The Cyclical Nature of Reality
by Shawn Nygaard
Part 1: The Marriage of the Millennium.
One of the thrills of studying astrology is becoming ever-more-familiar with the cyclic nature of reality.
The nature of cycles is not one of the strengths of Western culture, although it’s undoubtedly something women are more intimately familiar with than men, at least on the personal, physical level every month. Yet from a larger perspective, cycles really are “feminine” in their very nature. They invite us in rather than push us away.
Western culture has tended to prefer the “masculine,” linear, rational, forward-marching, progressive, left-brained approach to life. The road to forward-marching progress may be paved with good intentions (or not), but when history happens to repeat itself, it’s often considered from a masculine perspective to be a major inconvenience, an error in fact, as if we didn’t get something right and we are being punished by some kind of “in your face” God who rolls His all-seeing eyes at our unbelievable ignorance.
Linear progress has sterilized the mysteries of alchemy into the data of chemistry, the symbolism of astrology into the calculations of astrophysics, the awe of mysticism into the power structures of religion, the power of wisdom into binary bits and sound-bytes. “Once upon a time…” has become a fairy tale for children, rather than a personal entryway into the soul.
Yet, as science has opened up the universe while simultaneously turning it into data, the images sent our way from the Hubble telescope continue to be more art than science, more beauty than order, like water-color paintings emerging from an eternal Romantic Era of the Universe, a lonely heart announcing the reality of more connection than we can possibly dream or feel. It’s a pardox: the closer we move to anything, the more separation we perceive (microscopes do not inspire unity); the further we travel from something, the closer we are to everything and the more obvious is the connection. It’s an illusion. And it’s real. We are each a pixel viewing the movie in which we’re starring.
“What goes around comes around.” A cliché, or a mystical Truth?
Personally, I can no longer side with just the masculine or the feminine, the linear or the cyclic, the logical or the magical, just the head or just the heart. Moving forward, I can only embrace the vitality of both. A few years ago Sally Field was cheered and lauded for proclaiming to her world-wide audience from the Academy Awards podium that if mothers ruled the world, there would be no more war. Massive applause. Yet, the next morning when I asked every person I saw who 100% approved of that message if they would want their own mother ruling the world, the shock and horror at the very suggestion revealed that it’s a more complicated issue than we probably care to admit. The answer to the limitations of the patriarchal worldview is not a matriarchal view. Far beyond our comfort zone, we must accommodate a marriage of the two.
A pile of words and data is meaningless on its own; a cycle without direction is merely pedaling in place.
The marriage of linear and cyclic realities, of lines and circles, is upon us. It’s the wedding of the new millennium, and the invitations have been sent out. What will you RSVP?
To be continued in Part 2.