The Concept of Time in Astrology

By Tad Mann

Delivered to the Centro Italia De Astrologia Congress, Venezia, Italy 26 November 1994

(With illustrations from The Round Art: The Astrology of Time and Space)

Astrology is the ultimate system for integrating the cosmos with the individual. It has survived the demands of countless civilizations throughout history as each has redefined and recreated the archetypal principles upon which astrology is founded in terms that it can understand and use in an optimal way. I was originally trained as an architect, educated at Cornell University and practiced architecture in New York City and Rome in the 1960s, and my books represent an attempt to restructure the astrological paradigm to include both a modern understanding of the universe, developments in human biology and genetics and also our psycho-spiritual being. In order to do this, I call upon a powerful metaphor and its accompanying mathematics: the movement of the solar system through time resonates and exchanges information with the genetic code DNA within every living cell, and that astrology is the science of information exchange.

One of the most powerful modern ideas is the Relativity Theory of Einstein, which revolutionized physics earlier this century. The classical Euclidean or Galilean universe was static: bodies moved in a clockwork universe in perfectly circular orbits and time was an absolute measuring scale from past to future. The relativistic universe is one in which all bodies are composed of swirling energies, constantly in movement, and there are neither absolute vantage points nor absolute time. With no absolute time, every being has its own independent conception of time, relative to all others. This challenging principle can and should be applied to the philosophy of astrology.

Spiralling Solar System in time

To illustrate this, we must visualize the solar system. We believe that every year the earth orbits around a static Sun suspended in space, returning annually to the same place. But, it is not that simple! Our Sun orbits around its sun, probably the star Sirius (which itself orbits around the Galactic Center), at a speed of about one and three-quarter million kilometers per day (±72,000k/hr), pulling the planets along with it, taking their orbits appear to be spiral paths. The innermost spiral is Mercury, followed by Venus and Earth. Along the length of the central filament of the sun, each spiral revolution of the Earth is one year. The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter appears as a haze of smaller bodies, while the outer planets gracefully arch their way through time and space. The inner planets are wound tightly and the outer planets soar along at a distance. This spiraling pattern has been likened to a step-down transformer of cosmic energies originating from the galactic center, each planetary spiral manifesting a different frequency range. This image shows planetary movements as patterns in time that describe a process of development.

The astrological horoscope is a slice through this spiraling circus at a specific time of birth, its angle reflecting the location. When seen from this perspective, everyone alive experiences the same spiraling pattern from our own relative vantage point, the birth horoscope slice, the only distinction is that each one of us enters at a different relative place in space and moment of time. From the present moment, the spiral projects back into the past and forward into our common future.

My basic hypothesis is that there is a resonance, a formal and mathematical relationship between the spiraling movements of the solar system in time and space and the spiral structure of the DNA molecule by which all organic life is structured. Knowledge of life is encoded in the spiraling DNA structure that is a reflection of the galactic model. The path of the sun through time is can be seen as a straight line, but when the path of the earth is the central viewpoint, it is a spiral within the sun's apparent spiraling path. The pattern of the solar system in time in the macrocosm reflects the pattern of the DNA molecule in the microcosm.

The physicist Jacques Bergier was quoted by Dr. Theodore Landscheit as stating: "If (the physicists) Ducrocq, Hoyle, Narlikar and Costa de Beauregard are right, the universe is just as well organized and functions just as precisely as a DNA molecule in the nucleus of the cell. Just as one has succeeded in discovering the genetic code, one should also be able to find the astronomical code. The communication of information is not restricted to living organisms, it is also an integral part of the universe, just as matter and energy are."

My assumption is that the information carried by the DNA molecule reflects the movements of the solar system spiraling through time, and that they are the key to the astrological code. The question is: How can this cosmic process be understood and applied personal life?

The Life Time cylinder and the DNA molecule

The experiments in biological time of Pierre Lecompte de Noüy (1883-1949) form the basis for the relationship between astrology and biology. During the First World War, de Noüy discovered that the rate at which wounds healed varied according to the age of the wounded, and that the metabolic process, the rate at which the body consumes and utilizes oxygen and food, is the key to understanding this process. The older we are, the longer healing takes, and indeed the longer are all physical, mental and psychological reactions. De Noüy calculated that the impression of the passage of time for a twenty and fifty old man would be four and six times faster than for a five old child. Time is not linear for us, because time passes faster and faster and faster as we age.

Biological time is the relationship between metabolism and perception. As metabolic rate slows down, time passes faster. Therefore, as we age, our life seems to compact, compress and move faster. At conception the very fast 'molecular' time scale of the ovum determines the metabolic rate. As we grow larger and more complex, our metabolism slows down; a process that continues throughout life, while at death our metabolism ceases. As we age our metabolism gradually slows down, our time sense accelerates. This is why time seems to pass so slowly in childhood, but faster and faster as we age, until near death time passes so quickly that we cannot keep up with it. Youth and old age are characterized by fast and slow metabolic rates.

The mathematical expression describing the compaction of life in time is a logarithmic progression.

The lifetime of a human ovum is one lunar month, and the average lifetime of the cellular body is one thousand lunar months, or 77 years. The timescale of the ovum is one thousand times faster than the timescale of a person at 77 years old, and the lifetime of the ovum is one thousandth that of the cellular
body. We also perceive time passing one thousand times faster at death than at conception. An average lifetime can be subdivided into three octaves using a logarithmic scale: Gestation, Childhood and Maturity.

In Gestation, the physical Body is created within the mother; during Childhood, from birth to seven years old, the emotional body of the Personality is created and then developed within the home and family system; and during Maturity, from seven to death, the mental body is created in the world. Each successive octave occupies ten times more calendar time, but the same quantity of energy and growth is put into each octave, therefore they seem to be the same length. As we age, time seems to contract, compact and accelerate.

