“Three tables bore the Grail, a round one, a square one and a rectangular. All three have the same perimeter and their Number is 21”. (The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral, p.92, p.133)
When I first read this I felt I had been involuntarily pulled into a ritual. The ritual was cosmic. It was a wave-action like a heart-beat. I accepted it before I understood it without knowing why.
By this time I was already thinking in terms of 3-ness because of my 1980 dream (that I’ve been referring to all along) which had occurred right on the occasion of what every tradition of astrology ever known has called the ‘progressed New Moon’. This is based on the synodical month which depends from 3 bodies: Sun, Moon and Earth. It is about 29.53 years from one pNM to the next, so a year corresponds to about 1° which ‘equals’ one day. Nature is a continuous relationship between storage and release; systole and diastole; enthalpy and entropy, accumulation and discharge, yin and yang, seed and flower; implicate and explicate. The pNM is the point of maximum contraction, the shedding of the old, the last vestige of exhalation, the seed, a new implicate order awaiting growth. But it also possesses the potential for inner illumination; a light born from the darkest dark. This is the light of revelation; the “Fire of Saint John,” when one has been taken back to the seed and its mysterious and even formidable cavern, the Broad Hall of Osiris. In the image below where a five-fold serpent is biting its tail, the fallen Osiris figure has a scarab on his head – the symbol of spiritual metamorphosis. Above this cavern, the fire of 3 serpents is about to burn the enclosed contents of 3 chests containing head, wing and animal loins. One imagines three parts of the temple:
the court for the pelvis; the covered way for the spiritual heart and the secret sanctuaries for the head: the origin and place of return. At Chartres you have Nave, Transepts and Choir: Round, Square, Rectangular. One can speak of 3 fires: Sagittarius, Leo, Aries.
Though the progressed New Moon is the product of 3 bodies, the fruit of their harmony is a fourth. The fourth behaves differently from the other three. They are all recapitulated within it. In the inspired and well-known Emerald Tablet, the Sun is its father, the Moon its mother and the Earth is its nurse. The fourth that concerns us rather uniquely is none other than man, often symbolized by the head which distinguishes us.
At Gizeh there are three great pyramids; three chests ‘efficient for burning’; three “pyres” capable of reducing and purifying the ash of the Phoenix. The largest, shown below, canonizes the squaring-of-the-circle. The other two
celebrate other significant geometrical principles. But there are also 6 smaller pyramids, suggesting that behind the Sphinx you have the Great Ennead. Atum was said to become the Great Ennead. He was both Primordial Mound and Great Ennead. 9 is the square of 3. It is the sum of 3 + 3 + 3. It is a 3-fold wave of amplification that transforms into a 10th, Horus of Egypt: the spiritual essence that the Nine Bows release into the Netherworld.
Here we see 3 ruined pyramids next to the south-west pyramid (Mycerinus). There are three more small pyramids in front of the Great Pyramid seen here in the distance at the right, bringing the total to 9. Horus was the tenth. One imagines the three large pyramids to refer to Atum, Geb and Osiris. It is difficult not to think of the Great Sphinx as being both the fourth and the tenth. The Sphinx represents man “made in the image of – ”.
The human imagination is difficult to satisfy – but who would want it any other way? Reductionism is the first step on the road to dictatorship. Better to take an alternative path with bare feet and the shirt on your back if it avoids the debacle of subjugating others in order to dominate their freedom. The Grail is like the number 64. It invokes totality. The welfare of the whole is in its embrace. And to celebrate that totality it spawns many children to bear witness to it. However everything great finds its own limitations. The Grail Castle did not open its gates to just anybody at any time. Wounds sometimes hold the sole key of entry. In Parzival a bleeding lance possesses as much mystery as the cornucopia that satisfies all the heart’s desires and quenches the thirst of monk and glutton alike! Parzival was supposed to ask about the lance and the blood that was dripping down its shaft. A lance pierces. It can kill. But it can also let something extra enter the vessel. This sets in motion a transformation. Passion, self-satisfaction and pride yield to spirit and its wider frame of reference that includes the tribulations and joys of others encountered beyond the boundary of one’s own vessel.
Were the builders thinking of man’s genesis in the image of the three tables when they spoke of the Grail? Were they thinking of the manner by which ‘God fashioned Adam on his Potter’s Wheel’ as depicted at Chartres echoing the way the Ram-Headed Egyptian neter, Khnum fashioned a man and his double (ka) also on a Potter’s Wheel at Luxor, Egypt? The emphasis at Chartres was on Adam’s head.
