View Full Version : Why and How does Astrology work?

15-07-2010, 20:49
We have occasionally touched on this topic but often in a side issue of another thread, usually as a response to a sceptic's post. I'm looking here to take an opportunity to reflect on the 'How' and 'Why' in the context of an acceptance that Astrology DOES work. Of course it is perfectly possible to say that it does work, but we don't know why, and still practice effective Astrology. But I'm sure we're all curious at some point as to the 'mechanism'.

I would like to take Astrology in it's widest sense - the practice of divination using celestial phenomena and therefore try to avoid a detailed discussion of particular methods, as a particular explanation may allow for more than one method of Astrological analysis. I'm by no means an expert on every form of Astrology, even in the Western tradition, so I'd really like to hear the views of those who use a different tradition, such as the Vedic or the Australian Aboriginal tradition, as to how they see those 'astrologies' working.

To start things off, I'm going to add a second post explaining a traditional Western view - notice, it's 'a' not 'the'.

One final point - I think a common factor is going to be the importance of the role of the Astrologer or person who 'reads' the celestial signs, so we might also end up discussing what attributes that person should have - and whether anyone can do it - 'each man his own Astrologer' or whether there is a need for training and induction - the 'Astrologer priest' if you like.

15-07-2010, 22:01
I am not claiming that the following explanation is 'THE' explanation - it's one that Sue Ward advanced and for me it added one or two insights into the whole divinatory process and it does see Astrology literally as divination - learning the mind of God.

This is a summary, with occasional comment of a talk she gave called 'God, the Universe and Everything' and the full transcript can be downloaded in pdf form from her website. www.sueward.co.uk in the Articles section. Even in a shortened version, it's quite long but I think it provides a good basis to understand early Western Astrology.

The explanation starts from the position that Astrology has been separated out from the other Hermetic sciences - Magic, Alchemy and the Qabala and also from its oral tradition - which is not the case elsewhere. So in a real sense, Sue is trying to 'reconstruct' a basis which recognises those ideas and philosophies - to reconnect Astrology to it's spiritual background as a true divinatory art. Now I know that many Modern Astrologers in the West would bristle at that. The Astrological Association of Great Britain, sees Astrology as having no connection to the psychic, the religious, or the spiritual, as an essential part of it's nature - Atheists can practice perfectly good Astrology.

Sue goes on to say that Astrology is a system of correspondences - not only in the Hermetic saying of 'As Above So Below' but to the extent that Astrology corresponds to Nature - Mars corresponds to War, for example and War corresponds to Mars - be it a violent War or an argument - a War of words.

If Astrology corresponds to Nature - so do humans - the microcosm of Nature's macrocosm. So the correspondence of Astrology to nature also brings the correspondence of Astrology to humanity - As Above, So Below In classical and medieval times, even through to the seventeenth century, Science was based in hermeticism so Astrologers could prove the truth of Astrology in their own terms not just take it on trust.

We can see he Astrological correspondence to Nature through the biblical creation story (and indeed through the creation stories of other cultures) -

'In the beginning God created theHeaven and the Earth; And the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep'

And God said let there be light And there was light. and God saw the light and saw that it was good. and God divided the light from the darkness And God called the light Day and the darkness Night'.

Light, Day and Night were fundamental to the early Western approaches to Astrology - Diurnal and Nocturnal charts were treated differently - as they reflect God's creation.

Genesis goes on to show God creating a firmament in the heavens and separating dry land from the sea and then putting lights in the firmament

'to divide day from night and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and for years'

The lights are the visible planets and comets and the signs are omens. However the lights also provide the seasons and measure time - the role of the planets as Chronocrators - rulers of time.

Genesis continues with God making two Great lights one to rule the Day and one to rule the Night - Early Western Astrology sees the Sun as ruler of Day charts but the Moon as ruler of Night charts and also classifies the other planets as Diurnal or Nocturnal.

The story of Genesis has two twofold divisions - Light and Dark (Day and Night) and Above and Below (Heaven and Earth or Land and Water) We could see this as the sphere divided into four equal parts - and thus the four Cardinal points. We could also see Light as bringing Heat, Darkness bringing Cold, Earth bringing Dry and the Waters bringing moisture - the four key building blocks of early Western science and embodied in much of traditional Astrological explanations and methods.

