Fun with numbers, or something more?
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the human body, and suggested that we get over being embarrassed about our wobbly bits and instead appreciate it for the miracle of bio-engineering that it is.
This week I’m diving into what I think is rather misleadingly labelled sacred geometry. Personally, I’m perfectly comfortable with the word “sacred”, and I think it would benefit us greatly to perceive everything and everybody as sacred beings, but the word might also scare a lot of people away from the beautiful and semi-magical world of numerical and geometrical patterns that defiantly thumb their nose at those who try to dismiss them as coincidences.
Here are a few examples to whet your appetite. Much of this may sound like gobbledegook, and believe me, it makes steam come out of my ears as I try to wrap my head around this, but if you haven’t explored this kind of esoteric geometry yet I’m just trying to convey its flavour in the hopes of eliciting at least a “wow”, if not a full-on “woweeeeeee”. Don’t worry too much about the details.
Ever wondered about solar eclipses, and the fact that the Moon slots into place precisely over the Sun? The reason is that, although the Moon is 400x smaller than the Sun, it just so happens to be 400x closer to us. To put numbers to it, the diameter of the Moon is 2,160 miles, and it is about 238,000 miles from us. The diameter of the Sun is 864,000 miles, and it is about 93 million miles from us. Work it out, and you’ll see that the ratio is approximately 400:1.
So, thanks to perspective, from the Earth the Moon appears to be just about exactly the same size as the Sun.
If you google it, you’ll see that most websites describe this as a coincidence or good luck. Maybe so, but let’s add a few more examples, and ask how many “coincidences” it takes before we wonder if there’s something else going on.
Let’s take the number 5,040. It happens to be the sum of the radius of the Earth (3,960 miles) + the radius of the Moon (1,080 miles). This combined radius is called the radius of the sublunary circle.
As a brief aside, some interesting things to notice about these numbers:
5+0+4+0 = 9
3+9+6+0 = 18, and 1+8 = 9
1+0+8+0 = 9
Now back to the main story. If you multiply this combined radius, 5,040, by pi to get the circumference of the sublunary circle, you get 31,680 miles which, coincidentally (or is it?) is the same as the perimeter of a square whose four sides are equivalent to the diameter of the Earth (4 x 7,920).
Let’s continue with that sublunary circle (where the radius = radius of the Earth + radius of the Moon). If we take its circumference, 31,680 miles, and divide it by 4 to get the distance of the quadrant, aka the curved-line distance from the Equator to a Pole, we get 7,920. And these numbers are quite special:
Radius = 5,040, which is equal to 1x2x3x4x5x6x7
Quadrant = 7,920, which is equal to 8x9x10x11 (and btw, 7+9+2+0 = 18, and 1+8 = 9)
So it follows that if we multiply Radius x Quadrant we get 1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8x9x10x11, or 11 factorial, written as 11! (that exclamation mark means factorial — it’s not just me getting hyperbolic). 11! turns out to also be the area in square miles of that sublunary circle.
I hope I haven’t lost you yet. If you want to check all this out, I highly recommend How the World is Made: The Story of Creation According to Sacred Geometry, by John Michell. It’s taking me a veeerrrrryy long time work my way through it, because I’m no mathematician, but it’s fascinating.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
But before I let you go, I want to throw another little tidbit into the mix. According to Randall Carlson, the Great Pyramid of Giza is a scale model of the Earth. If you took the Great Pyramid and (in your imagination, obvs) inverted it, and buried it underneath the existing pyramid, you’d get a regular octahedron, i.e. an 8-sided, 3D object with 8 faces in the shape of equilateral triangles. This octahedron would be a 1:43,200 scale model of the Earth, even incorporating the 26-mile difference between the polar circumference and the equatorial circumference (because the Earth is slightly squashed in shape).
A conservative estimate of the age of the Great Pyramid is 4,500 years, and we didn’t think humans knew these measurements until much more recently. Another lucky coincidence?
Similarly significant numbers and proportions occur in numerous other ancient edifices around the world, such as the Parthenon in Greece, the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon in Teotihuacan in Mexico, Chinese pyramids, and elsewhere.
43,200 also happens to be the number of years in two “months” of the Great Year that corresponds to a complete cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes (this is the way the Earth wobbles on its axis and is what gives us the Age of Pisces, Age of Aquarius etc).
Take that number and multiply it by 10, and 432,000 is the number of years in the Kali Yuga, which according to Hinduism is the fourth and worst of the world ages, bringing strife and discord. We’re in it now. But we’ve barely started — we still have another 427,000 years to go — sorry!
And 4+3+2 = 9. Ta da!
A sceptic might say that there are countless examples of utterly insignificant numbers in the world, and I’ve just cherry-picked the ones that were interesting. And to some extent this would be true.
But the more I look into this, the more fascinating it gets — not just the patterns in the geometry of the natural world, but the increasingly compelling evidence that our forebears knew about this stuff long before they had any right to, according to our contemporary understanding of the technologies they had at their disposal.
Maybe it really is just a random and prosaic universe, and any appearances to the contrary are just flukes of nature. But personally, I prefer a view in which there is some kind of pattern and harmony, magic and mystery, and phenomena that we can as yet barely dream of.
I have barely scratched the surface here. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the work of Randall Carlson, Graham Hancock, and Robert Edward Grant. It’s full of fascinating rabbit holes to dive down, such as the Fibonacci Sequence and phi (aka the Golden Ratio), the Platonic Solids, and the Flower of Life.