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Author Topic: Sacred Geometry  (Read 4895 times)

Aster Breo

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Sacred Geometry
« on: January 03, 2016, 05:45:27 pm »
I'm interested in researching the ideas of Sacred Geometry. Can anyone recommend good resources for this?  

I know there's quite a bit out there, but, since I don't yet know much about the topic, I'm not sure how to winnow out the crap.

Thank you!

~ Aster
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SunflowerP

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 06:26:43 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;184409
I'm interested in researching the ideas of Sacred Geometry. Can anyone recommend good resources for this?  

I know there's quite a bit out there, but, since I don't yet know much about the topic, I'm not sure how to winnow out the crap.

 
Just in case you haven't remembered it was there, here's a link to the series of articles on that very subject that Altair wrote for TC's Wiki.

Altair himself will likely be along before long to add other recs; your thread title is Altair-bait :).

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Aster Breo

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 12:23:29 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;184411
Just in case you haven't remembered it was there, here's a link to the series of articles on that very subject that Altair wrote for TC's Wiki.

Altair himself will likely be along before long to add other recs; your thread title is Altair-bait :).

Sunflower

I had not remembered that. Of course.

Thank you!
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible
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Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 09:25:29 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;184411
Just in case you haven't remembered it was there, here's a link to the series of articles on that very subject that Altair wrote for TC's Wiki.

Altair himself will likely be along before long to add other recs; your thread title is Altair-bait :).

Sunflower


Lamentably slow on taking the Altair-bait, but I bit at last! (I just saw the thread title now.)

Aster, you've probably seen this already, but I put a very brief resource list near the end of the sacred geometry wiki entries. Let me know what else you find, and of course, I'm always happy to talk sacred geo!

Is there any particular aspect of it your interested in? Was there a specific prompting for your interest?

Aster Breo

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 11:43:17 am »
Quote from: Altair;185053
Lamentably slow on taking the Altair-bait, but I bit at last! (I just saw the thread title now.)

Aster, you've probably seen this already, but I put a very brief resource list near the end of the sacred geometry wiki entries. Let me know what else you find, and of course, I'm always happy to talk sacred geo!

Is there any particular aspect of it your interested in? Was there a specific prompting for your interest?

No worries for the slow response, Altair. I've been struggling with major migraine much more than usual over the past few weeks, and haven't been able to be around here much.  :-(  I appreciate you replying!

TBH, I don't really feel I know enough about this to know what to ask. I'm interested in learning about the foundation for sacred geometry -- why do people feel certain shapes/figures carry sacred meaning? -- and what the major ones are.

This is something I've had an interest in for a long time, but kept shoving it to the back burner to follow other interests or because life.  Recently, a friend asked me about this website: http://www.ka-gold-jewelry.com/index.php  It's all about the scared geometry and symbolic talismans, some of which really resonate with me. But I don't feel I have the foundation to evaluate the symbolism they claim for their pieces.

I feel especially drawn to the 3D designs, like the merkaba, consciousness sphere, Christ consciousness (despite the name), and tesseract, as well as the Seed of Life and Flower of Life designs.  I want to learn more about them.

Is there a specific book or other resource you'd (Altair or anyone else) recommend as a starting point?

Thanks!
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible
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Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 03:26:27 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;185143
Is there a specific book or other resource you'd (Altair or anyone else) recommend as a starting point?

I started with Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice by Robert Lawlor. I found it vastly informative, complete with workbook exercises (that were way over my head! But you can ignore them and still get tons out of this book). It can be hard to find, however.

Quote
TBH, I don't really feel I know enough about this to know what to ask. I'm interested in learning about the foundation for sacred geometry -- why do people feel certain shapes/figures carry sacred meaning? -- and what the major ones are.

The wiki walks you through the basics--circle, vesica piscis, triangle, square, pentagram--and what their significance is in sacred geometry, and why.

I look at SG as a symbol system that resonates on a deep level and is extremely useful, probably because:
  • It's derived from the natural world around us and its natural laws (math being the one universal language)
  • It potentially offers insights into that natural world
  • It works well with many other symbol systems

I approach SG on two different levels:

The intuitive--What shapes or combination of shapes grab me, often for reasons I can't explain? Which ones recur in the world around me, and in what contexts?

Example: A triangle within a circle. (Or, to be exact, an equilateral triangle circumscribed by a circle so that the triangle's vertices intersect with the circle's circumference...a fancy way of saying the same thing.) I find this combo visually compelling, and it's found as the symbol for Alcoholics Anonymous (which is all about surrendering to "a higher power"...hmmm) and on a lot of manhole covers, at least in NYC, for some reason.
On an intuitive level, a circle appeals to me because it seems perfect, with no beginning or end; and a triangle suggests trebling, that "need for threes" that seems to pop up with us humans all the time (maid-mother-crone, Xtian holy trinity, Hindu trimurti, Greek Zeus-Poseidon-Neptune, thesis-antithesis-synthesis, 3-act storytelling, 3-letter acronyms...). Why the two in combo kick my ass, I'm not certain.

