KATHERINE NEVILLE’S Octal Newsletter October 4, 2012


Octal Newsletter
October 4, 2012


“Oc” in Rome: the 8th Month
In the ancient Roman calendar, which began in March at the equinox, September was counted as the 7th month (“Sept” means 7), October was the 8th month, November the 9th, and December the 10th. I’m partial to all things octal, related to eights: chessboards, spiders, octopuses, the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, ‘pieces of eight’ in pirate days – and most of all, October with all its wonderful festivals and traditions: Hallowe’en, Oktoberfest, corn maze labyrinths, new wines of Austria… The heroine of my novel The Fire (sequel to The Eight) Alexandra “Xie” Solarin, is born on today’s date, October 4 – exactly opposite her mother Cat Velis’ birthday, April 4, dates that are significant clues throughout both books. But ‘Oc’ has another mysterious meaning, as well!


“Oc” in Celtic Lands: the Tongue of the Trees

by Jen Delyth

The language the ancient Celtic Druids was Ogham or Occam, the “language of the Oak,” a language based upon tree lore, where the letters and words were identified with trees, a practice also common to the gypsies – or “Rom” as they call themselves. The Eight and the Oak are woven together in many ways: Celtic knot designs, based upon patterns found in nature, are twined together to form never-ending Eights. The Languedoc region of France, (literally, tongue of the oak”) where the Knights Templars, Cathars and other mysterious and secretive freethinkers once lived, was the region where, in medieval times, sprang the works base upon those same patterns wrought in music and literature – “romances” – romans in French, or Roman-style tales, a never-ending maze of beautiful, complex, interwoven threads that were laced together like branches of an ancient tree.

Happy “Oc”- Month to all!

Please visit me on my website www.KatherineNeville.com

Facebook @AuthorKatherineNeville & Twitter @KNeville_Quest