These four, Light/Heat, Darkness/Cold; Earth/Dryness and Water/Moisture are the conditions necessary for fertility and therefore life - 'And God said let the Earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed' - life had begun. Even today we recognise the importance of photosynthesis to life and that the conditions need to be just right - not too hot, not too cold, not too dry, not too wet - both life and Astrology seek a balance - 'Nothing in excess' to quote another Western tradition.

Incidentally this explanation also shows why the Tropical Zodiac gained prominance - From the beginning, the role of the Sun and planets is to regulate the seasons.

From the seasons come the oppositions of Winter and Summer, Spring and Autumn and the rulerships of the Astrological sign and we can take it further to derive a comprehensive philosophy of Astrology but that goes beyond the scope of this thread.

Now despite the fact that I'm not a religious person (like Sue) it's important to labour the point - Astrology WAS seen as a divine Art in a divine system of creation - it is not an adjunct it is central to understanding existence. The only way that Astrology might fail is through the Astrologer, who is only human - he or she needs to be properly trained - not to purvey a standard system (Astrologers were nowhere near as united as priests in their doctrines)- but to learn and reflect on the sciences of the day and to understand the interconnection of all nature.

From the late Seventeenth Century onwards, we have become increasingly secularised in the West and Science has become increasingly compartmentalised. So the modern Western Astrologer must look elsewhere for an answer or be seen as a 'crank' - Does it lie in genetics, gravity waves, or other form of radiation...?

Can we accept a theory which relies on God and Creation or must we turn to something in line with modern science. Can we have a science of Asrology that provides answers through empirical research - such as the Gauquelins.

Over to you

15-07-2010, 22:47
Wow, this is interesting, great thread. I'd like to ponder over the above post a little before I add too much, however there is one thing that has come to mind right away.

Now despite the fact that I'm not a religious person (like Sue) it's important to labour the point - Astrology WAS seen as a divine Art in a divine system of creation - it is not an adjunct it is central to understanding existence.

Can we accept a theory which relies on God and Creation or must we turn to something in line with modern science.
I actually have no real answer for your questions here, but one thing my studies of both Astrology and tarot have done is allow me to see religon/spirituality/the divine and Science as not necessarily two distinct things. In the past Astrology was seen as a divine art and, as you say, 'central to understanding existence'. In more recent times humanity has turned to science for the very same thing - to understand our existence. Ironically our faith in science seems to have killed off our faith in the divine, but on closer inspection I think they may be one and the same. So the current need to explain astrology as a 'valid' tool or a 'science' is interesting. Are we simply (and possibly unconsciously) just trying to reconnect with the original divine purpose of Astrology by somehow trying to prove (or be sure) that it connects us to something greater than ourselves, whether that is the physical universe, or the Divine?

Apologies if this post comes across as nonsense. It's been a long day and it's now late and past my bedtime. I'm looking forward to this discussion though. :)

16-07-2010, 00:40
Apologies if this post comes across as nonsense. It's been a long day and it's now late and past my bedtime. I'm looking forward to this discussion though. :)

:) No I think you make a very good point - the choice may not simply be between a 'spiritual' or a 'scientific' rationale,

I also don't know the answer to the question I posed - I gave one version of the traditional answer as a starter to the thread. We seem to have gone from an Astrology where the framework and underlying philosophy was largely accepted by all to one where there is no agreed underlying philosophy or rationale (though I'm sure many modern Astrologers wished there were).

The traditional view is elegant. is related to the epistemology of the times, and he methods used clearly derive from the underlying philosophical base - for example the theory of aspects is based on light transmission and reflection but that doesn't mean it is the 'correct' explanation and much of it's constituent parts are no longer taken as self evident or even valid - for example the theory of the 4 humours.

So Western Astrologers appear to be cut adrift from the accepted norms and axioms of a world where science based on materialism is the vehicle for explaining the observed world.

16-07-2010, 05:12
Hi Minderwiz,

I'm a big fan of Vedic astrology. It's just soooo pinpoint accurate. But I do wish it would have more of a spiritual focus as western ones do. Astrologer James Braha, who is skilled in both, believes in merging the two.

From what I understand of it... the chart shows the karmic consequences of choices we made in the past. We reincarnate in a body again together with a number of other souls we knew before, to work out our karmic relationships together. These are resolved when all involved no longer have any attachment to it. So charts give an indication of the lifetime contracts we have made with one another.

