Inside Time

There are two things we can count in this world, one is the number of objects on the Earth and the other is the number of time periods between events in the Sky.

photo: The Moon, with Jupiter and Mars, on 11th January 2018. (see end for interpretation)

Objects are counted in an extensive way, from one to an almost infinite number, the count extending with each addition (or multiplication) of a population.

Time periods appear similar but in fact they emanate from measurable recurrences, such as phases of the moon, and these derive from the behaviour of celestial objects as they divide into each other.

For instance, the unit called the day is created by the rotation of the earth relative to the Sun and the lunar month by its orbit around the Earth relative to the Sun, and so on.

Thus, time originally came from the sky. Furthermore, it largely came from the zodiacal band of stars surrounding the Earth within which the planets, Sun and Moon progress eastwards. The Earth’s own orbital motion is superimposed upon those of the other planets and the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) also appear to orbit a Sun that appears to orbit the Earth once a year.

The zodiacal band is naturally divided up into a number of constellations or stars and about three thousand years ago it became popular to follow the Sun throughout the year into 12 constellations whilst the Moon tends to create 27 or 28 stars (nakshatras) where the Moon might sit on a given evening. When the moon is illuminated by the sun, the primordial month has 29 1/2 days and twelve such in less than a year hence perhaps first defining the 12-ness of our months within the year.

All celestial cycles recur and this has formed our notion of eternity, that the sky world is made up of cyclic time rather than extensive time – every year being the same cycle seen again but then numbered so that they can be referred to as to when something happened in the past. The intensive reality above our heads is the polar opposite of extensive counting of time we see in History where numbered years and days within named months provide an unbroken continuum of time and famous people are said to have made history through their actions at a given date.

Whilst on Earth we might measure feet or meters between objects, above we effectively measure angles and angular rates to arrive at a synthesis between intensive and extensive time we call a calendar, an inevitable necessity for an organised civilization. And the moon and then the sun gave rise to the early calendars that naturally led to the arising of history as a human phenomenon. The oldest myths were connected to the sky, and were less than historical because the language of the sky had not been formalized in a way we would recognize.

Myths speak of eternal patterns that repeat rather than of existential events, on earth. The sun, moon and planets were seen as gods whose generative functions were hailed as emerging from their interactions with each other.

It has been widely assumed that “primitive” thought was premature, fantasizing planetary gods out of thin air with an as yet unripened grasp on logic and reason. But a simpler explanation, for the equation of planets with super beings, was their finding of special numbers linking the planetary cycles when these were counted and compared. This quantification of celestial time evolved from knowing the days in a year and a month, into a running calendar – of various sorts. The Maya Long Count is an example where numbers could interact through week lengths of 13 and 20 days to give a sacred calendar of 260 days whilst in historical times the 7 day week emerged, tied to Saturnian time. In this way, a calendar could add weeks adapted to societal events such as having a market every Tuesday.

This is a big subject where we have all the sky data but do not spend time understanding it. In the past, the sky was our constant companion between few man-made spaces. The sky sits within the horizon and so was like a primordial cave for humans and, the sky became an early teacher through its phenomena.

Jupiter and the Lunar Year

The lunar month is like the common denominator of what happens inside time. The sun illuminates the phases of the moon during its month so that, the month combines the movements of the moon and the sun to form a synthetic (combined) period of 29 1/2 days and twelve of these months fit inside the solar year as the lunar year of 12 1/3rd months (354.367 days). Jupiter has its own relationship to the sun in that, when the sun is opposite the moon, Jupiter describes a loop amongst the stars, and strangely there are 13 1/2 lunar months between loops (Jupiter’s synodic period of 398.88 days). 13 1/2 months divided by 12 months is the ratio 9/8, a musical whole tone.

But in the image above, of Jupiter and the Moon, the moon would be full if Jupiter was going to loop (as earth “overtakes” Jupiter on the “inside lane” – the planets inspiring ancient racetracks). Mars is another “outer planet” which loops in the same way and so Mars is also not looping.

But without understanding these matters, the picture cannot be understood. The phase of moon shows where the sun is. The planets have been in conjunction. If Venus had been present, then it has a 4/3 ratio to Mars but has to remain close to the sun to appear first as an evening star, then a morning star, in a cycle 8/5 years (584 days) long compared to Mars synod (between loops) of 780 days. Less accurate than Jupiter to the Lunar year, by a day. This is what I mean by being inside time, where all the celestial bodies have relationships to one another, when these are seen by us from earth.

