14.1.2019

Does time matter?

It is a well-known observation that timing is an important factor in all things. Often the success of an endeavour depends on the right time to launch it. Many activities have failed due to taking place before their time – or too late, afterwards. Time sets a rhythm and somewhere among its peaks and lows there is a momentum – or more – that when caught, it steers the activity towards fruition like a favourable wind the ship.

Many try to identify this momentum, sometimes with intuition, sometimes with more technocratic means. Yet there is another way, one that has always held a special place since antiquity to our era – that of the stars. After all, who else gives us the measures of time but the stars?

In the eastern Mediterranean, sometime around 3rd century BC an extraordinary system appeared that became known as a “teaching of Hermes”, and eventually as astrology. The underlying idea was that the placement of the stars at a given time for a given place, provide a living image and a map, that reflects the workings of the cosmic soul. By studying such maps, one could draw analogies and reach conclusions about various aspects of the physical world, be it tangible like agriculture or intangible like human affairs.

Stemming from the cosmological model described in the platonic dialogue Timaeus, and incorporating the concept and ideas of Numbers in the pythagorean sense, this type of astrology spread in the next centuries from Athens and Alexandria, to Rome and Antioch, and as far as Persepolis. Its practice was further aided by a parallel technological invention, a kind of gear-wheeled devices that calculated anything from accurate planetary positions and eclipses, to calendars and feasts. Since about 3rd century BC to 7th century AD, the ‘first thousand years of astrology’, complete with its manuscripts and devices, only begun to be learned as recently as two decades ago.

I was one of those researchers, back in early 00s, who engaged in studying and recovering the genuine astrology of antiquity, known as Hellenistic astrology today. My other occupation, web design, happened to bring me to meet Monica Javanainen and the great team at JCO, where I currently work as a trainee.

So when the updated version of the JCO website was finished and was about to be launched, the idea of timing naturally came up. After examining different hours and sky charts, within a short time range, favourable conditions were located and the relevant screenshot was provided.

It was a pleasant surprise. No one had seen this type of astrology yet. And so it happened that the JCO new website sailed off to the internet sea under the auspicious winds of the stars.

Identifying and choosing fortunate times had been a favourite task for the astrologers of antiquity, one that was well sought-after. From the right time to marry or travel, to the right time of founding a city building or having an official ceremony, the importance of time was highly valued be all, be it the ordinary people or those prominent individuals, who held in their hands the fates of many, such as the Roman emperors.

In the busyness of contemporary life, where we hurry to appointments and events or launch our important endeavours at a randomly picked time, we are often too absorbed to notice the absence of this important element, the choice of the right time.

This is not to say that all success depends solely on timing. There is no replacement for common sense planning, careful work, and a clear course. Fortune helps, when all other details have been taken care of.

Can Hellenistic astrology provide indications we can trust, for timing some of our important actions? After all these years of experience I’m inclined to give a positive answer. Yet I feel that the exploration of this elaborate and beautiful philosophical system has only just begun. Welcome aboard.


The author, Hekate, has been a prominent researcher of Hellenistic astrology for many years, with several articles, books, and select tv appearances under her belt. She is of the founding members of the Astrologicon school (established since 2001), an educational project dedicated to providing resources for both professionals and students of astrology in Greece.

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