The point of view of enlightenment says that we are all one entity. So a chart assigns different people to houses which are really related to aspects of ourselves. What I have found true in my own experience is that whenever my awareness changes, so too there is a shift in those people who are karmically connected with me. As microcosm so macrocosm.

I also believe that the planets affect everything that is earthbound, so their effect is first and foremost on the physical body. But the body has an effect on the mind and if the spiritual part of us is caught up in body and mind then we too will be effected. But we certainly have the power to fight the influence of the planets!

Thanks for bringing up this topic...


16-07-2010, 09:57
Not all science is materialistic / atheistic. Anthroposophy (Rudolph Steiner's 'spiritual-science'-based approaches to education, art, architecture, drama, medicine, agriculture, health of mind & body, etc) follows & takes forward J. W von Goethe's spiritual AND scientific, experience-based philosophy.

Goethe was an 18th-century polymath - maybe best known in mainstream education as a brilliant writer: novelist, dramatist, poet, philosopher; but also a scientist with special interests & wonderful research (philosophical + empirical) into Colour, Sight, Botany, Biology/Zoology etc. He set great store by Astrology & incorporated it (esp. the ancient hermetic approach you mention) into his esoteric body of work - as did his esoteric disciple Steiner.
In this vision, 'God' is our sense of 'I Am' / Being 'in here' (immanent) as much as 'A Being' 'out there' (transcendent).

Gnostic / Mystery School wisdom is the key to both their understandings & teachings concerning astrology. It fits Tarot too. Reality is like a series of nesting Russian dolls. The microcosm of our daily, limited, finite experiences reflects, in miniature, aspects of larger-scale, world-wide & even cosmological states & happenings. And we (our 'souls' / spirits / Wills ) have enormous responsibility in both.

So, to address your question specifically, astrology (among other methodologies) works as a code, rather like a piece of a hologram, or DNA; encoding the Whole in each of its parts, and from each 'bit' the Whole state of affairs can be built up. The more info we have, the more detailed & better resolved the bigger picture.

If the structure of reality is holographic, & we are connected to the universe as an embryo to a mother (i.e. an integral, organic, finitely-manifesting offshoot of the Divine Source; with the same nature & qualities,) then astrology can be a key to reading universal truths 'up there' which also apply 'down here' (in the circumstances & lives of individuals.) And the choices we make affect the Whole, just as the Whole affects us.
Therein lies 'spirituality': the Will-In-Action.

Phew. I'm exhausted, so perhaps not v articulate. I hope I am understanding this coherently. Please correct me, friends! Looking forward v much to reading others' contributions.

16-07-2010, 19:35
Not read the prev posts cept first and second.

Notice natal charting requires your time of birth. It is a capture of the scenario of planets at the TIME of your birth. TIME itself is a product of the Creation, as are all things, including humans.

This sounds simple (maybe it is). My mind swam off to the Large Hadron Collider and quantum physics at first sight of topic title, lol.

16-07-2010, 22:37
Not all science is materialistic / atheistic. empirical)

Absoluely true! - but based on an 'old' definition of what science is.

At this point it might be worth making a more clear explanation of 'science' as I deliberately used the term in it's modern sense in the earlier posts.

'Science' comes from the Latin 'scientia' meaning 'knowledge'. It has always been concerned with a systematic organisation of knowledge of 'Nature' and the derivation of 'Laws of Nature'.

I would certainly argue that the Astrology of Classical, Medieval and Seventeenth Century practitioners was 'scientific' within the meaning of the term in those times and their explanation of the working of Astrology is also 'scientific' - there is no necessary clash between God and science for those Astrologers. I'm sure that there are modern Astrologers who would take the same line. I happen to think that this definition of science is better than that in common use now.

However from the Eighteenth Century there was an increasing pardigm shift for 'Science' - Modern versions see science as based on the scientific method - a process of setting up hypotheses which purport to 'explain' an observed event and then test these hypotheses by collecting and analysing data, usually by carrying out statistical analysis. Explanations are only accepted, if the statistics support them in repeated tests. Even then the explanation is 'probable' and is not taken as being objectively true.

Now on the basis of modern empirical science, Astrology is seen as not yielding testable propositions, or if it can, that replication shows there is nothing there but chance - assuming that there is any real interest in testing it.