When the logarithmically graded time scale is wrapped around a circle, conception coincides with death, closing the circle. At conception this pattern is all potential, none of its actuality has been realized. Shortly after conception the soul enters the space-time continuum of the spiraling solar system, leading to the creation and acceptance of the karma of the astrological pattern that manifests through the genetic code. The soul enters the space-time continuum where it becomes subject to more rigid laws than in its previous domain of spirit, which signals an incarnation, birth onto the cross of matter and the wheel of karma. At the moment of death the life is all actual, all its potential has been utilized, and the identical code registers as a "last judgment," flashing by before in the instant of death. All events in life are stages in the transformation of potential into actual reality.

The Life Time Astrology Wheel of Life

The logarithmic time scale is superimposed upon the horoscope and further subdivided into twelve developmental stages, the twelve houses, as a pattern of life through time. The positions of the planets describe: events in life occurring at specific times from conception to old age; archetypal and individual psychological mechanisms which determine character and behavior; influential individuals in life and their equivalent inner mechanisms; and bodily glands, organ systems and the times of their release.

Integrating the concept of biological time with astrology creates a revolutionary picture of the whole life, based on mathematically derived principles; a valuable tool in psychotherapy, healing, the raising of children, in relationships, executive placement, work on the self and individual awareness for personal growth.

Whereas the traditional astrologer works with the birth horoscope slice and one or two other slices taken to represent transits or progressions, Life Time Astrology leads to a comprehension and description of the entire process of life, beginning at conception. The path around the periphery of the horoscope circle symbolizes the events and mechanisms of life activated at spiritual, psychological, emotional and biological levels. Due to the phenomenon of biological time, events early in life are more powerful than later events because they carry a greater energy charge, they occurred when life energy was more potent and time more elongated. Early events seem to last forever, while later events fly by us. Therefore we return to the earliest events of our lives to discover the deepest meaning of our existence. The events of gestation, from your mother's and your own point of view, as well as the long-forgotten events of early childhood may be reconstructed, together with the people who participated in them. Both the outer environment and inner psychology are shown in the horoscope in symbolic form. Life is a cyclical process and knowing the origin of behavior patterns is a great help in understanding the present and future.

It becomes clear that the signs of the zodiac are symbols of the developmental stages in life. The interpretation of the astrological horoscope is a description of your lifetime from conception through death to transcendence, following the sequence of houses.

Gestation is the creation of a physical body within your mother; a recapitulation of the entire evolutionary process beginning as a one-celled ovum; the initial relationship between your parents; the nature of the sexual act of conception. Gestation is the domain of the collective unconscious.

Childhood is the creation of an emotional body within the family system and shows the personality determined by the birth process that then develops during early family life. Childhood is the domain of the personal unconscious.

Maturity is the creation of a mental body within the world and shows how we are educated, find our life work, produce a family and negotiate and understand our world. Maturity is the domain of the conscious life.

Transcendence is the creation of a higher soul body beyond the world, outside of time, and reflects the process of gestation and its integration of male and female energies, symbolized by our conception process.

The horoscope is the unfolding of life from its potential pattern. The times of the beginning and end of the twelve houses are determined mathematically, as you can see from this example horoscope with a dating disk within it. The houses have an archetypal timing based on the average lifetime, closely matching the developmental phases identified by the psychologist Piaget and others, but for every individual, unique times are determined by the relative sizes and duration of the houses. As we pass through each house, all previous developments are assimilated and integrated to higher levels of awareness and consciousness, and psychic energy is transferred to ever-higher levels. Due to the mathematics of the logarithmic time scale, the duration of each house is almost equivalent to the entire preceding time from conception to the beginning of that house.

The aspects are very important in Life Time Astrology as they not only connect planetary energies, but also show the relationship between events at various stages of life. The aspects penetrate from the time-bound sequence of our linear life around the circle into the timeless and eternal center, they are our ways of going beyond ourselves and into the core of ourselves. Indeed I use all of the aspect points projected around the horoscope as "sensitive points" which define an harmonic pattern of influences throughout our entire life.

Horoscopes of Einstein and Ernst with aspect patterns

Traditional astrology may be restricted to perceptive character study or the investigation of psychological mechanisms in individuals, but often the whole remains an enigma. The leap to a biological time scale is like the change from the static Newtonian worldview to Einstein's relativity.

While the horoscope is a circle, it must be also be seen from a higher spiritual dimension as a spiral, as in models of the four bodies. When the horoscope circle is extended along its time axis, like the solar system through time, it generates a cylinder, with the center of the horoscope as a central axis. Our spiritual ascent spirals around the periphery of the cylinder, like walking up a spiral staircase. The horoscope is a slice through the cylinder at the time of birth, although slices can be taken at any point. As we age, the cylinder fills up with experiences. The present moment is the surface of the cylinder.

But, we are not confined to the physical world of the three octaves. There is a fourth, Transcendent octave during which we create a transpersonal or spiritual body outside time. Transcendence is the higher octave of gestation, a knowing and experiential return to the collective unconscious, but on a higher level. Indeed this fourth dimension is the culmination and synthesis of the entire process of life and our goal in achieving unity with our world and our place in time.

Over the past twenty-two years Life Time Astrology has developed as a new and valuable tool for astrologers, applied to the psychological life process as well as the dynamics of healing, expressed in my book Astrology and the Art of Healing. Exploring the dynamics of conception and gestation has provided great insight and challenging opportunities for many astrologers and their clients. I am sure you will find that Life Time Astrology will enrich your astrological investigations and support your spiritual intentions. I thank you.

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