The mathematical--This one is more challenging, but I'm the furthest thing from a math geek, so if I can explore it (via texts like Lawlor that explain it) up to a point without having my head explode, anyone can. What mathematical principles, equations, or special numbers are associated with these shapes? Do they offer any insight into potential symbolism for these shapes, or why they're so compelling?

IMPORTANT MATH CONCEPT: irrational numbers. These are numbers that stretch on to infinity without ever repeating. In SG, they're the Holy Grail; when one pops up in relation to a shape, it's considered the sign that some inner workings of the universe ("the mind of god") is being glimpsed, an insight revealed. The most famous is pi (the number that describes the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference).

Same example: A triangle within a circle. Each shape brings an irrational number to the table: pi (the circle) and the square root of three (the relationship of the radius of the triangle--from center to vertex--to the length of any of the triangle's sides); so both shapes independently start with SG's holy grail factor. It gets interesting when you relate them to each other by putting the circle around the triangle; now the circle and triangle have the same radius, and it turns out for regular shapes (i.e., evenly spaced) given the same radius, the circle is the one shape that encloses the maximum area, and the equilateral triangle is the one shape that encloses the minimum area...so there's a visual alpha-omega, yin-yang going on here. You can go even further, exploring how there are 3 implied vesica piscis here...but then you're really delving deep.

Perhaps a third approach is cultural--independent of what the shape suggests or the math implies, what cultural associations has the shape accumulated through use?

Example: In both Western alchemical and some Eastern traditions, the downward pointing triangle represents feminine energy, while the upward pointing triangle represents masculine energy. Another example: Ancient tradition in the East ascribed positive, healthful sacred power to the swastika; but because of Naziism, the symbol has been rendered unusable in the West.

But with this third, we're straying a bit from geometry into the realm of sacred symbolism in general.

I think the reason SG carries so much power is because it describes relationships, in a way we can actually see.

Quote
I've been struggling with major migraine much more than usual over the past few weeks

May those woes end quickly and thoroughly for you, if they haven't already. We need your lucid input around here!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 03:28:30 pm by Altair »

Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 04:22:16 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;185143

Recently, a friend asked me about this website: http://www.ka-gold-jewelry.com/index.php  It's all about the scared geometry and symbolic talismans, some of which really resonate with me. But I don't feel I have the foundation to evaluate the symbolism they claim for their pieces.


Take it all with several grains of salt. For example, the gold “Gordian knot pendant” (which I find quite mesmerizing), also described as a torus knot, pictured on the home page: Maybe it’s my own ignorance, but I’m unaware of this particular knot (there are many kinds) being the one of myth and legend, nor of it being used in sacred geometry (again, that may just be my ignorance). As for “science began using this model as a geometric\mathematical model of the universe,” that seems to mostly hang on the word “torus.” Yes, there’s a toroidal model of the universe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-torus_model_of_the_universe), but I don’t think it looks anything like that!

Mathematically, however, that’s a trefoil knot, which is the simplest example of a nontrivial knot. (I’m not a knot expert! But I researched them in a very cursory fashion once upon a time, exploring new possible areas of sacred geometry.)

In short, I think the claims at this site are breathlessly aggrandized, as often happens with sacred geometry run amok.

But that doesn’t render the jewelry any less beautiful or potentially symbolic. Why not take the intuitive approach: Get the jewelry that you’re drawn to on instinct, and assign your own symbolism? As I said, I find the gold “Gordian” knot pendant alluring, and to me a trefoil knot is symbolic of the nature of time—how past, present, and future are tied together seamlessly. That’s the symbolism I’d run with. Why not run with your own?

Quote
I feel especially drawn to the 3D designs, like the merkaba, consciousness sphere, Christ consciousness (despite the name), and tesseract, as well as the Seed of Life and Flower of Life designs.  I want to learn more about them.


3D is not my area of expertise, unfortunately. The Seed of Life and Flower of Life I’m familiar with as 2D images, composed from multiple vesicae piscis, and I think they’re wonderful.

Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 08:39:25 pm »
Quote from: Altair;185153
Zeus-Poseidon-Neptune

 
D'OH! I meant to write "Zeus-Poseidon-Hades," obviously, but it's way too late to correct the actual post. So now I can just sit here and look stoopid.

Aster Breo

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2016, 11:48:54 pm »
Quote from: Altair;185169
D'OH! I meant to write "Zeus-Poseidon-Hades," obviously, but it's way too late to correct the actual post. So now I can just sit here and look stoopid.

Hardly! Your posts are crammed with interesting and useful thoughts. Far from stoopid!

Thank you so much for all of this info. You've given me a lot to think about.

I'm totally with you on assigning my own symbolism. I don't really have a choice -- it's just how I think.

Thanks, too, for the book recommendation. It seems to be readily available on Amazon, so I'll definitely pick it up.  I won't be able to do the math exercises, of course.  ;-)

You've also reminded me that I need to read your wonderful book!  :-D
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible
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Darkhawk

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2016, 12:49:56 pm »
Quote from: Altair;185153
IMPORTANT MATH CONCEPT: irrational numbers. These are numbers that stretch on to infinity without ever repeating. In SG, they're the Holy Grail; when one pops up in relation to a shape, it's considered the sign that some inner workings of the universe ("the mind of god") is being glimpsed, an insight revealed. The most famous is pi (the number that describes the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference).