Chartres was under the spell of Plato’s Timaeus at that time. Plato saw the gods fashioning the World Soul first as a sphere. The head was created in imitation of both World Soul and the Eternal Living Being who was spherical. The body then followed as a matter of practical necessity to stabilize the spherical head. But in any case Charpentier is quick to point out within the context of his use of the past tense, “bore the Grail”, that:
“… even the bare mention of the Grail shows clearly that there is no question of trifling and that this “trade secret” had, in its application, an initiatory significance and, especially in the case of a cathedral, a bearing on initiatory action.” (ibid, p.133)
Were the pyramids also built with a mind to initiatory action? And was the Eye of Horus the fruit and blossom of that action? Unadulterated instinct, of course, says “yes”. The politics of history and religion engages in polemics in order to promote a current brand name; a label. But this is just an earthly substitute for a spiritual frustration; initiation obstructed; the Eye shut up in darkness. At Chartres all such argument seems to cease. We are born from an earthly mother. But there is an essence that yearns for rebirth in spirit. This is a path, a quest, a journey. It proceeds in steps: traditionally three.
THE KING’S CHAMBER: GRAND UNIFICATION
Note first, at the summit of the Pyramid, I have marked in the difference in meters between the square and the circle. It is 31.416 meters or 60 royal cubits. Recall from earlier posts that the 1/2-base is 220 cubits and the Pyramid Height is 280 cubits which is the radius of the circle with the same perimeter as the square. 280 – 220 = 60 and 60 royal cubits is 60 ×.5236 = 31.416 meters. This becomes the perimeter of the King’s Chamber set at the point of golden section of the Unity Cube, ABCD, taken as “1” when the ½ base is 1.618 and apothem is 2.618. The Great Step is mounted at the north-south midpoint of the Pyramid. The King’s Chamber can now be seen as the module of the whole. Its width (10 cubits) fits into the difference between square and circle 6 times. It fits into the 1/2 base 22 times. It fits into the whole base 44 times. It fits into the height 28 times. It fits into the length of the Great Sphinx 14 times. Not only is the Sphinx length in a pi relationship with the Pyramid Base but the perimeter of the King’s Chamber names pi in meters as 31.416 meters (modern pi is 3.1415926…). Right away we have stumbled upon the three tables that bore the Grail – in the King’s Chamber itself. The round table has a diameter of exactly 10 meters. The square table has a side that is 3/4th the length of the King’s Chamber as shown in the previous post, or the diagonal of the end wall which is 15 cubits. 15 × 4 = 60 cubits = 31.416 meters. The rectangular table is 10 ×20 cubits with a perimeter that is 10 ×6 = 60 cubits = 20 × 3 = 31.416 meters. So when the start point is a circle with a diameter of 10 meters and circumference of 31.416 meters, the royal cubit can be used as the means to ‘square-the-circle’. One simply divides the circle by 6 using a 6-pointed star, and turns it into a 2:1 rectangle where the width is equal to 1/6th of the circle. The radius of the circle is 5 but the width of the KC will be 5.236. To find the square with equal perimeter of 60 cubits one can simply divide by 4 but it is worth noting that if the height of the walls are 1/2 the diagonal of the floor, the diagonal of the end wall will be exactly 15 cubits (7.854 meters) and this gives an equal perimeter of 60 cubits or 7.854 × 4 = 31.416 meters. The King’s Chamber is a celebration of the ‘three tables that bore the Grail’ all interconnected with each other in a single volume that incidentally is 1000 × 2.236068 cubits³ or 1000 times the square root of 5 = 2,236.068 cubits³ = 321 m³.
All this seems unnecessarily complicated initially. But in fact it is remarkably simple and even more remarkably harmonious. What is important, however, is to learn the significance of that 31.416 meter difference that we find at the scale of the Great Pyramid, which happens to be 1:43,200 compared to the Earth. Something about that 60 cubit difference between radius and 1/2 square was of fundamental importance to the Egyptians. It was considered so significant that they took that difference and made it the perimeter of the King’s Chamber, itself a fine example of the ‘3 tables that bore the Grail’! 60/220 = .2727. We can note immediately that our Moon bears the same ratio to the Earth as 60 does to 220. In mean terms: 3476/12,732 = .273. A common ratio used today is 3476/12,741 = .27282. I will come back to the Earth/Moon relationship as we proceed. At this stage of our understanding, this ‘squared-circle’ relationship between Earth and Moon is a genuine mystery and in my view raises significant questions about the real history of the two bodies. Harmonious forces were somehow able to ‘shape’ this relationship. I am certain that one aspect of the shaping was gravitational. Moreover, I would hazard that it was a shared gravitational field operating for a long time – almost as if the Moon were at one point within the Earth and a bit like a “polar body” in biology, was somehow expelled from the Earth. The analogy is very general because of the fundamental difference in scale. Nanometric forces are at work in an ovum for example. So electromagnetic energy is working with a volume overload. In the case of Earth and Moon a straight collision by a large entity (“Giant Impact Theory”) seems too accidental. Perhaps iron and magnetic fields played some unknown role with the Moon already pre-formed near or on the Earth surface during a precise phase of rapid self-gravity.
