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sacred geometry

This is a simplified image of the design that graces the cover of the Chalice Well at Glastonbury, designed in the nineteenth century by archaeologist Bligh Bond. Crafted of wrought iron and wood, it depicts the Vesica Pisces, a symbol of the divine feminine, and Excalibur, the sword of the legendary King Arthur, who is believed by some to be buried at Glastonbury.

The wellspring at Glastonbury is considered to be one of England’s most Holy sites. The well itself dates back over two thousand years, and was sacred to both early Pagans and the Christians who later built an abbey on the site. Today, the well is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Pagans alike, many of whom believe the red, iron rich water has healing and miraculous properties. The vesica Pisces theme is repeated in the shape of the pool at the base of the hill, where the water from the spring flows.

An old legend holds that after the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea traveled to England and hid the Holy Grail on the premises, accounting for the water’s red hue. Modern Neopagans who use the site equate the waters with the menstruum of the Goddess.

The cover in situ. The Pool.
Related Symbols:
Green manHecate's wheelVesica pisces



This simple illustration is easily recognizable in Freemasonry as an illustrated proof of the Pythagorean Theorem, better known in Masonry as the 47th problem of Euclid. (It is so named because it was number forty-seven in a collection of geometrical problems produced by the Alexandrian mathematician Euclid) This ubiquitous emblem is found on badges and jewels, lodge decorations and more, and has been associated with Masonry for hundreds of years.

(Most of us are familiar with the theorem from high school: “In any right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the sides.” The theorem is the basis of Trigonometry.)

The 47th problem has been referred to as “the foundation of Freemasonry.” Why one of many possible solutions to a particular geometrical problem should become emblematic of Freemasonry probably has more to it the long standing tradition of Sacred Geometry, but the importance of the symbol is largely unknown.

One possibility might be found in Egypt- the historian Plutarch notes that the triangle is emblematic of the Egyptian trinity of Osiris, Isis, and Horus. The symbol has sometimes referred to as “the bride’s chair,” referring to its resemblance to the Mystical Throne of Isis.

Noted kabbalist Alan Bennet speculated that the three squares represented the magical squares of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. Masonic author Albert Pike, in his Morals and Dogma repeats Plutarch’s comments and suggests that the triangle represents matter (Isis), spirit (Osiris), and the union of the two (Horus)…and indeed, the sum of the two smaller squares equals the larger.

An illustration of the theorem overlaid on the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Related Symbols:

Skull and Bones (crossbones)

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The Greek mathematician Pythagoras is credited with the discovery of the Golden Rectangle. The Golden Rectangle is built on the “golden ratio” or “golden proportion,” which is determined by the irrational number known as Phi. (Symbolized by its namesake, the Greek letter phi:)

To put it simply, a golden rectangle is a rectangle divided in such a way as to create a square and a smaller rectangle that retains the same proportions as the original rectangle. To do this, one must create a rectangle based on the golden ratio.

To find the Golden Ratio, one must divide a line so that the ratio of the line to the larger segment is equal to the ratio of the larger segment to the smaller:

A is to B as B is to C

To get a golden rectangle, you simply turn the larger segment of the line into a square:

If you add a square to the long side of the “golden rectangle,” you’ll get a larger golden rectangle. If you continue to add squares in this way, you’ll see the basis for nature’s logarithmic spiral patterns.

The golden proportion appears in numerous places in nature and in art and architecture. It forms the basis for Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Divine Proportion,” the ideal illustrated in his drawing Vitruvian Man. The face of the Parthenon in Athens is a perfect golden rectangle. The shell of the nautilus is a famous example of a spiral based on the golden mean, as is the spiral of the human DNA molecule.

See also: Fibonacci Sequence and the Divine Proportion

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One of the most common symbols of Freemasonry is the symbol of the crossed compass and set-square. The compass and square are architect’s tools, and symbolize God as the architect of the universe, among other things.

As measuring instruments, the tools represent judgment and discernment.

The compass, which is used to draw circles, represents the realm of the spiritual- eternity. It is symbolic of the defining and limiting principle, and also of infinite boundaries.

The angle measures the square, the symbol of earth and the realm of the material. The square represents fairness, balance, firmness, etc., which is reflected in phrases such as “on the square” and “squared away.” Something that is squared is something that is stable, a foundation for building upon.

Together, the compass and square represent the convergence of matter and spirit, and the convergence of earthly and spiritual responsibilities. The two symbols together form a hexagram, the union of earth with the heavens, matter and mind, etc.


A personification of Geometry with square and compass(Laurent de la Hyre)

Related Symbols:

HexagramSkull and Bones (crossbones)Vitruvian Man

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