Friday, March 27, 2009

The great timepieces of life

Credibility in today’s more logically minded society, takes what most would call scientific proof. To believe in a discipline like astrology is seen as the residue of our forefathers' superstitions. My objective in this writing and in my life is to try to shed some light on this age-old discipline and give those willing to listen a better scientific understanding of how and why it works.
In my many years of personal research on the subject, I have come to find that astrology has played a major role in the development of all aspects of our present cultures. From the beginning of mankind's journey, astrology has been behind all early scientific research and spiritual expressions. Out of the womb of this astrological research and wisdom, came the foundation of most concepts of today's sciences and religions. Those who studied and practiced this discipline in the past were the likes of scientists, mathematicians, religious devotees, investigators and researchers, longing to establish a better connection to their environment and themselves. How can we turn our back on the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Hypocrites, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Jung, Einstein, and a multitude of others from all walks of life! These individuals either spent their lives studying or had a deep interest in understanding this science of nature. To disregard this interest as a passing fancy or a quirk in their character is to misunderstand their work.
Throughout the ages, astrology was used (and abused) by kings, queens, presidents, heads of state, religious figures, scientists, and, of course, the astrological practitioner, yet its abuse seems to have been more prevalent then its proper use. It's very easy to institutionalize, use and distribute the surface ideas without fully understanding how such ideas were founded, for there is much more to this subject than the easily sold material that appears in the daily media canned horoscopes. More time should be devoted to fully investigating and researching this subject to find out exactly what it can and can't do. I'm convinced that with the help of the ever-evolving technology and minds that are open to true scientific inquiry, astrology (or whatever label given it) will establish itself as the science of time, the science of nature's biological cycles.

This science of time structures, is one that allows us to become consciously aware of our universe, those biological clocks that beat within and without. These rhythms of time connect us with the rest of nature. Yet we continue to think of nature as something that is outside ourselves, something that is lower, less than ourselves. In actuality, we are an integral part of nature, a link in the great chain of life… an organism, like all other organisms great and small, interdependent on the dynamic life around us. Without food from the earth, we can only live weeks. Without the water of life, a few days. And without air we can only live minutes. Yet, we still stubbornly hold onto the idea that we are totally independent from nature. In developing the understanding that we are an interdependent part of nature, we can come to respect all life, however great or small and progress through this time, conscientiously. As above, so below. As without, so within. This simple yet complex understanding is the very foundation of this science of nature.
To help establish a clearer picture of its inner working, we must look further into the idea of nature's biological cycles (clocks) and the element of time. A cycle is like a circle, a ring, in its completeness, but with a cycle we can refer to a beginning and an end. With these reference points, we can observe and map the movement through that cycle. What is born out of this mapping is the element of time. The measurement of that movement through the cycle or any part of that cycle is a called span of time. A good example of this principle is our everyday clock. If we look at the face of the clock, it's a circle. This circle is transformed into a cycle when we put the numbers around its outer border. With these numbers as reference points we can map each hand's movement through each individual cycle to create the different spans of time. The second hand moves through the cycle at a certain exact speed to create its reference of time. The minute hand moves through the cycle at a slower exact speed to create its reference of time. Finally, we have the hour hand that moves through the cycle at the slowest speed to create its reference of time. Without the numbered background we couldn't reference (establish) the hands' journey through time. This is the mechanics behind Astrology. The Zodiac is the band of stars that is the backdrop of the earth's revolutionary path around our sun. For better reference of time, and the movement through this time, these stars were separated into twelve sectors (four seasons with each season having three sectors represented by a beginning, a maturity and the finalization of that season) and named. These labeled twelve sectors (signs or constellations) are what’s most referenced and sold in today’s marketed Astrology. But just as the numbered background of the clock deals with just a reference of time, so is the Zodiac only a backdrop for a still larger reference and understanding of time. It was a backdrop for our ancestors to monitor the four seasons that helped them cope and understand their ever-changing environment.

Let's take a closer look at those larger cycles around us that establish our basic understanding of time and that influence our everyday existence.

· First, the earth's movement or rotation around its own axis… What we have come to call a day. About a 24-hour period. It is our second hand of the biological clock.

· Second, the moon's movement or revolution around our earth… What we call a month (moonth). About a 28-day period. It is our minute hand of the biological clock.

· Third, the earth's movement or revolution around the sun… What we call a year. About a 365 day period. It is our hour hand of the biological clock.

