The mysterious pyramids of China, which are still poorly studied though being very interesting for many researchers. It is assumed they are underexplored because Chinese authorities are unwilling to let researchers there.
– In 1945, one of giant pyramids was noticed by the American air force pilot James Gaussman when he flew above KinLinXiangMountains near the city of Xi’an in Central China. He was astonished at the pyramid size and that fact it’s made of a white shining material (we won’t comment this information, for anything can happen as they say). According to some internet sources, Gaussman photographed the marvellous structure, but the image disappeared from archives later on.
– In 1960s, the Chinese pyramids were spotted by the New Zealand aviator Bruce Cathie. In the same period of time the diaries of two Australian traders – Fred Meyer Schroder and Oscar Maman – were found. They had visited Shaanxi (formerly Shensi) in the early 20th century, and later on (in 1963) according to some sources Bruce Cathie discovered Schroder’s diary and article written in 1912. Schroder originated from Australia, but lived in China and guided caravans from the Great Wall far inland. He was interested in esotericism and entered records in his diary about the Chinese pyramids described to him by a spiritual guru from Mongolia, named Bogdykhan.
He mentioned there were seven big pyramids in China, located near the ancient capital city of Sian Fu (contemporary Xi’an). A record in Schroder’s diary: “We approached them from the east and saw that it was in the northern group of three giants, and the rest of the pyramids consistently decreased in size to the smallest in the south. They extended to six or eight miles across the plains, towering over cultivated land and settlements. They were under the noses of the people and were totally unknown to the western world.”
Several other records in Schroder’s diary indicate the following: the largest pyramid was about 300 metres in height (i.e. almost two times higher than the Pyramid of Cheops) and around 500 metres at the base (again, it’s nearly two times more than the Great Pyramid of Giza). Schroder also mentioned the four pyramid sides were oriented accurately to cardinal points and had colours corresponding to the cardinal directions – black, greenish blue, red, and white.
Some sources state different colours of the pyramid sides are similar to the knowledge and legends of Maya Indians about the cardinal directions.
In particular, Maya believed that heaven had four sides and four corners, where every corner had its colour: the northern corner was black, the eastern was red, the southern was blue, and the western was white.
Furthermore, the pyramid supposedly had a flat top covered with yellow soil. We surely cannot say how reliable the information is regarding the different colours of the pyramid sides, as given in Schroder’s diary, but I guess here it’s appropriate and informative to cite an extract from the AllatRa book where there is a mention of the Four Aspects in the human energy structure, with their colour characteristics according to the cardinal directions, as customary in China:
Rigden: …References to the four Aspects with the centre – the Soul, are present also in Asia, particularly in the ancient Chinese mythology. Such a collective concept as Wu Ti means five mythological characters, each of which has its own assistants. This term was used by the ancient Chinese to denote the “abstract spirits of the five elements.” Wu Ti is mentioned in the ancient book Zhou li (The Rites of Zhou). Various ancient philosophers deciphered the Wu Ti concept in their own way: some wrote that this meant “the five deities”, others wrote about “the five emperors”, still others – about “the five of the greats.” In any case, this notion was equated to the symbol of five directions (the four cardinal points and the centre).
These symbols were so important in the ancient Chinese ritual tradition that their images were placed nearly everywhere: on emblems, banners, in art, in architecture (including bas-reliefs on gravestones). At that, they were located in a specific order related to one or another ritual. For example, banners, each of which was marked with one of the symbols of the “five directions”, were carried in a special order when the army was moving. Ahead, as a symbol of the Front Aspect, they carried a banner with the image of Zhu Que (the Vermilion Bird) symbolising the south, which was a respected cardinal direction among the Chinese. Behind, as a symbol of the Rear Aspect, they carried a banner with the image of Xuan Wu (a turtle entwined with a snake) – the symbol of the north. On the left, as a symbol of the Left Aspect, there was a banner with an image of Qing Long (the green dragon) – the symbol of the east. On the right, as a symbol of the Right Aspect, they carried a banner with an image of Bai Hu (the white tiger) – the symbol of the west. However, for a knowledgeable person it is enough just to have a look at characteristics of these collective concepts in order to understand what is really meant here, taking into account the peculiarities of the worldview of this nation.” (pages 242-243 – allatra.us)
“I captured the spirit of this magnificent spectacle,” Schroder wrote. “We drove around in search of the pyramid entrance, but did not find anything.” When Schroder asked Bogdykhan about the age of the pyramids, he said that it’s more than five thousand years. When asked why he believed so, Bogdyhan said: “In our oldest books written five thousand years ago, these are referred to as the ancient pyramids. They were built in the times of ancient emperors who said they had originated from the Sons of Heaven that had descended to the earth on their fiery metal dragons.”
Bruce Cathie took a great interest in the subject, collected all the available information and sketched 16 pyramids located near Xi’an.
In 1974, China announced the discovery of the Terracotta Army in the emperor’s Qin Shi Huang necropolis situated two kilometres away from one of the pyramids.
In 1966, an archaeological expedition was first admitted to the pyramids. However, archaeologists didn’t have time to do their job because the Cultural Revolution headed by Mao Zedong took place in the country. At that, according to some sources, the library collected by Buddhist monks for several thousand years was destroyed in Shaanxi province. Researchers say the library contained unique written records of the pyramid constructors, and those records were lost.
In 1994, Hartwig Hausdorf (German researcher and traveller or head of a German travel agency, according to different sources) visited the pyramid valley together with Julia Zimmerman and Peter Cruss. They took pictures of and described six pyramids (three in the area of Xi’an airport and three near the town of Mao Lin). In 1996, they continued their research and discovered about 30 pyramids in one of Shaanxi districts, which pyramids are located separately or in groups of three or more. Most of the pyramids have 60 to 70 metres in height, and one of them as Hausdorf asserts is very similar to the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan (Mexico).
A question arises who permitted exactly there researchers to take pictures in places prohibited for tourists, and why Hausdorf never published any of his photos. According to some sources, the three researchers failed to find the huge white pyramid photographed by Gaussman. Later on Hausdorf published a book entitled The White Pyramid, which contains little specifics, but is the first book about the Chinese pyramids. Relying on the works by Helena Blavatsky who wrote about pyramids oriented on the four cardinal points and on astronomical objects and built by precise math calculations, Hausdorf believed the Chinese pyramids were of extraterrestrial origin. Generally speaking, once Hausdorf’s book was released rumours started to accumulate about the White Pyramid and its story both in media and on the web, perhaps because very few people had attended the Chinese pyramid valley over a rather long period of time. The White Pyramid is supposedly located in Shaanxi province, 120 km away from Xi’an, at latitude 34 north and longitude 108 east.
For all that, in 2000 Chinese authorities made the information about the pyramids public. Some of the pyramids are now accessible, e.g. the Maolin Mound, Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (QinShi Huang), Tsang Lin Mausoleum, and a pyramid in YaSen Garden.
As for the rest of the pyramids, including the (Great) White Pyramid, Chinese authorities have still given no access to them for an unknown reason.
Russian traveller Maxim Yakovenko was one of those who attempted to find out more about the pyramids. He visited the Library of Congress, USA, and discovered there a story of that very American pilot James Gaussman who had photographed the White Pyramid. They say there is still no official detailed map of the pyramid valley in China, so Yakovenko used satellite images for his study. He wrote that official science ascribed the pyramids to royal sepulchres of the Chinese dynasties Qin (221-207 BC), Western Han (206 BC – 7 AD), Eastern Han (25-220 AD), Jin (265-419 AD), and Tang (618-907 AD). Thus, if we take as an example the pyramid known as the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (QinShi Huang) with the Terracotta Army to the east of the sepulchre mound (60 km away from Xi’an), there are no sources other than descriptions of the Mausoleum by the historian and poet Sima Qian (whose accurate dates of birth and death are still disputable), which would confirm the pyramid is exactly a sepulchre. Here’s what Yakovenko says apropos of this: “The most interesting thing is that historian Sima Qian lived a century after QinShi Huang’s death and wrote the emperor’s biography based on unknown sources. Perhaps, Sima Qian was relying on a source of QinShi Huang’s time? Hence, there is no written evidence that the huge pyramidal structure represented QinShi Huang’s tomb 2200 years ago. Studies of the pyramid have been carried out for over 40 years; thousands of figurines, gold and silver items have been found, but there is not a single evidence of the emperor’s tomb presence there. Moreover, no excavations are allowed at the pyramid itself.”
– On 2 July 2007, Chinese archaeologists summarized their five-year-long study of QinShi Huang’s mound with the use of sensor means (radars and distance data collection devices). It turns out inside the mound there is a huge (about 30-metre) nine-stepped pyramid. Scientists don’t mention what the pyramid is made of. Excavations have not been officially started at the site until today, although archaeologists of the ChineseAcademy of Sciences assert the pyramid is unique and unlike to any other discovered tombs of Chinese emperors. Some researchers assume this pyramid is a sort of a corridor along which the soul of QinShi Huang went to the heaven after his death.
Locations of the pyramids
Pyramids surround Xi’an on all sides and are even found within the city. A vast pyramid valley is situated to the north of Xi’an, in the neighbouring city of Xianyang. Stretching from the east to the west for 50 km, the valley resembles the Milky Way. Owing to Hausdorf, this site is known to the global community better than any other place of such kind in China.
According to researchers, to the northwest of Xi’an and Xianyang there is another valley with pyramids that are much higher, more interesting and totally unknown. The legendary White Pyramid is situated there as well. 70 km to the northeast of Xi’an there is also an area of unexplored pyramids.
“A common feature of all pyramids is the material they are built of – loess. In the aforesaid valleys the rocks and soils are sedimentary, homogeneous, loamy, pale yellow, which is designated as loess. Clay and limestone particles make up about 30% of loess content, so it’s a rather solid material. It resembles clay in appearance, so it’s often called clay. All pyramids may be divided into those oriented accurately on the four cardinal points and those having a slight deviation to the northwest towards Greenland. The reason for such orientations is still to be investigated.” (M. Yakovenko)
Yet, the reason of that has been found a certain while ago. Suffice it to refer to Uvarov’s study of 2008, which indicates that around 10.5 thousand BC the North Pole was near Greenland. Hence, all pyramids with a deviated northwest orientation were built in the Upper Paleolithic, not later.
Below, there is a classification of pyramids, which we’ve found on the internet.
By the base type:
Most pyramids are square in base, though there are those with rectangular bases, more resembling huge cone-shaped artificial mounds. However, since the latter have parallel sides of equal length we will label them as pyramids of a special kind. There are also pyramids standing on vast, but not high (up to 3 metres) square embankments or platforms; they are poorly seen in satellite images, but well noticeable locally.
By the top type:
A truncated pyramid is the most widespread shape. When such structures reach 40-50 metres in height, their top ground is quite impressive – up to 50х50 metres. All of them resemble the Mexican pyramids, and in terms of geometry their shape is prismatic. There are also pyramids with relatively sharp tops similar to those in Egypt, but they are few and most of them are lower than 40 metres. Yet, there is a third type of pyramid tops – hollowed, forming an ideal-shaped spherical hollow that eliminates the assumption of clay subsidence. It is known that in the valleys around Xi’an and Xianyang there is only one pyramid of such kind, 17-20 metres in height.
By the number of steps:
Chinese pyramids may also be divided into stepped and non-stepped. Stepped pyramids in turn are divided into multi-stepped and single-stepped. Pyramid steps represent terraces of 1 to 2 metres in height. Their purpose is unknown, especially when such steps reach the middle of a pyramid, then disappear and appear closer to the top. Pyramids with terraces or platforms on the top greatly resemble the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and other Mexican pyramids.
An antipodal pyramid. 40 km away from Xi’an there is a very unusual pyramid resembling a quarry. Being on the site with satellite images one comes to understand it’s a mirror reflection of a pyramid. An impression arises that the pyramid was turned over, dug into the ground and then taken out. Hence, there is a “mirror reflection” – a pyramid antipode.
Mixed pyramids. This type includes nearly all small pyramids of up to 10 metres in height, including cone-shaped structures with steps on one or two sides only. Since the number of small pyramids may equal to several hundreds, they are subject to further exploration.
Moreover, there is a pyramid type that does not fit into any of the aforesaid categories, for it applies to the (Great) White Pyramid only.
HUANGDI. Ancient legends of the pyramid builders
According to ancient Chinese legends preserved until today, construction of the pyramids took place during the reign of emperors who originated from the Sons of Heaven – those who had “descended to the earth on their fiery metal dragons”.
Among the Sons of Heaven, legendary Huangdi and several of his assistants are ranked. Huangdi is highly revered in China and regarded as the founder of the Chinese nation. Official data indicate he ruled between 2692 and 2592 BC.
Below, there are several interesting facts about Huangdi, which we won’t comment so far:
According to Wikipedia, the name Huangdi is usually translated as the Yellow Emperor, but the hieroglyph di may mean not just “emperor”, but also “spirit” or “deity”. Huang also has a deep symbolism: the yellow colour is traditionally associated with the peculiar yellowish tint of the river Huang He (Hwang Ho).
Legend says Huangdi came to the earth from the star Su Ayu Yuan or the star Regulus (the constellation of Leo) according to other sources. The Yellow Emperor travelled around the Universe on a fiery dragon – Dragon Chen Huang that “…in one day covers myriads of miles; one who straddles it reaches the age of two thousand years.”
A dragon statue in Xi’an Museum
Legend tells about the Sons of Heaven – wise and kind beings that appeared in the Celestial Empire long before the first states emerged in Huang He basin. Huangdi and his “team” of five male companions and one female companion descended from heaven to the earth in a chariot. They were the seven Sons of Heaven. The arrival of the entire “Huangdi’s team” was accompanied with “radiance of a great lightning that encircled the star Ji in the constellation of Big Dipper (the Great Bear).”
Huangdi’s activities were aimed at helping people. He brought knowledge in diverse fields: astronomy, mathematics, construction, medicine, etc. Incidentally, his assistants composed accurate astronomy maps for observation of celestial bodies and constellations, as well as the first calendar. Moreover, they taught people to make boats, harnesses, wells, musical instruments, and to erect defensive facilities; observed the sky by means of Huangdi’s 12 mirrors (plates) applied for tracking the Moon (the mirrors were cast and polished on the Mirror Lake). Legends say “…when sunbeams touched the mirror, all images and signs of its underside were clearly projected on the shadow cast by the mirror.”
Huangdi had a marvellous tripod 4 metres in height, which was difficult for curious ones to peep in. “Hundreds of spirits, beasts and animals filled it inside”, the tripod “boiled”, “depicted a dragon flying in the clouds”, belched fire from its tail, and was “something like the Great Single One”, i.e. Dao – the mover of the Universe. The dragon tripod was oriented on the star from which the emperor had arrived, and from time to time it took Huangdi and his team somewhere. This device “knew the past and the present”, determined favourable and unfavourable signs, could “rest or move”, “become light or heavy”. The device originated “from the land where the sun’s born; it covered myriads of miles in one day, and one who straddled it reached the age of two thousand years.” The “dragon” speed of movement influenced the flow of time.
Huangdi is considered to be the author of a number of texts including several fundamental medical treatises. The most famous are Huangdi Neijing and versed HuangdiYǐnfújīng particularly revered in Daoism.
Legends and chronicles say the Son of Heaven was surrounded by monsters and beasts that obeyed him.
Huangdi took the “pill of immortality” and flew back to his star. By another version, when Huangdi understood he could not rule forever and it was time for him to depart to heaven, he arranged a great feast. At the height of merriment a big dragon with golden scales came, flying. Huangdi grasped it’s a messenger from the HeavenlyPalace, calling him to return to heaven together with more than seventy other deities. They rose to the clouds and saddled the dragon. Rulers of small lands and ordinary people wanted to follow them. Pushing and jamming one another, they seized the dragon’s whisker, but there were too many people, and the whisker broke. Frantically snatching at each other, everybody fell down to the ground. Thus, Huangdi went along his great Way – to Dao, to heaven. It’s a very interesting legend, isn’t it? Especially if we assume that Huangdi is Bodhisattva, 72 are dimensions of the Universe, and people cannot get into the spiritual world unless they have rejected their ego and everything that attaches them to the material world.
Since ancient times all emperors arranged feasts and made sacrificial offerings in honour of Heaven and the Sons of Heaven at the winter solstice, while at the summer solstice they carried out festive ceremonies in the Temple of the Earth.
Huangdi supposedly arrived from the constellation of Leo and went back after a hundred years of his reign… At that, as ancient records say, “Gods promised to return some day…”
Quite interestingly, there is information about Huangdi in the AllatRa book, again in the context of the knowledge of the pyramidal human energy structure and the four human Aspects. By the way, this is one more proof that pyramidal buildings were popular in ancient times all over the world not without reason, not to mention the true purpose of majestic structures of such kind.
Information about Huangdi in AllatRa:
Anastasia: Indeed, the one who established this tradition obviously knew more about the invisible world… Besides, these concepts sound familiar… You said that the Wu Ti concept was equated to the symbol of the five cardinal directions or points, or five deities. Incidentally, is Huangdi (the Yellow Emperor) the fifth sovereign, the centre of these four cardinal directions, four deities?
Rigden: Absolutely. Huangdi, or the spirit named Hanshu-nu (“he who has swallowed a rod”). The embodiment of his spirit is the unicorn Qilin – a symbol of the centre.
Anastasia: In essence, this is a prototype of designation of the Soul – the centre of the invisible human structure and an indication of its connection with the Front Aspect (the symbol of which was the unicorn).
Rigden: Let us take a closer look at the characteristics of these characters. Huangdi means not only “the yellow emperor”, but also “the shining (light-emitting) sovereign.” This symbol of the centre was actually regarded as the supreme heavenly deity. He was depicted with four eyes and four faces. Such tradition originated from ancient Chinese shamans who put on a relevant four-eyed mask during sacred rituals. Why was precisely a four-eyed symbol depicted? First of all, this relates to the conventional designation of the four Aspects. Secondly, this is because, while performing certain meditative techniques, man obtains the so-called all-embracing vision of the visible and the invisible worlds – a simultaneous vision of everything that happens around him and sometimes even in other dimensions. Such capabilities are not available to the ordinary human vision in the usual three-dimensional world. But should a person alter one’s state of consciousness, obstacles disappear before his or her inner vision.
There is another interesting fragment in the AllatRa book, regarding Huangdi’s medical writings:
Rigden: The Chinese tradition links the beginning of healing and medicine as a science exactly to the name of Huangdi. Moreover, the aforesaid medical treatise Huangdi Neijing itself is translated as The Inner Canon of Huangdi. Everything outer, physical, originates from the inner. Incidentally, legends say that Huangdi’s supporter named Tsang-chieh (Fu-hsi in other versions) invented hieroglyphic writing, that is, sacred writings in signs. By the way, this culture hero was also depicted on ancient bas-reliefs with four eyes as a symbol of exceptional astuteness. According to the legend, he was able to compose signs because he had penetrated the deepest meaning of tracks of birds and animals. (pages 243-245 – allatra.us)
Contemporary studies of the Chinese pyramids:
Chinese archaeologist Van Silin is confident that the pyramids had an astronomical purpose and represent an example of ancient people’s extraordinary competence in geometry and math on the whole. Archaeologists discovered several pyramids near the river Wei Ho (Wei He) to the north of Xi’an. It is asserted one of them is located precisely in the centre of Ancient China with a deviation of several metres only.
The pyramids in YaSenGarden. As it’s been mentioned, the pyramid valley contains 16 large and many small pyramids. Among those there are two remarkable pyramids of 35-37 and 30 metres in height respectively. Together with one smaller pyramid they make up a rather interesting group: aligned by height, they resemble the three Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, though the Chinese pyramids are oriented differently and about 4.5 times smaller than the Egyptian ones. For comparison, images below show the two groups of pyramids in the two different parts of the world.
A satellite image of the pyramids in YaSenGarden (China):
A satellite image of the Pyramids of Giza (Egypt):
Maxim Yakovenko: “For comparison purposes let’s examine satellite images of the three Pyramids of Giza and the three pyramids in YaSenGarden, Xi’an. We see that the pyramid size proportionally decreases from the largest Pyramid of Cheops to the smallest Pyramid of Menkaure on the Giza Plateau, and the same picture is visible in YaSenGarden. Both groups of pyramids are identically arranged, oriented at the cardinal directions, and the ratio of distances between pyramids in Egypt and in YaSenGarden is strikingly similar. Hence, we may conclude the builders of the pyramids relied on common knowledge.”
– American researcher Vance Tede also took interest in the Chinese pyramids. “The main thing that interested me,” he wrote, “was the geographic coordinates of the Chinese pyramids. Xi’an is at latitude 34 north. The pyramids arrangement is very similar to that in Egypt, which suggests the pyramids were constructed by ancient builders who belonged to the same civilization. I vaguely knew that each of the pyramids performed a specific function and there was some geometric correspondence between the pairs of pyramids in different parts of the world. While the Egyptian complex is located at latitude 30 north, the Chinese set of pyramids is at latitude 34. I believe someday many different correlations between the coordinates of Giza and Shaanxi valleys will be calculated.”
– German engineer and architect Helmut Fuernreder has discovered that some of pyramids in China were built according to the golden ratio. For instance, if we divide the height of the (Great) White Pyramid (300 m) by the length of its base (485 m), we get 0.618.
– A pyramid is a tetrahedron per se, whereas in China (as mentioned above) an antipodal pyramid was discovered, i.e. a pyramid-shaped hollow. At that, we encountered an assumption on the web that pyramids possibly represented octahedrons, not tetrahedrons, by their initial structure. As of today we have no idea whether such information is of any significance, but hopefully this will once be clarified.
– As for the age of Chinese pyramids, researchers are in permanent disputes as well, because just like in Egypt the hypothesis that these are royal sepulchres has neither been thoroughly verified nor confirmed. Many pyramids may certainly be ascribed to the time of royal dynasties, while others were constructed much earlier as researchers believe. Analysing satellite images of the groups of pyramids located to the east of Xi’an, the British writer and researcher of ancient civilizations Graham Hancock, whom we already know owing to the Orion-Draco Pendulum and other articles, has made an assumption that location of these pyramids coincides with location of the stars in the constellation of Gemini on the vernal equinox day in 10,500 BC. Unfortunately, we have not found any detailed information by Graham Hancock on the Chinese pyramids.
LET’S DRAW CONCLUSIONS:
The Chinese pyramids became known outside China only in the 20th century. It’s still a riddle why Chinese authorities don’t let scientists examine and study them. As for the pyramids where researchers have been admitted, they provided no objective evidence that the pyramids were royal sepulchres. Therefore, there is no actual proof the pyramids were built by the order of Chinese emperors for burial purposes. However, just like in the case of other underexplored artefacts and monumental buildings, most “scientists” prefer to adhere to a conventional opinion and to form made-to-order ideology for the masses, while any attempts to have a different view are regarded as violation of standards and rules, and such alternative views are immediately criticized in order not to let them spread and sow doubts in people’s minds.
It makes us wonder why most pyramids in China are accurately oriented to the cardinal points (in particular, to the ancient North Pole of the Upper Paleolithic) and have rather precise proportions, judging by satellite images. Moreover, even having a fertile imagination, it’s quite difficult to assume how such huge structures were erected in those remote times by means of simple tools and manual labour only.
Everything would be clearer should the pyramids were located, say, in a single place on the planet, but the presence of pyramids all over the world proves they were constructed not without reason and had a special meaning not only for the civilizations of that time, but perhaps for us, current humans, as well. Unfortunately, most contemporary scientists follow the fable principle: “As for the elephant, I haven’t noticed it.” That is, instead of thoroughly exploring the truly unique data left by ancient civilizations they (we are sure) deliberately hide them from people’s eyes, though only a totally blind person would fail to see the obvious popularity of particular geometric shapes in architecture all over the world.
Based on the articles posted on our website earlier, emblematic monumental structures were often a reflection of the sky on earth and were of great significance in terms of transferring information to the future generations about forthcoming events. Judging by Graham Hancock’s modest online mention, the Chinese pyramids could have been of the same significance. If such assumptions are true, and the Chinese pyramids reflect the layout of the constellation of Gemini on the vernal equinox day 10,500 years ago when a global disaster took place, this can be another evidence of what the Orion-Draco pendulum indicates. Does this mean a new global disaster is inevitable?
Again, we see that nearly every ancient civilization had some People from Heaven who came at civilization emergence in order to give people knowledge of spiritual life and life on the earth. Most importantly, the information contained in the AllatRa book gets confirmed and gains a really deep and totally clear meaning for contemporary humanity, doesn’t it?
Well, dear friends, another fact seems to be proved: most of interesting discoveries on pyramids and other monumental structures on the planet are made by independent researchers, journalists and lovers of antiquities and represent sensations that are not confirmed by official science. Whereas official science still roams in a “paid-for mirage”, regarding its own hypotheses as the absolute truth and making other people believe in them. Yet, as we can see, in the light of the Primordial Knowledge which is now in the human world, more advanced views of the old mysteries emerge, and there are more and more people who search for the truth and, most importantly, feel it. Everything’s indeed in our own hands.
The site of Niuheliang in Liaoning contains a pyramidal structure.
Information available in the West
The ‘Tomb of the General’ in Ji’an, Jilin, China. It was built during the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BC – 668 AD)
Pottery figurines of domesticated animals and female servants dressed in silk robes, excavated from the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han (r. 156-141 BCE) near modern Xi’an (ancient Chang’an)
In 1667 the Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher wrote about Chinese pyramids in his book China monumentis Illustrata.
The existence of “pyramids” in China remained little known in the Western world until the 1910s. They were documented in large numbers around Xian, first in 1912 by the Western traders Fred Meyer Schroder and Oscar Mamen, and also in 1913 by the expedition of Victor Segalen. He wrote about the First Emperor’s tomb, and about the other mound tombs in the region in his Mission archéologique en Chine (1914): L’art funéraire à l’époque des Han.
The introduction of pyramids in China to popular attention came soon after World War II. Many early stories were focused on the existence of a “Great White Pyramid” (Maoling). This is the tomb of Emperor Wu of Han (156–87 BCE) located in Xingping, Shaanxi Province.
U.S. Army Air Corps pilot James Gaussman is said to have seen a white jewel-topped pyramid during a flight between India and China during World War II. Colonel Maurice Sheahan, Far Eastern director of the Trans World Airline, told an eyewitness account of his encounter with a pyramid in the March 28, 1947 edition of The New York Times. A photo of Sheahan’s pyramid appeared in The New York Sunday News on March 30, 1947. This photograph later became attributed to James Gaussman.
Chris Maier showed that the pyramid in the photo is the Maoling Mausoleum of Emperor Wu just outside Xi’an. Pseudohistorians, through promoting their theories, have increased western awareness of these pyramids. Hartwig Hausdorf speculated it was built by aliens, and Philip Coppens repeated this theory.
Despite claims to the contrary, the existence of these pyramid-shaped tomb mounds was known by scientists in the West before the publicity caused by the story in 1947. Shortly after the New York Times story, Science News Letter (now Science News) published a short item saying: “The Chinese pyramids of that region are built of mud and dirt and are more like mounds than the pyramids of Egypt, and the region is little travelled. American scientists who have been in the area suggest that the height of 1,000 feet (300 m), more than twice as high as any of the Egyptian pyramids, may have been exaggerated, because most of the Chinese mounds of that area are built relatively low. The location, reported 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Sian, is in an area of great archaeological importance, but few of the pyramids have ever been explored.”
A modern model portraying how Emperor Jing’s tomb complex would have appeared upon completion
Comparison of approximate profiles of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor with some notable pyramidal or near-pyramidal buildings. Dotted lines indicate original heights, where data are available. In its SVG file, hover over a pyramid to highlight and click for its article.
A comparison between the pyramids in Giseh and the pyramids in Shaanxi.
Since many years already in the popular scientific community and in publications there are many announcements and contentions of gigantic pyramids in China. The puzzle around the look-up seems final after new discoveries. With the help of Google Earth, the objects are to be seen impressively. It can not be maintained longer, there might be no pyramids in China.! They have four sides and they are even square like the pyramids in Egypt and in Mexico. Its size can quite be matched with those of the Pharaons and of the Mexican rulers.
Already in 1912 of the two travel agents Fred Meyer Schroder and Oscar Maman reported of a tremendous building that they had seen in China.“It was more eerie than if we had found them in the wilderness. Here they had been under the nose of the world, but unknown to the western countries. The big pyramid is about 1,000 feet high (other descriptions estimate 1,000 to 1,200 feet high) and roughly 1,500 feet at the base, which makes it twice as large as any pyramid in Egypt. The four faces of the structure are oriented with the compass points,” the two travellers reported.
During the second world war, the pilot of the American Air Force, James Gaussman, with his co-pilot, flow – through a technical defect at his machine -, for several times over a specific territory in China. What he later reported sounds completely unbelievable: “I banked to avoid a mountain and we came out over a level valley. Directly below was a gigantic white pyramid. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. It was encased in shimmering white. This could have been metal, or some sort of stone. It was pure white on all sides. The remarkable thing was the capstone, a huge piece of jewel-like material that could have been crystal. There was no way we could have landed, although we wanted to. We were struck by the immensity of the thing”, the pilots reported.
On March 28, 1947 the “New York Times” reported about that discovery. In an interview with the newspaper, the former far east director of the Transworld Airlines, Maurice Sheahan, says he has seen 40 miles southwest of Xian a gigantic pyramid.“I was impressed by its perfect pyramidal form and its great size,” says Sheahan.
Later, on March 30, 1947 the “New York Sunday Times” take over the report and published at the first the photo, which is actually made in 1945 by Gaussman, and that was soon forgotten.
Photo of the “White Pyramid” of 1947 (US Air Force).
In 1978 the New Zealand researcher Bruce L. Cathie bothered itself of a clarification of the puzzle. According to some correspondence with the Chinese embassy and the US air force he kept up the photo of 1947. He published the picture later in the first edition of his book “The Bridge to Infinity” of 1983. According to the photograph and the reports, the New Zealand researcher estimate that the pyramid must have at their basis a length of 450 meters (1500 feet) and a height of about 300 meters (1000 feet). It is a pyramid with four flat trapezoid shaped sides, a square plateau on the top and a square base, like the pyramids in Egypt and in Mexico. Such pyramids were up to now unknown to the experts in the western world and its existence was always denied: “There are no pyramids in China! Only pagodas – temple liked, peaked buildings”, so the opinion of the world experts.
I came to the “White Pyramid” when I already read reports in specialized books before and then I saw the appropriate photograph in the book “The Face on Mars” of 1989 from the two Australian authors Brian Crowley and James J. Hurtak. Brian Crowley then sent a copy of the image in his book to me and then I passed it to Peter Krassa – a Austrian book author and China researcher. Later I published it in my German book “Das Marsgesicht” (The Face on Mars) of 1995.
I have left indeed Peter Krassa the photograph, but I wanted to however make and therefore prove attentive, that there are in fact pyramids in China. At the German edition “Ancient Skies”, the journal of the “Ancient Astronaut Society”, no. 6, 1991, I published a short report. One did not want to however publish the photograph of 1947. Gene Phillips, the founder of the mentioned society, has refused a report from me in the American journal of the Society – with the reason, the photograph could be “something doctored”, somehow falsified. He considered the photograph for a forgery.
However, I was some extent amazed when I saw a German book in a bookshop in Hamburg, Germany – during a lecture trip – with the title “Die weiße Pyramide” (The white pyramid), written by Hartwig Hausdorf, he was until then completely unknown to me. The book appeared in 1994 and then I found out that Peter Krassa had made the photograph available to him – without my knowledge. However, Hartwig Hausdorf mentioned me in his book so the case is functional. Hartwig Hausdorf was very much strove anyway – and that was also my aim – for the thing and he has undertaken several China trips, around the report to go onto the basis. He found several pyramid mountains in China in fact and he has also published photographs from that. These were the first real evidence that there are pyramidal buildings in China exist. The “White Pyramid” could constitute Hausdorf nonetheless not.
Bruce L. Cathie announces many details in its book “The bridge to Infinity” over pyramids in China and especially over the “white pyramid” – so too precise coordinate information. They should be had found north of the contemporary city Sian (Xi´an), by the foot of the river Wei-ho – exact at 34.26 degrees of northern width and 108.52 degrees of eastern length. This data were for me very helpful when I searched in September 2006, with “Google Earth” over China after the pyramids. This program was in the year 2005 set up extended from Google into the Internet and one can recognize phantastic details of the Earth’s surface, by means of satellite consumption – as e.g. too the mysterious lines in the plain of Nazca. The solution is not in all fields optimally, nevertheless mostly quite well.
According to some trouble I then kept up after the coordinate information of Bruce L. Cathie two pyramids. As result, I found further, more than twenty and bigger pyramids. They are square earth-pillars, constructed by Chinese craftsmen a long time ago very obviously. The professional world has therefore improper. There are indeed pyramids in China! Google Earth confirmed that again. The biggest one in this area is on 34.23 degrees North and 108.42 degrees East. The opinions diverge via the age of the pyramids. Some speak of 2500 to 3500 years. The legendary “Emperor of the prehistoric time” should at that time have been there.
The pyramids are in the province Shaanxi, north of the city Sian (Xi´an). On the satellite photographs of Google Earth, no “white pyramid” is to be recognized. Under the coordinates 34.26 degrees of North and 108.52 degrees East, two pyramids are visible, but however they are not identical to the photo from 1947. The pyramid lying a little southwest, in my opinion, comes onto 34.22 North most of all and 108.41 East, north of the small city Hsien-yang into consideration. An arrangement shows similar factors as on the photograph from 1947: A square plateau, grazes (excavations) on the sidewalls, similar ones walkways (streets) and in the background, a small settlement. But that pyramid is definitely not the “white pyramid”.
In some Internet pages (Chris Maier) and in the homepage of wikipedia, the Maoling Mausoleum is compared with the “white pyramid”. And that is in actual fact correct. Already on former satellite images which were published in the homepage of earthquest.co.uk of November 2001, that is to be recognized. With Google Earth, this pyramid was initially seen only with poor image resolution, but a clear picture showed in 2009. The “White Pyramid” is definitely the Maoling Mausoleum. It lies west of the pyramids of Hsien-yang, close to the city Xianyang, on 30.20 degrees North and 108.34 degrees East.
The “White Pyramid” needs not to be a tremendous mystic building. The pilots and the travel agents to see the Maoling Mausoleum, with his size – according to the measurements via Google Earth – of about 222 to 217 meters on the ground and his height of about 46 meters, can quite have appeared below glistening sunlight glimmering and quite big. No other pyramid in this area is so big. Only the one on 34.23 North and 108.42 East, which has a size of 219 to 230 meters on the ground. The well known Mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdi, situated 50 kilometers East, has a size of 357 to 354 meters on the base and the whole complex has a size of 488 to 581 meters. But that grave mountain is a flat pyramidal mound. Attainable is the area near Hsien-yang over the city Xi´an (Sian) obvious the airport that Hartwig Hausdorf with some traveling companions already used in 1994. They could for instance constitute seventeen pyramids within a radius of about three kilometers and they estimated its heights at sixty to seventy meters.
By the new aperture of China to the west, the corresponding investigations too would be able to be made amenable now at last for experts from other countries. For the better sense of China and of its past.
October 25, 2006
Krassa, Peter: “…und kamen auf feurigen Drachen”, Wien 1984.
Hain, Walter: Das Marsgesicht, München 1995.
Hausdorf, Hartwig: Die weisse Pyramide, München 1994.
Crowley, Brian; Hurtak, James J.: The Face on Mars, Australia 1989.
Cathie, Bruce L.: The Bridge to Infinity, Boulder, USA 1989.
The Works of Jerry Iuliano Ancient Numbers Revealed in Scientific Formulas Compiled by Joseph E. Mason
The Great Pyramid and the 153 Fish in the Net
According to John, Jesus performed his first public miracle at a wedding feast in Cana, when he turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). Similarly, Pagan myth records Dionysus turning water into wine at his own wedding to Ariadne (Freke/Gandy, 38). Also in John, Jesus miraculously helped his disciples catch a large number of fish at the Sea of Galilee — 153, to be precise (John 21 : 11). In the aretalogy written by Porphyry, the great mathematician Pythagoras also performed this supernatural feat. Further, the Pythagoreans regarded 153 as a sacred number due to its use in a mathematical ratio called “the measure of the fish,” which produces the mystical symbol of the vesica pisces — the intersection of two circles which yields a fish-like shape. This “sign of the fish” is, of course, still widely used today as a symbol of Christianity (Freke/Gandy, 39).
Pythagoras and his disciples established religious communities throughout the Greek world. All were strict vegetarians. Men and women were admitted equally, they took vows of celibacy and all possessions were held in common. Neophytes took a 5-year vow of silence. They rose before dawn and worshipped the rising sun as the “eye” of the Supreme Spiritual Lord who is the source of all energy and life. They spent the day in philosophical study and religious observances, then finished their day by reading scriptures at a communal (and meatless) evening meal. All wore white robes. Pythagoras himself wore both white robes and a golden coronet. He was reputed to have worked many miracles of healing, including reviving several dead people. He was said to be the son of a god, Apollo, and born of a mortal mother, who was called “Parthenesis”, which means virgin.
Most scholars believe that he obtained most of his mystical knowledge in Egypt, but recent scholarship has traced his travels through India as well. There is supporting evidence for this in the Vedic literature of India which mentions him as a great empowered guru called Yavana Acharya, which means “Spiritual Master for the Meat Eaters” (Yavanas–as the Greeks were known to the ancient vegetarian residents of India). Like another great vegetarian miracle worker, Jesus Christ, Pythagoras is strangely associated with fish. Now scholars have compared two stories told about these two mystics and concluded that neither are about real fish, but compose an allegorical code to explain a deep mathematical and mystical relationship.
The Pythagoreans had a diagram of 2 intersecting circles, one above, one below, with the circumference of one touching the center of the other. The 2 circles represented the spiritual and the material domains. The “transcendental” region where the circles intersect resembles a fish shape-exactly as used as the symbol for Christianity. The Pythagoreans called this shape vesica piscis. The ratio of the height of this fish symbol to its length is 153 : 265, which is the nearest whole number to the square root of 3 and the controlling ratio of the equilateral triangle. OK, OK, you didn’t really think you could learn about Pythagoras without plowing through some math, did you?
Anyway, remember that first number-153. Now the stories of both Pythagoras and Jesus have them telling fishermen-who have failed to catch any fish all day-to cast their nets again. Miraculously, their nets come in full of fish. Pythagoras was said to have correctly predicted the exact number of fish caught. In his story, the mystic number is not revealed, but in the Gospel story of Jesus the number of fish caught is given-exactly 153!
Also, in the story of Jesus’ feeding the multitudes with “loaves and fishes”, Christ is quoted as trying to explain to his disciples the importance of the numbers of loaves, fishes, baskets of leftovers, numbers of people fed, etc. The idea is that these stories are not about a fish eating at all but about mathematical relationships and mystical numbers that reveal, to the initiated, hidden truths about the relationship of the spiritual and material dimensions.
The Cheops Pyramid constructs can demonstrate this mystical number:
Cheop’s pyramid height = 486.256 ft (Churchward 1910)
Cheop’s pyramid base leg = 763.81 ft (Churchward 1910)
In the last chapter of John’s gospel, we find the story of the 153 fish in the unbroken net. This is a gematria puzzle of considerable complexity. To illustrate the point of the story, we will reproduce its key elements.
a. Peter enters the boat, then six follow him (John 21:2-3)
The Greek gematria value of Simon Peter is 1925. If a circle of 1925 circumference is drawn to represent Peter, then it can be filled with six similar circles representing the others. Each circle touches the center and the perimeter. Then a circle is drawn around all seven circles. Its diameter is 1224, which is the gematria value of “fishes” and “the net”.
b. Jesus tells the men to cast the net from the other side of the net. (John 21:6)
The net is drawn from the side of the first large circle which represents the boat. Another arc is drawn which now creates the “vesica piscis”: the measure of the fish. A large rhomboid fish is drawn into the right piscis.
c. Peter is naked. He wraps his fisher’s coat around him, and jumps into the water from the other side of the boat. (John 21:7)
Another piscis is drawn on the other side, with Peter’s circle in it to represent Peter in the water. The height of the piscis is 1060, which is the gematria value of “fisher’s coat.” A four by four net is drawn inside the large fish, and now we find the 153 fish. Each small “fish” has a width of 153, and there are a total of 17 fish: 16 small and one large. 153 is the sum of the numbers from 1 to 17.
d. For extended meanings, we now rotate the diagram so that the net is on the bottom and Peter is on the top.
We now have a diagram of the Gnostic cosmos as described by Plato in Timaeus. The net in the sea represents the shifting world of manifestation, where everything is in a state of flux and nothing forever remains the same. The upper world, the world of gods and first principles, is the Intelligible world: all of the universal laws on which manifestation is based. The middle world of Humanity partakes of both spirit and matter, the eternal and the temporal.
Image: Ancient coin showing Apollo setting upon the Omphalos Stone
This diagram of the 153 fishes in the net is earlier than Christianity and is associated with the symbolism of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo is the earlier Greek personification of the Logos, the universal mediator, and it is ultimately from the mathematical symbolism of Apollo, the god of harmony, that both the diagrams of the 153 fish in the net and the feeding of the five thousand originate. Both of these diagrams are ultimately based on the numerical value of square root of 2 (1.415), the mathematical symbol of the ideal mean between unity and multiplicity, which is reflected in the title THE GOD APOLLO, 1415.
In the Christian version of John 21, the “foundation stone” of the geometry is the central circle of SIMON PETROS, 1925, the omphalos of Christianity, whose number determines the dimensions of the entire diagram. In this Christian adaptation, we start with “the omphalos” to arrive at the symbol of “the net”. Likewise, in the earlier symbolism of Apollo, his omphalos at Delphi was covered with a net, symbolizing the veil of manifestation, woven from the central source of harmony. In the earlier version, the central circle symbolizes the omphalos at Delphi, the meeting point of heaven and earth, “the golden mean” of Apollo, The number 153 also figures in Delphic symbolism, for 1530 is the sum of DELPHI, 619, and OMPHALOS, 911.
Finally, if we draw a circle around the three worlds diagram, (above) the all-encompassing sphere has the measure of 7690, and 769, is the value of PYTHIOS, Apollo at Delphi.
When Christianity began, the center represents Simon Petros as the omphalos, “the foundation stone” of Christianity.
The Sign of Simon “the Stone”
The name Simon is a Proper Name. The word Petros is a Title meaning “The Stone.” The gematria value of the name and the Title together form a Sign that is a geometric multiple of the Raised Jesus (8880). The name Simon has a gematria value of 1,100 units. The word petros is a masculine noun and takes the masculine definite article “O.” The title therefore has a gematria value of 70 + 755 = 825 units. The name and title have a combined gematria value of 1925 units. The diagram below reveals Simon Peter’s sign.
Exactly four circles, each with a circumference equal to the gematria value of Simon the Stone (1925), fit inside a hexagon inscribed in the raised Jesus (8880). The blue circle inside the hexagon represents the “Sea of Galilee.” The gematria value of Simon the Stone (1925) is a geometric multiple of this “Sea” and of the Greek word “Fishes” (1224) as can be seen in the short essay that further explains the Sea of Galilee.
Simon “the Stone” was a fisherman from Bethsaida and he and his brother Andrew were called by Jesus to be disciples at the same time as the fishermen James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Mark 1:16–20). Christianity began with the dawn of the Age of Pisces and the fact that Simon Peter, James, and John (the most trusted apostles of Jesus) were all fishermen led to the adoption of the fish as one of the most imortant symbols of Christianity. Simon Petros figures prominently in many gospel stories that were geometry riddles.
Figure 51: The Relationship between the 153 Fish in the Net and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
This illustration shows how the mathematical progression illustrated in the previous diagram underlies the dimensions of the fish in the net geometry and the feeding of the five thousand. Both diagrams are thereby shown to be differing expressions of the same, underlying cosmological code.
The central figure is a vesica with a width of 1x the square root of 2 (1.415 = THE GOD APOLLO), which defines the diameter of the feeding of the five thousand geometry on the right.
The height of the central vesica measures 1 x the square root of 2 x the square root of 3 (2.448 = FISHES IN THE NET), which defines the height of the 153 fishes in the net geometry on the left.
In the diagram on the left, the rhombus intersects the length of the vesica in the upper world, dividing it into three equal segments of 353 units, the value of HERMES. This represents “Thrice-Great Hermes” or Hermes Trimegistos, a personification of the Logos.
153 as the measure of “the Fish in Archimedes
Archimedes (c 287-212 B.C.E.), in his treatise On the Measurement of the Cycle, uses the whole number ratio 153:265 to accurately approximate the irrational ratio square root of 3, (265/153=1.73205…)
“the measure of the fish” or the vesica piscis.
Moreover, Archimedes uses this value in such a manner as to suggest that this approximation was well know to his contemporaries: it required no word of explanation at all.
This ratio, 153:265, precisely relates to the dimensions of the 153 “fish” in the unbroken net, for it defines the height and width of each rhombus in “the net.” Figure 52. Since 153 was known in the time of Archimedes as “the measure of the fish” or the vesica, ancient readers skilled mathematics would have immediately recognized the allegory of the 153 fish in the net for what is it: a geometrical “story problem.”
One of the central ideas of ancient metrology is explained by the much read and little understood Fifth Book of Aristotle’s Ethics, in which the idea of justice is explained by referring to money and to the price structure.
This book explains why money is called by the same name that applies to civil law and to natural law (nomos) and why this term is synonymous with arithmos; metrology first developed as an attempt to assure justice in the contract of sale by mathematizing the relation.
The origins of the art of legislation and of legal science are to be found in lists that state how many measures of a given commodity would correspond to a measure of another commodity.
Once one takes this practical outlook, one can see how, in the Bible, the idea of Divine Providence is linked with the methods used in the rationing of food, of which Greek inscriptions provide the most abundant evidence.
Once one keeps in mind the metrological aspects of the idea of Providence, one can see the meaning of the word epiousios in the Lord’s Prayer, a word on the interpretation of which an entire library has been written.
One must keep in mind the ethical aspects of metrology to see in the Gospels the metrological reasons for the two miracles of the multiplication of the bread, the Feeding of the Four Thousand and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
In metrology, one must steadily shift from metaphysical and ethical presuppositions to practical aspects. This has been the concern of Greaves and Bernard, who came to metrology from the study of cosmogony but at the same time travelled extensively in the Orient and saw the ancient system of metrology still used by the Arabs.
It has been observed that certain ancient myths, sacred texts and ancient buildings have ‘stored’ within them, common and repeating numerical values and dimensions which relate to astronomical phenomena.
This knowledge appears to be based on the observation of the precession of the equinoxes.
The precession of the equinoxes refers to the observable phenomena of the rotation of the heavens, a cycle which spans a period of (approximately) 25,920 years, over which time the constellations appear to slowly rotate around the earth, taking turns at rising behind the rising sun on the vernal equinox.
This remarkable cycle is due to a synchronicity between the speed of the earth’s rotation around the sun, and the speed of rotation of our galaxy.
The Precession of the equinoxes = 25,920 yrs = (360° rotation)
If the sky is divided into 12 constellations:
(25,920 / 12 = 2,160)
(Note: 6 x 10 x 6 = 360 and 360 x 6 = 2,160)
A New sign appears on the horizon each 2,160 yrs (30°)
Note: (2 x 2,160 or 12 x 360 = 4,320 yrs)
Therefore to move 1° on the horizon = 72 yrs. (approx).
The following numbers can therefore be regarded as precessionary:
(12 … 30 … 72 … 360 … 2,160 … 4,320 and 25,920)
It is now suggested that at some point in the distant past this cycle was determined by astronomers (A process requiring the prolonged and precise observation of the equinoxial conjunction of the rising sun and the ‘suns carrier’ behind). Such a discovery goes a long way to understanding the prehistoric fascination with astronomy and the apparent ‘will to move mountains‘ exhibited by the builders of many megalithic monuments. Lockyer observed that prehistoric astronomy was started on the horizon, which would go a long way towards explaining the early development of the English structures called ‘Henges‘, with their built-up banks creating excellent artificial horizons.
The Precessionary cycle is measured in ‘months’ named according to the constellation visible behind the vernal equinox sunrise. We are presently finishing the ‘age of Pisces’ and will be soon entering the ‘age of Aquarius’. It is suggested (and supported by a growing weight of evidence), that this cycle was recognised at least as far back as the age of Taurus, although there are suggestions of recognition as far back as Leo (as represented by the Sphinx at Giza).
Constellation (Represented by)
Date as Suns ‘Carrier’
10,800 – 8,640 BC
8,640 – 6,480 BC
6,480 – 4,320 BC
4,320 – 2,160 BC
2,160 BC – 0
0 – 2,160 AD
Aquarius (Water jug)
2,160 – 4,320 AD
Precession can also be measured through the tilt’ of the earths axis, which causes the polar position in the sky to change, with a revolution of the earths axis around the true ‘celestial pole’ taking the same length of time, as the following diagrams illustrate.
Where the blue circle in the diagram (right), represents the path of the pole in the northern hemisphere over a complete cycle.
A Record of Precession:
The following examples illustrate how the knowledge of ‘the great cycle’ was stored around the ancient world.
Although there is no written testimony of a recognition of precession before the Greeks, it is clear from Greek testimony (such as from Aristotle), that Egyptian and Babylonian sciences were shrouded in mystery and only available to the ‘initiated’. However, this lack of written evidence by no means precludes such knowledge from being understood, as the numbers that represent the precessionary cycle (see above), can be found in the dimensions of ‘sacred’ structures and mythologies from around the ancient world as the following examples illustrate.
Turkey – (See Metsamor). First recorded division of the sky into 12 equal parts. Metsamor was identified by Livvio Stecchini as an ancient oracle centre. It lies at the foot of Mount Ararat, and archaeology has shown that the area was home to a sophisticated culture that was present in Anatolia from c. 6,000 BC.
Sumeria – Gudea, a ruler of ‘Lagash’, of Sumeria, recorded that he was given instructions in a vision. “A wise man that shone like the heaven,“ by whose side stood “a divine bird,” “commanded me to build this temple”. Gudea employed a male ‘diviner, maker of decisions’, and a female ‘searcher of secrets’ to locate the site. He then recruited 216,000 people for the job. (23).
Babylon – The Babylonian historian Berossus (third century BC) ascribed a total reign of 432,000 years (120 shar’s of 3,600 yrs each), to the mythical Kings who ruled the land of Sumer before the flood. He also ascribed a period of 2,160,000 years to the period ‘between creation and universal catastrophe’. (21)
The King-List known as W-B/144, records the following:-
‘when kingship was lowered from heaven, kingship was first in Eridu’
The following lengths of time were given for each ruler:-
The Sumerian text W-B/62, adds Larsa and its two divine rulers to the King-List, also multiples of 3,600. (23).
We can be fairly sure that the Sumerians were aware of the cycle, as we can see from the table above that it offers a natural division of both time and space into 360°, from units of 6 and 10. The Sumerians are the earliest culture to measure both time and space in units of 6 and 10. A system called the Hexi-decimal system.
Remarkably, time and space are still measured today by the same units of measurement. For example, we can see the year divided by 12 months, with each day being divided by 24 hours, each one divisible by 60 minutes, and each minute by a further 60 seconds. Similarly, the earth is divided by 360 degrees, each degree being divisible by 60 ‘minutes and each minute by a further 60 ‘seconds’ of an arc.
China – Early Jesuit scholars, who were among the first Europeans to visit China had the opportunity in the imperial library, to study a vast work consisting of 4,320 volumes, said to have been handed down from ancient times and to contain ‘all knowledge’. This great book included a number of traditions which told of the consequences that followed when mankind rebelled against the high gods and the system of the universe fell into disorder’: ‘The planets altered their courses. The sky sank lower towards the north. The Sun, moon and stars changed their motions. The earth fell to pieces and the waters in its bosom rushed upwards with violence and overflowed the earth’. Extract from (21).
The Great Pyramid of Giza.
It has been shown that the exterior measurements of the ‘Great’ Pyramid of Giza are an accurate representation of the Earth’s’ northern hemisphere on a scale of 1:43,200.
A number that proves highly significant when one considers the method of doubling/halving the numbers that was used in ancient Egypt (kemi)
25,920 years / 12 = 2,160 (x 2 = 4,320)
In relation to this, it has been pointed out that the possibility may exist whereby the numbers expressing the Precessionary cycle (Approx’ 26,000 yrs), when viewed as fractals may be translated into the 60-based system of degrees (26° 00′ 00″). Modern pocket electronic calculators have a key (DD>DMS) for this function.
The Platonic Year of 25,920 yrs would produce the following numbers:
25.92 (doubled) = 51.84 where, 51.84° is 51° 50′ 24″.
In other words, the angle of inclination 51° 50′ 24″ would express the decimal number 51.84°, which is the fractal expression of double the 25,920 Platonic Year number (25920 x 2 = 51840).
This would mean that the angle of inclination cited by Piazzi Smyth for the Great pyramid of Ghiza of 51° 51′ 14″ would reflect the decimal number 51.85399° or the fractal halved to that of 25,926.995 years (51,85399/2=25,926.995). A number which appears at very least, an extraordinary coincidence considering the astronomical references to the pyramid throughout history.
Mayan – The Mayan long count is based on large figures ascribed to astronomical observations. In this we find that 1 Tun = 360 days, 1 Katun = 7,200 days and 15 Katuns = 2,160,000 days. The great cycle was believed to last for 13 baktuns – 1,872,000 days. The present cycle comes to an end on 22 December 2012 AD.
Norse – The Norse myth of the 432,000 fighters who sallied forth from Valhalla to do battle with the ‘Wolf’.
India – The tradition of bull veneration is still practiced in India today, although it is becoming more watered down each year. In addition, it is said that the Agnicayana fire-alter in India has 10,800 bricks. (21). (Note 10,800 X 4 = 43,200).
The Rig Veda – There are 10,800 stanzas in the Rigveda, the most ancient of the Vedic texts. Each stanza is made of 40 syllables with the result that the entire composition contains 432,000 syllables. In the Rigvega I:164 we read of the ’12-spoked wheel in which the 720 sons of Agni are established’. (21).
The Old testament – This idea finds substance in the old testament which has been interpreted as including the symbolic transference from one sign to another. In the parable of the mount, when Moses came down from the mountain he saw the people worshipping a golden calf. This idol came from the Egyptians astrological worship of the sun. The calf (Taurus the bull) represents the age in which the Moses lived when he wrote the Torah. When history moved into the next sign (Aries the ram), the Hebrews celebrated the approach of their Messiah by blowing rams horns. The sign of Aries influenced many religions to adopt the lamb of God concept.
The new testament – It can be seen that the new testament is similarly endowed with symbolism in the figure of Christ, who can be identified as heralding the age of Pisces. (remembering that Christianity is often symbolised by a fish) Should this theory one day be further substantiated, then quite apart from the fact that such information was detected at such an early age, there is also an incredible story to tell regards the perpetuation of such knowledge.
The Platonic Year:
The first recorded recognition of procession in Greece was by the astronomer Hipparchus who, whilst compiling his famous star catalogue (completed in 129 BC), noticed that the positions of the stars had shifted in a systematic way from earlier Babylonian (Chaldean) measures.
The Platonic Year was named after Plato (427 – 347 BC) because of his conviction of the intimate relationship between space and time. Plato believed that the heavens were “designed” by God for the measurement of time. He called one complete cycle of the bodies a ‘Perfect Year’. He wrote of it in two texts: Timaeus and The Republic…
In this wise and for these reasons were generated Night and Day, which are the revolution of the one and most intelligent circuit; and Month, every time that the Moon having completed her own orbit overtakes the Sun; and Year, as often as the Sun has completed his own orbit. Of the other stars the revolutions have not been discovered by men (save for a few out of the many); wherefore they have no names for them, nor do they compute and compare their relative measurements, so that they are not aware, as a rule, that the “wanderings“ of these bodies, which are hard to calculate and of wondrous complexity, constitute Time. Nevertheless, it is still quite possible to perceive that the complete number of Time fulfils the Complete Year when all the eight circuits, with their relative speeds, finish together and come to a head, when measured by the revolution of the Same and Similarly-moving. In this wise and for these reasons were generated all those stars which turn themselves about as they travel through Heaven, to the end that this Universe might be as similar as possible to the perfect and intelligible Living Creature in respect of its imitation of the Eternal. (Paragraph 39 c-d) Timaeus).
It is argued (reasonably), that Plato was referring to was the orbits of the known planets, and not the constellations. Plato himself believed that knowledge of such a cycle was already known far earlier by the Egyptians and Babylonains.
The rainbow has only 6 colours. Newton added indigo as he believed it needed 7 colours to make light.
It turns out that the question of which colours are in the rainbow is less about scientific accuracy at Gay Pride parades, and more about how one colour never belonged there in the first place. Thats why the rainbow flag only has six colours and pink floyds album cover.
The synchronicity of the universe is determined by certain mathematical constants which express themselves in the form of ‘patterns’ and ‘cycles’ in nature.
The outcome of this process can be seen throughout the natural world as the following examples demonstrate:
Spiral galaxy M74
Giant’s causeway, Ireland.
Spiral snail shells.
These displays of mathematical and geometric constants are confirmation that certain proportions are woven into the very fabric of nature. Recognising the significance of this simple fact offers us the means to understand how and why such matters were considered sacred. They and everything around us, are the product of the delicate balance between chaos and order.
The word ‘geometry’ can be traced through its component parts:
The word ‘Geo-metry‘ comes from the Greek words Geos meaning ‘Earth’ and Metron meaning ‘To measure‘, which together literally translate as the ‘Measuring of the earth’ or ‘Earthly measurements’, an art which was traditionally restricted to the priest-hood.
Sacred geometry has existed in many forms across the ages
It is often mistakenly said that geometry began with the Greeks, but before them were the Minoans, the Egyptians, Sumerians, Indus valley, Chinese, Phoenicians and of course, the builders of the western European megaliths all of whom left clear geometric fingerprints in their greatest constructions. The Greeks may well have been the first to have offered geometry to the public at large, but they were by no means the first to realise it.
Sacred-Geometry: The First Step.
One of the most common shapes in nature is the circle, it is therefore extremely significant to understand that all other geometric shapes can be determined from a circle…with the use of only a compass (or string) and a ruler (straight edge) as the following procedure illustrates…
Starting with the Vesica-pisces…from which one is able to produce…
An Equilateral triangle, Hexagon, Pentagon, Square and so on and so on..
The Vesica Pisces is one of the key starting blocks from which sacred geometry was applied to life.
A continuation of the geometric Vesica Pisces results in the geometric matrix named Ad-triangulum…as used for the design of many of Europe’s greatest Cathedrals…
The Harmony of the Spheres.
The first confirmed record of a knowledge of the relationship between astronomy, music and geometry comes (almost predictably) from the Greeks: in particular, Pythagoras who wrote of the ‘Harmony of the Spheres’, and of whom it was said: ‘...of all men, he alone [Pythagoras] could hear the music of the spheres…’
The symbol for the Labyrinth has been found associated with ‘sacred’ places for thousands of years from all around the ancient world. More recently, more especially from the middle ages onward, it has been used as a tool for pilgrimage – representing our metaphorical path through life.
The flower of life symbol has found its way into the human consciousness, it is no more than an elaborate extension of the Vesica pisces, but one within people have found themselves lost in a state of perpetual imaginative bloom. It is said to contain values that depict the fundamental geometry of time and space.
Spirals are one of the most a common forms of natural geometry, being a product of the sacred mean. They are associated with omphalos and earth-navels and are regularly found engraved on megaliths. Their original meaning is lost today but spiral designs at such noticeable sites as Newgrange and Chaco Canyon, has led many to believe they were primarily astronomical.
This section examines the theory that geometry was applied in the placement of certain prominent (sacred) prehistoric sites, based on an understanding of longitude and latitude. The ‘linear-mentality’ of our ancestors seems to have had no frontiers, but what if any, was the origin and purpose of networking sacred sites, and how
Of the hundreds of small carved stone balls fond in Scotland, over 75% have been found to conform to the five Platonic solids. This remarkable discovery suggests an association as yet undetermined. Although it is generally believed that the Greeks discovered this mathematical principle, these come from over a thousand years earlier.
It has been proposed that the understanding of sacred geometry extended into time and space, as realised through the ‘Platonic Year‘. Santillana (6) and others have shown that certain precessionary numbers were encoded into ancient sacred buildings, texts and mythologies. these same numbers appear to be reflected in the natural geometry of the universe.
The exterior angle of the ‘Great pyramid of Giza’ can be reproduced with the Vesica-pisces. It has been long suspected that the Great pyramid was a subsidiary of geometric knowledge. There are several other indications that sacred geometry was an important factor in the design of the pyramid.
The Sacred mean (Phi), was also recorded into the dimensions of the pyramid itself.
Pi and the Pyramid.
Egyptian mathematicians arrived at a figure of 3.16 (as shown on the Rhind Papyrus), written 600 to 800 years later and far cruder than the precise ratio the great Pyramid seems to express. The figure of Pi is recorded into the dimensions of the Great Pyramid several times; As well as the Height/Perimeter ratio of the pyramid itself
(2∏x H = Perimeter)
The perimeter of its main compartment, the so called “King’s Chamber,” is also exactly 3.14 times its length, and the large granite coffer or sarcophagus in this room shows the same proportion. In the earlier, rhomboidal or “Bent Pyramid” at Dashur, a few miles to the south, the sides begin to ascend at the same 2-Pi angle as the Great Pyramid, then change half way up to 3-Pi (43 ½º ) ratio.
The exterior angle of the Great pyramid is the exact same latitude that Silbury Hill was built, and at the same time. It is perhaps no coincidence to find that exterior angle of the Silbury monument has an exterior angle of 30°, the same as the latitude of Giza. This exact angle is also found at nearby Stonehenge in the orientation of TheAvenue, which points towards the sunrise on the summer solstice. Stonehenge sits exactly 1/4 of a degree of longitude south of Avebury.
This fact is just one of many in the increasingly convincing argument in favour of the existence of applied sacred geometry in prehistory.
The Sacred mean – (5:8 or 1:1.618 or Φ) (The Divine Proportion, Golden Section, Golden ratio, Phi, )
One of the Key-stones of sacred geometry is the ‘sacred mean’ or ‘golden section’.
The Mathematics of the Golden Ratio (Phi).
The golden section exists between measurable quantities of any kind where the ratio between the smallest and the next size up is equal to the ratio of the sum of the first two to the third.
Mathematically, the same proportion is generated with the following formula:
√5+1 / 2
In numerical terms, the ‘Golden ratio’ was first popularised by Leonardo Bigollo Fibonacci, the founder of the ‘Fibonacci sequence’, a numerical series which simply follows the rule that the next number is the sum of the previous two numbers.. as follows:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 etc…
Vitruvian Man: Leonardo Da Vinci.
One of the fundamental products of this underlying mathematical structure is the ‘sacred mean‘, a mathematical constant which is visible across the spectrum of the natural world. The sacred mean is one of the defining geometric qualities of life itself, as it plays an integral part of the complex process of division and variation. Leonardo da Vinci illustrated both the mathematical proportions of the human body, (which are based on ratios of 1.618), and the concept of ‘squaring the circle’ with his famous drawing (right).
Da Vinci was engrossed by Vitruvius, who had written that human proportions should have a relationship in architecture. Vitruvius believed that if human proportions could be incorporated into buildings they would become perfect in their geometry.
One of Da Vinci’s greatest discoveries was the division of the body into proportions of whole numbers which he called ‘cubits‘. For example, while the body is 4 cubits high, it can be seen on the same body that 1 cubit is both the length from shoulder to shoulder and from elbow to fingertips.
According to Vitruvius, the distance from fingertip to fingertip should be the same as that from head to toe. The sacred mean can be seen in the ratios of body parts. In the arm of the Vitruvian man for example, we can see that the ratio of A is to B is the same as that of B to C. The same rules apply throughout the human body.
One of the mathematical products of the sacred mean is the spiral, commonly found in nature.
The sacred mean is also found in the geometry of the pentagram and its associated pentagon, where the ratio between the sides of the pentagon and its extension into the pentagram also demonstrate a ratio of 1:1.618. In the above diagram, Phi is found in the ratios of a:b, b:c, c:d, d:e and e:f.
The Flower of Life:
The Flower of Life symbol is considered to be sacred among many cultures around the world, it is considered by some to be an ‘Akashic Record’.
The Flower of Life is the modern name given to a geometrical figure composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. They are arranged to form a flower-like pattern with a six-fold symmetry, similar to a hexagon. The centre of each circle is on the circumference of six surrounding circles of the same diameter.
The earliest confirmed example of the pattern can be seen in the Assyrian rooms of the Louvre museum in Paris. The design forms part of a gypsum or alabaster threshold step measuring 2.07 x 1.26 meters (6.8 x 4.1 feet) that originally existed in one of the palaces of King Ashurbanipal, and has been dated to c. 645 BC. (7)
The Osireion, Abydoss:
There are five possible ‘Flower of Life’ patterns on one of the granite columns and a further five on a column opposite of the Osireion. Some are very faint and hard to distinguish. They have not been carved into the granite but been drawn in red ochre with careful precision.
Recent research suggests that these symbols can be no earlier than 535 B.C., and most probably date to the 2nd and 4th century AD, based on photographic evidence of Greek text, still to be fully deciphered, seen alongside the Flower of Life circles and the position of the circles close to the top of columns, which are over 4 metres in height. This suggests the Osireion was half filled with sand prior to the circles being drawn which was therefore likely to have been well after the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty.
The Tree of Life is most widely recognized as a concept within the Kabbalah, which is used to understand the nature of God and the manner in which he created the world. The Kabbalists developed this concept into a full model of reality, using the tree to depict a “map” of creation. The tree of life has been called the “cosmology” of the Kabbalah.
The Flower of life and the Platonic Solids
The ‘Platonic Solids’ are the names given to the five “perfect shapes” formed when dividing a sphere into three-dimensional forms, with each division having the exact same shape and angle.
The Greeks taught that these five solids were the core patterns of physical creation. Four of the solids were seen as the archetypal patterns behind the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water), while the fifth was held to be the pattern behind the life force itself, the Greeks’ ether. These shapes predominated in the hundreds of carved prehistoric petrospheres found in Scotland with over 75% representing one of the Platonic Solids.
They came from a time over a thousand years earlier than the Greeks. These same shapes are now realised to be intimately related to the arrangements of protons and neutrons in the elements of the periodic table. (5)
The mathematical harmony of the universe is visible in the proportions of the planets of our own solar system as the following examples illustrate:
The diameter of the sun (864,000 miles) is the same as the perimeter of the square of the moon (4).
Sacred Venus : ‘The Synodic Cycle’
The ratio of the ‘Sacred mean’ can also be seen in the rotations of Venus and the Earth around the sun so that for each five years that Earth rotates around the Sun, Venus manages to rotate it eight times).
Venus orbits the Sun in 224.701 Earth days ( ~.615 Earth years ), moving slightly faster than Earth. Because of the two different orbital rates of Venus and Earth, Venus must orbit the sun 2.6 times while Earth orbits 1.6 times before the two planets align. This period (583.92 Earth days) is called the Earth-Venus synodic cycle (synod means “place of meeting”). (3)
The result of this motion is that Venus ‘draws’ a pentagon around the sun every eight years.
Bode’s law: Shows the simple mathematical relationship for the distances of the planets from the our sun.
Distance from Sun (Millions of Km’s)
0 + 4 / 10 = 0.4
3 + 4 / 10 = 0.7
6 + 4 / 10 = Au
12 + 4 / 10 = 1.6
24 + 4 / 10 = 2.8
48 + 4 / 10 = 5.2
96 + 4 / 10 = 10
192 + 4 / 10 = 19.6
384 + 4 / 10 = 38.8
768 + 4 / 10 = 77.2
In addition to which…
Keplers 3rd Harmonic law – Kepler initially used the geometry of the Platonic solids to calculate the distances of the planets from the sun. In doing so, he attempted to revive the ancient tradition of Sacred Geometry with astronomy. Although this met with reasonable success, proving the ancient systems to be accurate, he eventually determined that the period of a planet or comets orbit is relate to its distance from the sun in the following simple mathematical equation:
(p² = a³)
( Where p = period of revolution and a = the distance from sun in astronomical units ‘Au’).
Kepler furthered the research of Aristotle who first realised the concept of the Harmony of the Spheres in which the planets positions and ‘noise’ were predicted according to musical harmonic ratios.
The theory of the ‘Harmony of the Spheres’ was originally proposed by Plato, in which he envisioned the five ‘perfect’ solids to be enclosed within imaginary spheres, each placed within the other. He proposed that the distances of the planets from the sun showed similar ratios from each other as the spheres surrounding each solids did. Modern science has indeed shown that planets have unique ‘vibrations’, or ‘sounds’ supporting Plato’s conjecture.
What Happens when geometric constants are placed into the dimensions of buildings.?
Some of the best examples of the application of sacred geometry can be seen in constructions from the ancient world.
It has been shown (1), that ancient sacred and ceremonial sites were invariably built with dimensions that incorporate mathematical figures such as infinite numbers, astronomical or mathematical constants (such as Pi or the ‘sacred’ mean), and the use of geometry (3:4:5 Pythagorean triangle etc). The application of ‘sacred’ geometry in our most important buildings is a reflection of the importance attached to it, but exactly how early was such information realised?
Following his renowned survey of over 600 English stone circles, Prof. Alexander Thom concluded that geometry had been used in their design.
Thom also proposed that common mathematical units of measurement (the megalithic yard), had been used in order to achieve these geometric results. Surprising as this might sound, one finds that as well as working with common units of measurement, the Neolithic people were also apparently aware of geometric constants as the following examples demonstrate.
The geometric design above was discovered by Prof A. Thom to have been used as a ground-plan for many European ‘Type I’ and ‘Type II’ flattened stone circles (Such as at Avebury, England).(Note: Both type I and II circles show the application of the Vesica-Pisces and 3:4:5 triangles)
Sacred geometry, involving both astronomy and geometry appears to have been applied to prehistoric quadrangles. It has been shown by Thom etc, that the Quadrangles at both Stonehenge and Carnac have incorporated into them geometric constants which relate to the latitude upon which they were built.
The Golden section is a ratio which has been used in sophisticated artwork and in sacred architecture from the period of ancient Egypt (1).
Freemasonry and Sacred Geometry.
Following the collapse of the Roman empire, architects versed in geometry grouped together into ‘guild’s’, thus forming the roots of ‘freemasonry’. The tradition of building sacred/holy structures with applied sacred (euclidian), geometry was continued into the middle ages by the ‘Templars’, who envisioned their (mostly round) churches as ‘microcosms of the world’ (1). This idea was soon adopted by the Christian church, who began to employ ‘sacred’ dimensions into their religious buildings. These traditions were carried in the form of ‘freemasonry’ until, as Pennick aptly quotes – ‘The lodges of freemasons closed down one by one. The last to go was the premiere lodge of Europe – Strasbourg, which shut shop in 1777. From then on, the arts and mysteries of freemasonry were carried on exclusively by ‘Speculative masons’ (1).
A continuation of the geometric Vesica Pisces results in the geometric matrix named Ad-triangulum…as used for the design of many of Europe’s greatest Cathedrals…
We may never know for sure whether such geometry was identified first from the observation of natural formations, or whether it came as a result of an intellectual quest, but whichever, it is clear that these natural mathematical building blocks began to be used in the design of many important man-made structures.
We have seen a new photo mode on cellphones that came from the DSLR camera’s. Portrait mode blurs the bacground for a great effect. Portrait mode selfies is not possible on the S9/S9+ only the S9+ can shoot portrait mode due to its second camera at the REAR.
Only the Iphone X and the Pixel 2/2xl master this feature on the front camera.
Portrait mode video is still not fully possible and requires programs like Adobe After Effects, but with a hack shown in this article, it can come pretty close as well to full after processing of frame by frame editing.
One of the headline features of the dual camera system in recent iPhones is Portrait Mode, an effect that simulates a DSLR-style shallow depth of field by intelligently blurring the background of your photos. Apple took the feature a step further with the iPhone X, adding Portrait Mode selfies and introducing simulated Portrait Lighting.
While these features are currently limited to still photos, future iPhones could someday use the same technology to bring the depth effect to videos, a stunning look currently only possible with high-end video gear or a considerable amount of work in post-production. This feature could be a game changer for videographers, editors, and consumers alike, who have already embraced the iPhone as a serious filmmaking tool. With some effort, the effect is actually possible with today’s iPhones. Here’s how it can be done.
When you take a photo in Portrait Mode on an iPhone today, the depth information associated with the image is stored as a grayscale depth map. iOS uses this depth map to determine which parts of the photo should be blurred and which should remain in focus. This is the same way that 3D artists fake depth of field in 3D renders – the animation software creates a depth map that’s later interpreted by the renderer.
If you want to create the same effect in a video today, there are two common options. The first and easiest is to spend the money on expensive cameras and lenses with a wide aperture – that’s what gives you a shallow depth of field.
A depth map generated by 3D rendering software. Darker areas are in focus and lighter areas are blurred.
The second and more tedious option is to use post-production software like Adobe After Effects to build your own depth maps or video masks in order to specify which parts of a scene should be in focus. This can involve a strenuous process called rotoscoping, a time-consuming task that is often done frame-by-frame.
iOS 11 includes improved developer frameworks that give more access to depth data captured by the iPhone’s cameras. Apple showed off these new capabilities at WWDC 2017 with a sample app called AVCamPhotoFilter. Essentially, this lets developers capture streaming depth data from the camera at a limited resolution. This sample app is the basis for my solution.
Using both an iPhone X running AVCamPhotoFilter and an iPhone 7 Plus in the standard camera application, I stacked the devices, keeping the lenses as close together as possible. I recorded the same scene on each, screen capturing the depth data on my iPhone X to make a moving depth map. The video below demonstrates the process involved and the depth effect that results.
Bringing both pieces of footage into Adobe After Effects, I was able to add shallow depth of field quite easily to my video by applying a camera lens blur to my footage, and telling After Effects the depth map source. This is essentially what iOS does with depth data today, just behind the scenes.
The result isn’t perfect, but took a fraction of the time that building a depth map by hand would take. The output would be more accurate if both the source video and depth data came from the same camera lens, but AVCamPhotoFilter doesn’t support capturing both concurrently. While there are significant limitations to this workaround, the end result is surprisingly almost as polished as the depth effect is on still photos.
Unlocking Portrait Mode for video on current iPhone hardware may prove to be challenging. The feature is already computationally intensive for still photos, and would be significantly more taxing in a video. Third-party applications like Fabby have attempted to recreate the effect entirely in software, but aren’t convincing. However, Apple’s A-series chips and camera hardware continue to advance by leaps and bounds on a yearly basis, so this feature might not be too far out of reach.
The possibilities of Portrait mode videos extend far beyond simple shallow depth of field effects. The same data could eventually be used to simulate Portrait Lighting in videos – just like in Apple’s own TV ad.
Creative manipulation of depth data could even make possible effects like tilt-shift videos and instant masking of subjects as if they were standing in front of a green screen. Apple has already used this technique to great effect in a recent update to their Clips app on iPhone X, adding “Selfie Scenes” that can place you downtown in a city or even on the set of Star Wars.
Finally, Portrait Mode for video could further establish the iPhone as an essential filmmaking tool. Traditional cameras do not capture depth data at all, giving the iPhone an immediate advantage over even high-end video gear.
Apple has made their dedication to the iPhone’s camera clear, funding a short film shot entirely on iPhone, and devoting significant engineering resources to new camera features with every new model. Portrait Mode videos would take the iPhone one step closer to the goal of not only being the best camera you have with you, but the best camera, period.
There are theories that the pinecone must be related to the pineal gland or third eye as some form of enlightenment, yet I believe it has to do with the fruit of the evergreen tree of life symbolism and its encoded mathematics.
It is the pine we still use as Christmas tree, with its lights also a symbol of the starry night sky. Not for nothing is the pilgrimage to Santiago de campostella, which derives from campus stellare or starry sky.
The pinecone is Fibonacci, it is maths and Pi and a representation of the fruit of the evergreen pine, the tree of life. Not only that, it also displays the PI circle like the sunflower does. It encodes the very essence of maths of natures growing patterns and proportions.
For that reason and for the reason of an evergreen tree, the pine is symbolic for life/nature and related to “the tree of life”, the universe. This maths occurs in the whole of nature.
Classical representations of the pincecone are below. The esoteric symbolism is of great importance, including the peacocks and the lions.
It is important to see the surrounding symbolism. The two peacocks AND the lions at the bottom. It is a grouping of objects and the pine cone can not be seen as an individual object.
This is clear in the royal seal of the Kurdish empire and the Byzantine wall stone carving that clearly see an identical grouping as to the famous Pigna in the Vatican. We also see this symbolism of a pillar topped with a pinecone in the Thirsus of Bachus, staff of Moses, staff of Osiris or pillar of heaven / tree of life symbolism. Knowing this its easy to relate this specific symbolism to the worldly tree of life symbolism.
Besides the pine being the fruit of the evergreen tree of life, also the ivy vine surrounding the Thyrsus is an evergreen vine. Its symbolism can be found here:
Ivy, being an evergreen plant, represents eternity, fidelity, and strong affectionate attachment, such as wedded love and friendship. The ivy plant is also a strong plant which can grow in the hardest enviroment.
Quote: “Another association of Ivy as an evergreen, is perennial life and immortality. It also may represent dependence and attachment, which can be seen in the way it climbs trees and buildings to get sunlight. The ivy leaf is also phallic, depicting the male trinity, but it can also be a female symbol denoting a force in need of protection. Conversely, however, its malevolent, poison feature can cause it to be seen often as ingratitude.”
Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about animals and plants.
An Attractive and Symbolic Plant
English ivy is an attractive plant in the ginseng family. It’s a climbing, trailing, and creeping vine that forms dense coverings over trees and other supports. The plant is often admired for its beautiful appearance on the walls of buildings. In the past, English ivy was valued for more than its appearance, however. The plant had important symbolic meanings and was part of a rich mythology. Even today, some people appreciate the symbolism of the ivy plant.
English ivy, or Hedera helix, is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. Ivy has large leaves with interesting shapes, spreads rapidly over a wide variety of supports and is evergreen and perennial. These traits ensure that the plant is noticed.
It’s easy to imagine how ivy first drew attention to itself. It has lobed and often large leaves, grows in many different environments, and sometimes spreads aggressively. It can climb to great heights, using its aerial roots to create strong attachments to its support as it ascends. When an ivy plant is allowed to grow undisturbed, its older stems can become as thick as those of some trees.
