Every year when the clock changes from winter to summer time and vice versa – though the change to summertime is irritating because theoretically you lose an hour of sleep! - I become persecuted by the same thoughts: did we make up the concept of time, or did time make us? More importantly, if we can change the clock time, can we change time in general?
I’m never able to reach a safe conclusion. But as astrologers we deal with time with every single chart we must judge. And as humans, we are all subject to time. On an initial level there is an important distinction: time in astrology is symbolical, as the entire system we work with is itself symbolical.Time we deal with in our humble everyday life is easier to perceive. The word ‘perceive’ is a key as far as time is concerned. Because it is through our senses that we are able to differentiate this moment from the past or future one. Obviously then, time is subject to the way we are able to perceive it.
With these thoughts in my mind, I recently found myself at a cinema watching a documentary by Patricio Guzmán, called ‘Nostalgia for the Light’. I will not go into specifics, but I will most highly recommend watching it, as I think it’s a work of art by every aspect – not to mention how interesting on the level of astrological associations.
While watching stars and constellations moving on the magical big screen, an astronomer pointed out the fact that when they observe a star they do not observe its present, but the past. And that because, by the time the light from an event is visible to us, that event has already come to pass. Consequently,we do not experience the present time, because by the time we are able to perceive its nature, significance or meaning, it is already history. For instance, in our microcosm by the time any incentive is transferred through our nervous system and recognized by our brain, a few seconds (or more depending onthe incentive) will pass and so by the time we perceive it that incentive is past.
If we take this approach and apply it on our astrology, time becomes less abstract than we probably thought it was. What we see in a chart may be reflecting a specific moment in time but it actually reflects an event that is past. Predicting then, is studying a past fact, because the event is already manifested in the Cosmos, yet as our understanding is based on our perception of time we regard it as future until it is manifested in the material sphere and hence it is able to be perceived by our senses.
Changing the clock time, in itself suggests that time is a man-made concept used to distinguish our moments of perception of the world we live in. But in reality, the reality of the Cosmos, time is an entirely different story. The objective in all cases though, is to be able to understand the event marked by that specific moment.
The film ends with this sentence: ‘those who have a memory are able to live in the fragile present moments. Those who have none don’t live anywhere.’
I concluded that perhaps astrology is our Memory in the Cosmic scale; thereafter a way to understand events so that we are able to live in our own fragile present moments.
(Photo: The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí)