Meditation & Health No 12 - Table of Contents


Harmony and Balance of SACRED GEOMETRY

      By Wendy Sterndale

      Look around and notice one or a combination of the following geometric shapes: circle, square, triangle, hexagon (six-sided shape), pentagon (five-sided shape), or Vesica Piscis (the overlap shape of two circles, similar to a fish). Boil water and watch the shapes that form in the water as it begins to heat and the bubbles as it boils. Notice patterns in the steam. Now look at a tree trunk or the main stalk of a plant. These shapes and patterns, along with their movements, are found in our bodies, Nature, and the Universe. Mathematics is a tool to illustrate and measure these characteristics in life and the cosmos. This understanding of geometry found in Nature and in the body transfers to creating beautiful art and music, because we tend to perceive these balanced structures as beautiful.

      Sacred Geometry is the name given to this system of spatial relationships and proportions. The six basic shapes are fundamental tools to study astronomy, navigation and building. The shapes existed and interacted before humans came onto the planet and before the language of math was used to understand them.

      The word “sacred” refers to holy spots and their surroundings. When we enter a sacred place, we are said to be inside a three-dimensional representation of our innate wholeness, our highest, greatest self. “Geometry” is a system to measure and illustrate these angles, triangles, perimeter, area and volume. Once documented, these shapes were intentionally used to create places where harmony can more easily be experienced. This outwardly demonstrated harmony continues to be the foundation to design sacred structures, and to understand sacred places, regardless of their architectural style and period.


Six Basic Shapes


       Circle: Find this in the diameter of tree trunks, the sun and the moon. Wind circulates easily around structures such as North American tipis and Mongolian yurts. Symbolically, it represents the void from which everything comes.

       Square: Symbol for stability in the world. A square building oriented to the four cardinal directions and divided by lines drawn between midpoints of each side, and corner to corner, creates eight triangles radiating from the center. This division of space has meaningful reference to the eightfold path of Buddhism.

       Triangle: The equilateral triangle can be found in nearly every shape. It is crucial in constructing three-dimensional shapes from the two-dimensional representations.

       Hexagon: Formed when six equal triangles radiate out from a single center, sides touching. We can draw a circle connecting all the points. This shape forms on the surface of water as it just begins to boil. Find it also in living cells, crystals, honeycombs and many other places throughout Nature. It can also be formed when two equilateral triangles are overlaid at their centers, pointing in opposite directions. The lines, points and circle represent male and female, hot and cold, earth and air, fire and water; it is wholeness created by the unity of opposites.

       Vesica Piscis: The shape created by the overlap of two identical circles so that the outer edge of one rests on the center of the other. It represents the genitals of the mother goddess, from which life springs. This shape was historically important when building sacred sites.



      Pentagon: A pentagram is a five-point star with equal lines connecting the points. Connect the points with straight lines to create a pentagon of five equal sides. Bricks made in a pentagonal shape are very stable when stacked against each other. It is as stable as a square, with an additional point. This point represents the addition of spirit to form. It represents the human body. Find this shape on a soccer ball; the three-dimensional shape of the pentagon with a circle around it is a soccer ball.


Proportion and Angles


       Golden Ratio, also known as the Phi Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence: On each diagonal of the pentagram lie two points of intersection with other diagonals, and each point divides that diagonal into two segments of unequal lengths so that the ratio of the whole diagonal to the longer segment equals the ratio of the longer segment to the smaller one. To see illustrations of how this ratio shows up throughout the human body, search online for images of Vitruvian Man.

       Fibonacci Sequence: A mathematical sequence in which each number beyond the second is the sum of the previous two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55. This sequence can go on forever. This sequence is found in all life forms.

       Phi appears in petals on account of the ideal packing arrangement; each petal is placed at 0.618034 per turn (out of a 360° circle) allowing for the best possible exposure to sunlight and other factors. Sunflower centers spiral outward in this sequence. So do pinecones, pineapples and cauliflower. This sequence can also be seen in the spiraling patterns of the nautilus shell, hurricanes, and in galaxy photographs.

       The Greeks observed that this golden ratio provided one of the most aesthetically pleasing proportions of sides of a rectangle. Architectural designs, such as those by Le Corbusier, use this ratio. Industrial and product designers have incorporated these aesthetically pleasing proportions into many products we use every day. To see an example, look at the dimensions of a credit card. Avant-garde musicians have composed pieces that incorporate musical phrases which are in accordance with this ratio. Salvador Dali painted with this proportion.