Despite the fact that it adheres to tree trunks, English ivy isn’t a parasite. Only the roots attached to the ground penetrate their substrate to absorb nutrients. The function of the aerial roots is attachment to a support, not absorption.
Today, ivy is sometimes considered to be a nuisance rather than an asset. This is especially true where ivy is an introduced plant. In its native habitat it’s more likely to form a peaceful but assertive part of its environment.
The vegetative, climbing stage of English ivy is the most noticeable and the one that most people are familiar with. Its leaves are medium to dark green, shiny, and thick. The leaf veins are conspicuous and are light yellow or white in color. The leaves of the reproductive stage of the plant are oval with pointed tips and have no lobes. Ivy has clusters of greenish yellow flowers and produces clumps of blue-black berries.
The Ancient Deities of Wine
Dionysus was the Ancient Greek god of wine, agriculture, festivity, and theatre. The festivals related to Dionysus sometimes included drunken frenzy and ecstasy as an important component of the revelry. In Ancient Rome Dionysus was known as Bacchus.
In most versions of the ancient stories about Dionysus, his father is Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother is the human Seleme. Both the grapevine and the ivy vine are his symbols.
Dionysus is often depicted wearing a crown of ivy and carrying a thyrsus. The thyrsus was a wand or staff made from a stalk of the giant fennel plant or the branch of a tree. Ivy was wrapped around the stalk or branch, which was topped with a pine cone. The thyrsus is believed to have been a fertility symbol. Dionysus sometimes carries a kantharos, or drinking cup, as well as a thyrsus.
Why did grapes and ivy become associated with Dionysus/Bacchus? Ancient people believed that Dionysus discovered how to make wine from grapes and taught the skill to humans. Therefore he became the god of wine. English ivy was said to grow abundantly over the mythical mountain of Nysa, the childhood home of Dionysus, which may explain the link between ivy and the god.
In the Middle Ages ivy was still associated with wine. A branch or bunch of ivy was often hung on a pole outside a tavern to indicate that the building sold wine or ale. The pole was known as an alepole or an alestake. The bunch of ivy was sometimes known as a bush. From this came the saying. “Good wine needs no bush”, meaning that something of merit doesn’t need to be advertised because the good news will travel by word of mouth.
Despite the plant’s association with wine and the fact that its fruits are the same color as some grapes, English ivy berries are poisonous and mustn’t be eaten.
The Binding Ability of Ivy and its Symbolism
English ivy travels along the ground and also climbs up vertical supports such as tree trunks, fence posts, and walls. If its growth is unchecked it can travel from one plant to another, binding the plants together. This ability sometimes has a symbolic meaning.
Some versions of the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, or Iseult, refer to ivy’s ability to bind. Tristan was a Cornish knight and Isolde was an Irish princess. Tristan went to Ireland to claim Isolde as a bride for King Mark. During the journey back to Cornwall, Tristan and Isolde fell in love after drinking a love potion.
Beyond this basic plot there are many variations in the story. In some versions, Tristan and Isolde die and are buried in separate graves by King Mark so that even in death they cannot be together. However, an ivy vine (or another vine or a tree) grows out of each grave towards the other one. The ivy vines meet and twine around each other, forming a connection. Even when the king cuts the vines they regrow and reconnect.
Ivy represented peace to the Druids of old, perhaps because of its ability to bind different plants or even different kinds of plants together. Today ivy is often used at weddings, where it symbolizes fidelity.
In the Middle Ages, holly represented the masculine element, perhaps because of its prickles and harder leaves, while ivy represented the female element. Both plants were appreciated as winter greenery at a time when many other plants were bare of leaves, especially as holly and ivy had attractive berries.
Old and Symbolic Christmas Carols
Edith Rickert (1871-1938) was an English professor at the University of Chicago. Even before she became a professor she was an active investigator in the area of English literature and carols.
Rickert’s book “Ancient English Christmas Carols:1400-1700” was published in 1910. In this book she says that many holly and ivy carols existed during the time period that she investigated and that they often involved a debate about the relative merits of men and women.
The first three verses of one of these carols is shown below. The words of the carol describe why holly is superior to ivy, or why males are better than females. They may also indicate that holly was brought indoors as a winter decoration while ivy wasn’t. The word “lybe” in the third verse refers to chapped skin or a chilblain. The carol is believed to date from the 1500s but the spelling has been updated to that of the 1800s. The newer version was published in 1868 in a book compiled by William Husk called Songs of the Nativity.
Another carol involving a competition between a male and a female and published in William Husk’s book is “Holly and Ivy Made a Great Party”. In the last verse of this carol, Ivy appears to have won the debate about who “will have the mastery” as Holly goes down on one knee in front of her. The carol is thought to date from the late 1400s.
The Contest of the Ivy and the Holly
Holly standeth in the hall fair to behold,
Ivy stands without the door; she is full sore a cold
Holly and his merry men, they dancen and they sing;
Ivy and her maidens, they weepen and they wring.
Ivy hath a lybe, she caught it with the cold,
So may they all have, that with Ivy hold.
Decorating for Christmas
Carols such as the ones shown above may have been sung in conjunction with the decorating of a house or a church hall for Christmas. A common story on carol websites is that good-natured singing contests were held during the time when the two carols were popular. In these contests, men (holly) sang songs disparaging women (ivy) and women sang songs disparaging men. The contest is a nice idea and may well have happened, but so far I haven’t found any reliable evidence to support it.
Choir of Kings College Cambridge Sings The Holly and the Ivy
A Traditional Carol
Pagan customs such as bringing evergreens into the house during the winter solstice continued even after Christianity became dominant in Britain. Many of these customs are still popular during today’s Christmas celebrations. The old carols about holly and ivy have been replaced by a Christian version, however. This song is known as “The Holly and the Ivy”.
For those not family with the words of today’s carol, they can be heard in the video above. The lyrics are somewhat puzzling. The first line is “The Holly and the Ivy”, yet ivy is mentioned nowhere else in the carol except in the last verse, which is a repeat of the first verse. Holly is given the starring role in the song and ivy is ignored, so it seems strange that ivy is even mentioned.
The explanation that is often given is that the first line in the carol is a remnant of the old custom of linking holly and ivy together. In the rest of the carol ivy isn’t needed. The “holly” in the carol refers to Christ and the theme of the carol is his life.
The Ivy League
The Ivy League is a group of eight private and prestigious universities in the northeastern United States. The universities were established in the 1600s to 1800s and have a long tradition. The oldest of the group is Harvard, which was founded in 1636. Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth were founded in the 1700s and Cornell was founded in 1865.
The term “Ivy League” at first referred to the athletic league to which all eight universities belonged. Now it refers to the universities themselves. Some of the university buildings are covered with ivy, and in the 1800s the students at some of the institutions planted ivy as an annual tradition. These factors aren’t believed to be directly responsible for the term Ivy League, however. The explanation that is considered to be most likely for the origin of the term is its mention by a newspaper reporter named Caswell Adams.
In the early 1930s, a writer at the New York Tribune named Stanley Woodward referred to the northeastern universities as “ivy colleges”. This was perhaps the start of the tradition of using the word ivy in the group name for the universities.
Caswell Adams also worked at the New York Tribune. In 1937 Adams was assigned to write a report of a football game between two universities belonging to today’s Ivy League. This assignment reportedly prevented him from covering a game involving his alma mater—Fordham University—which was doing very well in football at that time. Apparently, Adams complained about having to cover a game between either two “ivy covered” or two “ivy league” universities. When the report appeared in the newspaper it referred to the universities as Ivy League institutions.
The Plant Today
English ivy is an interesting and tenacious plant that can be a useful part of its environment or an annoying interloper. Some people value ivy as an ornamental plant or as a part of nature. Ivy’s nectar and pollen can be important for bees and butterflies. Other people dislike the plant for its rapid growth and its ability to cover other plants and block sunlight. Whether we are an ivy supporter or a detractor, however, the plant is hard to ignore. Just as in the past, English ivy can make its presence felt.
Monarch Butterflies Feeding on English Ivy Nectar
The full version of the quoted ivy and holly carol is located at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. Other carols about holly and ivy are also shown at this site.
Four images of the thyrsus, the first being a spear (or pinecone topped) with leopard skin hanging off (representation of the starry sky), bound by a fillet (generally shown next to Osiris); the second, being a topped with a lotus plant, wrapped in ivy or some plant; the third being topped with a pinecone, wrapped in a blow (oft held by Bacchus); the forth being a pinecone topped staff wrapped in some type of ivy.
Some of the earliest depictions of Osiris show him standing next to a thyrsus; the following, e.g., shows Osiris in the Judgment Hall, during the Judgment of Amenti, with the “thyrsus” shown shown with a fillet, to which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended:
The spotting on the skin, supposedly, was thought to be representative of the constellations:
“The spotted skin of the leopard, which serves him for a mantle, represented the heavens filled with stars and constellations.”
Robert Brown (2002), citing Gardner Wilkinson (1836), comments on this diagram: 
“It is the same that the high-priest, clad in the leopard-skin dress, carries the processions, and which gave rise to the ‘nebrus’ and ‘thyrsus’ of Bacchus, to whom Osiris corresponds in Greek mythology (Wilkinson, 1836). The lotus flower, the emblem of a new birth, is represented just before the thyrsus.”
Osiris standing with a “thyrsus” pole shown on each side; below left (Ѻ) is from the tomb of Sennedjem (c.1250BC) (Ѻ) at Luxor; below right (Ѻ) is of similar period:
In 1875, John Wilkinson, in footnotes to Herodotus’ History, gives the following account of the thyrsus:
“The thyrsus is shown by Plutarch to be the staff (fig. 1), often bound by a fillet, to which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended near the figure of Osiris; for it is the same that the high priest, clad in the leopard skin dress, carries in the processions (Plut. de Is… s.35). Another form of it is the head of a water-plant (similar to that in fig. 3), to which Athenaeus (Deipn. v. p. 196) evidently alludes when he speaks of some columns having the form of palm-trees, and others of the thyrsus.”
John Wilkinson next surmises incorrectly on the symbolism of the pinecone as follows:
“The adoption of the pinecone to the head of the spear of Bacchusoriginated in the use of the resinous matter put into wine-skins, and afterwards into amphorae; but the thyrsus was also represented as a spear having its point ‘concealed in ivy leaves’, or: pampineis agitat velatam frondibus hastam (Ovid, Metamorphosis, iii. 667; comp. xi. 27, &c. Diodorus, iii, 64. Athen. Dipn. Xiv. 631 A.) Thus the poets generally describe it, as well as the paintings on Greek vases: and if the pinecone was preferred for statues of Bacchus, that was probably from its being better suited to sculpture. The resemblance of the nebris, and the Semitic name of the leopard, nimr, is striking, the car of bacchus being drawn by leopards; and the Bochart points to the analogy between Nebrodes, a title of Bacchus and Nimrod, who is called the Philo-Judaeus ‘Nebrod’. The pinecone was adopted by the Arabs as an ornament in architecture at an early time, and passed thence to cashmere shawls and embroidery.”
This conjecture that the pinecone originated because of its use in “using resinous matter put into wineskins” per reason that Osiris, in the great tale of the Passion of Osiris, was reborn as an “evergreen tree”, hence the pinecone is symbolic of this.
In c.800BC, the model of Osiris, and his thyrsus, was imported into Greece, via either migration and or Greeks studying abroad, into the guise of Dionysus and his thyrsus; in 200BC the Greek model of Dionysus and his thyrsus was imported into Rome into the guise of Bacchus and his thyrsus; in 200AD to 1000AD this general Osiris turned Dionysus-Bacchus model, according to the so-called Vossius-Huet conjecture (c.1680), was monotheized into the mold of Moses and his “magical staff” that parts the Red Sea and smites water from rocks, such as shown below right:
In Exodus 14, segment 14.16 (Ѻ) in particular, we find Moses famously “lifting up his rod”, just as Bacchus had done with his thyrsus, to part the Red Sea, as follows:
14.1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
A c.1000AD depiction of Moses with his magical “rod”, which, by the power of god, he used to part the red sea; as did the god Bacchus with his “thyrsus” before him.
15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.
Actual depictions of Moses with a thyrsus-like rod or staff, e.g. as shown adjacent, to note, supposedly, did begin to be seen until (Ѻ) the 10th century
1. Herodotus. (c.435). (1875). History of Herodotus, Volume Two (editors: Henry Rawlinson and John Wilkinson)(pg. 87). Publisher.
2. (a) Wilkinson, Gardner. (1836). Ancient Egyptians. Routledge, 2013..
(b) Brown, Robert H. (2002). Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy (pgs. 102-3). Publisher.
The colour blue is thought to represent God in the heavens (sky), whereas scarlet/red represents man (the name for “Adam” in Hebrew can be translated “man” or “red”) and purple (the combination of red and blue) is prophetic of the coming Messiah who would be both God and man. Red and Blue (and white/purple) are symbolic colours also seen in flags and governments alike. Hence during easter, priest wear purple and white, the colour you get when you mix the two.
The following is by David Ulansey
author of The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries
(Oxford University Press, 1991)
(Note: complete documentation for the following essay can be found
in my book on Mithraism, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries,
and in my articles listed at the bottom of this page.)
The ancient Roman religion known as the Mithraic mysteries has captivated the imaginations of scholars for generations. There are two reasons for this fascination. First, like the other ancient “mystery religions,” such as the Eleusinian mysteries and the mysteries of Isis, Mithraism maintained strict secrecy about its teachings and practices, revealing them only to initiates. As a result, reconstructing the beliefs of the Mithraic devotees has posed an enormously intriguing challenge to scholarly ingenuity. Second, Mithraism arose in the Mediterranean world at exactly the same time as did Christianity, and thus the study of the cult holds the promise of shedding vital light on the cultural dynamics that led to the rise of Christianity.
Owing to the cult’s secrecy, we possess almost no literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas. However, although our literary sources for Mithraism are extremely sparse, an abundance of material evidence for the cult exists in the many Mithraic temples and artifacts that archaeologists have found scattered throughout the Roman empire, from England in the north and west to Palestine in the south and east. The temples, called mithraea by scholars, were usually built underground in imitation of caves. These subterranean temples were filled with an extremely elaborate iconography: carved reliefs, statues, and paintings, depicting a variety of enigmatic figures and scenes. This iconography is our primary source of knowledge about Mithraic beliefs, but because we do not have any written accounts of its meaning the ideas that it expresses have proven extraordinarily difficult to decipher.
Underground Mithraic temple in Rome
The typical mithraeum was a small rectangular subterranean chamber, on the order of 75 feet by 30 feet with a vaulted ceiling. An aisle usually ran lengthwise down the center of the temple, with a stone bench on either side two or three feet high on which the cult’s members would recline during their meetings. On average a mithraeum could hold perhaps twenty to thirty people at a time. At the back of the mithraeum at the end of the aisle was always found a representation– usually a carved relief but sometimes a statue or painting– of the central icon of Mithraism: the so-called tauroctony or “bull-slaying scene” in which the god of the cult, Mithras, accompanied by a dog, a snake, a raven, and a scorpion, is shown in the act of killing a bull. Other parts of the temple were decorated with various scenes and figures. There were many hundreds– perhaps thousands– of Mithraic temples in the Roman empire. The greatest concentrations have been found in the city of Rome itself, and in those places in the empire (often in the most distant frontiers) where Roman soldiers– who made up a major segment of the cult’s membership– were stationed.
Mithraeum in Capua, Italy
Our earliest evidence for the Mithraic mysteries places their appearance in the middle of the first century B.C.: the historian Plutarch says that in 67 B.C. a large band of pirates based in Cilicia (a province on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor) were practicing “secret rites” of Mithras. The earliest physical remains of the cult date from around the end of the first century A.D., and Mithraism reached its height of popularity in the third century. In addition to soldiers, the cult’s membership included significant numbers of bureaucrats and merchants. Women were excluded. Mithraism declined with the rise to power of Christianity, until the beginning of the fifth century, when Christianity became strong enough to exterminate by force rival religions such as Mithraism.