In the Great Pyramid there seem to be three levels. With the Unity Cube in the center, the Subterranean Chamber falls right on the square root of 2, quite as if it were acting as a root. The next level is the Queen’s Chamber that I will have to discuss at another time. The King’s Chamber rests on the golden section of the Unity Cube at 44 meters from the ground. The north wall of the KC is the golden section from North to south. And the East wall is the golden section from West to East! It is not easy to sum up the significance of this level of harmony. Moreover, historians tend not to credit the Egyptians with a knowledge of the golden proportion. But it looks as if the King’s Chamber has been situated in accordance with both ‘squared-circle’ geometry and the golden proportion. One could readily argue that they understood the relationship between these geometrical factors and the coveted spiritual metamorphosis symbolized by the scarab beetle, Khepera (“Transformations of Ra”) and the Eye of Horus. For now I will just introduce the theory that when the 1/2-base of the Great Pyramid is 220 cubits, the Unity Cube that the Pyramid encloses, will be almost 136 cubits or about 71.194 meters. The golden section of that “Unity” is 44.0012 meters. It seems the Queen’s Chamber is 22 meters from the ground and the King’s Chamber is 44 meters from the ground or the golden section of a Unity Cube. The Cube can be thought of as the Holy of Holies, such as at Solomon’s fabled temple. But in the case of the Great Pyramid, this Cube was enclosed by the principle of the squared-circle, pointing to an internal transformation or metamorphosis that the Egyptians regarded as significant, as it maintained a cosmic balance between ‘above’ and ‘below’. This they called Ma-at. Ma-at also meant ‘justice’ and ‘truth’. So the Great Pyramid was also a testament built in stone.
An All-embracing roundness becomes square through division and differentiation – possibly under pressure; a necessity in the cycle. The Grail is cyclic. Its source is eternal: the bountiful universe, the ‘black’ womb of Nut in ancient Egypt. Its action is tidal. Squareness involves acceleration. Acceleration is an aspect of inverse square forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. Squareness also involves 4-ness. We speak of 4 forces of Nature which have difficulty being unified mathematically. The ancients spoke of Four Elements. Psychologists speak of the Quaternary. So with squareness, gravity or ‘self-gravity’, is born and things become separate and differentiated: Atum becomes a separate ‘hill’. He surges up into being from unknown depths and distinguishes himself as a Primordial Hillock consisting of a Great Ennead of neters. Just as we speak of 9 planets that react to the Sun we also speak of 9 hormones that react and move and activate other processes in the body. Once things become separate and active, there is now competition in a shared field, and what is born is a quarrel, a struggle that demands a quest for harmony; a longing for peace. Gravity acts a bit like Seth was said to act. He stole the Eye of Horus and swallowed it. Horus has to get it back again. Christ had to descend into hell to win back the light. The creative hero has to overcome his own miserable inertia to win from it inspirations that ache to be born. The opposites strengthen themselves, like Horus and Seth, male and female, light and dark, war and peace, matter and spirit through the square or ‘square-ness’, which includes electromagnetic radiation. Matter steals the light which is reborn in the belly of the Sun. When accumulated in the head and heart it too can be reborn until the whole being is a vessel full of light, when the ‘Sun once again rises from its own dark ash’.
When the pilgrim arrived at Chartres – usually having endured multiple dangers to get there – he or she entered through the Royal Portal. I must mention that this was carefully designed and seems to have been acquired from the Egyptians and their generic gate known as the ‘sba’. It is normally constructed within a 2:1 rectangle with width 22 and height 44. The Opening is 10 with 6 for each pylon. The height of the door opening is
then 31.416, echoing the difference between circle and square at the Great Pyramid, namely 31.416 meters, the perimeter of the King’s Chamber. If that were collapsed into a circle its diameter would be the width of the opening, 10. This gate symbolizes the gate to the horizon of Atum, or sometimes referred to as Horachty, Horus-of-the-Horizon. In Christian terms it is the gate to Heaven. The pilgrim had made his way to Heaven-on- Earth. The Rose Window sits above the gate. Presumably, then, it represents the heavenly sphere, heavenly splendor. This would explain its emphasis on the color blue.
In the image below I have modified Charpentier’s original sketch of the three tables that bore the grail. He has made them of equal surface. I have added the circle with equal perimeter to show the difference. All my figures are in red. The 29.53 circle is the circle with the same perimeter as his square with diagonal 32.8. It adds to his overall length of 97.04 m by 3.36 meters, giving an overall length of 100.4 meters. I have indicated where I think exactly 100 meters has been applied by the builders. The square table seems to be encroaching slightly into the rood screen. The scheme seems to work. Charpentier gets 32.8 from the middle of the walls of the nave. The inside measure across the nave wall to wall is about 32.2. The 29.53 circle seems to give the length across the nave from the base of the pillars.
