The term ‘sacred geometry’ refers to various shapes and forms that have been used traditionally in art, architecture and meditation for thousands of years. These same shapes and forms are also found in natural organisms.
Sacred geometry can appear somewhat esoteric, but a basic understanding of sacred geometry can provide a helpful way of viewing our world that you can use in your own life.
What is sacred geometry?
Ancient cultures, including Christians, Hindus, Greeks and Egyptians, recognized that certain patterns or geometric shapes are repeated throughout nature. For instance, the cells of a honeycomb are hexagons, and a snail’s shell is a spiral.
These common patterns and shapes came to be known as sacred geometry. They were further broken down into various numbers, mathematical formulas and specific symbols that the ancients believed were the building blocks for everything in the universe.
Modern science supports this theory. It’s been found that the molecular shapes that form the basis of life are in fact many of the same patterns identified by ancient cultures.
Knowledge of these sacred symbols and mathematical formulas allowed the construction of many historical buildings, such as the great pyramids of Egypt, the Greek Parthenon and the intricate temples found throughout South and Central America.
Significant Shapes and Numbers
The sphere is considered a container that can hold all forms. It represents oneness, inclusion and integrity as all measurements are equal in a sphere. Planets, seeds, cells and atoms are all spheres.
A circle is a two-dimensional representation of a sphere. It is thought to show the unity and total completeness of the universe. Also, the ratio of the circumference of a circle compared to its diameter is called Pi, which is an infinite number that never ends and never repeats.
The center of a sphere or circle contains a point. All measurements either begin or end at a point, so it is typically associated with the beginning and ending of any type of creation.
Many types of spirals exist, such as flat, 3-D, right- or left-handed, equi-angular and logarithmic. Perhaps the most well-known spiral is the shape of a nautilus shell. All types of spirals show expansion and growth and therefore symbolize infinity.
A torus looks like a donut or an inner tube. The round sides are perfectly circular. Sacred geometry considers the torus a primary shape in all existence. For instance, the seven primary muscles in the heart form a torus.
6. The Vesica Piscis
In Latin, vesica piscis means the bladder of a fish. It’s the almond shape that is formed at the intersection of two circles of the same size when their centers touch.
The circles can represent the joining of a sperm and egg, leading to creation. It can also represent common ground or a shared vision between people. In the Christian tradition, it symbolizes Christ.
7. Platonic Solids
The platonic solids are a group of 3-dimensional shapes. Each one is made up of equal-sized faces, such as a pyramid shape with 4 equal faces. The five platonic solids are:
- Tetrahedron – 4 faces in a pyramid shape
- Hexahedron – 6 faces in a cube
- Octahedron – 8 faces
- Dodecahedron – 12 faces
- Icosahedron – 20 faces
The ancient Greeks believed that these five shapes symbolized fire, earth, air, spirit (or ether) and water, respectively. These are the only five 3-dimentional shapes that can be made with equal-sized faces. They are called Platonic solids because Plato identified them in Greek times.
8. Metatron’s Cube
In Judaism, Metatron is the angel who guards God’s throne. The figure of Metatron’s Cube has been considered sacred for millennia. All five of the Platonic solids are found within the cube. Because of this, it is thought that Metatron’s Cube contains the building blocks of creation.
9. Flower of Life
This is an ancient symbol found throughout many global cultures. The modern term is Flower of Life. It is represented by multiple evenly-spaced circles overlapping each other to form a flower-like pattern. It is said to depict the fundamental forms and patterns of space and time. All the Platonic solids, the vesica piscis and Metatron’s Cube are within the Flower of Life symbol.
10. The Golden Ratio
Also known as phi or the golden mean, the golden ratio is a mathematical ratio that occurs when two items have the same ratio when compared to each other as the ratio of their sum compared to the larger of the two items. The diagram below graphically shows the golden ratio.
Studies have shown that people consider faces with proportions closest to the golden ratio as the most attractive. Many forms in nature also show this ratio, such as certain flower petals, tree branching structures, shells, DNA molecules and hurricanes. Interestingly, the growth pattern of a Romanesco broccoli is arranged in an almost perfect golden ratio.
How Sacred Geometry Can Help Your Life
Sacred geometry has played an important role in mathematics and engineering, but what can it do for your everyday life? A greater understanding of sacred geometry can have many benefits.
Improves your spatial understanding and visual ability. Many projects require an ability to imagine what is needed inside a certain space, such as planning a house renovation, determining what size of car to buy or laying out a new garden. Practice visualizing 3-dimentional shapes and dimensions will help with tasks like these.
Can assist with meditation and personal awareness. Mandalas are specific shapes used by various traditions to represent the universe and act as aids for meditation. You can work with mandalas to help your own meditation practice. Or you can simply decorate with symbols that are meaningful to you and place them as reminders throughout your home.
Promotes a greater appreciation of nature and the universe. Once you’re familiar with some of the basic shapes, you’ll start seeing how they repeat in many places throughout nature and man-made structures.
Enhances 3-D thinking. If you work in graphic design, movie production or any other type of design work, an awareness of sacred geometric patterns will help train your brain to see patterns and improve your design and 3-D skills. Studying the sacred shapes and patterns may give you some great ideas for your next project.
Engages your whole brain. The left side of our brain tends to be the more logical, technical side, whereas the right brain is typically the creative, intuitive side. For most of us, one side of the brain is usually dominant. The nature of geometry engages both sides of your brain and helps them to work together. This can make you more effective in life overall.