For most of the twentieth century it has been assumed that Mithraism was imported from Iran, and that Mithraic iconography must therefore represent ideas drawn from ancient Iranian mythology. The reason for this is that the name of the god worshipped in the cult, Mithras, is a Greek and Latin form of the name of an ancient Iranian god, Mithra; in addition, Roman authors themselves expressed a belief that the cult was Iranian in origin. At the end of the nineteenth century Franz Cumont, the great Belgian historian of ancient religion, published a magisterial two- volume work on the Mithraic mysteries based on the assumption of the Iranian origins of the cult. Cumont’s work immediately became accepted as the definitive study of the cult, and remained virtually unchallenged for over seventy years.
There were, however, a number of serious problems with Cumont’s assumption that the Mithraic mysteries derived from ancient Iranian religion. Most significant among these is that there is no parallel in ancient Iran to the iconography which is the primary fact of the Roman Mithraic cult. For example, as already mentioned, by far the most important icon in the Roman cult was the tauroctony. This scene shows Mithras in the act of killing a bull, accompanied by a dog, a snake, a raven, and a scorpion; the scene is depicted as taking place inside a cave like the mithraeum itself. This icon was located in the most important place in every mithraeum, and therefore must have been an expression of the central myth of the Roman cult. Thus, if the god Mithras of the Roman religion was actually the Iranian god Mithra, we should expect to find in Iranian mythology a story in which Mithra kills a bull. However, the fact is that no such Iranian myth exists: in no known Iranian text does Mithra have anything to do with killing a bull.
Mithras killing bull
Franz Cumont had responded to this problem by focusing on an ancient Iranian text in which a bull is indeed killed, but in which the bull-slayer is not Mithra but rather Ahriman, the force of cosmic evil in Iranian religion. Cumont argued that there must have existed a variant of this myth– a variant for which there was, however, no actual evidence– in which the bull-slayer had been transformed from Ahriman to Mithra. It was this purely hypothetical variant on the myth of Ahriman’s killing of a bull that according to Cumont lay behind the tauroctony icon of the Roman cult of Mithras.
In the absence of any convincing alternative, Cumont’s explanation satisfied scholars for more than seventy years. However, in 1971 the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies was held in Manchester England, and in the course of this Congress Cumont’s theories came under concerted attack. Was it not possible, scholars at the Congress asked, that the Roman cult of Mithras was actually a new religion, and had simply borrowed the name of an Iranian god in order to give itself an exotic oriental flavor? If such a scenario seemed plausible, these scholars argued, one could no longer assume without question that the proper way to interpret Mithraism was to find parallels to its elements in ancient Iranian religion. In particular, Franz Cumont’s interpretation of the tauroctony as representing an Iranian myth was now no longer unquestionable. Thus from 1971 on, the meaning of the Mithraic tauroctony suddenly became a mystery: if this bull-slaying icon did not represent an ancient Iranian myth, what did it represent?
Within a few years after the 1971 Congress, a radically different approach to explaining the tauroctony began to be pursued by a number of scholars. It is not an exaggeration to say that this approach has in just the past few years succeeded in completely revolutionizing the study of the Mithraic mysteries. According to the proponents of this interpretation, the tauroctony is not, as Cumont and his followers claimed, a pictorial representation of an Iranian myth, but is rather something utterly different: namely, an astronomical star map!
This remarkable explanation of the tauroctony is based on two facts. First, every figure found in the standard tauroctony has a parallel among a group of constellations located along a continuous band in the sky: the bull is paralleled by Taurus, the dog by Canis Minor, the snake by Hydra, the raven by Corvus, and the scorpion by Scorpio. Second, Mithraic iconography in general is pervaded by explicit astronomical imagery: the zodiac, planets, sun, moon, and stars are often portrayed in Mithraic art (note for example the stars around the head of Mithras in the carving of the tauroctony illustrated above); in addition, numerous ancient authors speak about astronomical subjects in connection with Mithraism. In the writings of the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, for example, we find recorded a tradition that the cave which is depicted in the tauroctony and which the underground Mithraic temples were designed to imitate was intended to be “an image of the cosmos.” Given the general presence of astronomical motifs in Mithraic art and ideology, the parallel noted above between the tauroctony-figures and constellations is unlikely to be coincidence.
Tauroctony encircled by zodiac
My own research over the past decade has been devoted to discovering why these particular constellations might have been seen as especially important, and how an icon representing them could have come to form the core of a powerful religious movement in the Roman Empire.
In order to answer these questions, we must first have in mind a few facts about ancient cosmology. Today we know that the earth rotates on its axis once a day, and revolves around the sun once a year. However, Greco-Roman astronomy at the time of the Mithraic mysteries was based on a so-called “geocentric” cosmology, according to which the earth was fixed and immovable at the center of the universe and everything went around it. In this cosmology the universe itself was imagined as being bounded by a great sphere to which the stars, arranged in the various constellations, were attached. So, while we today understand that the earth rotates on its axis once every day, in antiquity it was believed instead that once a day the great sphere of the stars rotated around the earth, spinning on an axis that ran from the sphere’s north pole to its south pole. As it spun, the cosmic sphere was believed to carry the sun along with it, resulting in the apparent movment of the sun around the earth once a day.
This diagram shows the daily rotation of the cosmic sphere around the earth according to the “geocentric” cosmology. As shown here, the sun is carried along by the cosmic sphere around the earth once a day. However, as explained below, in the “geocentric” cosmology the sun was also believed to possess a second movement beyond its daily rotation with the cosmic sphere: namely, its yearly revolution along the circle of the “zodiac.”
In addition to this daily rotation of the cosmic sphere carrying the sun along with it, the ancients also attributed a second, slower motion to the sun. While today we know that the earth revolves around the sun once a year, in antiquity it was believed instead that once a year the sun– which was understood as being closer to the earth than the sphere of the stars– traveled around the earth, tracing a great circle in the sky against the background of the constellations. This circle traced by the sun during the course of the year was known as the “zodiac”– a word meaning “living figures,” which was a reference to the fact that as the sun moved along the circle of the zodiac it passed in front of twelve different constellations which were represented as having various animal and human forms.
Zodiac (circle of 12 figures) with sun in Aries. In the “geocentric” cosmology the sun was believed to move along this circle around the earth once a year. The other cosmic circle shown here, parallel to the earth’s equator, is called the “celestial equator.”
Because the ancients believed in the real existence of the great sphere of the stars, its various parts– such as its axis and poles– played a central role in the cosmology of the time. In particular, one important attribute of the sphere of the stars was much better known in antiquity than it is today: namely, its equator, known as the “celestial equator.” Just as the earth’s equator is defined as a circle around the earth equidistant from the north and south poles, so the celestial equator was understood as a circle around the sphere of the stars equidistant from the sphere’s poles. The circle of the celestial equator was seen as having a particularly special importance because of the two points where it crosses the circle of the zodiac: for these two points are the equinoxes, that is, the places where the sun, in its movement along the zodiac, appears to be on the first day of spring and the first day of autumn. Thus the celestial equator was responsible for defining the seasons, and hence had a very concrete significance in addition to its abstract astronomical meaning.
As a result, the celestial equator was often described in ancient popular literature about the stars. Plato, for example, in his dialogue Timaeus said that when the creator of the universe first formed the cosmos, he shaped its substance in the form of the letter X, representing the intersection of the two celestial circles of the zodiac and the celestial equator. This cross-shaped symbol was often depicted in ancient art to indicate the cosmic sphere. In fact, one of the most famous examples of this motif is a Mithraic stone carving showing the so-called “lion-headed god,” whose image is often found in Mithraic temples, standing on a globe that is marked with the cross representing the two circles of the zodiac and the celestial equator.
Lion-headed god standing on globe with crossed circles
One final fact about the celestial equator is crucial: namely, that it does not remain fixed, but rather possesses a slow movement known as the “precession of the equinoxes.” This movement, we know today, is caused by a wobble in the earth’s rotation on its axis. As a result of this wobble, the celestial equator appears to change its position over the course of thousands of years. This movement is known as the precession of the equinoxes because its most easily observable effect is a change in the positions of the equinoxes, the places where the celestial equator crosses the zodiac. In particular, the precession results in the equinoxes moving slowly backward along the zodiac, passing through one zodiacal constellation every 2,160 years and through the entire zodiac every 25,920 years. Thus, for example, today the spring equinox is in the constellation of Pisces, but in a few hundred years it will be moving into Aquarius (the so-called “dawning of the Age of Aquarius”). More to our point here, in Greco-Roman times the spring equinox was in the constellation Aries, which it had entered around 2,000 B.C.
It is this phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes that provides the key to unlocking the secret of the astronomical symbolism of the Mithraic tauroctony. For the constellations pictured in the standard tauroctony have one thing in common: namely, they all lay on the celestial equator as it was positioned during the epoch immediately preceeding the Greco-Roman “Age of Aries.” During that earlier age, which we may call the “Age of Taurus,” lasting from around 4,000 to 2,000 B.C., the celestial equator passed through Taurus the Bull (the spring equinox of that epoch), Canis Minor the Dog, Hydra the Snake, Corvus the Raven, and Scorpio the Scorpion (the autumn equinox): that is, precisely the constellations represented in the Mithraic tauroctony.
In the above diagram the celestial equator intersects the zodiac in Aries. This was the situation during the “Age of Aries.” The sun is here pictured (in Aries) as it was located on the day of the spring equinox in that age.
Here the cosmic axis has wobbled, so that the celestial equator intersects the zodiac in Taurus– the situation during the “Age of Taurus.” The sun is here pictured (in Taurus) as it was located on the day of the spring equinox in that age. In this “Age of Taurus” the celestial equator passed through Taurus, Canis Minor, Hydra, Corvus, and Scorpio: precisely the constellations pictured in the Mithraic bull-slaying icon.
In fact, we may even go one step further. For during the Age of Taurus, when the equinoxes were in Taurus and Scorpio, the two solstices– which are also shifted by the precession– were in Leo the Lion and Aquarius the Waterbearer. (In the above diagram of the “Age of Taurus,” Leo and Aquarius are the northernmost and southernmost constellations of the zodiacal circle respectively– these were the positions of thesummer and winter solstices in that age.)It is thus of great interest to note that in certain regions of the Roman empire a pair of symbols was sometimes added to the tauroctony: namely, a lion and a cup. These symbols must represent the constellations Leo and Aquarius, the locations of the solstices during the Age of Taurus. Thus all of the figures found in the tauroctony represent constellations that had a special position in the sky during the Age of Taurus.
The Mithraic tauroctony, then, was apparently designed as a symbolic representation of the astronomical situation that obtained during the Age of Taurus. But what religious significance could this have had, so that the tauroctony could have come to form the central icon of a powerful cult? The answer to this question lies in the fact that the phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes was unknown throughout most of antiquity: it was discovered for the first time around 128 B.C. by the great Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Today we know that the precession is caused by a wobble in the earth’s rotation on its axis. However, for Hipparchus– because he held to the ancient geocentric cosmology in which the earth was believed to be immovable– what we today know to be a movement of the earth could only be understood as a movement of the entire cosmic sphere. In other words, Hipparchus’s discovery amounted to the discovery that the entire universe was moving in a way that no one had ever been aware of before!
At the time Hipparchus made his discovery, Mediterranean intellectual and religious life was pervaded by astrological beliefs. It was widely believed that the stars and planets were living gods, and that their movements controlled all aspects of human existence. In addition, at this time most people believed in what scholars call “astral immortality”: that is, the idea that after death the human soul ascends up through the heavenly spheres to an afterlife in the pure and eternal world of the stars. In time, the celestial ascent of the soul came to be seen as a difficult voyage, requiring secret passwords to be recited at each level of the journey. In such circumstances, Hipparchus’s discovery would have had profound religious implications. A new force had been detected capable of shifting the cosmic sphere: was it not likely that this new force was a sign of the activity of a new god, a god so powerful that he was capable of moving the entire universe?
Hipparchus’s discovery of the precession made it clear that before the Greco-Roman period, in which the spring equinox was in the constellation of Aries the Ram, the spring equinox had last been in Taurus the Bull. Thus, an obvious symbol for the phenomenon of the precession would have been the death of a bull, symbolizing the end of the “Age of Taurus” brought about by the precession. And if the precession was believed to be caused by a new god, then that god would naturally become the agent of the death of the bull: hence, the “bull-slayer.”
This, I propose, is the origin and nature of Mithras the cosmic bull-slayer. His killing of the bull symbolizes his supreme power: namely, the power to move the entire universe, which he had demonstrated by shifting the cosmic sphere in such a way that the spring equinox had moved out of Taurus the Bull.
Given the pervasive influence in the Greco-Roman period of astrology and “astral immortality,” a god possessing such a literally world-shaking power would clearly have been eminently worthy of worship: since he had control over the cosmos, he would automatically have power over the astrological forces determining life on earth, and would also possess the ability to guarantee the soul a safe journey through the celestial spheres after death.
That Mithras was believed to possess precisely such a cosmic power is in fact proven by a number of Mithraic artworks depicting Mithras in various ways as having control over the universe. For example, one scene shows a youthful Mithras holding the cosmic sphere in one hand while with his other hand he rotates the circle of the zodiac.
Mithras holding cosmic sphere and rotating zodiac
Another image shows Mithras in the role of the god Atlas, supporting on his shoulder the great sphere of the universe, as Atlas traditionally does.
Mithras as Atlas
A further example is provided by a number of tauroctonies that symbolize Mithras’s cosmic power by showing him with the starry sky contained beneath his flying cape (see illustration at beginning of article).
If Mithras was in fact believed to be capable of moving the entire universe, then he must have been understood as in some sense residing outside of the cosmos. This idea may help us to understand another very common Mithraic iconographical motif: namely, the so-called “rock-birth” of Mithras. This scene shows Mithras emerging from the top of a roughly spherical or egg-shaped rock, which is usually depicted with a snake entwined around it.
Rock-Birth of Mithras
As I mentioned previously, the tauroctony depicts the bull-slaying as taking place inside a cave, and the Mithraic temples were built in imitation of caves. But caves are precisely hollows within the rocky earth, which suggests that the rock from which Mithras is born is meant to represent the Mithraic cave as seen from the outside. Now as we saw earlier, the ancient author Porphyry records the tradition that the Mithraic cave was intended to be “an image of the cosmos.” Of course, the hollow cave would have to be an image of the cosmos as seen from the inside, looking out at the enclosing, cave-like sphere of the stars. But if the cave symbolizes the cosmos as seen from the inside, it follows that the rock out of which Mithras is born must ultimately be a symbol for the cosmos as seen from the outside. This idea is not as abstract as might first appear, for artistic representations of the cosmos as seen from the outside were in fact very common in antiquity. A famous example is the “Atlas Farnese” statue, showing Atlas bearing on his shoulder the cosmic globe, on which are depicted the constellations as they would appear from an imaginary vantage point outside of the universe.
Atlas Farnese statue, 2nd century A.D.
That the rock from which Mithras is born does indeed represent the cosmos is proven by the snake that entwines it: for this image evokes unmistakeably the famous Orphic myth of the snake-entwined “cosmic egg” out of which the universe was formed when the creator-god Phanes emerged from it at the beginning of time. Indeed, the Mithraists themselves explicitly identified Mithras with Phanes, as we know from an inscription found in Rome and from the iconography of a Mithraic monument located in England.
The birth of Mithras from the rock, therefore, would appear to represent the idea that he is in some sense greater than the cosmos. Capable of moving the entire universe, he cannot be contained within the cosmic sphere, and is therefore depicted in the rock-birth as bursting out of the enclosing cave of the universe, and establishing his presence in the transcendent space beyond the cosmos.
