Kairos vs Chronos

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s Monday Magick newsletter by Jason Miller:

Chances are you are familiar with Chronos: the Greek name for Saturn and the word for time from which we derive the terms chronological and synchronous. You might be less familiar with Kairos:

“We began this book with a quote which refers to the Greek notion of kairos as one of those occasional moments in a society’s history when its frames of reference undergo a shift – a metamorphosis of the fundamental principles and symbols, when the lines between myth and history, science and magic become blurred – and, therefore, real change is possible. Philosophers sometimes like to speak of ‘the Event’ – a political revolution, a scientific discovery, an artistic masterpiece – that is, a breakthrough which reveals aspects of reality that had previously been unimaginable but, once seen, can never be unseen. If so, kairos is the kind of time in which Events are prone to happen. Societies around the world appear to be cascading towards such a point.” 
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

As we approach New Years, reflections on time are impossible to avoid. We are inundated with lists looking back: the celebrities who died, the top news events, the 10 best movies, and so on. We are also confronted with hype or dread of the year ahead: “10 hot investments for 2022″, “Make this the year you get in the best shape of your life“, and of course the “bold predictions” of economists and politicos.

As the past disappears into memory and we project our hopes and fears on the year ahead, let us turn our eye to Kairos more than Chronos. Quality of time rather than quantitative tallies. Just like societies have opportune moments for change, so to do individuals. Is it time for you to start a new project and transform your life or is it time for you to hibernate and coast for a while? My advice is to take a few moments around the dark of the year to read the signs and determine for yourself whether now is the time to hang back or to act. If it’s time to act, what on?

A lot of you will incorporate divination into this, and whether its astrology or sortilege, I urge you to treat it as a point of data among other points of data. I think divination can be a wonderful tool, but only if its taken wisely from trusted sources. I have seen too many people refrain from perfectly good actions because their cards warned them something would go wrong. I ask you: when does something not go wrong?

I had divinations done around the start of my business that warned me of problems coming up, and I was tempted to turn away and forget the whole venture. I am so glad I didn’t. I trusted my overall reading of Kairos, the opportune time, and did it anyway. All of those divinations were correct, but the problems were surmountable and here I am.

Just as Chronos is the name of a deity, so is Kairos. Kairos, more often spelled Caerus when talking about the God, is the god of luck and opportunity and the lover of Fortuna, He is depicted as a running youth with one long lock of hair hanging over his face. Legend says if you see him coming you can grab him easily by his hair, thus taking advantage of the approach of opportune time. Once he passes you however, he is uncatchable. Such is the nature of fleeting moments.

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Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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