 
I think the most relevant to my particular dabblings in sacred geometry is phi, though - the golden ratio.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

It crops up a lot in classical art and architecture, with humanity reaching for the sorts of arcs one gets with the Fibonacci sequence found in nature.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2016, 02:44:30 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;185217
I think the most relevant to my particular dabblings in sacred geometry is phi, though - the golden ratio.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

It crops up a lot in classical art and architecture, with humanity reaching for the sorts of arcs one gets with the Fibonacci sequence found in nature.


Phi is fabulous--a nice mathematical representation of "As above, so below"--but it gets a little tortured in its use, IMHO. I approach claims for phi in nature, art, or architecture with skepticism; the nautilus shell is an infamous example of phi overreach.

The "Fibonacci Flim-Flam" site does some strong debunking. While I might not agree with everything in it, it's worth reading:

https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/pseudo/fibonacc.htm

I'm much more interested in logarithmic progressions (of which things like the golden spiral are a subset), which do indeed recur in nature and are governed by the mathematical constant e.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_(mathematical_constant)

Altair

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2016, 09:47:36 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;185175

You've also reminded me that I need to read your wonderful book!  :-D


When you do, keep your eyes peeled for subtle sacred geometry references scattered sporadically throughout (subtle, because I didn't want anyone to think they need to know math to read the book, because they absolutely do not!)

In fact, I tried to take it one step beyond sacred geometry by employing a broader use of math symbolically. There's a profound equation woven into the text, one that goes to the heart of the book and, I think, of nature-based paganism.

Aster Breo

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 01:57:53 pm »
Quote from: Altair;185294
When you do, keep your eyes peeled for subtle sacred geometry references scattered sporadically throughout (subtle, because I didn't want anyone to think they need to know math to read the book, because they absolutely do not!)

In fact, I tried to take it one step beyond sacred geometry by employing a broader use of math symbolically. There's a profound equation woven into the text, one that goes to the heart of the book and, I think, of nature-based paganism.

I remember some of that from my first read of the book, but a lot has faded from my memory. And I don't think I ever did solve the overall riddle.  :-P
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible
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Gnowan

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 06:15:27 am »
Quote from: Altair;185233
The "Fibonacci Flim-Flam" site does some strong debunking. While I might not agree with everything in it, it's worth reading:

https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/pseudo/fibonacc.htm


 
I've been reading through a lot of the threads here, but this thread was the one that made me register.

I love sacred geometry and spend a lot of time with Pythagoras.  I read the article you linked to as well as your article here.  I understand you also wrote a book on the subject?  I'd be interested in reading that as well.

I've always believed that mathematics is the language of God and I've been a pattern-seeker from childhood.

I've seen different pictorial versions of the monad through decad.  The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library differs significantly from those you showed.  I've just always found it fascinating using geometry to convey ideas and of course, numbers were so much more to the Pythagoreans than mere counters.

Some of the things I've played with is moving things from 2d to 3d and what symbols or shapes emerge.  I've also played with Pythagoras' Table of Opposites, taking them into 3d, showing that in 3d, it boils down to the relative position of the viewer.  Another thing I've played with is working with the Tetraktys and the Kabbalah in 3d forms.

When I was in organic chemistry in college, I had the molecule models but I think I spent more time using them exploring sacred geometry.  I couldn't do as much as I wanted because the angles off the carbon atom would only do the angles of the tetrahedron.  When I bought my son Magnetix (the magnetic sticks and ball bearings), I was in heaven playing with SG.

Something kind of cool that some pagans can use for an on-the-go altar is to get a set of gaming dice that has the platonic solids.  The shapes correspond to the the points of the pentacle:  tetrahedron--fire; cube--earth; octahedron--air; dodecahedron--aither; and icosahedron--water.

Well, as you can tell, I love this stuff and would love to discuss this more if y'all are interested.

Oh, and speaking of phi, this is an elegant video of the Golden Key I think you'll like:



~Gnowan

Aster Breo

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Re: Sacred Geometry
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2016, 11:48:53 am »
Quote from: Gnowan;185414
I've been reading through a lot of the threads here, but this thread was the one that made me register.

Welcome to TC!

Thank you for responding in such depth, and thank you for the link. I'm looking forward to watching the video as soon as I can.

Do you have a recommendation for reasonably easy to understand resources on Pythagoras's work?  I saw you mentioned a Pythagorean Sourcebook. Would that be a good place for a beginner to start?  I'm totally NOT a mathematician in any sense. :-P

Also, to clarify: Altair's book is not *about* sacred geometry.  It's an amazing and beautiful journey through his unique take on myth, in which he incorporates ideas about the universal meaning of math. As I said, I'm not a mathematician, so I'm sure I don't understand all of how he's interwoven these concepts. Nevertheless, I absolutely LOVED the book on my first reading and it's next in line on my Kindle for a second reading (which I almost never do).

Songs of the Metamythos: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0986296406/ref=cm_sw_r_other_awd_2zMNwbW0YPY1G

I can't recommend it highly enough.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible
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