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The Star Article

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Seasons, Cycles and Rhythms of Life

solar_system.jpgThrough the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, the cycles of life unfold. With spring comes the birth and surge of new life. Summer life matures and thrives. In Autumn the moisture that supports life dissipates and dries. As the warmth turns cold the youth grow old and brittle. In winter the warm life giving rays of the Sun are barely within reach, by coldness old life is overcome and dies to make way for regeneration, as a new surge of life we term spring arrives with the return of the Sun.

All living creatures live their lives and adapt their behaviour to the passing seasons. Our agricultural seasons are determined by the cycle of the seasons. The seasons arise from the position of the Sun relative to the Earth as it orbits the Sun. The behaviour of all living creatures are therefore determined by the Sun’s position relative to the Earth. The Sun’s mass makes up 99% of the matter existing in our solar system. The mass of all the remaining planetary bodies including our Earth comprise a meagre 1%.

The rythms of life are predominantly regulated by the movement of the Earth in relation to the Sun. Rythms of life act as a biological clock that regulate the biological mechanisms that enable all organisms from bacteria to worms, plants, birds and mammals, including humans, to ‘tell’ the time. Time is embedded in genes and, therefore, cells are able to tell the time, making it possible for an organism’s physiological and biochemical functions to follow a rhythmic pattern in synchrony with daily, monthly or yearly changes in the environment. Vital bodily processes, such as sleep, heart-beat, blood pressure, liver function, body temperature and hormone production, change according to the time of day – which is naturally determined by the position of the Sun in the sky and the resulting alternation of day and night, light and darkness. Similarly, certain behaviours in organisms, such as mating, migration, hibernation and flowering, are exhibited in cycles of months or even years, in response to temperature and humidity changes, food availability and many other predictable environmental cues.

The dependence on the biological clock becomes evident to humans when they try to override the ancient time patterns dictated by their internal timer, by engaging in unnatural behaviours such as travelling fast across multiple time zones or working ‘unfriendly’ shifts. As a consequence, they experience a variety of symptoms that range from mild jet-lag to potentially life-threatening conditions such as depression and sleep disorders.

The ocean tides reach highs and lows in unison with the changing phases of the moon. The Moon not only communicates and regulates the flow of Earth’s fertile waters, the menstrual cycles (in Greek “mene” means Moon) that determine the flow of fertile waters of all female creatures are also under the guidance of the moon (in Greek mene means Moon). Rivers change course and large bodies of water rearrange to the changing faces of the moon.

It is clear to all that the course of our lives is largely influenced by the Sun and the Moon. The routines that structure our lives are ruled by the dance of the Moon around Earth as they follow the Sun.

We go about our daily lives worshipping the calendar and the clock, to ensure the predictable and rhythmic patterns of our life remain in order. Calendars and clocks may be for modern day society a mere convenient and very effective scheduling tool that creates the very routine structures that underlie our individual lives. With our clocks we track the light hours by day and the dark hours by night. With our calendars we live our lives according to the months of the year. We obey our calendars to the second, hour, day and month. By the calendar we religiously keep our annual traditions, celebrations, and festivities. Even the days of the Western week are named after star-gods. Sunday is named after the Sun. Monday takes the name from the Moon; Tuesday comes from the name of the pagan god Tiw, which refers to Mars, the god of war. Wednesday belongs to Woden, akin to Mercury (in French ,Mecredi), Thursday, to Thor, the God of Thunder, Zeus or Jupiter; and Friday to the goddess Freya, or Venus (in French, (Vendredi). And Saturday is obviously named after the Planet Saturn.

A closer look makes you realize that periods in humanity’s various and complex calendric systems are all calculated and synchronized with the cycles of the Sun and the Moon. Hence you get solar and lunar calendars. All known ecclesiastical calendars are based on the major cycles of the Sun and the Moon. At the same time as the Christian Easter celebration the Jewish nation celebrate and commemorate the last plague that their God unleashed on the Egyptians when he passed over all the houses of the children of Israel when he smote the Egyptians in order to lead them out from enslavement from the Egyptians.

In the symbolism of this story, the Ram (Aries, from the Greek eras, meaning lamb) and the lamb are one. The Jews sacrificed a lamb at the Passover festival; this sacrifice later became the Easter Lamb of sacrifice and crucifixion in the Christian faith. The word “Passover” symbolically refers to the Sun’s equinoctial crossing or passing over of the Sun from the Southern hemisphere to the North. This CROSSing over also underlies the symbol of the CROSS of the Christian faith. After Christ was crucified, dead and buried, he ascended into heaven after three days. Just so, the Sun remains for three days in transit at the equinoctial point before it begins its ascent into the North.

The celebration of Passover, for example, begins on the first full Moon after the vernal equinox. Easter Sunday which marks the end of Lent, is usually the first Sunday after that. The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, starts at sunset on the day of the new Moon closest to the autumn equinox. The day which begins the most holy period for the Moslems of prayer and fasting is the first day of Ramadan which is set by the new Moon in Libra. In Vietnam, the New Year begins at the time of the first full Moon after the Sun enters the Aquarius and is termed Tet.

If scientifically and historically the course of life is so clearly and intimately connected and determined by transits of the Sun, Moon and other planets, it is only logical to assume that our lives as human beings and all other creatures in this 3 dimensional physical reality are also undoubtedly under the influence of the planets to a far greater effect than the average cynic of astrology gives credence to.  

The Sun is a child of the galaxy. Our living Earth is born from the Sun. From the Earth man and all living creatures are born. Through children of man, birth of the young and seeds carried by the wind, life is passed on.