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Pagan Clock


During the time I was in the business of making clocks, I had an idea about a clock which would show aspects of the "Real Time". The idea had various connotations to the cyclic nature of the ways of things in the physical world, and I considered at the time it would be quite popular with Pagans, and would probably sell quite well in Gothic shops and Alternative Markets. The business at that time was making agricultural clocks and a few other interesting products, and there were issues with the setting-up costs for the production of the Pagan Clock. However, now that I'm a success in a different line of business, I thought now would be a good time to publish the Pagan Clock as a shareware invention. So, right now, on Yule 21st December 2009, at Noon GMT, I'm writing this page.

Pagan Clock
Snapshot of the Pagan Clock with three dials taken at 1pm on Yule 2009 (Dec21). Left to right, the first dial shows Time of Year, the second shows Time of Day (24 hours), and the third shows the phase of Luna.

I get sick and tired of the appalling overpromotion of christianist mythology at around this time of year, although the new Commercialist christmas is something which is almost tolerable in comparison, even though the ads are annoying. However, real Xmas was originated because of the change of seasonal cycle.

Anyway, here's the outline of the design of the version of the Pagan Clock with three dials:

A clock dial has a pointer that goes round once per cycle, with the brightest point at the top and the darkest point at the bottom. So, for the dial representing time of year, midsummer is at the top and midwinter is at the bottom. As the pointer goes round once per year, it passes the eight special points in the Pagan calendar which are festivities, such things as Yule (real xmas), Oestra (easter), Beltane, Samhain, etc. A second dial represents time of day. This has a pointer which goes round once per 24 hour cycle, with mid-day (noon) at the top, and midnight at the bottom. (Of course the clock doesn't go back or forward because of political pressure (see GMT and BST); it follows actual solar time). The 24 hour clock dial can have the hours around it. In practice it's possible to tell the time to an accuracy of a few minutes just by looking at it. A third dial shows the Lunar cycle. This has Full Moon at the top and New Moon at the bottom. This is useful for a variety of purposes.

So, when you look at the three dials of the clock, you can tell what time of the year it really is, what time of the day it really is, and what phase the moon is in, quite accurately, but also in a subjectively intuitive way.

If you decide to go into business manufacturing Pagan Clocks, it would be nice if you'd give me a mention. I'm ZYRA and my website is www.zyra.org.uk !

In terms of practicality, using early zero-zeros technology, one of the most cost-effective methods of manufacture would be to get a job-lot of quartz mechanisms that use a single AA cell, and swap the crystals for some that are specially customised. A normal clock mechanism has the hour hand going round once per 12 hours, so the Day Dial would have a crystal of half the standard frequency. The Year Dial would have a crystal of a frequency which would be slower by a factor of 365.2425 versus the Day Dial (ie 730.485 times slower than the normal crystal). The Dial of Luna would have to go round once per lunar month, ie 29.53059 solar days. Therefore the replacement crystal would be 1 divided by 29.53059 divided by 2 in frequency versus the standard crystal that you get with the standard off-the-shelf clock mechanism.

The owner of the clock would then adjust the phases of the dials to fit with local solar time, local seasonal time, and lunar phase.

The principle also works for time on other planets, as the moons go round in cyclic periods and the other local conditions vary cyclically, for example seasons, odd axis precession, where the suns are in the sky, etc. Anything cyclic with a known periodicity, you can put on a Pagan Clock. (With what crystals and/or what technology, that's something to design in).

Meanwhile, back on the Planet Earth MTP, the design of the clock case is a matter of taste. Clock mechanisms fit into a variety of settings. I originally considered black and chrome would be a good case for various places. However, the Pagan Clock would work equally well in a case that's Gothic, or Futuristic, or Rustic, or New Age, or Traditional.

I have set up a virtual version of the Pagan Clock as a computer program, but I haven't published it yet because it's written in old Basic and it makes a few assumptions about the cycle of Luna, and it uses the computer's own internal clock to get the time, so it would require considerable polishing to make it work nicely worldwide.

It is much easier to make a physical Pagan Clock (provided you get the crystal frequencies right), because the customer will adjust the time on each dial to their locale.


You're reading this at Zyra's website which has a great many pages about a wide variety of subjects. As well as Shareware Inventions, there are also pages of Truths and Misconceptions, as well as a notable Shopping Portal where you can get plenty of interesting items.