It all started with a simple question: could the zodiac be arranged vertically, ascending from the depths to the heights of existence?
Do the natural elements hint at an upward ‘path’ with the depths of water ascending to the solidity of earth, then to the atmosphere of air and finally, the heights of fire?
A little doodle in a notebook arranged the signs as if they took the shape of a plant. Its roots draw from the depths of water. Its seeds sprout in the earth that is nourished by the air above. It stretches upward to the light of the sun.
No sooner did I draw the zodiac to look like a plant then the true shape of the zodiac emerged: the torus field.
A torus field is a self-sustaining shape with two vortexes on each end that run through a central axis. It is the shape of a whirlpool and a tornado. It is the invisible shape of every living creature in the universe and quite possibly the universe itself!
The zodiac is a blueprint for nature.
On the wheel it turns with the changes of the seasons and the passing of the hour. This time is cyclic. It folds on itself and makes meaning. This kind of time is based on law. It has to be. Otherwise Summer would no longer follow Spring and it would be impossible to be anywhere “on time”.
But the torus field reveals another kind of time, one that is more biological and experiential. It doesn’t turn on the clock. It burns from within. It illuminates choices and paths to take. This time is not based on law. It is based on freedom and it is who you truly are.
A basic understanding of astrology may be helpful in reading this book but it is by no means necessary. I use the zodiac as a guide to a true philosophy of nature and what it means to be human.
The philosopher Baruch Spinoza saw nature to be synonymous with God. He saw all living creatures as a part of this whole. The thing that tied everything together was affectivity; the capacity to affect and be affected.
He saw everything to be relative to something else in a web-like structure. Consciousness sits in the middle of cause and effect, attempting to better perceive this ‘web’.
If the web of cause and effect can be somewhat perceived, something very special can happen. We can become the cause and will the effect.
If we notice that the sun makes plants grow, we can plant seeds in the right spot. If bears notice that salmon swim upstream at a certain time of year they can position themselves to capitalize on this event and fill up their bellies.
But animals don’t focus themselves into an idea of a future that suits them on a highly individual level. They go with nature’s flow. They are nature, as we are, but with them there is no confusion. There is also no freedom to create a unique future to answer an inner calling.
Camus said, ‘with rebellion, awareness is born.” Human awareness is free of time’s constraints. Reflective thought allows us to get outside of time’s bondage and then return to it with better ideas of navigation. The only way to navigate time is to embrace its forward push. There is no backwards time navigation and no time machines. To navigate time well is to embrace the forward push within your own chemistry.
The web of cause and effect becomes very personal. It is now quite evident to strive to clearly see what causes your effects. Maybe the problem that you continue to face is less about circumstance and more about a mindset, and maybe not. Seeing it clearly reveals true strategies to get back to ‘forward’.
And what about the effects that are not negative? Are you paying attention to those? This would include effects such as delight, peacefulness, enjoyment. Maybe you think that a certain tv show gives you delight but in examining the true cause it becomes clear that the delight lies in getting a taste of a certain kind of life. Maybe it’s a life of more adventure and maybe it’s a life of better simplicity. To go on enjoying the show without ever examining its true cause of delight might keep you from taking a certain action towards something wonderful for your flourishing.
The point is that the cause and effect pattern of the wide world we live in is like an elaborate web. Scientists see much further into the web than the bear awaiting salmon. They have found ways to determine the solid causes and effects of invisible forces. They can calculate measurements that serve as learning tools for future human minds to discover even more, as they build on this knowledge. The web emerges, in plain sight for those that learn these things.
But the web is not just for scientists, it is also for artists, psychologists, engineers, teachers, farmers, chefs, parents and athletes. Anyone can use the knowledge of this ever-growing web to their advantage. Anyone can become the cause that they want to become, in search of desired effects.
The web is vast and worldly, but also quite intimate and immediately present should one decide to become aware of it. If we can learn what the toroscope teaches us about the ego then we can witness a very personal web that is in the constant act of being spun. The Moon, our egos, are in a continuous state of change. Constantly “arising with a tinge of the past on the fringe of the future” as the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead described. He said we inherit the past, thus we are bound to it, but we are free to create. Each moment truly is the potential to a new dawn. You can wake up to the web you are spinning, or you can stay asleep to your momentum and spin in a mechanical spidery way.
