The Sacred Geometry of Sacred Time
in the Olympiad and the Mayan Calendar Round
By William Glyn-Jones
Amid colossal megaliths a Mayan group are chanting to the Sun. Suddenly their attention is caught by stirrings to the south. A gathering crowd of strange figures is seen looming on the brow of the great outer bank of the open temple. Some of the silhouetted figures sport antler headdresses, some wear long robes, others animal skins; some carry wizened wooden staffs the height of a man, others stringed instruments.
The Mayan group hold a hasty discussion, and unanimously agree on a course of action. Their small party would be engulfed by the great crowd of druids if they carried on their chant, and so they decide to join the druidic ceremony.
A circle is formed; spirits of the directions are invoked. Songs are sung by bards and consecrated mead is passed around.
The place: Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire, England. The day: Midsummer 1996 A.D. The group of Mayan calendar enthusiasts, myself included within it, has travelled west from the town of Amersham in Bucks. It's it a lovely day and there is a real feeling of being synched-in to something.
But it would be several years before I was in a position to look at both the Avebury circle and the Mayan cycle from the perspective of the Venus calendar of Sacred Time....
My take on Sacred Time is not complicated by hopes for ultimate solutions or fears of "end time" catastrophes, or the generic good/bad predictive concerns of daily astrological magazine columns. "Sacred Geometry" is used in architecture to assist in the creation of designs and spaces with an uplifting, harmonious feel and transcendent resonances, something I regard as a tangible benefit on both a personal and a societal level. Why limit this to the three dimensions of space?
A sacred calendar, as I see it, will potentially be a way of using sacred geometry to apply this same alchemy to time. Though there may also be metaphysical effects subtle and manifold, the basic aim is simple: to create harmonious, uplifting ways to think about time. Thus, working with and marking out time becomes comparable to entering the precincts of a beautiful temple complex. Put another way, a sacred calendar is a kind of holo-morphic time field. "Holo-" like a hologram, since the parts are joined up to the whole of a bigger pattern by geometric relationship, reminding us of a conception of time more sophisticated and inter-connective than the straight-line model, and "-morphic" to recall the theory of morphic fields, of forms resonant through a transpersonal ether.
"... working with and marking out time becomes comparable to entering the precincts of a beautiful temple complex..."
Town planning with an eye on the beautiful can have a massively uplifting effect on a community...so what about an art of time planning?
Linear calendars are practical at the mundane level, but exclusive focus on the mundane leads to boredom. It is characteristic of Sacred Time that it is marked for more than purely mundane purposes. It transforms zones of space-time into things of beauty, having about them an elegance and sense of proportion and interrelationship. Sacred geometric calendars do for time what yoga does for the body. The opposite of boredom is creative force, known as Kundalini or Serpent Fire in the Hindu traditions. A more interesting conception of time (than the purely mundane) facilitates rather than hinders this force. Enter the Serpent as totemic day counter, the good serpent whose apple teaches the way back into Eden.
Stripping away notions of "end times" or utopias bestowed on us for no reason other than that somehow The Time Has Come does not have to mean an exclusion of the beauty and juiciness of mythic influxes. We have a tradition of architecture that we term classical, and an intrinsic part of what we understand by that word pertains to a style that invokes the mythos of a Golden Age, a time that exists eternally as an idea. Sacred Time, similarly, is a way of bridging this idea - the Golden Age - to time as we experience it. If you want the following to come alive, don't read it merely as dry facts and figures, but probe into the patterns with the opened eye of the mind as if travelling beautiful time tunnels to heavenly inner spaces, and as the days of the calendars unfold allow yourself to remember an identity as a player - a beautiful hero or heroine even - on a Golden Age scene - privately, humbly, subtly, non-quixotically. Classical temples were adorned with stories sculpted onto their pediments; the best mythologies with which to adorn the calendar of Sacred Time are surely those that are to do with beauty, the manifesting of the Golden Age, and the evolution and greater fulfilment of human potential. Such are the myths draped onto the likes of the Mayan Long Count end date by New Ageism, but when we are talking about intentional invocation rather than fuzzy-headed belief then this is not so much New Ageism as grounded Hermetic Golden Ageism - plugging back more fully into an eternal field, consciously employing the fact that from strong mental fields ideas precipitate by elegant synchronicity and inspired impulse in new and creative ways.
Before we get to the more sophisticated and elegant patterns of Sacred Time, we may find the simplest of the sacred geometric time cycles by looking at a familiar period, and remembering its sacred myth. We'll nip through this speedily as many will be familiar with the idea already.