Sacred geometry
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2007) 
Hidden messages 

Audio 
Numeric 
Visual 

See also: 
Sacred geometry is geometry used in the design of sacred architecture and sacred art. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratios, harmonics and proportion are also found in music, light, cosmology. This value system is seen as widespread even in prehistory, a cultural universal of the human condition. It is considered foundational to building sacred structures such as temples, mosques, megaliths, monuments and churches; sacred spaces such as altars, temenoi and tabernacles; meeting places such as sacred groves, village greens and holy wells and the creation of religious art, iconography and using "divine" proportions. Alternatively, sacred geometry based arts may be ephemeral, such as visualization, sandpainting and medicine wheels.
Contents 
[edit] As worldview
Sacred geometry may be understood as a worldview of pattern recognition, a complex system of religious symbols and structures involving space, time and form. According to this belief the basic patterns of existence are perceived as sacred. By connecting with these, a believer contemplates the Mysterium Magnum, and the Great Design. By studying the nature of these patterns, forms and relationships and their connections, insight may be gained into the mysteries – the laws and lore of the Universe.
[edit] Music
The discovery of the relationship of geometry and mathematics to music within the Classical Period is attributed to Pythagoras, who found that a string stopped halfway along its length produced an octave, while a ratio of 3/2 produced a fifth interval and 4/3 produced a fourth. Pythagoreans believed that this gave music powers of healing, as it could "harmonize" the outofbalance body, and this belief has been revived in modern times[1]. Hans Jenny, a physician who pioneered the study of geometric figures formed by wave interactions and named that study cymatics, is often cited in this context. However, Dr. Jenny did not make healing claims for his work.
[edit] Cosmology
At least as late as Johannes Kepler (15711630), a belief in the geometric underpinnings of the cosmos persisted among scientists. Kepler explored the ratios of the planetary orbits, at first in two dimensions (having spotted that the ratio of the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn approximate to the incircle and outcircle of an equilateral triangle). When this did not give him a neat enough outcome, he tried using the Platonic solids. In fact, planetary orbits can be related using twodimensional geometric figures, but the figures do not occur in a particularly neat order. Even in his own lifetime (with less accurate data than we now possess) Kepler could see that the fit of the Platonic solids was imperfect, however, other geometric configurations are possible.
[edit] Natural forms
Many forms observed in nature can be related to geometry (for sound reasons of resource optimization). For example, the chambered nautilus grows at a constant rate and so its shell forms a logarithmic spiral to accommodate that growth without changing shape. Also, honeybees construct hexagonal cells to hold their honey. These and other correspondences are seen by believers in sacred geometry to be further proof of the cosmic significance of geometric forms. But some scientists see such phenomena as the logical outcome of natural principles.
[edit] Art and architecture
The golden ratio, geometric ratios, and geometric figures were often employed in the design of Egyptian, ancient Indian, Greek and Roman architecture. Medieval European cathedrals also incorporated symbolic geometry. Indian and Himalayan spiritual communities often constructed temples and fortifications on design plans of mandala and yantra. For examples of sacred geometry in art and architecture refer:
 Labyrinth (an Eulerian path, as distinct from a maze)
 Mandala
 Flower of Life
 Parthenon
 Taijitu (YinYang)
 Tree of Life
 Rose Window
 Celtic art such as the Book of Kells
 Yantra
 Swastika
 Dharmacakra
 Vesica piscis
 Metatron's Cube
[edit] Contemporary usage
A contemporary usage of the term sacred geometry describes assertions of a mathematical order to the intrinsic nature of the universe. Scientists see the same geometric and mathematical patterns as arising directly from natural principles.
Some of the most prevalent traditional geometric forms ascribed to sacred geometry include the sine wave, the sphere, the vesica piscis, the 5 platonic solids, the torus (donut), the golden spiral, the tesseract (4dimensional cube), and the merkaba (2 oppositely oriented and interpenetrating tetrahedrons).
[edit] See also
 Arabesque
 Bindu
 Sri Chakra
 Crop circle
 Bush Barrow
 Ley lines
 Fractal
 Folk mathematics
 Proportion (architecture)
 Platonic solids
 Pythagorean tuning
 Golden ratio
 Golden spiral
 Astrological aspects
 Pythagorean symbols
 Sangaku
 Psychonaut
[edit] Further reading
 Lesser, George (195764). Gothic cathedrals and sacred geometry. London: A. Tiranti.
 Beginnings: Geomancy, Builders' Rites and Electional Astrology in the European Tradition by Nigel Pennick
 Sacred Geometry: Symbolism and Purpose in Religious Structures by Nigel Pennick
 The Ancient Science of Geomancy: Living in Harmony with the Earth by Nigel Pennick
 The Sacred Art of Geometry: Temples of the Phoenix by Nigel Pennick
 The Oracle of Geomancy by Nigel Pennick
 The Ancient Science of Geomancy: Man in Harmony with the Earth by Nigel Pennick
 George Bain. Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction. Dover, 1973. ISBN 0486229238.
 Robert Lawlor. Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and practice (Art and Imagination). Thames & Hudson, 1989 (1st edition 1979, 1980, or 1982). ISBN 0500810303.
 John Michell. City of Revelation. Abacus, 1972. ISBN 0349123209.
 Michael S. Schneider. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science. Harper Paperbacks, 1995. ISBN 0060926716
 Lucy R Lippard: Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory. Pantheon Books New York 1983 ISBN 0394548128
 Johnson, Anthony: Solving Stonehenge, the New Key to an Ancient Enigma. Thames & Hudson 2008 ISBN 9780500051559
 Steiner, Rudolf; Catherine Creeger (2001). The Fourth Dimension : Sacred Geometry, Alchemy, and Mathematics. Anthroposophic Press. ISBN 0880104724.
 Critchlow, Keith (1970). Order In Space: A Design Source Book. New York: Viking.
 Iamblichus; Robin Waterfield, Keith Critchlow, Translated by Robin Waterfield (1988). The Theology of Arithmetic: On the Mystical, Mathematical and Cosmological Symbolism of the First Ten Numbers. Phanes Press. ISBN 0933999720.
 Critchlow, Keith (1976). Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. Schocken Books. ISBN 0805236279.
 The Golden Mean, Parabola magazine, v.16, n.4 (1991)
 West, John Anthony, Inaugural Lines: Sacred geometry at St. John the Divine, Parabola magazine, v.8, n.1, Spring 1983
 Bamford, Christopher, Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, Lindisfarne Press, 1994, ISBN 0940262630
 A. T. Mann, Sacred Architecture, Element Books, 1993, ISBN 1843333554.