The Assemblage of Areté operates on a schedule derived by a simple algorithm, which provides the lineup of when certain topics become the focus of our weekly convocations. Interspersed into this lineup are our eight religious holidays: Areté Day, Understanding Day, Reason Day, Winterfest, Springfest, Summerfest, Autumnfest, and Joyday. This page provides a detailed explanation of how these dates are derived, and how the algorithm works.
To begin with, note that since 1st January 12,018 HE that The Assemblage of Areté has used the Human Era calendar for most official purposes. You can also learn more about the Human Era calendar in a fun video from Kurzgesagt here. In simple terms, the Human Era calendar adds 10,000 years to the counting of A.D. or C.E. dates; making the 1st of January 12,018 HE the same date as the 1st of January 2018 CE or AD.
Next, the holidays are determined as follows. Areté Day is used to commemorate the founding of the Assemblage of Areté. While the very first convocation was held on the 20th of March in 12,016 HE, the Assemblage had actually been legally established prior to this on the 23rd of February 12,016. As such, Areté Day is celebrated on the 23rd of February each year without variation. Areté Day is also symbolic of the 1st Tenet of Areté, and likewise Understanding Day and Reason Day are symbolic of the 2nd and 3rd Tenets of Areté. Because of this relationship between the three holidays, it was decided by Supreme Mugwump Colin Campbell at the outset of Aretéanism to celebrate the second and third holidays at equidistant points throughout the year- attempting to make roughly even amounts of time between Areté Day and Understanding Day as there is between Understanding Day and Reason Day, or as there is between Reason Day and Areté Day again. The results of this division would presumably set Understanding Day as June 24th or 25th, and Reason Day as being October 24th or 25th; but Colin decided that having Understanding Day as June 24th was likely to create regular scheduling problems due to its proximity to the summer solstice, which is the day of Summerfest. In light of that problem, he decided that Understanding Day would occur a few days later in order to adequately space out Summerfest and Understanding Day. As a result, Understanding Day is celebrated on June 28th, and Reason Day is celebrated October 25th.
The seasonal holidays represent the Four Classical Elements of Areté: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth; which in turn represent the Four Stages of Human Consciousness: The Fog, Contextual Awareness, Enlightenment, and Innovation. All of these holidays are set to the calendar day in which the matching seasonal solstice or equinox occurs, in Pacific Time (as Aretéanism was founded in California). It would not be inappropriate to celebrate these holidays on the calendar date of the solstice or equinox of a local time zone however, as of course our Third Tenet of Areté declares: "The Intent of the Law, Is the Law". For official scheduling purposes however, Pacific Time is used. The matching is: fire to winter, water to spring, air to summer, and earth to autumn. While this progresses through the year in the traditional way for people in the Northern Hemisphere, the progression of the symbolized concepts is not likely to be particularly appreciated (other than academically) over the course of a whole year, and so Aretéans in the Southern Hemisphere are encouraged to celebrate the element that matches to their oncoming season regardless of traditional order- or to follow along with the traditional ordering- as they see best fit.
Now that the seven annual holidays have been established, scheduling topics for weekly convocations begins. The process starts by identifying the Sunday on which each of these seven holidays falls, or the Sunday immediately prior to the holiday if the holiday does not fall on a Sunday that year; and making that Sunday the designated holiday topic Sunday.
It is worth noting that there is nothing symbolic about the choice of Sunday as the day Aretéans meet for convocations- it simply is a convenient day for many people around the globe due to preexisting traditions that created the concept of a weekend, and indeed, in the idea of a week itself. Aretéans desire to meet regularly, but not so often that it becomes a burden, and once every seven days is approximately the right balance for most people. Aretéans are welcome however to meet more or less often, or on other days, as their local needs dictate. For consistency and convenience however, The Assemblage provides a weekly schedule based on Sundays for topics to be used in parishes (at the discretion of the local narrator), wherever they might be located.
With the holidays slotted into the schedule lineup in the manner explained above, the rest of the topics are now finally ready to be added. A total of 36 topics are cycled through when Sundays are not holidays. The first six of these topics are The Six Qualities of Areté, and the last thirty topics are The Thirty Aims of Areté. These 36 topics are arranged in a six-by-six table, which can then be read in various ways.
(Unfortunately, the platform we currently use for building our website, Squarespace, is shockingly incapable of creating tables)
►Practical •Self-Discipline •Preparedness •Fitness •Cleanliness •Excellence
►Thoughtful •Perceptiveness •Learning •Critical Reasoning •Consideration •Creativity
►Virtuous •Honesty •Commitment •Cooperation •Equality •Courage
►Loving •Connection •Compassion •Openness •Responsibility •Generosity
►Visionary •Hope •Adaptability •Intention •Patience •Leadership
►Great •Humility •Gratitude •Grace •Passion •Joyfulness
Starting from the 25th of March in 12,018 (the first open Sunday following the end of the calendar devised prior to the introduction of The Six Qualities) Sundays that are not holidays are filled in by following a pattern of reading down the columns (from left to right) until eventually Joyfulness is reached, at which point Sundays begin being filled by reading across the rows (from top to bottom) until Joyfulness is again reached and the process repeats by reading down the columns again... alternating between these two patterns.
The rows are of course organized such that everything to the right of the leftmost column is an Aim of Areté that is associated with the Quality of Areté in that leftmost column. However, the aims have been further organized than this- albeit quite subjectively. Colin Campbell identified what he felt were loose patterns within each Quality's Aims, and organized the Aims so that within each Quality there would be a left-to-right progression that corresponded with what he saw as a progression of how these Aims manifest within the development of that particular Quality. The progression of manifestation was given identifiers for ease of use: Prima, Path, Expression, Penultimate, and lastly Paragon. These steps were meant to indicate that to develop a Quality, one first had to develop some of the Prima Aim as a prerequisite, then become set upon a Path towards development by growing the second Aim, begin Expressing the Quality via the third Aim at this stage, tackle final obstacles through bettering the Penultimate Aim, and finally manifest the desirable epitome of the Quality in the form of the Paragon Aim. None of this was meant by Colin to be doctrine of Aretéanism, per se; but rather it was his best attempt to create an order to the Aims that would flow as organically as possible, if studied sequentially.
Each roughly six-week (or slightly longer) period of study in this system is known by the neologism "sehebdomad" (se-heb-do-mad), and each period of roughly thirty-six-week (but in fact usually 41 or 42 weeks) is known by the neologism "trigsevaire" (trig-se-vair), based off of Greek and Latin roots. Thus when the pattern is proceeding left-to-right (by top-to-bottom) the schedule is said to be a "quality trigsevaire", while when the pattern is top-to-bottom (by left-to-right) the schedule is called a "set trigsevaire". Furthermore, within quality trigsevaires you might be in the middle of a thoughtful or visionary sehebdomad, or within a set trigsevaire the curriculum could currently be a prima sehebdomad or a penultimate sehebdomad.
In any case, the trigsevaire ends with the topic of joyfulness. Whenever joyfulness would be the assigned topic, a Joyday holiday convocation is held instead- a big party, in keeping with our mantra to "be excellent to each other, and party on!" Thus the eighth holiday of Joyday happens by scheduled rotation, once per trigsevaire, its very end.