Charpentier then pointed out the following:
“The rectangular table is that of the Eucharist. The mystical table, Christian, that which supports the altar and, indeed, the choirs of Christian churches are as a rule rectangular. There have been other rectangular tables, as in Egyptian and Greek temples…But the choir at Chartres is rectangular.” (ibid)
Charpentier means that the original table was rectangular before it was rounded, probably in the image of the rounded crown of the head. But what matters for now is that he refers to the rectangular table as mystical, that of the Eucharist. As many know the Eucharist was symbolized by a white wafer which in numerous Grail stories was associated with the Grail or was carried by the Grail or was brought to the Grail as if the Grail were one and the same as the altar. The altar is the place of a sacrifice, offerings, making sacred. Here matter and spirit undergo an exchange. Each receives from the other. Here square and circle act as one. The altar keeps the essence pure. The Grail is inextricably bound up with the altar and with the essence. Everything about the altar must be effective, genuine. Altars were places associated with fire and incense. Originally they were associated with burnt offerings in imitation of the action of the Phoenix. When Eucharist, altar and choir are put together with the idea of rebirth, or a second birth, the notion of 3 tables suddenly becomes fundamental.
Charpentier continued with a relentless penetration into the mystery that already had me under its spell but which was not yet fully radiant: you want your ‘tree of knowledge’ to liberate and purify the soul, but it is easy to be confused by the mysteries. When myth is used to convey eternal truths, we tend to latch onto the symbol and fail to sense the process for which it is a vital metaphor only. Often science itself becomes trapped by its own myths: assumptions that cannot be verified because we lack the time and instruments to measure what is infinite or, conversely, what is infinitesimal. So we accept theories as if they were axiomatic. There is a very fine line between effective symbol and even unintended propaganda! And how subtle one must learn to be if you wish to describe the world of spirit – that other plane where consciousness can feel more real than it does when saturated with a glut of tangible things. The meeting of the tangible with the intangible is the boundary of the enigma. Circle and square seek reconciliation. But at Chartres the choir is rectangular. In fact the whole cathedral seems to have been laid out by a 2:1 rectangle, but I could not see this all at once.
“There without doubt was the way into the mystery of the cathedral’s construction. But it was still necessary to solve the riddle of the Number 21. The answer is simple in fact. We are to read, not 21 but 2 and 1. We are confronted then, with a rectangular table whose length is twice its width.” (Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral, p 93)
To repeat, the choir at Chartres, like the table held by Moses, is rounded at the NE extremity. But it started as a rectangle. It is likely the same with the whole cathedral. It is also important to note right away that this choir was once completely blocked by a gorgeous, thick, stone ‘rood’ screen, not removed until 1763. No one – not even the Knights Templar – were allowed entrance to this most holy place except the ‘High Priest’ and even then, as in ancient Egypt and Solomon’s Temple, only once a year! It was the place of the High Altar. Clearly this choir had gathered up something so pure, so vital that the temple priests did not want to violate or disturb it in any way. It was acting like a dolmen, a spiritual fertility stone. The ‘Grail’ was traditionally associated with fertility, the Bnbn of ancient Egypt. The Eucharist invokes some sort of sacrifice, often associated with altars. In Christianity the sacrifice was that of Christ, by which his blood and his flesh were capable of ‘feeding’ others. But it has to be mentioned that the builders of Chartres placed no crucifixes in the Cathedral. The Templars did not share the Christian view of the crucifixion. Nor did they share the Christian view of Christ.
All Roads lead to the 2:1 Construction.
What is it to be called? A double square? A 2:1 rectangle? The octave? A magic carpet? A gate? A portal? A sacred enclosure? The Table of the Law? The Table of Rectification? I responded by learning different ways to illustrate it. The Benben Stone? The Mystical Table? The Table of the Altar? The Tabernacle? The Table of the Sacrifice? What sacrifice? When God became man? When potential energy first coagulated and divided from One into Two and started the process of both differentiation and relationship? Everything about the 2:1 enthralled me. For some indeterminate spell I felt like the luckiest man on Earth. Charpentier
had reinforced what I had already met with in Doczi’s book, that Egyptian and Greek temples were based on 2:1 tables. As Vitruvius noted, this was the foundation for human proportions. I was an instant convert. In fact I was not converted at all. The 2:1 rectangle and its keys and inner patterns, were already in me ready to be fertilized. The real fertilizer, what caused the seed to germinate, was the journey to New Zealand and the idea that the way into the construction of Chartres was none other than a 2:1 rectangle. I knew I had found the means for constructing the canon of a human being. But I had no idea that it was overflowing with geometrical information. The 2:1 is the cosmic chip. It is the means by which the web of circumstances arises from the great void. It is a generator, a processor, a purifier and a rectifier. My
confidence in the little 5 x 10 cm rectangles I was drawing several times a day began to grow in a way that felt mystical and practical simultaneously. It was a remarkable feeling the day I first expanded the 5 x 10 to 6.18 x 10 by simply dropping half the diagonal down from each corner to the adjacent corner adding .59 to each side giving: .59 + .59 + 5 = 6.18. This is IJKL at Chartres. It was like being introduced to one’s true name. I did not see the length
across the transepts at Chartres until 1988 after I had been there. How can the heart fall in love with a number? 6.18 is not a number. It’s a proportion, a building block of life, as important as DNA! I have never seen this 61.8 x 100 meter rectangle mentioned in print. Few people associate knowledge of the meter (39.37 inches) with the Gothic Age. But all my work indicates that not only was it known, but that along with the royal cubit it was partly responsible for the unique fertility of the time. The meter by its very definition comes from the principle of the ‘squaring-of-the-circle’!