Flower of Life


        One of the more complex shapes is found engraved in stone in many countries around the world, and in every location is referred to as the Flower of Life. Philosophies and religions around the world agree that life arises out of the void, also known as oneness or wholeness. The story about this shape is that at one time there was nothing, the void, and then spirit arose. It extended itself in 360º and became self-aware and conscious of its environment. It was at the center of its own circle. It moved to find its own edge, then multiplied and extended itself to be the center of a circle of the same diameter. The existence of these two became a relationship. Where the two evenly spaced spheres overlapped is called the Vesica Piscis. The Vesica Piscis provided mathematicians with a lot of information about curves, shapes and points. Spirit then moved and repeated the process. The creation of the third sphere resulted in the holy trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which in many pagan religions was known as the tripod of life, representing Earth, Sky and Sea. After six spheres were created, the intersections formed a six-petal flower. These six spheres are called the genesis pattern. Western science calls this the Egg of Life. This is the cell arrangement, the morphogenetic structure, found in the first hours’ growth of the human body.

       Continuing its multiplication to 19 overlapping circles, the Flower of Life was created. Its perimeter forms a symmetrical hexagon. Within it can be found shapes and lines that are fundamental to life. It is said that to meditate on the Flower of Life is to meditate on the origins of life.

        If one more row of circles is added around the Flower of Life, another sacred shape, the Fruit of Life, becomes evident. It starts with the center circle, surrounded by six non-overlapping circles with edges touching, and six more circles on its perimeter from that final row added to the Flower of Life.

        Starting with the Fruit of Life, it is possible to derive the design for every atom, molecular structure and life form in the Universe. Draw a straight line from the center of every circle to the center of every other circle in the Fruit of Life to produce a shape of balanced male and female energies, called Metatron’s Cube.



Platonic Solids


       Three-dimensional Platonic Solids can be derived out of Metatron’s Cube. Platonic Solids have these four qualities: 1) All their faces are the same size. 2) The lines at the edges of each face are the same length. 3) The angles between each face are the same. For instance, the angle between each side of a cube is 90º. 4) When put inside a sphere, all the corner points touch the edge of the sphere perfectly even. The sphere or circle represents the void.

        Early alchemists assigned an element from Nature to each Platonic Solid:

        Cube or Hexadron = earth

        Star Tetrahedron or Star of David = fire

        Dodecahedron = ether, also known as Prana and

        Tachyon energy that extends anywhere, accessible

        at any point in space, time and dimension.

        Octohedron = air

        Icosahedron = water

        Neither the Flower of Life, nor its perimeter shape of the hexagon, is considered a Platonic Solid.

        Another important aspect of Sacred Geometry is a theory of movement referred to as branching. Researcher Garrett Lisi studied coral, and noticed separate polyps bumping against each other and branching off. He magnified the coral to its atomic level, and found hexagonal patterns and the Star Tetrahedron shape. When he looked at his specimens from different angles and varied the level of magnification, he noticed different geometric shapes. This branching is seen in many life forms, such as plants that share a similar root system, yet look like separate plants above ground.


Putting Sacred Geometry to Use


         Sacred Geometry is also a tool to study relationships between shapes. Smaller shapes influence larger shapes just as larger shapes influence the smaller ones. Nature’s cycles move through time in a similar way. Night and day are each portions of a 24-hour cycle, summer and winter are each portions of a year. Healthy cycles include presence (or positive) and absence (or negative), ebb and flow, male and female traits. An imbalance of too much ebb could appear as a drought, as compared to an imbalance of too much flow, which could produce a flood. Within our bodies, we each have male traits (strategic, linear and analytical) and female traits (curves and points) acting in a balance of humanity. In Sacred Geometry, harmonious balance is re–presented by the balanced crossing over of male and female energy of the infinity symbol.

          We can put sacred geometry to use. Our smaller actions influence our bigger projects and purposes. Not only is it healthy to notice the patterns of our body’s construction, but to also notice the patterns of our body’s action. Consider the body’s healthy balance that is assisted by breathing. We breathe in and out in a fairly regular pattern. If the pattern changes due to bad health habits like overeating or not exercising, or through exposure to an unhealthy environmental factor such as pollution, imbalance in the form of disease is a likely result. Something as simple as electric light influences our body’s balanced functioning. Electric light helps us to stay up late, but we lose the opportunity to get enough sleep. If we went to sleep earlier and got up at dawn, our bodies could rebalance the systems impacted by this factor.

         This article has only touched a tiny surface of the information available about Sacred Geometry. There is much information to read on the topic, but experience brings the greatest awareness. Draw the shapes and look for them in daily life. Watch for everything that moves in balance, and notice what happens when anything moves in an unbalanced way. To improve life’s quality, it may be interesting to notice our rhythms each day, and take steps to rebalance our actions and environments in the ways that we can. Sacred Geometry in our lives starts with balanced breathing. Breathe in, breathe out.



Meditation & Health No 12 - Table of Contents