Episode #18 – “Time Flies When You’re Living”

“The bad news is time flies, but the good news is you are the pilot”

Michael Altshuler, business coach

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1hr 23min

Time has always been a funny topic of discussion, and for so many the obsession of their lives like Albert Einstein and the great astronomers and ocean explorers and navigators of the modern ages. Probably one of the most abstract notions when questioned, What is time? To Einstein it is the 4th Dimension outside of our 3 dimensional physical reality. In this episode we tackle some of the ways in which ‘time’ has been described and tracked and measured over the centuries to millennia. 

The angle that these Druids in training are taking in this sense is looking at the various calendars that have been created like the Julian, Gregorian and Chinese. New year as is common knowledge differs between Western calendar time and the unique Chinese calendar. We have a discussion about the different zodiac symbolism which are represented by various animals in the Chinese calendar, which differs from all others and including the old Celtic or Druid symbolism of trees assigned to each lunar month. Astrology is well known to have seeded modern scientific Astronomy/Cosmology. We mention the book ‘The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook’, a great publication written by author and physicist Michael Brooks. This book describes the use of astrology in the 17th century by a famous mathematician and astrologer Jerome Cardano in the time of Renaissance Italy, for the invention of probability mathematics which became one of the cornerstones of quantum mechanics centuries later.

Through exploring the stars and the heavens by ancient astrologers and big thinkers through the centuries, we talk about the idea of perception and as a result consciousness once focused on the idea of time and the progression of it. Much like the differences in calendars across the Earth, it is apparent that time has qualities that differ depending on who you are talking to. In one sense time is linear in how it progresses from past to present to future, or does it? Engineers will, and most mathematics include time as a real measurable quantity and must be written into equations and formulae for speed, acceleration and other calculations. Then we have to acknowledge that we invented time measurement devices like clocks. Others think it has a non-linear quality or a looping nature to it. One thing for certain it’s an interesting topic to talk about because after all we all have birthdays every year and the sun and moon rise and fall. 

It doesn’t take long before we are wrapped up in Space conversation, and in all fairness this is kind of a natural line of enquiry when talking about astrology, planetary alignment and time. With that, enjoy the episode!

Main Topic Of This Episode​​

What time it is or what date it is can be different depending on who you ask. And to go deeper still, does it really matter what time or date it is in the first place? Obviously it does if you want to keep appointments with other people for example, but we often let the idea of time and the dates on a calendars control our moods, how we make plans throughout the year, and even our outlook and perspectives in life!

They say time is relative, but it is also subjective. One thing is for sure however, time will run out for us so it is vital we make the most of the time we have.

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What time it is or what date it is can be different depending on who you ask. And to go deeper still, does it really matter what time or date it is in the first place? Obviously it does if you want to keep appointments with other people for example, but we often let the idea of time and the dates on calendars control our moods, how we make plans throughout the year, and even our outlook and perspectives in life!

Check out this fascinating talk from Donna Carroll on the history of the calendar and how it has shaped our lives over the centuries. 

How many times a day do you check your calendar or look at your clock? These days our lives are driven by deadlines, schedules and timetables. Time and its many divisions (hours, days, weeks, months, and years) have completely shaped our lives and yet we seldom take the time to consider how these concepts arose. 

The calendar is inextricably linked to the mechanics of our solar system, and the way in which we describe our periods of time has arisen from ancient speculation in astronomy, mathematics and religion. 

In this talk, Donna Carroll will provide a brief history of our calendar and an introduction to time measurement. A fascinating field where astronomy, astrology, mathematics, politics, agriculture, superstition and religion all come together.

The Chinese zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. In order, the 12 Chinese horoscope animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

Most Chinese people also believe that people born in a Goat year will grow up to be followers rather than leaders. Although this is an outdated superstition, it has a real effect on Chinese society. Conversely, the Dragon is the most coveted zodiac sign, with Chinese births peaking in Dragon years. In Chinese culture, the top 5 luckiest/most popular zodiac signs are Dragon, Snake, Pig, Rat, and Tiger conventionally.

Are you better off being born in a ‘lucky’ year? Or, will that leave you with much more competition and you are actually better off being born in an ‘unlucky’ year where there is less competition? In 2000, one of the recent dragon years, Hong Kong saw a 5% increase in the numbers of babies.

Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the New Year vary widely, and the evening preceding the New Year’s Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck.

The Celtic/Druid calendar as mentioned in this episode and like other calendar measurements of the annual cycles of the heavens is a lunar calendar of 13 months. The Druid civilisation was also a pagan community and there are still seven pagan holidays or feasts that we still celebrate today.  The holiday of the autumnal equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair, An Clabhsúr and Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druid traditions), is a modern Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the Gods.

These feasts or holidays in today’s relevance would be Christmas, New Years Day, Easter, Halloween (Celtic festival of Samhain), Three Kings Day on January 6th, May 1st a feast dedicated to the mother Goddess and June 24th a feast dedicated to the Goddess of Luck, known today in Christian holidays as St. John’s (the baptist) Day. As we explore the various calendars like the Julian and Gregorian, there is a lot of overlap and appears to be a lot of renaming and acquisition of feast days from ancient civilisations. As mentioned too in this episode, the Druid zodiac included the symbology of the different trees imbued with spiritual energies and also plants possessing healing properties. Pagan spiritual beliefs were also very much ‘rooted’ in earthly incarnations. 

Also see the Wheel of the Year Festivals: 8 Pagan festivals

Time is linear from the perspective of measurement. As mentioned in the episode, it all depends on what perspective you wish to view it from. From a cosmological study and the bookThe Order of Time’ written by theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naïve perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Indeed, as Rovelli argues in The Order of Time, much more is illusory, including Isaac Newton’s picture of a universally ticking clock. Even Albert Einstein’s relativistic space-time — an elastic manifold that contorts so that local times differ depending on one’s relative speed or proximity to a mass.

He posits that reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present and future. The whole Universe obeys the laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, out of which time emerges. Rovelli is one of the creators and champions of loop quantum gravity theory, one of several ongoing attempts to marry quantum mechanics with general relativity. Another mind-bending view of this can be read in the late Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time’. These groups of scientists spend their days trying to develop an explanation for a phenomenon that matters very little to most of us that view time as the reality and progression of life.

The more spiritually minded and enlightened individuals amongst us will also suggest that there is no time at all apart from the now. No past and no future. This experience of time reflects that of some physicists also in that it can be experienced as infinity.

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model which fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. The fabric of space-time is a conceptual model combining the three dimensions of space with the fourth dimension of time. Spacetime diagrams can be used to visualize relativistic effects, such as why different observers perceive differently where and when events occur.

Until the 20th century, it was assumed that the three-dimensional geometry of the universe (its spatial expression in terms of coordinates, distances, and directions) was independent of one-dimensional time. The famous physicist Albert Einstein helped develop the idea of space-time as part of his theory of relativity.

The theory of spacetime forms part of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. This theory also brought us the famous equation ‘E=mc²’, where energy, mass and light are all connected.

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