It was not this measure across the transepts that gave me the idea to use a golden rectangle for the female pelvis. But when I found Houvet’s measure for the interior width of the transepts, I admit, my heart did nearly seem to stop. It was as thrilling as it gets in this business of human and architectural biometrics.
The 2:1 also seems to encompass the entire construction, excluding of course the Saint Piat Chapel at the extreme North East. It strikes me as quite possible that the Templars recovered both the royal cubit and the meter from the Holy Land if not Egypt itself. The Prime 2:1 here, ABCD, encompasses everything including the front steps and outside walls at the far end. It includes the main walls and inner porch, but requires the golden rectangle EFGH to include the outer porches, north west and south east. At Chartres, the 61.8 meter width across the transepts is an interior measure. It contributes enormously to the feeling acquired from being amidst the transepts. I have included the 29.53 circle around the labyrinth. It too is an inner measure. The beauty of this
ABCD rectangle above that appears to be 130.9 x 261.8 cubits in dimensions, is that it provides the overall form to the mass of the building. All that specific gravity! It is the foundation of the volume. It completely comprises the length of this magnificent Ark. Once this enclosure has been settled, the mind is at peace. The heart feels right. This is about 68.54 x 137.08 meters. Regarding length, nothing is excluded. This is the length overall of this ship of stone. To totally include the outer part of each porch, a golden rectangle is needed which takes it to 84.72 meters, able to encompass all steps that lead up to the porches. The measure across the outside porches minus the steps is 73.4 which is not far from the length of the Great Sphinx (73.15 meters). The 61.8 meter length is an inner experience, the inner width across the transepts. The 100 meter length that completes the golden rectangle, is also an inner measure between the towers and the rounded part of the choir. All visitors can feel the sacred nature of that measure at Chartres. When you enter the nave from between the towers you can see to the rounded inner extremity of the choir which is very close to 100 meters away, or say, 328 feet. When you mount the modest steps to enter at the Royal Portal you are entering an all-encompassing 2:1 rectangle. The mass of the building rises up within that enclosure.
You feel yourself between the two massive towers. They are also hollow. So they also ascend. They do not just descend. You then stand at a threshold between C and D. This is where I think the 100 meter rectangle also begins. Immediately you enter a smaller 2:1, ABCD above, that is perhaps 13.09 x 26.18 m in size. The first square prepares you for the Labyrinth that is contained within the second square. I have placed the larger 29.53 circle around the Labyrinth as it determines the elevations of the cathedral by using its radius as the base of a triangle that builds through its hypotenuse. The labyrinth is a long path that was probably intended to be exactly 261.8 meters long or 500 royal cubits. That is ten times the diameter of the circle with the same surface as the square with a perimeter of 92.7714 that I have indicated above. As one walks around the Labyrinth one is also inside the 13.09 x 26.18, 2:1 rectangle. As you proceed the rational faculty is expelled. What is instinctive, vital, moving, natural, propels you toward the center: the place of the nucleus where energy is most concentrated. When you get there you confront yourself. The darkness of the Minotaur is the darkness of Seth: a primal power that is accumulated and so offers energy to be utilized. In the Labyrinth one must confront this power and not deny it; not repress it. The ego is to be reigned in. Seth is to be brought down or laid low, but not destroyed! To destroy Seth is to destroy that extra energy that will be needed to take up the spine, the living pillar.
Vitruvius pays homage to the Greeks, but it is well to remember that the Greeks spent some time on the Egyptian throne (after 305 B.C.?)! They fully restored places like Dendera and Edfu. And now Charpentier added that the 2:1 rectangle was somehow the key to the equivalence of the 3 Tables ‘that bore the Grail’. 3 Tables – ? 3 phases or qualities of one essence, perhaps – the three parts of the one philosophy, the one mystery – one miracle like the body of Shiva, shimmering with billions of luminous parts. Initially I had to pinch myself. Something as simple as the relation between 1 and 2 was possibly the key to a place as fantastic as Chartres? Was it possible? Chartres grew from a table with a length twice its width and this table somehow was the means by which a round, square and rectangular table could all be calculated to have equal perimeters? And more: was I to assume that these tables also bore human characteristics a bit like Jung’s psychological “types” rooted in the deepest archetypes of the collective unconscious?