Now I was trained in the empirical method - and there are key issues about setting up the hypothesis and defining in an 'operational' way the concepts that are to be tested. Moreover the experimental design is crucial - bad design leads to bad conclusions, even if the statistical side is adequate.

Even then much the value of such research comes down to the 'expert' opinion of the scientific community, which in turn depends on their own values and 'weltanschauung'. In short, science is not as objective and factual as is claimed.

One book that has been claimed to be a scientific study of Astrology is 'Recent Advances in Natal Astrology, A Critical Review' by Geoffrey Dean and Arthur Mather - it only confined itself to Modern Astrology, dismissing Astrology before 1900 as being 'effectively medieval' (and therefore irrational and superstitious). Dean is an apostate Astrologer but bases his case on the scientific method.

I really do have doubts that Astrology can (or should) attempt to defend or even explain itself on this modern view of science. To me it is far to simplistic and approach to deal with the complexity of the issues involved.

16-07-2010, 23:45
I'd like to recapture some "awareness" steps that I experienced from my early studies of astrology starting 38 years ago and still am experiencing today.

** I used to laugh at my wife for reading her horoscope column in the newspaper each day, and I purchased a small book by Joseph Goodsavage for $3 that presented the basics of astrology complete with simple tables in the back of the book. As I read about my wife's sun sign, the signs and houses her planets were in, I was amazed at how generally appropriate they were. I see this as the start of my CURIOUS phase.

** I worked for a contract engineering firm. A co-worker whom I had never met came in from a long field assignment and sat in front of me. He saw me reading this little book and asked me to do his chart. Using the tables given, and proportioning their start-of-the-month positions for the dates I was looking at, I did his chart and gave his character statements. I also noted that he had an illness that precluded the use of salt, kept him on a special diet and that he had been hospitalized four times in recent years (he was in his mid-30s then). He was astounded, as he had Cystic Fibrosis. The only thing I didn't tell him was that he was going to be very ill that November. He died then. This was the start of my VERY CURIOUS phase.

I did three things simultaneously; I signed up with Jeff Mayo at the Faculty for Astrological Studies in London, started exploring midpoints with a Harvard Square bookstore owner, and commenced the reading of Noel Tyl's 12 books on astrology. And I did charts, lots of charts, hundreds of charts. This was the start of my TOTALLY FASCINATED phase.

Within two years I had studied natal charts, progressions and directions, transits, mundane, classical, Uranian and mid-points. I also took note of three "coincidental" tid-bits of information. 1) Robert Hand stated that if one applied precession-correction to natal chart planet positions, that transits would be more effective. 2) A book on Solar Returns by A. Volguine noted that all of his life-long work and studies were irrelevant because he used standard Solar Returns and that the application of precession-correction made the charts far more meaningful and accurate for prediction. 3) Noel Tyl noted in his 12th class-instruction book an example of a Solar Return that was cast in the Sidereal Zodiac and that it was the most amazing chart he had seen in a long time. This was the start of my LIBERATION phase when I realized that all of the typical areas of astrology that I had studied, and which comprised the whole astrological world for many students and professionals alike, was limited and that one had to go beyond the books to really learn. LIBERATION.

** I found Cyril Fagan and his explorations of Sidereal Solar Returns and cyclic charts. All of a sudden I saw astrology as a bewildering overlay of cosmic/planetary movement, a ballet of interwoven cycles--some of which seemed to really resonate with us on an individual basis, others resonated with us generally. All of a sudden the universe had joined the solar system as a coordinated set of influences which could be seen as cycles and which we could/were tuned into. This was the start of my TOTAL AWE phase.

** I followed this period with a dualistic approach -- I went beyond the work of Cyril Fagan and Ebertin, and started to build my own methodologies while throwing out anything that didn't approach a 95% or 100% dependability level. That included most of what I had learned over the previous decade. Also, I started reading Edgar Cayce, Jane Robert's and the Seth material, the works of the Theosophists, and (more recently) Rudolph Steiner. An integration of several interest areas expanded my appreciation of astrology and how it could be used. This was the start of my CONFUSION phase.

** Over the past four years I have been exploring the nature and differences between the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs, seeking to pin down the source and rationale behind sign meanings and their role in astrology. This is despite the fact that I had thrown out the use of signs two/more decades ago. The reason for this re-entry into this area was that my precession-corrected Solar Returns and daily chart interpretive work was proving highly reliable, but the workability of Tropical Signs when used in natal charts or in mundane charts or weather charts continued to prove itself somewhat useful. This was a conflict that had to be addressed. When I find something that doesn't fit, I chase it down. There is no room in astrology for "fuzzing the facts." This was the start of my RESOLVE THE CONFLICTS phase.

