The Wheel of the Year v3.0!
For a quick overview, watch this video.
The Wheel of the Year is an interactive website App that calculates and shows the position of the Sun, Moon and Zodiac Constellations in the Sky at any moment in time, plus more. Click here to see the Features...
- Calculates & positions the Sun & Moon on an interactive map in Real Time.
- Displays the current Moon Phase and age and the status of the Sun at that specific moment.
- Shows the current Seasons on a Wheel that rotates in Real Time.
- Seasons are calculated using the Solstices and Equinoxes for the current Year.
- Shows the Seasonal Festivals on a Wheel that rotates in Real Time.
- Shows the Ogham Calendar on a Wheel that rotates in Real Time.
- Displays the Zodiac Constellations on a Wheel that follows the Sun and rotates in Real Time.
- Easily see what Zodiac Constellation the Sun and Moon are in at any moment in time.
- Click on the Sun or Moon icon to see more information.
- The Seasons, Ogham Months, and Seasonal Festivals each have their own clickable icon.
- Click on one of the Season icons to change the time to the middle of that Season and see more information.
- Click on one of the Ogham Month icons to change the time to the middle of that Month and see more information.
- Click on one of the Seasonal Festival icons to change the time to the exact moment of the Festival and see more information.
- The Seasonal Festivals are calculated using the Solstices and Equinoxes for that Year. The cross quarter Festivals are accurately calculated for that Year.
- Step forwards and backwards easily and watch how the Wheel changes to show exactly what is happening at that time.
- Jump to an exact time in the past or future to see what will be happening at that time.
- Want to know what was happening the moment you were born? Enter in your birth date and time and see what phase the Moon was in, what Zodiac sign the Sun and Moon were in. What Season and Ogham month you were born in, and what Seasonal Festival was the closest.
Note: This Wheel of the Year is set for the Southern Hemisphere, so it revolves Sunwise from that perspective, ie anti-clockwise. If you are interested in a Northern Hemisphere version? Let me know via the Contact Me page.
Is the wheel too large or small on your screen? Click the zoom in/out icons to the top left of the wheel.
The date and time of the Cross Quarter Seasonal Festivals have been calcualted using the midpoint between the Solstice and Equinox that they sit between. Some traditions use specific dates to celebrate them, whereas the true celebrations would often be defined by specific events in Nature.
Summer 2020-2021 Started: (December Solstice)Mon 21st Dec 2020 9:02pm
Duration: 88 days, 23 hrs, 34 mins
Started 29 days, 7 hrs, 16 mins ago - 32.93% Finished
Beith (Birch) 24th December - 20th January
Aquarius 20th January - 18th February
Note: Your Location is required to give accurate calculations for the Sun and Moon.
If you wish to change the location, go to the Druid's Diary page and log in first.
If you are not a member, you can request Membership below the login form.
How to use the Wheel of the Year (Click to view)
This App requires some computing power, if you find it is sluggish or stuttering, try closing any other programs you have running, and sometimes turning the Clouds animation off may help. There is a selection below the Wheel.
The best way to understand the Wheel of the Year is to imagine you are standing at the center of the wheel facing North. There is a faint vertical line up the center, this line above the horizon is key in knowing what is happening at the current moment in time.
There are a number of wheels that revolve around the central point. I'll explain the outer Zodiac wheel last.
On the inner side of the Zodiac wheel the Sun and Moon are positioned in their exact positions at the time that has been chosen. If the time has not been changed, then that moment is "Now".
The Sun, Moon & Stars rise to the Right (East), revolve Sunwise (anti-clockwise) and set to the Left (West). They will revolve around the Wheel in real time.
You can easily see where they are in the Sky. If they are below the middle horizontal line, (Horizon), they are not visible in the sky. If they are above the Horizon, then they are. If they are on the horizon to the right, they are rising at that time, if they are on the horizon to the left, they are setting at that time. As the Sun sets below the horizon the wheel will darken, and as it rises it will brighten again.
The Sun & Moon rise and set times are displayed below the digital clock in the 'information panel' below the horizon. You can find out more about the Sun and Moon by placing your mouse over them. You will see more information in a tooltip, and clicking on them will show more information in an information widget. The widget will dissappear after 20 seconds, or you can click on it to get rid of it straight away.
The first wheel inside the blue sky is a daily wheel (revolves right around once per day) and is the Time wheel. This is just a guide on the time that is currently set and is shown in a revolving 24 hour wheel. The central grey line at the top shows the current time. There is also a digital clock in the information panel just below the center, that shows the currently set date and time at that moment.