An unexpected destination
So, each unexpected fork in the road had arrived at the same destination: a rectangular table with a length that was twice its width. It was a work-horse with wings. The mystic germ capable of unfolding into visible life and returning to a world of spirit. The fount of the altar. For me it was like a universal omphalos, only it was a rectangle, a double square. I wish I could describe how it felt upon arrival, when I first stumbled in to the clearing to touch the ‘cosmic chip’. There was nothing to say. No comments proved fruitful. Initially I tried to hide it: the omnipotence of its simplicity. When I tried to talk to others about it I turned into a stammering fool. They almost felt sorry for me and my childish drawings. It all looked so bare and insignificant on the page – like a boy’s torn school book! But finally I had cause to truly keep my nervous lips sealed. I wanted to share my excitement, but I was going to have to get to work, not squander the propitiousness of the moment on talk. A strange silence binds the tongue of acceptance – especially in restless people like me – always afflicted by dissatisfaction. New Zealand was a nice part of the world to be confronted with such an enigmatic experience. What do you do? You breathe and enjoy the stillness. While Kely and Vincent Ward researched the Black Death that struck Europe around 1348 – about 30 odd years after the Inquisition against the builders of the Gothic Cathedrals – I asked myself about the simplicity of the 2:1 construction, the primordial octave: “How can this be”? But there is no answer. It just is. Such a relief! The 2:1 is not man’s doing. It’s the nature of things: the primordial flow. Drawing the 2:1 with precision was a bit like the Sun rising after a frigid dawn. The frost melts and drips back into the roots of living things. Green abounds. You see at last that meekness does not mean weakness. Weakness is the belief that impatience and might are all there is. Having been an outcast, you feel as if you have reinherited the Earth, the place where ‘above’ and ‘below’ unite. You yourself are that point of union. If Vitruvius was right, I wanted to prove it. The body must be formed the same way. We are born of that 2:1 tablet, where 1 has become 2 and then everything happens between them like the bellows of the Tao, the heart of the Tai’chi. An ovum is neutral until fertilized by a sperm with equal DNA. Then suddenly its neutrality is gone. Meiosis, once suspended, converts to an endless mitosis until death shuts down the ‘water factory’ and the 2:1 becomes the final looking-glass. It’s diagonal, so easy to draw, presents itself as a mystery, filling the soul with awe. And so you start to swing the compass. You learn to measure. From the 2:1 the golden rectangle evolves with such ease. In time you find more than one way to square the circle. The more you look, the more you see. Very gradually you realize: 1 and 2 are not numbers. This is not an enumeration. It is a cosmic process. It is a field of activity active in the void.
In the West, we insist upon reducing everything with a name to a physical thing that can be labeled and pointed to. We have a conscious infatuation with the “tangible object”. In my view this infatuation is not merely a product of empirical science or the advent of the modern ‘scientific method’. Rather, to me, the scientific method is a product of an infatuation with the ‘tangible object’, an infatuation that has been with us for a long time. We cling to our ‘attachments’ for practical reasons, but when things become ‘fetishes’, the light soon fails to leave the rim of the cup. During the Middle Ages pilgrims were obsessed with ‘relics’, tangible ‘proofs’, hard evidence that the divine was at work on Earth in a specific place and time. This obsession became the basis of Christian Dogma, which is why influential spiritual leaders such as Saint Bernard of Citeaux, who helped inspire the movement that lead to the Gothic Cathedrals, constantly reminded everybody that a cathedral is but a means only. The end is the spiritual perfection of the individual pilgrim who is making a passage, a journey. Nature respects hierarchies, but there is a point when you can no longer wait around for the divine to send another savior, when what is called for is that you summon your own light from its own little hideout. I am the last to say that this is easy. The light assumes many forms and many roles.
The Grail and the Head
At one point by 1990 I had come upon enough references that compared the Grail to the head, that I was inspired to put all these ideas together in one place. At that stage I also knew that the Templars kept and ‘worshipped’ a mysterious head called the Baphomet, possibly meaning ‘Father of Understanding’. I know nothing about this recondite head, but the whole discussion sparked my interest in the focusing powers of the head – by which I do not just mean the eyes. I mean a collective power for the mind to self-focus in singular acts of conscious awareness. I was amazed by it! So I attempted to apply what I knew to create a head from nothing. I used the angles of ‘squared-circle’ geometry and the golden section as generated within a 2:1 rectangle. I left the lines visible to provide a sense of something intelligent arising from the void as if it were a self-organized vessel that accumulates the light, thereby piercing the world of appearances as if all at once – overflowing all the walls of the inner labyrinth. At that moment the head struck me as the ultimate mystery where everything is united in the ‘place’: that center of centers that could be called an ‘essence’ so pure it cannot be destroyed. The head also transmutes its own content to the point of overflowing the container, shedding its light on the world for better or for worse! This head above is one geometrical recipe with some elements common to all recipes. I chose a recipe that was relevant to the main theme. The squared-circle was doing something fundamental. It was not just a superstitious conceit.
