Why this calendar is round and not square?
It all started when the first men looked at the sky and watched the stars in continuous motion, uniform and repetitive. The observations of the natural world made them understand that all events occur within a cycle: the migration of animals, flowering, seeding, maturation, harvest and declining plant species.
The ancient Babylonians and Greeks then marked a transition in cyclical conception of time. However, is until the arrival of Christianity when the ideas of linear time emerged with force, which would be fundamental to the foundations of the Western culture and its idea of progress.
The Spiral model is the model of thinking of indigenous people, is the alternative to linear thinking model designed by the European rationalism and positivist philosophy, origin of the existing mental model in the Western world for centuries.
The circular calendar allows us to see that time is not unidirectional (from past to future), but bidirectional (the future may be back and passed along or vice versa). In indigenous cultures man lives in a reality of continuous cyclical movement of nature and culture. The end of the year is the beginning of a new life and not the sum of accumulated years. From this point of view everything is connected, nothing is separate from the totality.
In both East and West, the turtle is, above all, the support of the universe. In many ancient civilizations the turtle has always been a symbol of longevity and wisdom of the cosmos. In the legendary China people used its shell for divination.
This is evidently due to its long life and its indifference, but also because its discretion to events marking the rhythm of the world. The slowness of movement makes it a representative of the wisdom and the art of having the eternity ahead.
What does the serpent eating its own tail means?
The Ouroboros is a symbol showing an animal serpent, eating its own tail, forming with her body a circular shape. The Ouroboros symbolizes the eternal effort, the eternal struggle, or wasted effort, as the cycle begins again in spite of efforts to prevent it.
The Ouroboros is a concept used in various cultures for at least 3,000 years. Usually a dragon or serpent represented with its tail in the mouth, devouring itself. It represents the cyclical nature of things, the eternal return and other items perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they conclude. In a broader sense symbolizes time and continuity of life. It’s used as a representation of rebirth, of things that never go away, just change forever.
What’s the consequence of the concept of cyclical time?
The representation of time that we see in our clocks and calendars is a general convention in the world. Humanity has had to spend many stages for centuries to make big agreements about the date and time in which we live.
All civilizations have adopted various methods, using the movement of the stars, to measure time. The varying success of this operation is more or less depended on the astronomical knowledge each culture achieved. Religion, historians and even politicians have influenced also this major issue.
Cyclic time in nomadic people and early civilizations comes from a deep interaction between nature and man to the point of determining the idea of totality. No event in history that does not arise from other events that have preceded and which itself does not become a source of other more or less important.
The conventional calendars measure time in a linear and progressive way. The model is highly deterministic linear thinking, as well reductionist since it breaks down the total into smaller pieces, reducing interactions between them. The whole is composed of independent parts.
The linear model is now contradictory, since we know that our universe basically made up of nonlinear systems in the physical, biological, psychological and social levels.
And what was first, the chicken or the egg?
The answer is that there’s no answer 🙂
Photos of the calendar hanging in different places of the world