Sacred geometry

Sacred geometry

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.

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 view 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.


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 out-of-balance body, and this belief has been revived in modern times [] . 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.


:"See also Kepler conjecture, Mysterium Cosmographicum, Pythagoreanism"At least as late as Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), 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 in-circle and out-circle 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 two-dimensional 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.

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.

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)
*Flower of Life
*Taijitu (Yin-Yang)
*Tree of Life
*Rose Window
*Celtic art such as the Book of Kells
*Vesica piscis
*Metatron's Cube

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 (4-dimensional cube), and the merkaba (2 oppositely oriented and interpenetrating tetrahedrons).

ee also

*Sri Chakra
*Crop circle
*Bush Barrow
*Ley lines
*Folk mathematics
*Proportion (architecture)
*Platonic solids
*Golden ratio
*Golden spiral
*Astrological aspects

Further reading

*cite book|author=Lesser, George|title=Gothic cathedrals and sacred geometry|location=London|publisher=A. Tiranti|year=1957-64
*"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 0-486-22923-8.
*Robert Lawlor. "Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and practice (Art and Imagination)". Thames & Hudson, 1989 (1st edition 1979, 1980, or 1982). ISBN 0-500-81030-3.
*John Michell. "City of Revelation". Abacus, 1972. ISBN 0-349-12320-9.
*Michael S. Schneider. "A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science". Harper Paperbacks, 1995. ISBN 0-06-092671-6
* Lucy R Lippard: Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory. Pantheon Books New York 1983 ISBN 0-394-54812-8
* Johnson, Anthony: "Solving Stonehenge, the New Key to an Ancient Enigma". Thames & Hudson 2008 ISBN 978-0-500-05155-9
*cite book|title=The Fourth Dimension : Sacred Geometry, Alchemy, and Mathematics|author=Steiner, Rudolf|coauthors=Catherine Creeger|year=2001|publisher=Anthroposophic Press|isbn=0880104724|authorlink=Rudolf Steiner
*cite book|author=Critchlow, Keith|title=Order In Space: A Design Source Book|location=New York|publisher=Viking|year=1970|authorlink=Keith Critchlow
*cite book|title=The Theology of Arithmetic: On the Mystical, Mathematical and Cosmological Symbolism of the First Ten Numbers|author=Iamblichus|coauthors=Robin Waterfield, Keith Critchlow, Translated by Robin Waterfield|publisher=Phanes Press|year=1988|isbn=0933999720|authorlink=Iamblichus
*cite book|title=Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach|author=Critchlow, Keith|publisher=Schocken Books|year=1976|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 0-940262-63-0

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sacred architecture — (also known as religious architecture) is concerned with the design and construction of places of worship and/or sacred or intentional space, such as churches, mosques, stupas, synagogues, and temples. Many cultures devoted considerable resources …   Wikipedia

  • Sacred — ground redirects here. For the Star Trek: Voyager episode, see Sacred Ground (Star Trek: Voyager). Sanctity redirects here. For other uses, see Sanctity (disambiguation). Holy redirects here. For other uses, see Holy (disambiguation). For other… …   Wikipedia

  • geometry — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ algebraic, coordinate, differential, fractal, solid, three dimensional ▪ Euclidean, non Euclidean ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • Sacred Heart Convent School (Jamshedpur) — Infobox Secondary school name = Sacred Heart Convent School motto = Love Conquers All established = January 14, 1945 type = Private affiliations = Roman Catholic principal = Teresita Mary founder = Reverend Mother Josephine chaplain = chairman =… …   Wikipedia

  • sacred — adj. VERBS ▪ be ▪ become ▪ remain ▪ consider sth, deem sth, hold sth, regard sth as …   Collocations dictionary

  • Lens (geometry) — In geometry, a lens is a convex shape comprising two circular arcs, joined at their endpoints. If the arcs have equal radii, it is called a symmetric lens.The corresponding shape is the lune. The Vesica piscis is one form of a symmetrical lens;… …   Wikipedia

  • Greek arithmetic, geometry and harmonics: Thales to Plato — Ian Mueller INTRODUCTION: PROCLUS’ HISTORY OF GEOMETRY In a famous passage in Book VII of the Republic starting at Socrates proposes to inquire about the studies (mathēmata) needed to train the young people who will become leaders of the ideal… …   History of philosophy

  • Country Day School of the Sacred Heart — Address 480 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, (Montgomery County), 19010 2101 …   Wikipedia

  • John Michell (writer) — For other people named John Michell, see John Michell (disambiguation). John Michell In repose …   Wikipedia

  • Orthogon — Orthogons as Design Templates = Or tho*gon (?), n. [Ortho + Gr. angle: cf. F. orthogone, a.] (Geom.) A rectangular figureOR THOGON, n. [Gr. right, and angle.] A rectangular figure. (Webster s Dictionary)Artists, architects and calligraphers for… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”