The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Four Sorcerers ~ Elwher, Metaldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts


Months of Witch World

 

[Updated 10-09-19]

In The Magestone the Years since the Betrayal are introduced as the Alizonder way of tracking time. These years are placed alongside the year names of the Dales and so make keeping track of events and ages somewhat easier. Along with the Years since the Betrayal both Alizonder and Dale months are introduced and reinforced. Here is a rough listing of the months and their order based on the contexts of different books.
In Coulson's Index there is list of both months and years I have included these below marking them with an asterisks.

 

Order in year

Dales Calendar1

Days in month

Season

Alizon Calendar

Days in month

Season

1

Month of the Snow Bird

28

Winter

First Whelping Moon

28

Winter

2

Month of the Hawk2

28

Spring

Moon of the Dire Wolf

28

Winter

3

Month of the Crooknecked Fern

28

Spring

Moon of Cordosh

28

Spring

4

Month of the Fringed Violet

28

Spring

Moon of the Spotted Viper

28

Spring

5

Month of Willowcarp3

28

Summer4

Moon of the Fever Leaf

28

Spring

6

Month of the Golden Lacewing*5

29

Summer

Moon of the Split-Tusked Boar*

28

Summer

7

Month of the Silver Crowned Bee*

28

Summer

Moon of the Torgian Foals *

28

Summer

8

Month of the Anda Wasp*

28

Autumn?6

The Second Whelping Moon7

28

Summer

9

Month of the Shredbark Tree8

28

Autumn

Moon of the Hooded Crow*

28

Summer/Autumn?

10

Month of the Crested Owl*

28

Autumn

Moon of the Bloodwine*

28

Autumn

11

Month of the Firethorn9

28

Autumn

Moon of the Dart Venom *

28

Autumn

12

Month of Peryton10

28

Autumn/Winter?

The Hunger Moon*

28

Autumn/Winter?

13

Month of the Ice Dragon

28

Winter

Moon of the Knife

29

Winter

 

Sorcerer’s Notes:
The months mentioned in The Magestone have at least 26 days in them (p.210, 217, 227). If the Witch World has about 365 days the year could be divided into twelve 30-day months (with extra days in some) or thirteen 28-day months with one month having one extra day. The Magestone seems to imply that both Dales and Alizon calendars have thirteen months based on how the days line up in the book. A list of months in the Discussion section shows how this would work out.
Kasarian arrives in Es Port on the Seventeenth Day of the Month of the Snow Bird (p. 249). "Morfew suggested the Storm Seeker would likely require four to six weeks for its passage…We therefore calculated that Kasarian should have arrived at Vennesport late in the Month of the Hawk or early in the Month of the Crooknecked Fern" (p. 250). This means that the Month of the Snow Bird, Hawk, Crooknecked Fern, and Fringed Violet must follow one another in that order.
The spring season for the Dales/Estcarp starts a month earlier than it does in Alizon: "I awoke, they told me, the following day, which the Lormt folk termed the Second Day of the Month of the Fringed Violet, the last Moon of their Spring Season. I was taken aback.11 Morfew ensured me that it was indeed the First Day of the Moon of the Spotted Viper, the second of our three moons of the Spring Season." (The Magestone pp. 242-243) Since Alizon is further north this makes some sense.
In The Magestone Mereth is traveling oversea in the Month of the Firethorn (p. 1). "Then, nearly two months ago, in the Month of the Shredbark Tree, Dame Gwersa's letter reached me at Venesport" (p. 5). Kasarian leaves Lormt for Es City on the Third Day of the First Whelping Moon (p.215) and arrives there on the Thirteenth Day of the same month. Though this journey takes time due to snow, it is likely that Mereth, being old, would have taken a similarly slow course to reach Lormt. It is later mentioned that it takes Kasarian some thirty-four days to reach Venesport by ship (p.226). Those at Lormt also expect the voyage to take four to six week by sea (p. 250). Since Mereth does not give the exact day in her first journal entry, it is hard to tell exactly how long it takes her to reach Lormt. Her first journal entry there is on the 4th and 5th Days of the Ice Dragon - though it cannot yet be the Year of the Lamia since in previous books (The Crystal Gryphon) the Month of the Snowbird is the first month of the year. In any case her journey is likely to take four to six weeks by sea and possibly another couple overland. If she left around the middle of the month of the Firethorn it could have taken her the rest of that month and all the next before she reached Lormt.

Both the Dales and Alizon have a thirteen month system.12 Below are the months and days as mentioned in The Mageston. Those days that are not specifically mentioned have asterisks by them. This mainly applies to those days in months not covered or days near the end of the month - if a passage mentions it is the twenty-sixth day of the month but no other days before it, it is a safe bet the other twenty-five days exist.

