The biggest difference between the original wheel of the zodiac and the toroidal zodiac lies in how we approach the matter of time.
The wheel of the zodiac shows the horoscope: a snapshot of the planets and luminaries at a given moment in time. Horo is Latin for hour. The clock is also a wheel and shows the cyclic nature of time. The wheel turns round and round with time’s ‘circle games’ as Joni Mitchel sings. The horoscope puts emphasis on the cyclic, or repeated, patterns of time.
The wheel is the shape of cyclic time. In understanding cyclic time, we can better grow; crops, wellness, knowledge and consciousness.
In other words, the horoscope puts an emphasis on time for the sake of growth.
The toroscope simply does the opposite; it puts emphasis on growth for the sake of time.
When I say that the toroscope puts emphasis on growth for the sake of time I am not referring to the time of calendars and watches. The time I am speaking about is closer to the circadian rhythm found in the body, but with more nuance. Nature’s biorhythms may wake you up with the rising sun but your own nature’s rhythms get more personal. Your own nature’s rhythms respond to things like getting back on track with an important project, or taking a stand for something that matters.
Rhythms don’t even get close enough to the crux of what this ‘time’ is. A better word is momentum. One’s momentum moves forward just like time. We can’t own time, but we can own our momentum. This kind of time is called thymos. It is a spirited connection to our own momentum. It is the only kind of time that is truly free.
The wheel of the zodiac shows our complex use of the knowledge of time. Whether it serves to plant a sturdy crop or reflect on symbolic inner changes, the wheel of time is used as a map. Just like a watch or a calendar, this moving map allows us more control over the lives we lead.
The North American Railway adopted a standardized way of keeping time in 1883. Finally someone could plan to take a train and arrive at the ‘right time’. If you are late, that is the wrong time and you will have to try again later.
Nowadays it is hard to conceive going about your day with no idea of what the ‘right time’ is. Your phone, your car, your watch, that clock all stare back at you, locking you into a truthful and agreed upon ‘right time’.
But what about your own ‘right time’? What about the idea of rightness mixed with momentum? How often do you consider this question?
With a clock, you pinpoint a right time that will cycle back to be ‘right’ again twelve hours later. With momentum this isn’t the case. Momentum, like true time, only moves forward. A question of ‘rightness’ when it comes to momentum can only ask about ‘right direction’. There is only one ‘right direction’; forward. Evolution marches uphill.
Clocks and calendars are tools. We connect to their meanings and use them to gain more control. Though we can control showing up to a train on time, we can’t control time itself. Unless it is our own “time”; our own momentum. Momentum is the only kind of time we can control. To be in better and better control of our own momentum is what we are after. Toro is Latin for bull, the archetype of Taurus. Toro also means “to steer”.
We are powerhouses of electromagnetism. Momentums swirl beneath the surface of everyone you meet. There are lifetimes of information stored within these powerhouses largely forgotten but never lost. Momentum guides us all, half asleep.
At any moment on any day, our chemistry is in flux. Something as basic as the weather outside will cause a shift in our momentum and influence our behavior. Consciousness is what enables us to grapple with the future. It provides the potential for better control over one’s momentum in the right direction, which is forward, Times’ arrow moves forward.
In the zodiac, the sign that is represented by the arrow is Sagittarius, the centaur. The true center (centaur) of a torus field can only be an ‘aim’. Life doesn’t build itself in any other way. Life centers on aiming and aspiring. There is no foundation sturdier than this. Time is an arrow, like evolution. It moves one way, and makes that one way known as ‘right’. Forward is right. Forward is evolution.
It seems a good idea to strive to relate to one’s own momentum as if it were a favorite watch. There is much more nuance to momentum’s version of forward, but when we lock in on that feeling it can be as true as the bell of London’s Big Ben.
Some time moves in cycles. It circles back to where it was as the seasons continue to turn, turn , turn. But another kind of time asks you to make the turn, and commit to steering your own momentum. Your readiness to accept this challenge is your thymos.