In the zodiac, Saturn represents ’cause’. These causes make up all of science and describe the laws of our natural world.
Saturn upside down is Jupiter. The toroscopes alerts us to the reality of inward and outward connections. If Saturn is the flipside of Jupiter, they are in a sense the same thing. If Saturn is the cause then Jupiter is also a kind of cause, just consisting of fire stuff instead of earth, or willing instead of law.
What kind of cause is this? It’s a cause that stands outside of time, in fire’s eternity.
The cause is quite simply your potential to be the cause, and create an effect. Embracing this ‘reality’ within is called confidence. It is as natural to embrace this cause as it is to embrace the cause of rain falling from the sky, in fact it is more natural.
When my boy was learning to walk we spent many a summer afternoon at the park. I appreciated the softness of the grass cushioning fall after fall. I was happy to live in Vermont with such robust greenery. I got in the habit of kicking off my shoes. This is when I started to really wonder about the earth’s powers.
The bliss of baby-rearing comes with its share of hassle, as any parent knows. It would never cease to amaze me that my feet on the soft sunny grass would inspire an instinct to skip and frolic. I’m in my forties in this grass. And I can’t help but frolic a bit. The baby gives me a carte blanche to galavant without raising eyebrows. Geo laughs and falls and springs up again. The delight snowballs bigger and brighter.
Some days I would wait to take off my shoes. I would observe “nope, i don’t want to frolic” and then take my shoes off to instantly feel the opposite. I felt like a fly that was tired and lethargic until brought back into the natural air where it zipped off. There is magic in the earth. It can’t be any other way. But could the magic be in us, shared with the earth?
My feet would seem to be sprung from the earth, as if I transformed into an earth elf! It was so notable that my favorite times were when I was fettered and then instantly released into my natural elven state.
I had heard much about grounding, and how walking without shoes was beneficial to one’s health. I had heard this for years but it took a summer of feeling it for myself to be convinced.
I thought about Tesla’s insistence that the earth had plenty of free energy.
Sitting on the earth continues to educate me. Its potency is so humble. It is the most natural cue for me to bring my hands together, as if in prayer. For this seems to complete a circuit. The potency flows through me. Grounding me into feeling more free, more potent and more at peace. It is the perfect prayer. What potency or power could be more assuring to turn to when in need than this shared potency one has with nature?
Einstein said that if he believed in God then it was “Spinoza’s God”. Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century philosopher who saw god to be one and the same as the singular “substance” of nature. A place beyond form. The only place of oneness.
In the zodiac, the sign that represents nature is Taurus. It should come now as no surprise that it sits sturdily at the center of our torus (Taurus) field. Nature is robust.
Nature is a torus field. The substance of all which includes god. It is a living, breathing organism of which we are all a part of. A bite from Eden’s apple banished Adam and Eve from nature’s full embrace. In an act of free-will, they separated from the torus field, the toroidal apple, into a new existence. The fall was necessary to gain more freedom, but as with any fall there must also be a rise. We are outside of nature because we can think ‘about’ nature. ‘About’ by definition means ‘outside of’. Humans are free thinkers with an adventurous road ahead.
Our reflective species is built to rise. To know nature with full consciousness, and thus become nature, create nature.
Featured image: Midsummer Eve” oil on Canvas by Edward Robert Hughes
“My World” is a children’s book by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. My son and I read this at night under a cactus light with a symphony of crickets out our window. The opening page shows a mother reading to her child by a fire. The words are “The pages turn, the fire burns.”
Maybe this is what got me thinking about the nature of time. Some time seems to turn, but some time seems to burn. Some time comes back around and some time trailblazes the future and celebrates the spirit. These two kinds of times blend together yet they are inherently different. One is bound to law and one is free. One is used to gain more control and one is lived to live as lively as possible. One is a clock and one is a flower. One is a wheel. What is the shape of the other? What is the shape of the spirited time that burns meaning deep into one’s soul? What is the shape of living?
