Time is not a line but a circle

I love this month’s challenge word: TIME

It brought me back to one of my favorite pastimes/obsessions/search for connection – ancient cultures, especially Celtic culture and symbolism. The Celts recorded and described the passage of time as a circle or spiral, rather than the idea of a straight, flat “time line”. The spiral relates to our own experiences in nature – the cycles of the tides, phases of the moon, seasons… birth-life-death-rebirth.

Ancient cultures like the Mayans and Celts observed these patterns on earth as well as in the “movement” of the stars. They used their observations to create a measurement of time.

The stone carvings at Brú na Bóinne (County Meath, Ireland), which predate the Egyptian pyramids by hundreds of years, demonstrate the Celts’ significant scientific knowledge of astronomy. Carvings at this site illustrate the exact length of a year in lunar months, and calculations for a 19-year lunar cycle.

Somehow in the 6000 years between their scientific discoveries and now, we (modern Western countries) have chopped our year into 12 uneven chunks of days with one leftover day every 4 years. We seem to have forgotten (or ignored) the concept of cyclical time, which blinds us to the same problems that show up again and again in slightly different clothing, and dooms us to repeat the mistakes of the past. I hold onto hope that maybe we'll do better this time around.

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