In the Welsh version of the Grail, a head on a platter replaces a chalice! The head is what is being served at the feast. The appearance of the Grail is supposed to prompt a question from the hero: “Who or what do you serve with the Grail?” The miracle of the human head or the Grail, is a means only – a passage perhaps. We feel the Grail is linking two worlds: the visible and the invisible; the transitory and the eternal; the finite and the infinite.
In Egypt the head was associated with Horus, Ra, Atum-Ra and Osiris. At Roslyn Chapel in Scotland, the Grail is associated with the Sun and the head. In Western astrology the Sun is said to be ‘exalted’ in Aries. Aries is also said to ‘rule’ the head. In a complex way, the head absorbs the sun’s light, responds to its gravity and transmutes the energy into an endless field of activity. In any case, I will use the face of this young woman shown next as a standard for the fundamental geometry I have found present in all faces, the means by which the head and face self-organize with amazing consistency. The geometry has nuances, face by face, and yet always plays with the same fundamental principles! Here it is without the geometrical lines and markings in place, which I will show later.
The quest for the Grail is itself an out-and-out adventure if ever there was one because the experience cannot be distinguished from one’s own transformation. What, then, is this ‘Grail’ that we variously label: ‘cup’, ‘head’, ‘Eye of Horus’, cathedral and that which overflows each of these containers?
When the Templars initially formed somewhere between 1100 and 1114, they formed in a group of Nine Knights. When they first planned Chartres, they intended to build Nine Towers. They ended up with two only. The Egyptians continuously refer to The Great Ennead above and the Great Ennead below or the Double Ennead. The Templars likely wished to demonstrate the Great Ennead here below that reflects the one above. Nine is the square of 3 and so brings about a transformation. It probably works in a double direction: spirit to matter and matter back to spirit. Nine supports the 10th, a new Unity.
Nine pyramids invoke nine planets. In 1976 the New York Times reported that scientists working independently in France and Russia discovered that the Sun was pulsing – in their words – quite as if it were simulating a gigantic heart beat. It discharged this gigantic pulse 9 times a day or every 160 minutes. As a sort of echo, perhaps, to this solar pulse our own ionosphere apparently builds up electrostatic energy in its ion population, which is discharged like an electrostatic ‘shout’, 69 times a day. The relationship between 69 and 9 is 7.666… or inversely, .1304347… When I found out that the mean size of the human head was 13/100 of the adult body height, I started to take this 9/69 relationship seriously. And in fact I eventually came to use the exact ratio of .1304347, as it helped refine the position of the mouth in the standing adult. I realized the Egyptians were discovering multiple properties in the principle of “9” and that the “9” pyramids, like the symbol of the Grail, were superabundant in meaning. 9 governs, regulates and transforms. The head is a magical cauldron that springs from the circular actions of 3-ness. How did Plato put it in the Timaeus? ‘The head is endowed with all the varieties of motion there were to be’, and for this reason the body was designed to serve the head, “the divinest part of us that controls all the rest.” (p. 60, Timaeus). One imagines that the 9 pulses have somehow been internalized in the head and that the 69 Earth shouts have translated into the body. It’s as if the 9 solar pulses were the source of the 69 shouts, just as the head is the source of the commands that govern and regulate the body. The head also contains the Pituitary Gland that is divided into two parts: an anterior and a posterior. The former biosynthesizes 7 hormones and the latter, 2, so 9 when taken together. The posterior is part of the Central Nervous System. The anterior part is not. Most body processes are regulated by these 9 hormones or stimulators.
Castle Mundsalvaesche, home of the Grail, also invokes a magical mountain of some kind. In the Pyramid Texts Atum becomes the Primeval Hill, the Primordial Hillock. He rises up like a Pyramid out of the Nun (void) as a primordial mound. In PT 1652, it is said that Atum-Khoprer ‘became high on the height’. He rose up as the bnbn-stone in the Mansion of the Phoenix. The bnbn-stone is the Benben Stone brought by the Bennu Bird that appears to be a cyclic phenomenon associated with the Phoenix. As every school child knows: the Phoenix is famous for its uncompromising act of cyclic self-immolation. After it has burned itself to ash it rises again as resplendent as it was before.
But what is less familiar to everybody is the relationship between the Phoenix and the Grail. Eschenbach is fairly clear about it. The Grail, he says, is a stone by which the Templars of Mundsalvaesche are nourished. He stresses that they live by the essence of that stone which is particularly pure. He calls it Lapis Exillis. “By virtue of this Stone, the Phoenix is burned to ashes, in which he is reborn. Thus does the Phoenix molt its feathers. Which done, it shines dazzling bright and lovely as before!” Eschenbach then goes on to insist that anyone who sees the Stone is immediately made young again and that, by it, all illness is banished. “This Stone is also called “The Grail”. (p. 239, Parzival)
The similarity between this and Utterance 600 of the Pyramid Texts is striking. A prayer is being made for the king and his pyramid.