1st Month
Month of the Snow Bird/First Whelping Moon
1/28th day of the Moon of the Knife*
2/1
3/2
4/3
5/4
6/5
7/6
8/7
9/8
10/9
11/10
12/11
13/12
14/13
15/14
16/15
17/16
18/17
19/18 <= Kasarian sails from Es Port (p. 223)
20/19*
21/20*
22/21*
23/22*
24/23*
25/24*
26/25*
27/26*
28/27*

2nd Month
Month of the Hawk/Moon of the Dire Wolf
1/28th day of the First Welping Moon*
2/1
3/2
4/3
5/4
6/5
7/6
8/7
9/8
10/9
11/10
12/11
13/12
14/13
15/14
16/15
17/16
18/17
19/18
20/19
21/20
22/21
23/22
24/23
25/24 <= Kasarian arrives in Vennesport in the Dales after about 34 days at sea by his tally. (p. 226)
26/25
27/26 <= Kasarian leaves Vennesport to Trevamper (p. 228)
28/27*

3rd Month
Month of the Crooknecked Fern/Moon of Chordosh
1/28th day Moon of the Dire Wolf *
2/1
3/2
4/3
5/4
6/5
7/6
8/7
9/8
10/9
11/10
12/11
13/12
14/13
15/14
16/15
17/16
18/17
19/18
20/19
21/20
22/21
23/22
24/23
25/24 <= Kasarian arrives at the cave Elsenar is trapped in by his counting of days. (p.231)
26/25
27/26*
28/27* <= Jonja detects Kasarian is in mortal peril on the last day of the Month of the Crooknecked Fern (p. 250 The Magestone). He is facing Elsenar and the stone (p. 251).13

4th Month
Month of the Fringed Violet/Moon of the Spotted Viper
1/28th day of the Moon of Chordosh
2/1 <= returns to Lormt after trip through magical postern. (p. 251)
3/2 <= Kasarian returns to Alizon via the postern in Lormt (p. 270)
4/3
5/4
6/5
7/6
8/7
9/8*
10/9*
11/10*
12/11*
13/12*
14/13*
15/14*
16/15*
17/16*
18/17*
19/18*
20/19*
21/20*
22/21*
23/22*
24/23*
25/24*
26/25*
27/26*
28/27*

5th Month
Month of the Willowcarp/Moon of the Fever Leaf
1/28th day of the Moon of the Spotted Viper
2/1
3/2*
4/3*
5/4*
6/5*
7/6*
8/7*
9/8*
10/9*
11/10*
12/11*
13/12*
14/13*
15/14*
16/15*
17/16*
18/17*
19/18*
20/19*
21/20*
22/21*
23/22*
24/23*
25/24*
26/25*
27/26*
28/27*

6th Month
Month of the Golden Lacewing*/Moon of the Split-tusked Boar
1/28th day of the Moon of the Fever Leaf*
2/1*
3/2*
4/3*
5/4*
6/5*
7/6*
8/7*
9/8*
10/9*
11/10*
12/11*
13/12*
14/13*
Midsummer Day/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

7th Month
Month of the Silver Crowned Bee/Moon of the Torgian Foals
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

8th Month
Month of the Anda Wasp/The Second Whelping Moon
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

9th Month
Month of the Shredbark Tree/Moon of the Hooded Crow
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

10th Month
Month of the Crested Owl/Moon of the Bloodvine
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

11th Month
Month of the Firethorn/Moon of the Dart Venom
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

12th Month
Month of the Peryton/The Hunger Moon
1/1*
2/2*
3/3*
4/4*
5/5*
6/6*
7/7*
8/8*
9/9*
10/10*
11/11*
12/12*
13/13*
14/14*
15/15*
16/16*
17/17*
18/18*
19/19*
20/20*
21/21*
22/22*
23/23*
24/24*
25/25*
26/26*
27/27*
28/28*

13th Month
Month of the Ice Dragon/Moon of the Knife
1/1
2/2
3/3
4/4
5/5
6/6
7/7
8/8
9/9
10/Veneration Day
11/10
12/11
13/12
14/13
15/14
16/15
17/16
18/17
19/18
20/19
21/20
22/21
23/22*
24/23*
25/24*
26/25*
27/26*
28/27*