This imaginary “place beyond the universe” had been described vividly by Plato several centuries before the origins of Mithraism. In his dialogue Phaedrus (247B-C) Plato envisions a journey by a soul to the outermost boundary of the cosmos, and then gives us a glimpse of what the soul would see if for a brief moment it were able to “look upon the regions without.” “Of that place beyond the heavens,” says Plato,
none of our earthly poets has yet sung, and none shall sing worthily. But this is the manner of it, for assuredly we must be bold to speak what is true, above all when our discourse is upon truth. It is there that true being dwells, without colour or shape, that cannot be touched; reason alone, the soul’s pilot, can behold it, and all true knowledge is knowledge thereof.
Beyond the heavens
I would suggest that the awe-inspiring quality of Plato’s vision of what is beyond the outermost boundary of the cosmos also lies behind the appeal of Mithras as a divine being whose proper domain is outside of the universe. As the text from Plato shows, the establishment by ancient astronomers of the sphere of the stars as the absolute boundary of the cosmos only encouraged the human imagination to project itself beyond that boundary in an exhilarating leap into an infinite mystery. There beyond the cosmos dwelled the ultimate divine forces, and Mithras’s ability to move the entire universe made him one with those forces.
Here in the end we may sense a profound kinship between Mithraism and Christianity. For early Christianity also contained at its core an ideology of cosmic transcendence. Nowhere is this better expressed than in the opening of the earliest gospel, Mark. There, at the beginning of the foundation story of Christianity, we find Jesus, at the moment of his baptism, having a vision of “the heavens torn open.” Just as Mithras is revealed as a being from beyond the universe capable of altering the cosmic spheres, so here we find Jesus linked with a rupture of the heavens, an opening into the numinous realms beyond the furthest cosmic boundaries. Perhaps, then, the figures of Jesus and Mithras are to some extent both manifestations of a single deep longing in the human spirit for a sense of contact with the ultimate mystery.
Excerpts from reviews of The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries:
Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World by David Ulansey
(Oxford University Press, 1989; revised paperback, 1991)
In fact, the rainbow does not contain seven colours, but only six: three fundamental or primary (red, blue, yellow) and three composed or complementary (green, orange, violet) and no more. The three last colours are said to be composed of or complementary to the three first as they result from their two by two associations: green (blue + yellow), orange (red + yellow) and violet (red + blue).
No valid reason allows the addition of an intermediary colour between violet and blue (indigo) because why not add another transition colour between blue and green (cyan), green and yellow (citrine), yellow and orange (yellow orange) and orange and red (red orange) to, finally, obtain eleven colours instead of seven. All colours and their nuances are the result of the combination, in different proportions, of the six primary and composed colours, including indigo. To fix arbitrarily the number of rainbow colours to seven has no sense at all. Then, where does the introduction of this seventh colour come from 1 and what is its meaning ?
If we put the three primary colours on the vertexes of a triangle pointing upwards and the three composed colours on the vertexes of a reverse triangle, so that each fundamental colour stands opposite its complement, we get a Solomon seal. This seal defines seven zones composed of six coloured triangles and a central non coloured hexagon. As the rainbow spectrum can be viewed by refraction of sunlight through a prism, the central zone may only represent the source of the manifestation (of colours), namely the “white” light.
Another way of representing primary and composed colours consists in drawing six radiuses joining the centre of the hexagon to the six vertexes of the seal and to attribute to them the colours of the six triangles. The “white” light stands then at the intersection of the six radiuses and symbolizes the Centre.
The Centre represents the Principle, the “white” light, source of primary and complement colours. In fact, it portrays the seventh ray of the sun, the meaning of which has been lost along the ages and come back under the toned down form of the seventh colour of the rainbow (indigo).
The colour perception corresponds to a way out of the non coloured Principle into the manifested; the resorption of the colours into their Principle sounds like a way back to the Centre. This double movement between the non coloured Principle and its coloured manifestation gives all its meaning to the number seven.
The septenarius symbolism
Another way of representing the sun radiating the real rainbow colours consists in drawing it within the three dimensional space. Then, the six directions and colours are opposed two by two and extend from their common point or Centre, symbol of their unity.
In this drawing, the vertical axis links Heaven and Earth and refers to the spiritual order whereas the horizontal plane, related to the four compass points, corresponds to the temporal order.
The real meaning of the septenarius lies in the Centre or the unity of the Principle and its senarius manifestation (of the real rainbow colours).
Many examples of the septenarius may be found in various customs and traditions.
1. The above drawing may be connected with the seven virtues of the Christian tradition.
The vertical axis is related to the three theological virtues: “Faith” or Trust (white), “Charity” or Divine love (red), “Hope” (green).
The horizontal plane represents the four cardinal virtues: “Prudence” or Wisdom (yellow), “Temperance” (violet), “Justice” or Harmony (orange) and “Fortitude” or spiritual Force (blue).
The reasons behind these connections will appear more clearly within the colour symbolism section.
2. In the Veda, it is said that the sun comes every morning riding on its golden chariot pulled by seven horses (“ashva”). In Sanskrit, “ashva” means the horse and the ray as well. So, the golden chariot refers to the seven rays of the sun, where the seventh represents the central one, the “white” light, and the six others the rainbow colours.
A similar meaning can be found in the seven-branched candelabrum (“Menorah”) of the Jewish tradition. The central branch represents, among other things, the “white” light from which six other branches, symbolizing the six rainbow colours, are radiating.
3. In the Genesis, the creation occurred in six days and ended up with a seventh, a so-called resting day (Sabbath). The last is not really a resting day outside the creation, but rather its final crowning consisting in a return to the Principle (Centre).
Similarly, the week, the days of which get their names from the denomination of the astral objects, ends up or starts a Sunday, the day of the sun, the star around which the planets are revolving.
4. In many traditional forms, the number of degrees of the initiation path comes to seven, the highest corresponding to the unity of the septenarius.
For instance, the Chinese tradition, in its overall exoteric (Confucianism) and esoteric (Taoism) aspects, contains an ascent ladder of seven grades. Six of them have a human character whereas the seventh, as the achievement of the realization, is properly supra-human or spiritual and represents the Centre.
The first two grades (Well-read man, Learned man) concern Confucianism only, the third one (Wise man) refers to both Confucianism and Taoism and the four last ones (Talented man, Path man, True man, Transcendent man) to Taoism exclusively.
5. Similarly, in Hindu tradition, there are seven “chakras” (wheels), situated alongside the spine, in an ascending order. They represent the consciousness levels from the ordinary consciousness linked to fear, greed and sexual instincts to the universal Consciousness, corresponding to the Principle. While each of the six first “chakras” is connected to an organ of the body, a symbolic colour or number etc., the seventh may be associated with the “white” light.
6. This gradual ascent of the initiation degrees from Earth to Heaven are depicted, within the Islamic tradition, by the seven rung ladder in relation to the seven celestial spheres.
7. The Japanese pagoda traditionally has seven stories to mark the different stages of the ascent from Earth to Heaven.
Likewise, according to the Mesopotamian tradition, a spiral slope was winding round the seven-storeyed ziggurat. The last storey, which is empty, symbolizes the return into the non-manifested, the Principle.
8. The image of the philosophical stone of the Pythagorean tradition is also an echo to the septenarius (7). Each of its faces is developed according to a triangle and a square. The triangle is composed of a vertex in relation to the Principle (1) and a basis reflecting its polarity (2). The four corners (4) of the square refer naturally to the four compass points and portray the manifestation basis.
Other examples could be given, but they would add nothing more to the septenarius or colour meanings.
The colour symbolism
The human eye may distinguish seven hundred colour nuances and there is no question to mention here all their aspects. Since the same colour may assume different meanings according to its tonality (clearer or darker) or the world it is applied to (manifested or non-manifested, spiritual or temporal etc.). So, only qualities of main colours, in relation to different worlds, will be touched in the remaining text. We will start with white, source of the rainbow colours.
White and Black
White symbolizes the Principle of the manifestation of colours and everything in general. It corresponds to the being who has reintegrated the Centre, who has overcome the human state and accessed a supra human or spiritual state. White is the colour of druids of the Celtic tradition and Brahmins of Hindu tradition. It symbolizes the spiritual or sacerdotal authority, which has authority over the temporal or royal power.
White depicts the presence, the manifestation (of colours); black the absence, the non-manifestation (of colours).The alternating white and black tiles portray the constant game between the visible and the invisible, the world of appearances and the world of depths
White personifies the initiation path as well, going through all spiritual realization degrees and based on trust and surrendering. Reaching the last degree or the Centre means returning to the Principle. Opposed to white, source of the manifestation, of the presence (of colours), black depicts the non-manifested, the absence (of colours). Seen from the outer (exoteric vision), from the manifestation point of view, the Principle or Centre is white. Apprehended from the inner (esoteric vision), it is non-manifested and black. Black constitutes, in a way, the real Centre, source of all rays, including the seventh. Thus, some ladders of initiation degrees of the Islamic tradition may contain seven, even eight, rungs, the last one being black to emphasize the ultimate step of the spiritual accomplishment.
Moreover, in Hindu tradition, black is also the colour of the lower class (distinct from the lower caste). Indeed, there are two ways not to belong to a class (“varna”, which means colour as well):
– To be deprived of class (“avarna”) as the shudras;
– To be beyond the classes (“ativarna”), that means having rejoined the Centre.
It ensues that black symbolizes the beginning of the manifestation cycle or the Principle and the end of the cycle in relation to its full development. Consequently, black represents both the brightest and the darkest light according to the point of view: non-manifested or manifested.
The juxtaposition of white and black symbolizes naturally pairs such as light and darkness, day and night, yang and yin etc. The white of yang and black of yin put the pre-eminence of yang over yin in an obvious place from the manifestation point of view. A pre-eminence accompanied with a deep complement between both principles, which is reflected by the entanglement of white and black zones within the yin yang symbol.
More commonly, the overlapping layout of white and black tiles of cathedral floors has a similar meaning. So does the chessboard, composed of alternating black and white squares. It conveys the constant game between the non-manifested and the manifestation through its indefinite multiplicity of (coloured) moves.
As the colour of putting the enemy place to fire and the sword, red represents courage and, more symbolically, the power and the force in this world. As the “uppermost” colour of the rainbow, it corresponds to the highest rank of the temporal order. A role traditionally devoted to warriors and their chief, the king. It is the colour of the Kshatriyas, second function after the Brahmins within Hindu tradition. The cross of the soldier monks, knights of the Temple order, provides a more familiar example. The cardinals of the Catholic Church have inherited this sovereignty symbol.
If white symbolizes the sacerdotal authority of the principle knowledge, red represents the temporal power in charge of their application. In that sense, red symbolizes love of the divine Principle.
As the “lowest” fundamental colour within the rainbow, (dark) blue represents the colour of the productive function.
Blue is the most insubstantial colour, which occurs in nature mostly in its translucency form and essentially in the sky or waters. Therefore, it symbolizes more the essence than the substance, mainly the spiritual force, the Spirit, the inner Peace.
Light blue is the colour of meditation and, as it darkens, it becomes the colour of dreams. The Consciousness yields little by little to the unconscious just as the light of day gradually turns into the colour of night, the midnight blue.
From the temporal point of view, yellow represents, in Hindu tradition, the “middle” colour linked to the vaishyas caste.
As the warmest colour of the light spectrum, yellow is related to sun and gold, two symbols of the spiritual influence, of Wisdom. The transmutation of lead into gold symbolized the inner alchemy transforming the human being into a spiritual or a supra-human being. That is why yellow is linked to the re-birth of the being and the resurrection of Christ.
Situated halfway within the rainbow spectrum, yellow represents the “Middle Path”. It symbolizes the communication channel between Heaven and Earth, blue and red. In ancient China, it was the imperial colour. The emperor ruled over the “Middle Empire” as sun reigned in the skies. In connection with its highly spiritual characteristics, yellow was often associated with black from which it emerges. In various traditions, it symbolizes the transmission of the divine power to emperors and kings.
As the most common colour spread over the earth, green represents both the life rising from the plant and its decomposition. As such, it is associated with the cycle of death and rebirth.
Moreover, mid-way between the so-called warm colours (red, orange, yellow) and cool colours (blue, violet), green is the colour of neutrality, quietness, calming, all what we are hoping for.
Combination of blue and yellow, green is the colour of awakening, re-generation and access to spiritual knowledge.
Myths often refer to the complement of red and green. In the Egyptian tradition, Osiris corpse (green) was brought to life again by Isis (red). In the Christian version of the quest of the Holy Grail, the emerald vase contains the blood of God who became human.
If yellow is related to the sun in its apparent fullness, orange is identified to sunrise and sunset, i.e. sun elevation and descent. In other terms, orange characterizes at the same time the flight towards light and the descent towards darkness, synonym of ignorance.
Mix of yellow and red, orange combines the spiritual gold and the temporal red and symbolizes the equilibrium between celestial and terrestrial worlds, which means justice in a deep sense, i.e. harmony.
This balanced way was sought in ritual orgies regarded as bringing with them the initiatory revelation. This is why Dionysus is represented dressed in orange. To day, the saffron garment of Buddhist monks symbolizes also this search of harmony.
Violet isthe colour of temperance as if softens the blaze of red. This is the meaning attached to the bishop’s sacerdotal vestments. He has to watch over his flock and moderate the heat of his passions.
Composed of equal proportions of blue and red, violet represents also a balance colour between Heaven and Earth. Lying opposite to yellow, a colour of the passage between death to a state of being and re-birth into another, violet depicts, on the contrary, the passage from life to death to a being state before springing up again or resuscitating into another state. That is why choirs and statues of churches are draped in violet on Good Friday. Prior to the Renaissance, many gospel-books, psalters and breviaries were written in golden letters on a violet background so that the reader could constantly remember the mystery of the Lord’s Passion. Later, in Western societies, the colour became that of mourning or half-mourning. As such, violet is related to a rite of passage from a state to another one.
René Guénon: “Symbols of Sacred Science”, Sophia Perennis Publisher 2004;
In Symbols of Sacred Science, Guénon, a master of precise, even mathematical metaphysical exposition, reveals himself as a consummate exegete of myth and symbolism as well, superior in many ways to Mircea Eliade, and comparable perhaps only to his respected friend Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. This extraordinary text unveils the cosmological meanings of root symbols organized under such general headings as: The Center of the World, Cyclic Manifestation, Symboic Weapons, Axial Symbolism and the Symbolsim of Passage, The Symbolism of Building, and The Symbolism of the Heart. Far more than a simple catalogue of myths and symbols from many traditions, Symbols of the Sacred Science lays the foundation for a universal esoteric symbology. In this work, Guénon demonstrates the fundamental unityacross all cultures and agesof the images with which the Absolute clothes itself in its cosmic self-revelation.
More specifically, chapters 47 on white and black and 57 devoted to the seven rays of the rainbow.
1 back The white light breakdown into seven colours returns to Newton. For a long time, one has wondered what was the reason for the introduction of indigo ? It would seem that Newton wanted to establish a correspondence between the seven planets known at that time and the colours of the visible light spectrum. As the “universal” attraction followed from the different planet masses, the colour spectrum would result from distinct corpuscle masses.
Joby Gorillapod Zoom Tripod: Sunpak Handheld Stabilizer: Cam Caddie Universal Mount For GoPro: Lume Cube GoPro Mounting Bar: GoPro 3.5mm Mic Adapter: Rechargable Light: Universal Horseshoe Adapter: MyCharge Adventure Portable BatteryCharger: Rode Video Micro (microphone):
1. GoPro 6 or cell phone (iphone X/Samsung S9+) 2. PULUZ for GoPro HERO6 Toughened Glass Lens + LCD
2. Rode Videomic micro Me / Videomic micro
The Videomic Me can also be used on cellphones. The Videomic micro comes with a shoe stand and cable while the Videomic me doesn’t (sad story) Both come with the deadcat. The Videomic me might plug directly into the Gopro mic adapter. So if you want to use both on Gopro and phone, you either have to buy both or live with just the Videomic Me and use it like that. The Videomic me also has a rear 3.5 connector for a ligtning to mic adapter to use on an iPhone. No ligtning versions only available as yet or direct usb C to plug in straight into a gopro with a mic adapter