[published in 2020 Issue of Solantis magazine]
Whether consciously or not, those of us who regularly attend Circles have gotten used to the idea that the Great Wheel of the Year is a calendar. It is a tool for telling time. Whether we realize it or not, the Circle itself is also a tool for telling time. It is a clock. The Wheel and the Circle are also other important things. But let us focus on this time telling notion of the Circle and the Wheel. Depending upon the particular tradition that one may be practicing, the calendar may begin with the Spring Equinox, or it may begin with the Winter Solstice, or it may even begin with Samhain, the Greater Sabbat between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice. How the Circle is a clock may be understood this way. In the Northern hemisphere under most Traditions, movement around the Circle while casting it is Deosil, meaning, with the Sun. We are following the diurnal apparent motion of the Sun across the sky during the day. Dawn in the East. Midday to the South. Sunset in the West. Midnight under the North. We see that not only are we using this tool to tell time, we are also using it to correlate time and direction, therefore, time and place, therefore, time and space.
Time may be reckoned in a liner fashion and also in a cyclic fashion. We can measure time with number and achieve a sense of a concatenation of now moments potentially going off to infinity in both directions, infinitely far back into the past, and, infinitely far forward into the future. Practically, however, we always reckon time within the finite limits that we come to know via experience, and science. We say that Time itself started for our Universe some 13.7 billion years ago and we now suspect that going forward there is also a finite limit, an ending of Time somewhere in the future. The contradiction, here, is in fact the clue to the deeper meaning of Time, that Time is… sui generis, self-creating.
Notice how we tend to mix the spatial and temporal when we imagine Time. We say the end of Time is some where in the future. We correlate the dawn, an event in time, with the East, a direction in space, etcetera. This mixing of time and space is not accidental. It is in the nature of the beast. The noted scientist and humanitarian, Albert Einstein, with the publication of his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, showed that Time and Space cannot be separated. They are always bound together. They constitute a four-dimensional space-time continuum or fabric that is the very infrastructure of all of the existence that we know. Now we suspect that the four-dimensional structure of Time is only what we see on the surface. There may be many hidden dimensions of Time that we cannot see. Doctor Einstein also explained how Time can dilate with velocity, that Time is fundamentally relative, as is Space. Ten years later, in 1915, with the publication of his General Theory of Relativity, Doctor Einstein went even further and proved that Time is fundamentally curvilinear, not linear, and, that Time and Space are both affected by matter and energy, that gravity is the effect caused by the presence of matter-energy in space-time.
The fundamental Time of the Cosmos is therefore cyclic. But it gets exquisitely complicated when we realize that we are also dealing with nested cycles, cycles within cycles, as we continue to unpack the notion of Time. Think about the Wheel and the Circle. In a sense, although we normally think of a Circle as just an event occurring in a particular place at a particular time, we are also unconsciously aware of the 365 Circles that can be found in the Wheel of the Year because the Circle is also, so to speak, an atom of time. Then we have the years too, which are also atoms, components, of even greater Cycles, ages and epochs. In our minds, we can imagine these cycles within cycles going on infinitely. But again, practically, in the real world, the nesting only goes so deep. This is a good thing, because it means that we can discover the true and complete nature of Time if we look deeply enough. We do not know the exact number that would be attached to the depth of the nesting. It may be only a handful, or, it may be dozens. It is unlikely, I think, that it would be hundreds. But frankly, I don’t know, and neither does anybody else living on planet Earth… as far as I know.
It is this notion of cyclic, nested Time that opens the way to our understanding of Dragon Time. Einstein spoke of the Time dilation and showed throughout a series of amazing thought experiments, and using the mathematics of Special Relativity, he showed that Time slows down as velocity increases and that the point at which Time would theoretically stop altogether constitutes the speed limit for the Universe, the speed at which matter can no longer exist as matter, the speed at which energy always travels when it is in the absolute vacuum… the speed of Light. Thus, it will be possible for an astronaut traveling to the stars and back to Earth to live through, perhaps, 40 years during such a trip, but, back here on Earth, when that astronaut returns, perhaps tens of thousands of years will have gone by… Time travel, into the future. But it is a one-way ticket because Time has only one direction… into the future, never the past. The disparity between the age of the astronaut and the civilization to which he or she now returns cannot be undone.