** A year ago, after exploring topics such as the movement of the star Sirius in the sign of Cancer (this star has significant motion), of discussing the origin of signs with Therese Hamilton and some Indian astrologers, and bugging others about their use of signs and explanation for them, I had a series of discussions with Jim Eshelman (a follower of Cyril Fagan's Sidereal practices). After exasperating him with countless questions and points of view, Jim ended up telling me that the whole universe was a conscious entity that we were part of. This was a DENIAL phase.

** While finishing my book on predictive astrology, and working with one of the larger astrological software providers to incorporate its methodology and interpretations in that software, I put together all of the readings of Cayce, Roberts, Steiner and the Theosophists, and all of the conversations with my patient counterparts. This is now, and it is my AWAKENING phase.

ASTROLOGY WORKS because it is a physically-viewable functioning of part of a cosmic consciousness and material universe which has and does totally interact with all of its parts, including isolated little Earth near this little Sun. We have found material from Mars in the Anartic, material from the planets in the comets. We experience bursts of energy from Sirius (8.6 light years away) that exceed energy levels from our own Sun, and Sirius seems to have pulled many of our system's planets into an orbital alignment relative to the Sun and itself. We receive other interstellar influences of tremendous magnitude from stars ten thousand light years away that affect our weather. We are part of something unimaginably vast and complex. Our physical life here and our character and experiences are subject to subtle influences, only a very few of which we know of and can use to paint a picture for us to understand.

We may not be good at individually articulating ourselves and our nature and needs, and we may be less capable of interpreting the little we understand of our Earth, our Solar System, near space and the wider cosmos. But, we can measure and assess the interplay of the cosmos and of ourselves through astrology. We can recognize our awe of something partially known and visible to us, we can have faith that we must have a purpose greater than that which can be accomplished in this one life, we can seek to become citizens of the cosmos. We need to see ourselves as being bigger that what we appear to us to be. We need to imagine impossible things, to dream.

I think that the debate of astrology, faith, science and other topical areas can mislead us from one obvious truth---we are part of something very big. Let's just follow where it leads us, use our astrology within the context of both using astrology and also seeing it as only an imperfect tool that represents something else. Ask, seek, share, become and do all of these things with every bit of intensity and focus that you can apply. Dave

17-07-2010, 14:06
... so I'd really like to hear the views of those who use a different tradition, such as the Vedic or the Australian Aboriginal tradition, as to how they see those 'astrologies' working.

Hi Mindy, thanks for starting this thread. Busy and no computer as usuall so I printed out and read. The above statement got me thinking and I find the answer rather difficult as the words Australian Aboriginal 'astrology' amd why and how astrology works are hard to put together. because, in my experience, with this type of knowledge, they rarely think how or why, in the way we are used to thinking - it just is ... and it just does. - That's the way it is and thats the Law - end of story.

I supposed if one was to annoy them with 'silly white-fella questions' (as I'm wont to do :laugh: ) they would first have to understand OUR viewpoint to explain which part of it we are not getting. They would have to understand our modern trend of thinking of everything as separate, and when one thing is influencing another, its not just the two things reacting and responding, but everything. One explanation (not from the astrological question, but about a magical practice) I posed took some time to comprehend, the final answer was something like; I can do that although I am not 'there' the same way the ripples from the wake of a boat cross the water and effect the riverbank rushes ... you just cant see the other 'water' with your eyes.

To me this suggests a similar view to the early astrological / hermetic view, that we are all connected and a reflection of things 'above' us and 'below'. One thing cant happen without affecting another ... or everything, in some way. This was a common mindset with humanity until fairly recently, "The Philosophers Secret Fire - A History of the Imagination' is an EXCELLENT book on the subject.

Things down here work the way they do because they are a reflection of what is 'up there' ... thats not even correct .. Things down here work the way they do because of what is 'up there'. This is especially the case with what we call asterisms ( stars and their varient groupings) and their relationship to the Milky Way and the South Celestial Pole. A lot of this has to do with tribal lore, Rites of passage, initiation, etc, where the people on earth act out what made the heavens take on that appearence. In an early pre-formed time (or, Dreamtime, as some say), 'spirit' people and animals did certain things and set the patterns in the heavens, then an event sealed the pattern; like a dogs scream when a boy bites his ear, or a person flees into the sky. So in a way, the spirit ancestors taught the social rites and laid them out in the sky for the people to follow.

