Is There Such a Thing as Time? No. (But, of Course, Also Yes.)

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Welcome back to the tarot blog hop–our topic, thanks to our wrangler Arwen Lynch-Poe, and just in time for the summer solstice, is “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?” Take a quick look at the title of this post, and you’ll see what I think! (Also, please note that you can use the links at the top or bottom of this post to bop around the hop.)

When clients ask me about timing, I usually tell them that timing is not my strength. Because it absolutely isn’t. And I think it’s because a) I am never on time–sometimes I am wildly early, like a week or an hour early, but never on time and usually late; b) maybe I’m still on Alaska time? (yeah, right, Bonnie, you haven’t been a resident of Alaska since 1992); and c) I don’t really believe that time exists. Except, of course, for when I do, like when I’m working on a deadline.

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. –Douglas Adams

Besides, I was born during a Mercury retrograde.

Or, as Eddie Izzard would say (giving you all my panicky excuses now), I was dead at the time! Okay, okay, no, I wasn’t. Or, I might have been, and in any case, I will be, at some point.

Ah, time.

I’m writing this post, by the way, at the last minute, of course. Though how can there ever, really, be a LAST minute? There fundamentally is no LAST. There is only beginningless time which also never ends. Basically, there is only being, or is it that there is only attempting (and failing) to be? Because there is no permanence, and being sort of implies permanence, doesn’t it? And our personalities are not permanent; even if you believe in reincarnation (spoiler alert: I do), we are changing from moment to moment, we ARE the river that is never the same no matter how many times you step into it at the same spot. Even if you go back in time and step into us at that same moment. We can never BE; we can never even BE at a moment in time because, again, there is no TIME.

The past is never dead. It’s not even past. –William Faulkner

Are you starting to see why I see this as a challenging post to write?

The reason we make timepieces, clocks, calendars, astrology charts, is because we’re trying to measure something that doesn’t exist. We’re trying to make it exist. We’re trying to pin it down with our quantitative measurements even though we KNOW that our experience of time is quite subjective, that ten seconds can be an eternity or a blur depending on the circumstances. Time, like Schrodinger’s cat, does not exist until we look at and measure it. So I haven’t TRULY missed the deadline until I look at the clock. (No, Bonnie, that’s not how this works, that’s not how ANY of this works, I can hear you thinking. Yes, it IS exactly how this works, except for when it ISN’T.)

The distinction between the past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. –Albert Einstein

Can you travel in time? Of course, and also, of course not. Both at the same time. (Leave me alone, I was dead at the time!) See, time is like a tapestry, or a knitted scarf–one can go back and fix mistakes, some of them, sometimes, or layer onto what’s already there in interesting ways. One way to travel in time: write a blog post that will exist on the Internet until the Internet, like everything else, passes away.

Are you ready to be done with my excuses?

FINE.

As a tarot reader, the cards I see that speak to me of time are:

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The Wheel, or, in this deck, the Tinker’s Damn Tarot, Fate. I don’t believe in Fate, of course, except for when I do, and I definitely don’t believe that your future is fixed in stone or in time. What’s the point of giving you a timeline when it isn’t even real and you can change it at any moment? Riddle me that.

 

The Wheel. Some people see the Wheel of Fortune as good luck. I see it as meaning: it’s time. Or it isn’t time yet, if it’s reversed, but even then, the time approacheth. If it’s time for the thing to happen, you’ll have good luck getting it to happen, sure. And if not you may end up feeling like a hamster running in a wheel.

The Moon. Because it speaks of months and of night.

The Sun. Because it speaks of daytime. And of the cycle of a day’s time. Do you see how the Moon and the Sun are just other Wheels?

The Hanged Man. Guess what? Time REALLY doesn’t exist for you, what you get is eternity in a period of delay. You’re just going to have to wait so you may as well chill and meditate.

The Chariot. Look, at least you’re moving forward, don’t worry too much about the time.

