I’ve stated before that astrology studies changes in the quality of time. Originally, day and night were measured by the rising and setting of the Sun, a distinct and observable phenomenon. The hours of the day were understood to reflect the qualities of the 7 planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, in a consistent procession, according to the day. The days were also named after the planets, and although in English the deities of the Norsemen were used, in the Latin-speaking countries, the days were named after the gods of Rome. As an example, Wednesday = Woden’s (Odin’s) day in English; in French it is called Mecredi, after Mercury. If you look at the heptagram (7 pointed star) on the left, you will see that following the planetary symbols in a clockwise manner will give you the planetary progression known as the “Chaldean Order”, which is the same as the progression of planetary hours. If you follow the lines of the star, it will indicate the order of the days of the week; the Sun (at the top) = Sunday, followed by Monday (the Moon’s day) and so on through Saturday (Saturn’s day).
Astral time also works differently, in that the hours are unequal, being measured by the length of day and night. Elaborate clocks were built to measure time this way for a long time. Although the mechanical technology of the Medieval era was not quite equal to that of the ancient Antikythera, the church in Europe kept many rituals on the basis of Astrological time, including the festival of Easter. That is why Easter Sunday varies from year to year – it is defined as the Sunday following the first Full Moon after the spring equinox; it was one of the most important calculations of the middle ages.
There is nothing wrong with clock time, it is a virtual mechanism that is convenient for business purposes, in fact, that’s why it was invented: to get a full hour’s work out of people in the short days of winter (sometime in the late Renaissance or shortly thereafter). Most people think that Daylight Savings time was invented for the convenience of farmers, others say it was developed by New York’s industrialists in order to extend the working hours of their employees by taking advantage of the additional natural light provided by the longer days of summer. In truth, it was invented by wealthy golfers from New Zealand in order to extend their playtime.
But clock time divorces itself from the ancient concept that there is meaning to time; like the paving of roads and the building of modern cities and places of work, it has served to gradually separate people from their ability to experience changes in nature. Clock time is handy, but it is devoid of meaning, something that is painfully absent from modern life.
Astral time is based on cycles in the heavens; not just those of the Sun and Earth, but of the planets as well. These cycles may last anywhere from a few minutes to thousands of years. Astral time also varies by place – not necessarily in the same way our even time zones do; in fact, almost all of our calculations are based on converting astrological time into the strict counting of clock time in the local time zone.
Clock time is convenient for mercantile interests, while Astral Time encourages and enhances connection with the self, others and the natural world, which is a part of awareness and growth. In fact, there are methods by which one can attune their internal rhythms to the rhythms of the stars, which will be discussed in several upcoming posts on the subject of Astral Time.