Thank Dragon it can’t. There would be no Universe if this undoing were even possible. It is the Dragon guarantee that everything that happens stays in its appointed place in Time. But, as we will see in the Universe of Relativity, exactly what is actually going forward is open to interpretation. With Relativity, whenever anything goes forward something else is going backward relative to that thing, and this is not unimportant. Think of yourself sitting in a train at a railway station that is almost ready to depart. Another train on the tracks next to you is already leaving the station and for a moment you get the unsettling perception that the train you are on is slipping backwards. This is particularly unsettling in a car at a stop light and can even cause you to have an accident because for a moment you don’t know which car is moving. This is no mere illusion. Which train or car you pick to be the frame of reference for gauging direction and speed of motion is absolutely relative according to Einstein. Depending upon which frame of reference you choose, the mathematics of motion can be either very simple or very complicated. But neither is false or wrong. They are both a right way to gauge Time. So, we pick the simpler one, but we become too comfortable with the idea that it is simplicity alone that rules the entire Universe. Are we sure about that?
Nested Dragon Time also has its own peculiar kind of Time dilation. It works like this. The planet Earth Dragon, Dakhmekhtrion, emerged with the Earth some 4.7 billion years ago and it travels with the Earth, around the Sun. But the Sun and the Earth also travel, with the other planets, around the center of the Milky way galaxy in an orbit with a period of about 250,000,000 years. So does Dakhmekhtrion. At the same time there are other vectors involved and we have a local motion of Sol away from Sirius, 10 light years behind us, and toward Vega, 26 light years ahead of us, as well as an undulation slightly above and below the galactic plane. All of this is happening while it orbits around the galaxy and that orbit around the galaxy is the largest vector. It is hard for us to really see it because the motion toward Vega is so much closer. We are with a small group of stars all headed that general direction, and, orbiting around the galaxy.
All the star systems in the galaxy, except for the rogue stars that are mostly slingshot from the galaxy by the supermassive black hole at the center, also orbit around the galaxy. This is the fundamental Dragon Rhythm for every Dragon, what I call the Dragon Year. But all of these systems have roughly the same orbital period, about a quarter of a billion years, give or take. The orbits further out have to cross greater distances in the same amount of time in order for the orbital periods to be roughly the same. But the mathematics shows that the systems out toward the edge of the galaxy are traveling at tremendously higher velocities than Sol is. So fast, in fact, that without the gravity of the dark matter to hold them, they too would have gone rogue a long time ago and would have been thrown out into inter-galactic space. This is a profoundly important effect of the dark matter that is in our galaxy. The galaxy itself has stable spiral arm structures that have existed for billions of years. Those would have disintegrated a long time ago were it not for the dark matter that is holding them together by balancing the greater centrifugal force associated with their much greater velocities. This establishes a fairly tight range of orbital periods in the galaxy, a Dragon Rhythm for our galaxy. We don’t see this effect with the planets which is why as we look further and further out, we see that it takes longer and longer for the planets to complete their orbits… 365 days for Earth, but 12 years for Jupiter, 29 for Saturn, 84 for Uranus, and so on.
Surely, this dark matter must be some kind of Dragon thing. It is certainly weird enough. The astrophysicists were absolutely baffled when they first discovered that our galaxy should have spun itself to pieces eons ago, but didn’t, thanks to the dark matter, and it introduced a kind of time dilation of its own in that the velocities keep increasing as we go out from the galactic center but the orbital periods stay in the ball park… a quarter of a billion years.
Now, here is the kicker…
We know how long our galaxy has existed. It is very old. Almost as old as the Universe itself. Our galaxy is 13.51 billion years old. The Universe is 13.8 billion years old. We know that the mean orbital period of our galaxy is about 250,000,000 years. So, how many Dragon Years has our galaxy existed? Do the math. Divide 13.51 billion by 250,000,000 and you come up with 54.04 Dragon Years! Think about what we mean when we say that something is very old. We are comparing it to our life span, which is on average not even 80 years. But, when we shift our paradigm and start thinking in terms of Dragon Time we find that the Milky Way galaxy is, in fact, not very old, but perhaps, we could say, middle aged. Now do the same math for the Solar System, which is 4.7 billion years old and you come up with 18.8 Dragon Years. Barely voting age. Still a teenager.
The final takeaway is this. We say something that is spinning is stable if it has spun a great number of times, perhaps, through thousands of revolutions, or even millions, or even billions. How can we say that something spinning, like our orbit around the center of the galaxy, is, in fact, something stable, since it has only spun about 54 times? Same argument for the Solar System. Only 18 times? No way can we say that this is a stable system that has existed for a long time, because, from the perspective of Dragon Time, no it hasn’t, and no it isn’t.
This reveals what is perhaps the greatest mystery of Dragon Time, which is, that Dragon Time has NOTHING to do with the stability of entities, but rather, their PLASTICITY.