The second wheel inside the blue sky is the first of the yearly wheels (revolves right around once per year) and is the Month wheel. Just look where the central grey line passes through the wheel and that is the current month. And knowing the wheel is rotating anti-clockwise, you can see how much of the month has passed.
The next wheel in is another yearly wheel and shows the Ogham Calendar. The icons are placed at the center of each Ogham month, so the transition point from one month to the next is half way between them. The grey vertical line will show the Current Ogham month. If you mouse over an icon you will see its name and some attributes. Click on it to reveal more information including a poem. The second bottom line in the information panel shows the current Ogham month and the dates for that month.
The next wheel in is another yearly wheel and shows the Seasonal Festivals. Their position is calculated mathematically to sit in the exact time, eg, the cross quarter celebrations are placed exactly half way between the Solstices and Equinoxes. The vertical grey line is the current time, and with the wheel revolving anti-clockwise, you can see which Festival is coming up next, ie the one to the right of the central line. Mouse over the symbol to see its name.
The final wheel, closest to the center, is another yearly wheel and shows the 4 Seasons. These are set out using the astronomical seasons where the Solstice or Equinox is the beginning of the Season, not the month. The icons are placed at the center of the season. The current season is the one closest to the top. Mouseover the icon to find out more information about the season. The information panel also displays information about the current season just below the Moonset times.
The outer wheel is the Zodiac wheel and is both a daily wheel and a yearly wheel. The stars rotate through the sky at almost the same rate as the Sun. So every day the Zodiac wheel follows the Sun around the wheel. But it moves slightly each day, just enough so that approximately every month, it moves by one Zodiac sign, and each year it has made one extra revolution. The main feature of the Zodiac wheel is to look and see what sign the Sun is in at any time. Find the Sun on the wheel and whatever constellation it is closest to, is the current Zodiac.
You can mouse over any of the Constellations to see more information, or click on them to see their widget. The bottom line of the information panel will show the current Zodiac sign. If you want to know what sign the Moon is in at any time, then just find the Moon on the wheel, and look for the closest constellation. It's as easy as that.
There are a number of ways of changing the time. Try clicking on one of the Ogham months, the wheels will rotate to the central moment of that month. You will then see everything at that moment in time. The clock will display when it is, the Sun and Moon will be in the correct position in the sky, the Moon will show the phase at that time. And the information panel will show the current information for that time.
To change back to the Current Time, just click the 'Reset Wheel' button at the bottom. Try clicking on one of the Seasonal Festivals, the wheel rotates to that time. They are calculated to the exact moment based on the location that you see below the wheel. You can see what phase the moon will be in, Sun & Moon rise and set times, etc, for each Festival.
Click on one of the Season icons and the wheels will move to the central point of the Season. You can see what is happening at that moment just by looking at the wheel.
You can also step through time in increments by clicking on the green arrows at the bottom. The inner most ones step by 1 minute, the next by 1 hour, the next by 1 day and the outer ones by 1 week. The ones on the right step into the future, the ones on the left step into the past. It is fun stepping through time and watching the wheels rotate. Stepping by weeks you can see how the zodiac moves in relation to the Sun.
Ever wondered what was happening the moment you were born? Click the 'Change Date/Time' button at the bottom to reveal a date/time selector. Set the desired date and time, and click 'Set Date/Time' and watch the wheels move to that moment. You'll see the Sun closest to your Zodiac sign, you'll see what phase the Moon was, and what sign it was in. What season it was, what Ogham month.
Try jumping to other moments in time that are important to you.
I really hope you enjoy my Wheel of the Year. If you have any feedback or find any inaccuracies, please let me know by Contacting Me.
The History of the Wheel of the Year (Click to view)
The original version was unreliable, had quite a few bugs, and was many thousands of lines of code. But it worked and I used it often to see where I was as the wheel turned, and what was coming up next.
In 2017 I decided to port what I had written as a Wordpress plugin, but I didn't bother going back through the code to improve it. And then it wasn't long after that I found the Wheel was erratic, and often timed out when it was loading. So I let go of it and didn't bother keeping it going.
And now in 2020 after being inspire to build the Druid's Calendar and Diary, I decided to revisit the Wheel of the Year. So I started from scratch and slowly pieced it back together, improving the code as I went. Now it is 1/20th of the size of the original in code, and is much more reliable.
With this latest version I decided to include a map of the Zodiac Constellations around the outside. To align it correctly with the Sun, I spent a while searching for existing formulas. But I found none, so I sat down with pen and paper and worked out what happens as the days pass, and as the years passes. And I came up with a working formula.
The current wheel is the result and I am very proud of it.