“O Atum-Khoprer, you became high on the height, you rose up as the bnbn-stone in the Mansion of the Phoenix in On, you spat out Shu, you expectorated Tefenet, and you set your arms about them as the arms of a ka-symbol, that your essence might be in them. O Atum, set your arms about the King, about this construction and about this pyramid as the arms of a ka-symbol, that the King’s essence may be in it, enduring forever.” (PT 1652-53).
The text goes on to invoke the protection of the Great Ennead which it calls the Nine Bows. Atum-Khoprer refers to the scarab beetle and its capacity to transform. The bnbn-stone takes its meaning from bn or bnn which has many meanings but the root is to rise, to fertilize, to make rise. There are two births that this can refer to: physical and spiritual. The essence here concerns spiritual rebirth. The pyramid was designed to keep the essence pure. As if describing the powers of the Grail, PT 1278 says the following:
“A boon which Geb and Atum grant: that this pyramid and this temple be installed for me and for my double, and that this pyramid and temple be enclosed for me and for my double. This Eye of Horus is pure: may it belong (?) to me.” (PT 1277-8)
The translator was unsure of the word ‘belong’. For the owner of the pyramid, the Eye of Horus must manifest; it cannot just be an expectation. Like the Grail, it does something. It bestows something upon the King and upon his double. What it bestows is the essence which is then protected. With this in mind we can return to the subject of the ‘squaring-of-the-circle’.
Long before Chartres was a cathedral, the place itself was famous for its mound. Its water, the vegetation, etc, was legendary. The Druids practiced a secret form of ‘water baptism’, initiation rituals in a crypt within the mound. Supposedly a dolmen is buried within it to enhance its spiritual and healing properties. The current cathedral is simply one in a long history of beneficent manifestations associated with the hillock, tertre, or ancient mound of Chartres. The Great Pyramid was also a legendary mountain known throughout history. Supposedly the building itself has been built over and around a 30 meter high hillock that was as legendary as Chartres. The Great Pyramid is a celebration of the Squaring-of-the-Circle as if it were the key to keeping the Eye of Horus pure; the Grail effective. And it is this that nourishes the Templars.
Reflected in the faces of the men and women sculpted in stone at Chartres, you see a common horizon that liberates and uplifts. The peace is immense and tireless. It is a shared mound; a universal sanctuary: an immense reminder that echoes with the voices we cannot forget. Just reading Charpentier in 1985 – I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get to Chartres. When I got there by the full moon at the end of May, 1988, not only was there no let down; it was the opposite. Chartres vastly exceeded anything I could have imagined about it. It transported Kely in the same way. Despite her burdens at that time – mostly financial and professional worry – I could see she was not expecting Chartres to be so exalting; so gracious; an immensity of love. What a gift to have bestowed on the generations who have lived since 1220 A.D. At Chartres you are not afraid to love. The word is fulfilled and carries no shame. I exist because I love. I am because I love. This has nothing to do with romanticism; nothing to do with sentimentality because at no time can the experience of Chartres be reduced. The overflow is superabundant. And somewhere the squared circle had already primed the pump of the everlasting as if a priori. Incredible really. Everything the heart already knows and the mind has already forgotten. And then you take your turn and climb the hill to Chartres. Am I exaggerating? No. Chartres exceeded in every way imaginable anything I had ever thought or learned about it before getting there. I’m afraid to put a photo in here because I am reluctant to reduce the energy of the place to an appearance; a category or stereotype of the mind. Something about Chartres exceeds all appearances and all history we have of it.
The Great Pyramid Principle
Of special interest here: if the ½-base is 1, the whole GP profile will be 5.236, the number of the royal cubit (.5236 m). And the difference between the ½ square and radius of the circle (TR) is TS which is 60 royal cubits or 31.416 meters. We can recall that the perimeter of the King’s Chamber is none other than 60 cubits or 31.416 meters! The question to be asked is what significance did the builders place on that difference between circle and square of equal perimeter? I am going to address this in more than one category as we proceed. As it turns out it appears to be fundamental. Also note in the image above that what links the height of the Pyramid (which can also be taken as the Earth’s radius or polar axis) to the 1/2 base of the defining triangle, is none other than the golden number which is very close to the square of the ‘squared-circle’ coefficient, 4/π or 1.27324… So, 1.618034 is close to 1.27324 x 1.27324 = 1.6211389… If you rounded the former up and the latter down, you would have about 1.62. Curiously, in meters, the mean height of an American or British female is 1.62 meters. And when you add the Moon and Earth together you get about 16,217 km. The meter is not only useful, it also carries within it an intrinsic harmony that allows diverse phenomena to function interactively. We will see this in other posts when we come to the circumstances of what we call the Astronomical Unit, or the mean distance that separates the Earth from the Sun (149,597,870 km). The AU can be roughly expressed as 500 “light-seconds” or just 150,000,000 km. “15” is an easy number to remember. And if a woman knows that her height is average, say 162 cm, she automatically knows the size of the Earth + Moon. She simply multiplies her height by 10,000,000. The decimal system can be pleasant.