I think, in a way, this is closest to the above hermatic view, its to do with the connection between the two things, some think it goes without saying, others have postulated stella radiation (I know the infuence of individual stars and constellations is scoffed at by some modern astrologers, but my Agrippa disagrees). Anthroposophic astrology (refered to above) also contemplates 'cosmic beings' residing within constellations and sending forth their influence.

There appears also other forces at work in a variant type of 'astrology', more to do with weather and seasonal interpretation. This is different and works in a way, in reverse, that is by knowledge gained from continual
observation ... of the environment, weather and sky. Perhaps this has been part of the development of western astrology as well?

17-07-2010, 20:28
Thanks ravenest and Dave for those observations.

Both your views and the traditional answer seem to have very strong shared views of reality. Nature does not distinguish between the material and the spiritual - Nature has a consciousness and forms a whole of which humanity is a part. The only difference is that of the scale of 'creation'.

Reading Dave's explanation put me in mind of one of Isaac Asimov's novels - 'Foundation's Edge' in which he posited the existence not only of a planetary consciousness involving all matter but the possible extension of this to a galactic consciousness - a galaxy that is alive and a whole, of which humanity is an integral (and important) part.

In such a galaxy, universe, or creation - observing the behaviour of one part can tell us much about the whole or about the 'reactions' of other parts - the analogy of a doctor observing symptoms in one part of the body to diagnose the condition of the body as a whole is perhaps not a good one but I think it gives the gist (and a better gist if you take a holistic approach).

Dave used the phrase 'physically viewable' and from the earliest times it was observed (viewable) phenomena that constituted the 'mechanism' by which the Astrologer recognised the signs and then went on to interpret or to divine.

Modern followers of the Western Traditional Approach still insist that 'physically viewable' means viewable by the naked eye - the outer planets,(apart from Uranus under certain conditions), dwarf planets, asteroids and many other objects are only viewable using a telescope - and for many a very powerful telescope at that. Not all Astrologers have Mount Palomar in their back yards - so the next question, around the 'how' is:

Is visibility the only criterion for the 'how' Astrology works (besides the presence of an Astrologer)?

and if so;

Does the need for a very high power telescope remove or reduce the 'power and influence' that should be assigned to those planets, etc. that can't be seen by the naked eye?

Now I know Dave's (and virtually all modern Astrologers) answer to the latter is 'No' and I guess that his/their defence would be the 'experience' of Astrologers who use them.

In other words is the experience of seeing (rather than reading a table or computer screen) a nescessary part of an Astrologer's work

17-07-2010, 21:13
Hi, Minderwiz. My term "physically viewable" should be taken in its very boadest terms. Viewable by eye, viewable through a telescope, viewable in terms of radio signals, viewable in terms of measuring something and determining that its behavior infers an influence by something else.

Last winter I came across a scientific paper by a mid-1900's Russian scientist named Kozyrev, full of computations, but interesting in that he was measuring "time" and how it behaved. I broke that paper down and have posted some of my interpretation of it on Michael Erlewin's ACT site, more to come as I have not finished my studies. The bottom line is that time is linear and functions here on the surface of Earth, but it is also simultaneous and not affected by distance in cases involving space and the universe. We see time as a sequential flow but that is due to our location and the nature of our rotating globe.

I'm not asking anyone to believe or comment on this, but it is for me another example of being able to view or determine something from some form of observation or determination --- or viewing.

So, to make a short story long, we can consider the possible "whole" by looking at it parts. Dave

19-07-2010, 11:07
Interesting comments on time. I'm reminded of a Kurt Vonneghurt story where an alien was describing how humans perception of time was;
Imagine you are tied to a chair that cant move on a railway car flatbed. You have a helmet on your head with a thin eye slot, you cant move your head or body. The rail way car is slowly moving along tracks and you look at the distant mountainous horizon ... just the little bit you can see ... going past.
How do you see time, the character asked, The alien replied they saw time just like we would see the view of the mountains and the whole landscape.

It appears there is no distinct difference between one location and another ... as we imagine it , or 'one time' and another.