These cycles are our everyday, main reference of time. They’re nature's great timepieces keeping time since the beginning. In all of nature there are biological cycles (clocks), rhythmic timepieces that measure our very existence. From the smallest organism, to the mighty sequoia, to a human being, all of life marches to a span of time. Each is destined to live out its own individual cycle. Now, what do all cycles in life have in common? Seasons. "To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven.", though written and reflected in the bible, has been know and felt for thousands of years. It is a song sung by all of nature, to life's rhythm. We are most sensitive to these seasonal changes with the observance of the yearly cycle, i.e., the four traditional seasons. These seasons represent the four distinct major changes or phases of a life-cycle. A general description of the four seasons can begin with the spring.
Spring, when life awakens from its winter sleep and forces its way up through the ground to meet the warmth of day. Life springs forth with the enthusiasm of new feverish activity. Therefore, spring fever. The youthfulness of birth is highlighted. The seed is awakened.
Summer, when the activity of spring shines in all its glory. The intensity and heat of the longest day, the summer solstice, brings with it the full strength of that awakening energy of springtime. The fruits of nature's activity are highlighted. The seed has developed into a full-grown plant.
Autumn, when strong feelings of change are in the air. The full force of individuality in summer has begun to wane. The gold and red leaves on the trees begin to fall and autumn winds cool the summer heat. Activity begins to slow. Harvesting the abundance of summer, which is shared and stored away for the oncoming winter, is highlighted. It is a time for giving thanks.
Winter, when this activity moves into retirement. The icy cold of the longest night, the winter solstice, brings with it a cold that blankets the land and sets individual activity into a state of hibernation. The need to conserve energy and live off what has been stored is highlighted. It's a time for planning and setting sight on future activity. The sleeping seed, which fell to the ground in autumn, anticipates the warmth of spring and the time it shall rise again.
In these few sentences I have tried to express briefly the changing activity and manifestations of the four seasons of our yearly cycle. These four seasons, though thought of as just our year, are seen working in every cycle and all moments through time. For example:
Our Day, a 24 hour daily cycle has the dawn, the spring of its individual cycle, with life awakening from sleep. Noon, the summer, finds the apex of that activity. Sunset, the fall or Autumn, sees the quieting of activity. Midnight, the winter, sees this activity in hibernation.
With the monthly cycle we have the same four seasons. The new moon… the spring of its cycle, the first quarter moon… the summer, the full moon… the fall and the last quarter… the winter.
In understanding this season expression, we can clearly see how it correlates to the cycle of a human being's lifespan. The first quarter of life represents the spring… where activity is born with the awakening of adolescent individuality. Then in the second quarter, the summer… individuality matures and is in full bloom. In the third quarter, the fall… individuality is quieted and sharing/others is highlighted. Finally, the last quarter, the winter… the individual retires to contemplate a full cycle of life. To Everything there is a Season and a Purpose under Heaven. We come to see a close relationship, an interweaving, a pattern to all cycles, to all seasons. From the smallest organism, to the universe that surrounds us. We begin to see, to feel a kinship with nature through the seasons of time. Carl Jung said it best with one word, "synchronicity", i.e., we are working, moving, and occurring together in nature's kingdom. It's not, as popularly held, that the stars affect us or that they, in themselves, possess influential characteristics. The characteristics lie in the seasonal development represented by these biological clocks and the progression through these reference points in the sky. By observing the patterns of the larger cycles of nature biological clocks and understanding their seasonal activity and characteristic expressions, we can come to better understand our own basic motivations and characteristics. A time for planting, a time for sowing, a time for laughing, a time for crying, a time for living, a time for dying. All these qualities are a part of our personalities, and it's in the rhythms of time that they unfold.
In closing, Astrology will find its place in society in the twenty-first century. Already the concepts of Astrology are being proven by the very science that often ridicules it. Scientific developments in understanding polarity, that dual electromagnetic force that is a part of all organisms will help us make these connections and discoveries. Much research on how our brain monitors seasonal time through the hypothalamus gland and the many ways it expresses itself through left/right brain activity, is being done by some of our finest scientists. This new research on biological cycles and clocks, will give us a better understanding of the cycles that rule the ever-changing conditions of our atmosphere, our oceans, the earth, and, most of all, ourselves. For then, we can stretch out our arms to the stars and say... "the universe is not only around us, but within".

Peace Within,

A few quotes from those with an open mind.

I have studied the matter, you sir, have not-Sir Issac Newton to Edmund Halley

Astrology is a science in itself and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things, and I am greatly indebted to it. Geophysical evidence reveals the power of the stars and the planets in relation to the terrestrial. In turn, astrology reinforces this power to some extent. This is why astrology is like a life-giving elixir to mankind. - ALBERT EINSTEIN

A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician ... There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. - Hippocrates, Fifth Century B.C.

Astrology is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity. - C.G. Jung

A most unfailing experience ... of the excitement of sublunary (that is, human) natures by the conjunctions and aspects of the planets has instructed and compelled my unwilling belief. - Johann Kepler, Larousse Encyclopedia Astrology.

It is clearly evident that most events of a widespread nature draw their causes from the enveloping heavens. - Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos

The celestial bodies are the cause of all that takes place in the sublunar world. - Thomas Aquinas
A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an "intellectual", find out how he feels about astrology. - Robert Heinlein

The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great nerve-center from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time. - D. H. Lawrence, Apocalypse

The controls of life are structured as forms and nuclear arrangements, in a relation with the motions of the universe. - Louis Pasteur

Courteous Reader, Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, held in high esteem of old, by the Wise and the Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight in Battle, in short, no important affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer. - Benjamin Franklin

It's common knowledge that a large percentage of Wall Street brokers use astrology. - Donald Regan

That we can now think of no mechanism for astrology is relevant but unconvincing. No mechanism was known, for example, for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener. Nevertheless, we see that Wegener was right, and those who objected on the grounds of unavailable mechanism were wrong. - Carl Sagan

The question of all questions for humanity, the problem which lies behind all others and is more interesting than any of them, is that of the determination of man's place in nature and his relation to the cosmos. - T.H. Huxley

Men should take their knowledge from the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. - Emerson

Millionaires don't have astrologers, billionaires do. - J.P. Morgan (This is the correct quotation, according to Norman Winski, curator and owner of the Evangeline Adams Library, who was J.P. Morgan's Astrologer)

There shall be signs in the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. - Jesus Christ, Luke 21:25