The wheel of the zodiac turns. Its twelve archetypes carry the meaning of the seasons that turn. The meaning of the seasons is so charged that it goes beyond the snow and heat. It extends into the mystery of the seasons of life, and all the relations of living. The wheel turns and time folds in on itself. What emerges from this motion is the potential for more and more meaning. New meaning. Fresh meaning. Fresh light.
The wheel is really a generator. A maker of more light. The pages turn but the fire burns.
I began to think about the existential side of time. Some time is “heights” and some time is “depths”. Some time is more middle ground. The heights of time are the joys, the unbridled laughter, the perfection of a day. This time rushes over the body like a shower of effervescence. There is no possible way to deny the body’s ownership of such time. It is embedded. It isn’t turning on an abstract clock. It is burning in the heights of one’s heart.
“Depth” time carries a force of memory and a sense of belonging. Depth time can anchor you “home” or polarize you to “true north”. It can also sink you with despair. Depth time carries the echoes of your ancestors, and the echoes of your most desired dreams. Its gravity is also undeniably in the body. It can easily smolder with the blend of heights. It can threaten to dampen the fires of joy. It does best when feelings are interpreted truthfully, and handed off to the logic of the middle ground.
“Middle ground” time is for managing the business of living. Our bodies are blessed with the genius of nervous systems. All of the information and interaction that we encounter gets integrated into the “system” of the body. The world is wide and full of information. The body is deep and full of mystery. The middle ground is where these places meet. Biofeedback has evolved for centuries. Our systems are cutting edge. The middle ground time is the coolness of logic, the sureness of morality, the sensations of physicality.
My new question was: if time is a wheel that turns, how does this other “time” move? Is there any order to it? My instinct said yes.
When you think of nature, what comes to your mind? Take a moment and think about it. Maybe you hear some birds singing, some trees blowing in the breeze. Maybe you see some light sparkling along a river. Maybe you see ice covering mountaintops, fish darting in the sea, tigers charging across the Sahara or caterpillars inching along a bright green leaf. Maybe you feel the crisp caress of autumn air, the hot sand sinking beneath your feet, the pelting rain or the crunch of snow. Now think about the fact that all of this activity is happening now, all around the world. So much activity. Impossible to measure.
In any frame of nature at any point in time, activity is bustling. It may be overt as a flock of seagulls diving for fish or as unassuming as a seemingly empty field of grass. But a closer look at the field reveals a teaming of activity. The insects are bustling, the seeds are sprouting, the elements and nutrients are dancing about in their chemical exchanges. The symphony of activity is the bliss of nature. The Earth that never sleeps appears as a peaceful blue green sphere.
Compare the gentle chirping of one cricket outside your window to the wash of hundreds of crickets chirping in a meadow. The wash of activity is the serenity of nature. Nature is not the business of half-hearted pursuits. It is the height of bustling activity. The interrelated bustle is nature’s peace.
A waterfall crashes down upon rocks. Its immeasurable power is its deep peace. Its magnitude is its health. A bee collects nectar from a sun soaked flower. Its purpose and competence is its joy.
The two ingredients that make up nature’s secret sauce are activity and relating. No animal, plant or amoeba ever forgets this to be primary. Activity is happily married to a sense of purpose. You simply don’t see a woodpecker taking no interest in trees. Relating is the activity, and interrelating is the many activities coming into harmony together, like the wash of crickets in the meadow.
The light of spirit is too bright to go unrecognized. A dolphin leaping out from the sea is a triumph, a celebration. A little proud bird on top of a pine tree is the universal anthem of self belief, backed by the power of nature and its bustle of activity.
Spiritedness is without limit. Deep peace is without limit. These things are one and the same. In the heights of joyous activity and movement come the deepest feelings of peace. The wash of a cricket meadow is the electricity within you. You only need to tune in.
The biggest difference between the original wheel of the zodiac and the toroidal zodiac lies in how we approachthe 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.
This is an excerpt from Toroidal Astrology; The Future of the Zodiac coming in Summer 2022.
