Oh bravo, Jack. I think that publishing this 50-page booklet is a brilliant move, and it’s perfect that it’s backed up by the more detailed “Calendar House” available on the Ancient Lights website. Onward!

    • Thank you so much, Harriet! Greatly appreciated encouragement! And meanwhile (Grasshopper), I hope your ocular difficulties are improving swiftly…Warmest thanks and wishes!

  2. abubenadhem says:

    Was thinking of you in Crete as we enjoyed the exceptionally glorious Harvest Moon here in Massachusetts. Lorraine and I also suppose that you are in strong solidarity with the Sacred Stone encampment in North Dakota. Maybe you will write a piece in relation to it and its issue of protecting Earth and its creatures from catastrophic Capitalism. All the best!

  3. Hello again and best regards to Lorraine! Definitely in solidarity with Sacred Stone—

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