This is how I started, with my first book Matrix of Creation. The musical ratios and their entrance into ancient stories was explored in Harmonic Origins of the Earth. How ancient humans counted time was discussed in Lords of Time and a unified treatment made in Language of the Angels. Used alongside archaeology, more can be understood about the prehistoric and early civilizations since astronomy was the first real subject for the human race.

The Quantification of Eclipse Cycles

Following on from the last post:
Given the many sub-cycles found in the Moon’s behavior, and the angle of its orbit to the Ecliptic, one would expect the eclipse phenomenon to be erratic or random but in fact eclipses repeat quite reliably over relatively fixed periods that were quantified symbolically by megalithic astronomy, within monuments and by the “sacred” numbers and geometries which encapsulate eclipse cycles, as with many other cycles.

An eclipse cycle repeats, to greater or lesser degree of accuracy, over an integer number of days or months. And because of a lack of conventional arithmetic or notation like our own in the megalithic, the practical representation of a cycle would be a raw count of days or months, using uniform measures, which could then be interpreted by them using (a) the rational fractions of whole unit metrology, (b) the factorization of a measured length by counting within using measuring rods or (c) using right-triangles or half-rectangles, which naturally present trigonometrical ratios; to compare different time cycles.

The Eclipse Year

The solar year (365.242 days) is longer than the lunar year of 12 lunar months (354.367 days) and we know that these, when counted in day-inches, gave the megalithic their yard of 32.625 (32 and 5/8) inches and that, by counting months in megalithic yards over one year, the English foot (of 12 inches) was instead the excess over a single lunar year of the solar year, of 12.368 lunar months. 0.368 in our notation is 7/19 and the megalithic yard is close to 19/7 feet so that counting in months cancels the fraction to leave one foot.

Continue reading “The Quantification of Eclipse Cycles”

Introduction to my book Harmonic Origins of the World

Over the last seven thousand years, hunter-gathering humans have been transformed into the “modern” norms of citizens (city dwellers) through a series of metamorphoses during which the intellect developed ever-larger descriptions of the world. Past civilizations and even some tribal groups have left wonders in their wake, a result of uncanny skills – mental and physical – which, being hard to repeat today, cannot be considered primitive. Buildings such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza are felt anomalous, because of the mathematics implied by their construction. Our notational mathematics only arose much later and so, a different maths must have preceded ours.

We have also inherited texts from ancient times. Spoken language evolved before there was any writing with which to create texts. Writing developed in three main ways: (1) Pictographic writing evolved into hieroglyphs, like those of Egyptian texts, carved on stone or inked onto papyrus, (2) the Sumerians used cross-hatched lines on clay tablets, to make symbols representing the syllables within speech. Cuneiform allowed the many languages of the ancient Near East to be recorded, since all spoken language is made of syllables, (3) the Phoenicians developed the alphabet, which was perfected in Iron Age Greece through identifying more phonemes, including the vowels. The Greek language enabled individual writers to think new thoughts through writing down their ideas; a new habit that competed with information passed down through the oral tradition. Ironically though, writing down oral stories allowed their survival, as the oral tradition became more-or-less extinct. And surviving oral texts give otherwise missing insights into the intellectual life behind prehistoric monuments.

Continue reading “Introduction to my book Harmonic Origins of the World”

Introduction to my book Sacred Number and the Lords of Time

Modern mathematical science deals in precise measurements accurate to many decimal places. Simple integers rarely appear. the trend has recently been toward reforming our units of measure to get away from specific objects of reference and base them on universal physical properties. in ancient times people tried much the same thing, but, not having an arithmetical system, they used whole numbers of the same length (the inch) to measure astronomical time (the day). then, using geometry, they created their first objective measure, a megalithic yard, which expressed the difference between the solar and lunar year.

Their idea of sticking to whole numbers remains part of our number theory and, as Leopold Kronecker famously said, “God created the natural numbers, all else is the work of man.” The natural numbers or integers carry with them a sense of unity and design as to how they interact with one another. As symbols these number relationships affect the physical world and this suggests they provided a fundamental creative fabric for the universe. the constructions made by megalithic people present such a view. The monuments could only reflect a “heavenly pattern” (“as above, so below”) because the fabric of abstract whole number relationships appears to have been employed in a later weaving of planetary time cycles, which were then seen as the work of some god or gods (the demiurge) who surrounded the earth with numerical time ratios.

Continue reading “Introduction to my book Sacred Number and the Lords of Time”