Putting it all together now ~ a mondial sundial.
With the basics of the 52~week perpetual soli-lunar calendar sorted out, here are a few more esoteric aspects of the calendar system that link theAbysmal calendar to other calendars past and present. These are more superficial connections, and not meant to tie the more complex aspects of these systems. The greater the level of detail, the more specific the symbols are to a particular culture. However, this is not to say that these symbols can be reworked to suit theAbysmal, and more importantly, the global population.
The taijitu, or yin-Yang symbol, was originally derived from a makeshift sundial, comprised of an eight-foot pole and a circle divided into 24 segments.
The symbol is inherently tied to the change in the sun’s position during the course of the year, yet it also applies to the cycles of night and day, and the lunar cycle from new to full. This same cyclical movement can be applied to much else, however, here we shall leave it at the day, the lunation and the year.
The I Ching, or book of changes, is a diviatory system that has been in use for centuries. It was initially a binary system represented by lines, either a fixed/firm/Yang line (
———), or a broken/yielding/yin line (
— —). These may have been used to determine the answers to yes/no questions. The I Ching further developed into four images, each of two lines (the lines are organized one above the other, starting from the bottom). This progressed to eight trigrams (three lines each), and finally, one trigram above the other forming sixty-four hexagrams (of six-lines each). The idea is to determine a starting hexagram, as well as the number of lines that change to their opposite, which form a second hexagram. The questioner then contemplates the change from one hexagram to the next.
However, for the purposes of the calendar, the lines are made up of either light (Yang) or dark (yin), and arranged according to a binary progression, as well as a circular progression. The associations with the divination are not taken into account, as that might take several years to go through. The end result are as follows (and these arrangements are quite old):
The radial pattern reflects the yin-Yang symbol, in that moving from the bottom in a clockwise direction, the lines are increasingly white, whereas the right side are increasingly black (look at the arrangment of lines from the inside of the circle outwards).
Note: the idea for the name “theAbysmal” came from the I Ching hexagram 29, which stands for the element of water.
the Zodiac – astronomy
The International Astronomical Union defines 13 constellations along the ecliptic. If you were to trace the apparent path of the sun across the sky, these constellations would form the backdrop throughout the year. Granted that constellations are an arbitrary designation, these are the international standards for the time being, and have been used since the Babylonians were hanging their gardens. The constellations, their symbols and the dates the sun passes into each of them is as follows:
|Aries||Apr 18||25 days|
|Taurus||May 13||39 days|
|Gemini||Jun 21||29 days|
|Cancer||Jul 20||21 days|
|Leo||Aug 10||37 days|
|Virgo||Sep 16||44 days|
|Libra||Oct 30||24 days|
|Scorpio||Nov 23||6 days|
|Ophiuchus (Eagle)||Nov 29||17 days|
|Sagittarius||Dec 17||35 days|
|Capricorn||Jan 20||27 days|
|Aquarius||Feb 16||23 days|
|Pisces||Mar 11||38 days|
These are the same as the zodiac used in astrology with one addition: Ophiuchus. These 13 constellations could be used to name the 13 months of theAbysmal calendar, which would allow us to track the precession of the equinoxes over a period of a little less than 26, 000 years. The days above shift to fall one day earlier every 72 years or so. If the months of theAbysmal calendar remain fixed, and the precession is tracked through its cycle, then the sun will enter Aries at the beginning of the month of Aries every 26,000 years or so (the rate of the precession varies, so the length of the precession can change – at the moment, it’s estimated at about 25, 772 years or so).
As it stands, the sun will enter aries at the winter solstice in another 8,520 years or thereabouts.
the Zodiac ~ astrology
Western astrology, to be more precise. Again, this does not take into account the more complex aspects of astrological calculation, but rather some of the common elements between the Western astrological tradition and theAbysmal calendar. In some respects, the astrological zodiac is a calendar. If you consider the date when the sun enters a sign, it is similar to saying the sun enters a particular month. Or Jan 1st is the same as the first day of Aries, in that they both denote the beginning of their respective cycles. Aries begins on March 21st to coincide with the equinox. Each of the 12 signs is associated with an element: fire, earth, air, water.
One thing to note about the astrological zodiac: Libra is exceptional, as it is the only symbol that is not a living thing. Zodiac means circle of animals, so to have an inanimate object is significant. It is often described as standing at the centre, but the careful observer will note that six signs preced it, and five signs follow it. This is not a point of balance. If we reintroduce Ophiuchus, then we get an even six signs before, and six after, which puts the zodiac back into balance. Further, the sign of Virgo (the maiden) comes before Libra, and Scorpio (the scorpion) follows it. The symbols for these two signs are similar, and seem to indicate a symmetry.
Thus the 12 living symbols follow the progression fire, earth, air, water, with Libra standing apart as the element aether (sometimes referred to as space or void – i.e. theAbyss).The circled months/signs are significant for a few reasons: they each represent one of the five elements. Aside from Libra, the other four are Taurus (the bull), Leo (the lion), Ophiuchus (the healer, who for the purposes of this exercise we shall attribute the eagle), and Aquarius (the water-bearer). These four symbols are referred to in the old testament of the bible (in Ezekiel) and the book of revelation.
Ezekiel Chapter 1
“4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal,
“5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man,
“6 but each of them had four faces and four wings.
“10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.
“19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose.
“20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
“21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”
Revelation Chapter 4
“6 In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.
“7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.”
All that aside, if we take Libra out of the middle point of the year/zodiac, and place it in the middle of the circle, we get the following symmetry:
The pattern of lines within the circle above reflects a symbol that was developed long before the above image:
Putting all these elements together, we get the following Mandala:
Posts of Interest
- Reforming Western Astrology
- What’s in a Number?
- the Golden Number and Fractal Timekeeping
- Mycelium of Life
- American Plutocracy
- Cycles of Time – History
- Cycles of Time – Playing with Numbers
- Cycles of Time -Becoming the Body
- Cycles of Time – of Mud and Men
- Cycles of Time – the Comic Cosmic
Perpetual 13-Month Calendar
Abbreviations & Notation
Arguments for Calendar Reform
theAbysmal Calendar for Download