Footnotes:
1. In the Coulson Index it's specifically Dales/Estcarp, but Arvon has the same year names as the Dales, so it seems likely they'd share the months too. While folks in Escore never seem to mention years or months much, given it was the original home to the Old Race it seems likely that it too would share in this system.
2. The Month of the Hawk first appeared on page 62 of The Crystal Gryphon and it seems to immediately follow the Month of the Snow Bird. For some reason in both Wolfhead and Were-flight there is mention made of a Month of the Frost Sprite following the Month of the Snow Bird, which contradicts this. In Sorceress of the Witch World Kaththea mentions, when they return to Escore through Hilarion's Gate, that it was now the Month of Chrysalis on p235. Kaththea: 'Then I, too, learned the surprises time can deal: I had entered here in the coldest grasp of winter, but I came out now into the warmth and sun of spring—the month of Chrysalis, still too early for the sowing of fields, and yet a time when the new blood and first joys of spring stir in one, bringing a kind of restlessness and inner excitement. Still, to my reckoning, I had only been away days, not weeks!' This may not be a continuity error since it's possible for Estcarp to have its own names for months, but given that those in Lormt tend to use the Dales names, it seems unlikely that there's a developed, separate calendar system. Since it's warmer weather but still too early for plowing, the Month of Chrysalis must be the first spring month, probably similar in weather to March on Earth.
3. The month of the Willow Carp seems to directly follow the Month of the Fringed Violet. Duratan and Jonja leave for Es City on the Eight day of the Month of the Fringed Violet (p. 270), stay five days there (p. 271), and return on the Second Day of the Month of the Willow Carp. It is a slow ten-day journey to Es City in winter [Kasarian leaves Lormt for Es City on the Third Day of the First Whelping Moon (p.215) and arrives there on the Thirteenth Day of the same month] and even if they were in haste they might have only been able to shave off a few days both ways. In any case it's unlikely they spent a whole month on the road. At most their journey lasted 22 days, at least five of which were spent meeting with the Witches.
4. "Late on the Second Day of the Month of the Willow Carp, Duratan and Jonja splashed through Lormt's gate during the first Summer rain." (p. 271)
5. In Songsmith Eydryth mentions she was born in the Month of the Gryfalcon so, with all but four months accounted for except in the notes, it should be one of these.Eydryth mentions she was born in the Month of the Gryfalcon so, with all but four months accounted for except in the notes, it should be one of these.
6. The notes indicate that in the Dales Midsummer Day is set apart between the 14th and 15th days of Golden Lacewing. Since that month would be the second of the three summer months, it follows that the Anda Wasp is likely an autumnal month - though it's probably still very warm through most of it. That said, this gives the Dales about five months of autumnal weather. Now this is certainly possible, but so far it seems like the weather for the Dales and Alizon more or less corresponds to weather in the temperate regions of our world, so it presents some problems with the months as expressed given Peryton is presented as the last month of autumn in Port of Dead Ships. If it were to be more or less even in term of seasons, then the order here ought to be 8 - Shedbark Tree [autumn], 9 - Crested Owl [autumn], 10 - Firethorn [autumn], 11 - Peryton [autumn]. Even if Peryton is a month of more wintry weather towards the end to have three full months of winter, the twelfth month has to be a fully winter one (which "the Frost Sprite" would be a perfect name for).
7. I'm not marking this with an asterisks since it's mentioned there are two whelping moons in The Magestone: p. 147 "…to fetch my hound pup Moonbeam, who had been whelped early, between the year's two regular Whelping Moons."
8. Both this month and that of the Firethorn are mentioned in The Magestone and as being two months apart.
9. The notes indicate that this is the eleventh month of the year.
10. In Port of Dead Ships the last month of autumn is called the "month of Peryton".
11. It's less than clear why Kasarian is taken aback, though. By his own count of days he's arrived at the site very late into the Moon of Cordosh - a mere five days before the Moon of the Spotted Viper - and he knows his tally of days could be off a bit, though maybe he didn't expect to lose almost an entire week.
12. The Celtic Calendar has a thirteen month system as well, based on sacred trees. Since quite a lot of real-world things end up in the Witch World, it's very likely that Andre based at least her Dales calendar on this. For reference, the months are: Birch Moon: December 24 - January 20, Rowan Moon: January 21 - February 17, Ash Moon: February 18 - March 17, Alder Moon: March 18 - April 14, Willow Moon: April 15 - May 12, Hawthorn Moon: May 13 - June 9, Oak Moon: June 10 - July 7, Holly Moon: July 8 - August 4, Hazel Moon: August 5 - September 1, Vine Moon: September 2 - September 29, Ivy Moon: September 30 - October 27, Reed Moon: October 28 - November 23, and Elder Moon: November 24 - December 23. This is further borne out in the notes themselves which have some real world months notated next to them and seem to follow this pattern except in a couple places.
13. Given that Kasarian was unsure exactly how many days he'd actually been at sea due to storms: "We had spent thirty-four days at sea, by my judgement, for during the worst of the storms, it had been difficult to determine when day ended and night began" (p. 226 The Magestone) it is more likely this is the day he actually arrives at the cave since Jonja and the others at Lormt were not affected by the storms and so their accounting of days is going to be more accurate.

 


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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ April, 2019

Copyright ~ Elwher, Metaldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts
Online Rights - Andre-Norton-Books.com

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