Neitzche revolted wholeheartedly against the philosophical invitation to ‘be one with nature.’ He saw humans to be above nature, superior to it. Returning to nature, for Neitzche meant a turning away from personal power, and the blazing unique chemistry of the human being.
This is a classic problem, one that politics runs into very frequently. It is the battle between the whole and the individual.
When too much emphasis is put on the whole, nature threatens to swallow us and an over-coddled worldview robs us of healthy individualistic debate. The flipside is worse. When too much emphasis is on the individual, nature is threatened to be defeated and so is all that we have built over history to defend human decency and fairness.
The idea of returning to nature, must involve the whole and the individual. Returning to nature must also mean returning to your nature, because you are a nature.
Your nature is as awe-inspiring as the nature that you marvel at in the world. It is also as capable of growing bountiful beauty, and as vulnerable to insults of its integrity. Artemis, the lunar goddess, represents a fierce protection of one’s own nature. It is only by lunar means that we can enter our own natures. Lunar means are reflective of inner life and mindful of our responses and feelings.
You can’t know your nature unless you can feel it.
You can’t cultivate your nature unless you pay attention to what makes it grow. To be a nature is the most natural thing. To wake up to your nature, and to begin to think about it is to come home to yourself, and radiate a sense of purpose.
This is a kind of yoga to make time matter.
When time turns into time that matters it becomes thymos, a spirited biological time. This time is not to be wasted. On the contrary it is to be stored. Thymos that is stored in the body is your nature embracing its evolution. A chain of memories supports one’s aspirations. A flow of imaginative vision galvanizes the will. A familiar feeling floods the body when purposeful activity is embraced.
Time does matter, it is only a giant delusion to think that it doesn’t. Making time matter more is a return to truth.
A delicious and conscious ‘waste’ of time, like sitting by the dock of the bay, still makes time matter more because it celebrates leisure.
It is only in the unconscious waste of time that thymos doesn’t build upon itself, a tuning out, a killing of time. When tuning out becomes too sustained, thymos doesn’t build and there is spiritual fatigue, which results in a sense of powerlessness.
Colin Wilson said that “all power is really spiritual power.”
Spiritual power, or psychic power, is simply the power of one’s feelings that have managed to organize themselves into a sustained motion. There is a viable outlet for them, through meaningful and regular activity, thus they support a spiritual and purposive flow.
Water itself has no shape, it needs ideas and activities to give it definition. Power itself is also shapeless, it needs routines and actions that are true to one’s nature to build it into something real.
You are a nature that is powerful and capable of great bounty. You matter, your time matters, and you can make both you and time matter more and more. You can bring new heights, depths and texture to yourself and your time. At the most ultimate level, you are time as a building of spiritedness, a thymos.
People say time is money, and money is connected to the symbolism of the moon. The moon represents feeling, so in this sense, time is feeling. Feelings change the body in all sorts of biochemical ways. Time is feeling that changes the body.
If time is feeling that changes the body, then why not cultivate time into something healthy? This is the essence of thymos: a conscious awareness of yourself as time. The most natural response to this awareness is to make your time matter more by making it more meaningful.
A very effective ad campaign for the American Express credit card was to display a bunch of items and their prices followed by a very meaningful moment that was ‘priceless’. Meaningful time transcends wealth into its highest and most distilled essence.
In his days at Walden Thoreau wrote, “for I was rich if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly.”
How many priceless moments can you recall? Don’t you want to do better than an ad campaign? The bank that stores this wealth is your body. The flow of currency is your electromagnetic field. There is opportunity everywhere to add to this bank, even in trying circumstances, as a Dostoyevsky novel will show.
Meaning and time are a match. They belong together. The marriage of meaning and time is the same marriage of matter and light. Light descended into matter to create and produce meaningful bounty. It is the romantic story of evolution. We are lucky to be conscious of this gift.
The Copernican revolution restored the sun to its rightful center as a stable nucleus to our solar system. The previous Geocentric model held the earth at the center. The paradigm shift upon us now is in acknowledging the existential truth of TWO CENTERS; the earth and the sun.