But let’s not forget the minors:

The Two of Pentacles (or Two of Earth). Too many things to do and not enough time! Aaaaah!!!! Trying to look forward in time while also doing all the things.

The Seven of Pentacles. Look deep enough at what you’re harvesting and you’ll see the past timeline that led up to it. Dig deep enough and you’ll find the Wheel. Especially in the Tinker’s Damn Tarot, which is the tarot I’m using for the images in this post.

Most likely anything that you think of that is possible isn’t true. –Richard Feynman

I’m not giving you a spread. If you’re so concerned with time, you don’t have time for it. Pull one card and ask it what you need to know about time. (Pro tip: honestly, one card is usually all you need to answer any question. I pull a gazillion cards, but that’s because I love my cards and want to give them all some attention. They ALL have something beautiful and profound to contribute–or at least something snarky that I don’t want to miss.)

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The Three of Wands, or rather, Three of Fire, from the Tinker’s Damn Tarot. Here’s what you should know about time: make your plans and then do the steps in your plan one by one. That’s your best bet if you’re trying to create some ground (you won’t ever really have a ground, but you’ll feel better for trying to.)

 

When I asked the Tinker’s Damn what I needed to know about time to write this post,  what I pulled was the Three of Wands. Have a look. It’s showing me an image and the building made based on that image. See, time isn’t as important as your vision and the work you do to make it happen. What do you want? When do you want it? Well, then, you’d better fucking plan for that. And then follow through on the work to implement your plan.

One of my favorite quotes, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is: “The bad news is, you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang onto, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”

See, your search for time is a search for a safety line, or at least a parachute. There isn’t one. There’s also no knight who’s going to ride to your rescue. You’re just going to have to live with groundlessness. Be curious and have fun with it!  

Please note: the featured image at the top of this post is the Queen of Cups (Queen of Water) from the Tinker’s Damn Tarot. See how even the Queen of Cups is trying to live within routines and rhythms? For her, it’s often everyone else’s. She knows that she can jump from timeline to timeline and help out in each one.

To see the other posts in this blog hop, please click on one of the links below: you can travel forward or backward (but there IS fundamentally no forward or backward, because we all posted these at the same time, bwa ha ha ha!), or go to the master link and get random and pop around.

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10 Comments

  1. I’m fascinated by the irony that you chose an image of Marie Curie, who was constantly working against time, both in terms of publishing papers quickly to announce her results, and more significantly, trying to find elements that were disappearing on her due to short half lives. I love the contrast of that against your existentialism. Great quotes too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Time is a man made construct, it is a useful tool but like many man-made things it is flawed, science keeps having to make micro adjustments to keep up with nature’s ever changing cycle. We have never really needed clocks until the onset of industry, science, politics and of course traditional religions. We’ve got inbuilt time keeping, and we know what and when the right time for anything is.

    Awesome Quotes, and decks. Really enjoyed this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVED this post and I am totally in your camp about time. There really is no “on time” is there and so how can time be? Never heard that Trungpa quote, but I remember someone expressing the concept and I got a big pit in my stomach. Time isn’t my “ground” of choice, but I see what you mean by how people use it that way. I pulled a card for your one-card spread and got the Queen of Coins which has been coming up all night for some reason. I think it is telling me to seek the answer to the other question that was in the back of my mind: if my ground isn’t time, what is it? Thanks for getting my mind moving!

    Like

  4. I LOVED this post and I am totally in your camp about time. There really is no “on time” is there and so how can time be? Never heard that Trungpa quote, but I remember someone expressing the concept and I got a big pit in my stomach. Time isn’t my “ground” of choice, but I see what you mean by how people use it that way. I pulled a card for your one-card spread and got the Queen of Coins which has been coming up all night for some reason. I think it is telling me to seek the answer to the other question that was in the back of my mind: if my ground isn’t time, what is it? Thanks for getting my mind moving!

    Liked by 1 person

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