What’s the Big Deal About 12?
Summer is coming and a lot of us will head to the beach. Beaches imply beach balls. When you go to buy your beach ball this year, which you will need to do because last year’s will inevitably leak when you try to blow it up this year, buy a baker’s dozen of them.
Yup, thirteen, because you will then be able to demonstrate to yourself, the kids, and everyone else at the beach, exactly why there are twelve signs in the zodiac.
Take those beach balls and blow them up, but not so much that they are tightly inflated. Then get the wife, kids, and maybe some other beach goers to help you put one ball in the middle and the other twelve around it, so that each ball is touching the one in the middle. Now mush them together a bit more tightly. If you squint down between the 12 outer balls, you can just make out that the one in the middle has become a Platonic solid, specifically, a dodecahedron.
The dodecahedron has twelve sides. Each side is a pentagon with equal sides and angles. Of the five Platonic solids, the dodecahedron was the highest. It represented the cosmos, the beautiful order of the universe. Aristotle later claimed that it represented the ether, but then there were other members of Plato’s academy who claimed that Plato would say, when Aristotle would enter a discussion, “Here comes the ass.”
Now Plato also said that he came up with nothing really new and he’s right. He did not invent beach balls, for example. He did say, though, that the universe was organized and influenced by demons.
In Greek, that word was pronounced “daimones”, which meant intelligent influences, much like the theoi, or gods. They were not evil as such, but were lower emanations from the creative source of the cosmos, which the Greeks called the logos, or reason.
The later Christians, who applied the word pagan to all the older religions, converted the word daimones to mean something evil. But then the word pagan originally meant something like, hillbillies, bumpkin, and local yokel. Christians are so disrespectful to us pagans.
So some of these daimones had spheres of influence which moved with seasons, and therefore could be kept track of. The cosmos being twelve sided, there had to be twelve main influences. You can’t easily keep track of twelve spheres sliding around in the sky, not with just paper and pencil, or clay and stylus, as the case maybe, so they invented the zodiac. It’s a circle. It is very easy to divide a circle into twelve pie shaped segments using only a compass, and then chart you’re zodiacal observations and calculations onto your astrological pie chart.
There you go then. Twelve as a basic number of the universe. Throw in the fives sides of the pentagon and five times twelve equals sixty. Sixty minutes, sixty seconds, three hundred sixty degrees. It’s that simple.
This has been Dean Cooper, quasi-scientist, enlightening you with my quasi-theory of the week.
Originally presented on The Squatchers Lounge Podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS-_GJ5TQp0