Nature follows the law of cosmic forces. It is slow, predictable, and dependable. When you sow corn in spring, you get corn in autumn and not wheat or barley. 

Day follows night and night follows day. These cyclical patterns can be relied upon and calculated. We may not know its definite purpose, but we can trust it.

Watching the nightly sky 

The rotational path of the planets, and their relation to each other have been the same for millions and billions of years. 

We know that ancient astronomers as far back as 10,000 B.C. and most likely before observed the night sky regularly, tracking the positions and movements of celestial bodies over time. They noted the wandering motion of certain objects against the background of fixed stars. The term “planet” itself comes from the Greek word for “wanderer.”

At first, these observations were made with the naked eye. Later handheld devices called astrolabes recorded time and established the exact positions of celestial objects.

Armillary spheres are models of celestial spheres, featuring rings. First used by Chinese astronomers around 400 B.C. they demonstrated the positions and motions of celestial objects and enabled detailed calculations.

Different cultures tracked different celestial bodies

Stonehenge: The Druids mainly tracked the cycle of the sun, especially the solstices, and the cycle of the moon.  The Full Moon nights were important dates used for gatherings and celebrations.

Mayan Observatories:  like El Caracol in Chichen Itza tracked the movements of the planets, particularly important was Venus. This tradition was shared with the Minoans, if coincidental or not is not clear. 

Babylonian Astronomy: used clay tablets and recorded their findings in cuneiform scripts.   This enabled them to make detailed observations and keep records of tracked positions. These records could be used to predict their future movements. Babylonian astronomers observed the circle of the animals, now known as the twelve constellations and houses.

    Greek Astronomy: Ptolemy’s geocentric model, while later replaced by the heliocentric model, accurately predicted planetary positions using a complex system of epicycles. Meton recorded that 19-solar years equal 235 lunations, the backbone of the lunisolar calendar. 

    The Ancient Greeks were also the first to observe Retrograde Motions. As the name suggests, planets seem to go periodically backwards in the sky. ‘Mercury retrograde’ is now fashionable on instagram, but clearly not a new concept. All planets enter retrograde phases, some short (Mercury takes 21 days and the next retrograde phase is 13th December to 2nd January 2024). Other long (Pluto is 5.5 months.) In 2024 Pluto turns retrograde on the 2nd May, lasting until the 12th October.

    Chinese Astronomy: Chinese astronomers kept meticulous records of celestial events, including planetary movements, comets, and supernovae.  They also found methods for predicting planetary positions such as conjunctions and oppositions of planets, nowadays still in use in astrological charts.

    What we can learn from the law of cosmic forces

    The weather may be unpredictable, but the path of the universe is not! There is not one day on earth when the sun all of a sudden won’t shine (even when covered by clouds) or the gravitational pull is disabled and objects won’t fall to the ground.

    Humans have free will and with it have achieved a lot.  But with free will also comes unpredictability. We often try to reinvent the wheel, but let’s face it a wheel is perfect and does not need improving.

    If you look at the overriding law of nature – it is balance! The Waxing and the Waning Moon has the same length of time, as does the New and the Full Moon. The length of days varies during the year, but the northern hemisphere gets the same amount of long days as does the southern hemisphere.

    The planets and stars form patterns, creating stability and balance. Ultimately what humans really crave is balance and predicatbility. Therefore connecting to these ever-repeating cycles keeps us safe and guides us in what to expect.

    This is why I created the LWTM Lifestyle calendar, a way of predicting the months and year ahead!

    Working with these rhythms creates a sense of balance and stability and this can’t be over-emphasised in these unpredictable, erratic times.

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