The Sacred Geometry of Sacred Time
in the Olympiad and the Mayan Calendar Round (cont.)
By William Glyn-Jones
Later the Delphic Games were doubled up in frequency from eight to every four years, like the Olympics, still integrating with the eight-year period but meaning they didn't have to wait so long.
Say what you like about the modern Olympics, there is no doubt that they happen to integrate very well with the Venus cycles we have been looking at. Perhaps London, sited on the global Prime Meridian from which Earth time as well as longitude is configured, is a good place to celebrate a global festival of entry into a calendar of Sacred Time, with the famous 2012 ending of the Mayan Long Count representing the corresponding relative down-grading in importance of mundane "linear time" models. (The Long Count has an end date but the Calendar Round spins on and on.) Urban beautification requires finance, and in Classical times the Games were how Olympia was able to become one of the most beautiful of the Greek temple-complex sites. Pausanias, who travelled all over Greece, raved particularly about Olympia and Eleusis. (See the amazing virtual reconstructions at http://www.osmosis.com.au/visualize/olympia_01.htm.) Speaking as an advocate, I suggest that no civilization since has provided "Western" culture with a better basic model for urban beautification than the Hellenic one.
Not that there is any obvious reason why the festivals marking Sacred Time should involve athletic contests, or any other contests. That said, we might as well note that a myth of the founding of the Olympics speaks of the gods running the first foot races of these games. The gods of Antiquity were equated with the planets, and so we have the circuit of the track equated with the orbits of the planets, just as the planet Venus as we've seen dances out the Olympiad. Another story says the first wrestling contest of the Olympics was one in which Zeus triumphed over Cronos at the site of Olympia. "Cronos" means "time", and so here, we can say, we have an allegory of the triumph of sacred time consciousness over merely mundane, chronological, linear time models. But that aside an Olympiad could just as easily be celebrated with less competitive activities such as festive meals or parties. Christmas Day doesn't have a governing body. Well, the Church, perhaps, but what people do on Christmas Day is really a combination of tradition and choice. People might choose to engage in a contest at Christmas, such as charades, but this is not an essential part of the festival. We can view Olympiad festivals in just the same way, and the Olympiad's feasts are surely Venusian - shellfish and the like. Who is the goddess of the Olympiad? Olympia, which denotes simply a goddess of Olympus, is, as we have seen, and as Manet somehow knew, Venus, who is indeed an Olympian goddess, for Manet's Olympia (right) was an updating of Titian's Venus of Urbino (left). (And it so happens that Cezanne's A Modern Olympia, in turn based on Manet's painting, was completed in Venus Transit year 1874.)
Plato (in Phaedrus) has already provided us with a simile in which the Olympics represent spiritual growth. Plato says that in the Inner Olympics the gods celebrate as a wreath is awarded to a Soul whose perception has been lifted back to a level where the Universal is seen in the Particular. Plato likened this to a chariot race, as used to be performed in the Games, where the taming and reigning in of the horses represents teaching the part of us that lusts after beauty in the fleeting/particular to understand that it is a result of resonance with a Universal Idea with which the mind can enter into a rapturous union. As such beauty is an initiation rather that a cause to lust in fear of losing it.
Let's call the 8-year period the Pythiad, in reference to the Delphic Games which originally did occur at such an interval. We may consider the Pythiad running from the Greek Olympics in 2004 to the London Olympics 2012. Thinking creatively, could this work as a kind of allegory for Sacred Time? Remember this is 13 Venus circles, and the original circle came from the 13th movement, from the future. Greece was the home of the Olympics, and London is the great cosmopolitan city sited on the Global Meridian, just as Delphi was located at the centre of the Greek world. Following through on this notion, we could work with the idea that we are entering a period that stands in some harmonious and non-linear relationship to the culture of Ancient Greece. Remember how in Sacred Time the seed of a cycle comes holographically from its fruition; the creative impulse for a thing comes from its future, just as the real talent of a genius is to sense the potential of a hunch and nurture it. It's time to look at the history of culture in more sophisticated ways. The tokens Theseus found under the rock came from the future. (See http://www.arcadian-dreamtime.co.uk/Theseus.html) Countless history books paint a picture of Ancient Greece as one of the stepping stones upon which we have been able to haul ourselves to our current position. The truth may be far more sophisticated. What if there was to come a time when urbanization was to reach a point of expansion where beautification became vital for the sake of societal health and good order, and what if we were to then realize the imperative of having an already-existing Classical Dreamtime and precedent already ancient in its beauty and the richness of its fields? We would have the willingness for this to have been the case in our own past. So, the precedent is sent back - Circle Thirteen, the Egg of the Phoenix, whisperings from the Muses in the ears of ancient oracles and bards, Apollo-beams of sacred sound from their future. Are aspects of the Classical Greek culture model treasures that had their genesis back then in part so that we would now be able to look back on them as part of the Dreamtime of Western Culture, and use them as a rich cultural source for purposes of beautification?
The Olympic Flame ignited from solar rays at Olympia, modern ceremony
The symbolism of the Olympic Torch that is carried around the world before the Games suddenly becomes more powerful. The Greeks used chains of mountain beacons, and where (and if) one of these had been lit at dawn in the East (as I believe it was) it would have arrived in the West before dawn, "outracing the day's fire" (Sophocles), like the Argonauts racing back with the Fleece ahead of the Colchian king in his Sun chariot, enabling this fire to be "the torch the kindles glorious day", to quote Aeschylus, a seed planted in the night in order that the light could come. (See http://www.arcadian-dreamtime.co.uk/Jason.html)
Because of the equations of relativity, black holes have become the obvious symbols for us of a portal to the past. It is indeed amazing that the Mayan Long Count calendar has its last day on the solstice of Winter 2012/2013, at which time the Sun is in a close conjunction with the Black Hole at the Galactic Centre: the end sends the seed back to the beginning through the portal to the past. This Long Count is also full of cycles of thirteen, and its ending ushers in the year which is, by elegant coincidence, 2013 in our Western calendar. 20 & 13, the number of the Tzolkin and by extension the Calendar Round. So it seems to make sense to view this as a good time to make a concerted shift of focus towards the Venus calendar so as to conceive of time in more beautiful ways. Elegant coincidences notwithstanding, this would be a deliberate choice, not merely the unfolding of some New Age prophecy.