The earth is not only a planet, it is also the physical body, deep in which there is another sun.
This other sun is experienced. It is a sun that rises in our bodies and affirms our existence. It is the feeling of yes.
Our task is in recognizing a true center inside the body, where earth and fire meet. This paradigm shift is a return to the powers of our own individual natures, unique and separate yet united and part of the whole. Such an orientation honors the laws of quantum physics which says you cannot take the observer out of the observed!
The two centers of fire and earth meet high in the heart, building thymos, a spiritedness. Thymos is time that matters. It is experiential and biological, real and spiritual. This time is not wasted. It is stored inside, reversing the law of entropy. The most basic quality of life is its ability to reverse entropy, to store order instead of losing it. All of us can learn to build thymos, a spiritedness, and in doing so restore order to our unique and beautiful natures.
The thymus gland shrinks when our bodies stop growing. Our spirits, our thymos, should never stop growing. We must learn to practice growing it.
Venus will go into Taurus on Wednesday, April 14th. Salvador Dali was born with Venus in Taurus (and was a Taurus himself). He famously said, “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.” Venus in Taurus loves a good embodiment.
Just like a Dali painting, Venus in Taurus has a far out side. To the furthest reaches of the universe in fact.
Last post we explored the ideas of inventor and cosmologist, Arthur M. Young and we will stick with him again in this post, namely his ideas about the torus.
Taurus is the 2nd sign of the zodiac, and the torus field is composed of two rotating circularities. One rotation is edging around the donut, the other is through the middle and back up around the side.
It is the rotation that is of importance with the torus, and only the rotation. The rotation is what connects the inner most part of you (and any other creature) with the farthest reaches of the universe. Are you beginning to sense a melting clock?
This is quite natural. As Young explains, in the “phase dimension” (theorized by Arthur Eddington) rotation is all that counts. There is no time. With this dimension Eddington discovered that the curvature of space-time is the same as the rotation that’s implicit in the photon. The curve of space-time and the curve of uncertainty (that exists in each photon) appear to be the same thing. He did what seems to still be impossible today. He married quantum theory with relativity, merging the infinitesimally small with the grand expanse.
Young puts an extra spin to this when he said that the dimension of rotation is also the dimension of choice, a freedom always present in some capacity. He also discovered that the mathematical formula for the torus and the Einstein-Eddington hypersphere was the same.
Taurus then, is the shape of everything, a dimension of pure rotation, connecting us as separate and willful individuals to the farthest reaches of space by design. By our use of choice, we embody this dimension.
Dali said “I dont do drugs. I am drugs.” In the toroidal universe, you don’t make choices you are choice. You are free-will (what Young equates with uncertainty). It is uncertainty, or free-will that underlies all existence. The photon and free-will are one and the same, rotating in sync with the great sweeps of space-time.
Have you ever felt a certain good choice to strengthen you on a real bodily level? How about the opposite? Have you ever been so out of touch with your own power of choice that you felt somewhat outside of yourself?
With this transit it is time to get back in sync with the curve! Trust in your body’s feedback when it comes to choices. It’s, shall we say, well-connected. 😉
Venus will rotate in Taurus until May 8th when she will jump into Gemini!
Happy choosing, and as always happy astro pondering!
It is the Season of the Sun! Leo Season! The Season of the child! The Season of the heart! The romantic fire of life itself.
The Sun pulls the planets into orbit, just as a worthy solar purpose, or a joy pulls your many habits and behaviors into a healthy state of flow.
The Sun is undivided with purpose, joy, bliss, delight. The heart of the Sun is undivided, whole…..just as a child laughs and plays wholeheartedly!
Reality is experience- but experience is always an experience of something, and that something constitutes the experience itself. The experiencer is changed by the experience and influences the experience itself and so on and so forth. This is the inhale/exhale of the toroidal flow of reality!
To find that center, that warm infrared glow of purpose, or joy, or delight, is to strengthen the toroidal field of reality- of experience. Finding that center brings coherence to experience.
Happy Leo Season. As always, happy astro pondering!