The Signs

The Pernese Turn has 12 months that are thirty days in length. At Turn’s End and between month 6 and 7 there are three days of festivities that are outside of the normal calendar, making 366 days total. Each Turn begins on the winter solstice for the northern continent, (summer solstice in the south).

Now that the Starholds are in control, each month can be called by either the number or the name of the sign for the month. The six festival days are called dragon days, and children born on these days are considered to be especially lucky.

Much like any religious dogma, as the Signs have surely become, level of belief varies from person to person. Some Pernese, especially the very wealthy or educated, may only pay it lip service, while others let it control their every decision. However, in public, everyone tends to make a show of piety. Anyone acting against their sign or questioning its validity will be socially shamed and eventually outcast and shunned all together.

(Note- Before anyone yells at me, I know that these constellations wouldn’t really be visible from Pern. But since I don’t know what would be, I picked these for simplicity’s sake.)

1- Bear Month : Taking its name from the constellation Ursa Major, the sign of the bear is all about strength. Children born in this month are expected to be brave and fierce, but are also thought to be clumsy, somewhat lazy and overly aggressive. Ideal crafts for them are those that require physical prowess or courage, including metalsmithing, mining, guardsman, and wherhandling. They are also considered to be good at fishing and forestry, much as a real bear would be.

2- Chisel Month : The constellation Caelum represent the sculptor’s chisel. Like the artist must be with his tool, people of this sign are considered to be cautious and precise. They are artistic and intelligent, but bluntly honest. As might be expected, these people are highly valued in many artistic crafts such as drawing, gemcutting, woodworking, leatherworking and glasscrafting, but they are also in demand as gearsmiths, printmakers, surgeons, architects, shipbuilders and scribes.

3- Rabbit Month: The third month is named for the constellation Lepus, the leaping hare of the sky. These people are thought to be quick, but timid and of course, extremely fertile. They are also quite kind, but are not considered to be especially intelligent, and in fact have a reputation for frivolity. Because of there associations with fertility, they are often found in crafts that are involved with growth and nurturing, such as nursing, midwifery, herbalism, childcare, agronomy, and animal husbandry. They also are often encouraged to become runners, because of their supposed speed.

4- Arrow Month: Those born under the influence of the nearby constellation Sagitta are said to have qualities from not only the arrow of the bow, but also the north pointing arrow of the compass. They are decisive and adventurous, and natural leaders. But their words can be as sharp as an arrow’s point and like an arrow blown off course by a strong wind, they are easily diverted by distractions. Crafts that require a pioneering spirit, such as sailor, forester, runner, and traveling merchant call to them, as well as more militant professions such as guardsman and assassin.

5- Crane Month: The graceful children of the Crane are born under the constellation Grus. They are expected to be wise and beautiful, skilled in the healing arts but shy and somewhat fragile. They are valued in the medical crafts of surgeon and nurse, and their wisdom is appreciated as a teacher, scribe, or computerist. Or their grace and beauty may lead them to be a dancer, tailor, weaver, or glasscrafter, but if all else fails, they may excel as a fisher, a strength of any water bird.

6- Dolphin Month: This sign is named for the popular constellation Delphinus, and these folk are as playful and mischievous as any shipfish. They can be pushy, bossy and even a bit bullying, but they are usually friendly, intelligent, and very group-oriented. Obviously they are strong swimmers, and excel in the water-related crafts of sailing, fishing, and of course, dolphineering. They are also welcome in the crafts of childcare, dancer, and musician as well as being competent merchants and thieves.

Dragon: Those born during the Midyear festival of Lithe or the end of year Turnover holiday are lucky. Influenced by the sign Draco, they are thought to be born outside of fate. They are blessed with power, wisdom, and creativity as well as good fortune. They are prized students in any craft, often put on the fast track to leadership, and those born to Lord or Lady Holders are usually made the heir at birth. But for the especially pious, (or those in serious need of the Stars’ favor) the right thing to do is present them to the Starhold at the age of three days.

7- Furnace Month: Born under the fiery influence of Fornax, these creative people transform everything they touch. They have warm personalities, for the most part, and both physical and mental strength. But just like the fires of a forge, their intense feelings can be dangerous, and they have little skill with diplomacy or tasks requiring delicacy. Their skills are perfect for metalsmithing, gearsmithing, glasscrafting and mining, and their intensity can also be channeled as a guardsman or a wherhandler. Cooking is also considering an acceptable profession.

8- Foal Month: The constellation of Equuleus represents the frisky young horse. These people are spirited, hard-working, and loyal. They can be willful and hard-headed, but tend to respect authority. They are most often found in crafts dealing with agriculture or animals, such as animal husbandry, agronomist, and veterinarian, but they are welcome in almost every craft due to their adaptable natures, thought they are generally considered unfit for leadership roles.

9- Fox Month: The constellation Vulpecula shines over the sensuous people born under this sign. They have a reputation for being nimble and clever, as well as sneaky and lustful. One of the least trusted of the signs, they are expected to be tricky and dishonest, and are not very welcome in most mainstream crafts, though forestry and dance will consider especially talented individuals. And in the Nighthall, they are prized for their skills as thieves, assassins and spies.

10- Crow Month- Gloomy but gregarious, the clever crow is represented by the constellation Corvus. Though in the past, crows might have been harbingers of doom, they are now known for their excellent memory, extroverted natures, and penchant for collecting shiny things. They do tend to be on the pessimistic side, and many are downright annoying, but they are nevertheless often found excelling in the fields of surgery, teaching, gemsmithing, architecture and printmaking. They can also be found as scribes, computerists, merchants, and spies.

11- Chameleon Month- Those born under the sign of Chamelontis are known for their mercurial natures. Though they are usually quite colorful individuals with a definite artistic flair, they often have an uncanny knack for not being noticed. Coupled with keen observational skills, its easy to see why Chameleon is a preferred sign for Spies. But plenty of reputable crafts will take them as well, including weaving, glasscrafting, tailoring, woodcarving, drawing, and leatherworking.

12- Harp Month: The final month of each Turn is ruled by the constellation Lyra. People born during this time are expected to be musically talented, as well as being gentle souls with a knack for communicating with others. Being thought of as lazy, impractical dreamers sort of goes with the territory. Of course, they are most often found in the crafts of musician and dancer, but they are also valued in childcare, teaching, drawing, and dolphineering.

The Signs

Astraea Weyr Dragynfox