The Minaretic Octave

July 30, 2009

octarine

It was octarine, the color of magic. It was alive and glowing and vibrant and it was the undisputed pigment of the imagination, because wherever it appeared it was a sign that mere matter was a servant of the powers of the magical mind. It was enchantment itself. But Ringworld always thought it looked sort of greenish-purple.
—Terry Pratchett, The Color of Magic

oct

Octarine, the Color of Magic

ma

Octarine is also the color of Mardi Gras

chnaEight Immortals provided life and wealth in Ancient China

chathe Star of Chaos

dhaDharmacakra, the Wheel of Time; the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path

Minarets are tall spires with octagonal, onion-shaped domes at the top.  miThe Qutub Minar in Delhi India

Minarets appear often in Muslim architecture.  mOriginally the minaret served as an illuminated watchtower and in current times the ‘Lighthouse’ is the vantage point for the muezzin’s call to prayer.  liMost lighthouses are actually octagons too.

turCastle De Haar in Holland features the common octagonal turret. The turret is a small tower that projects vertically from a building, most notably in medieval castles.  towerBreckles Church with a tower in Norfolk, England

oneThe ‘Freedom Tower’ or One World Trade Center

solar_systemThere are 8 planets in our solar system if you don’t count Pluto.

sFour terrestrial planets and four gas giants.

Musica universalis means universal music, or music of the spheres.  It was an ancient philosophy about the proportion of movement of the heavenly bodies, or planets.  The idea is generally attributed to Pythagoras.  kepJohannes Kepler believed that the Music of the Spheres was what united Geometry, Cosmology, Astronomy, and Harmony through Music.  aug

Augustus Octavius was the first Emperor of Rome after the death of Julius Caesar.

The 8th Month, August, was named after Augustus.

whIn the Pagan Wheel of the Year, August is Lugnasadh or Lammas.

OctaveG

In music, an octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. octaveThe octave “relationship” is a natural phenomenon which has been referred to as the ‘basic miracle of music’”, the use of which is common in most musical themes.

piano88 keys on a piano…

compass_pocketThe compass determines direction related to the magnetic poles of the Earth.

God_the_Geometer In medieval paintings, God was depicted as the Grand Geometrician, measuring the earth with a drafting compass, the tool used in architecture to make a perfect circle.

g

The Compass and Square are the most important symbols of the Freemasons

compass_signalsThe Compass and the Clock are based on the Cardinal Directions

Octagon Clock

hour

the Hourglass (is that an 8?) was an early way to measure Time.

asroThe Astronomical Clock in Prague

octant1The Octant is one of the 8 divisions of Euclid’s 3d coordinate system.  The Octant, or reflecting quadrant, was used in navigation alongside the sextant, telescope, compass, and square.

color theory

goeGoethe’s theory of color, as well as Newton’s idea that the colors were related to musical notes and the planets, were based on the Quadrant-Octant Wheel


cuThe Florence Duomo in Italy is just one example of the Dome with a cupola at the top.  Cupolas form the topmost chambers of many or most or all domes around the world.  Very often they are lookouts, lighthouses, and belfries.  Since most domes occur in holy places and government buildings, I thought it might be enlightening to learn more about the dome and cupola.

cup

The Octagon in architecture may be the most important shape, for its support of the Circle.

cups

cup1The innermost cathedral fresco was begun in 1572 by the Father of Art History Giorgio Vasari and was completed by Federico Zuccaro.

The Dome in architecture resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere.  This shape became the model of the Earth during the time of Pythagoras in the 5th Century BC.  If, indeed, the sphere represents the Earth, then the upper half of the sphere may be related to the sky or heaven, and this in turn may be important in the context of domes as sacred centers.

roseTemple of the Rose Cross 1618

pan

The Roman Pantheon is the world’s oldest dome.  8 Corinthian pillars stand at the entrance followed by 2 sets of 4 pillars.   Not to be confused with the ancient Greek Parthenon.pantheon-domeWalking into the rotunda, the visitor can look up into the heavenly sphere of the dome towards the oculus, or the Eye, the central opening to the sky. pantheon_parisThe French liked the Pantheon so much that they made their very own in Paris.  pan

The Parisian Pantheon building looks a lot like the U.S. Capitol, (88 feet from the Potomac River)

capitol_hill-751680I’m not going to get too into the crazy geometric planning of the Freemasonic Fathers of America, but they did have some really complex plans laid out.  Of the thousands of free-thinking individuals out there who have their conspiracy theories, check this out for an example.  washThe Washington Monument even has 8 windows!!  And was open to the public in 1888.

A few other domes around the world:

stSt. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

sacre_coeurSacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, Paris

stpSt. Paul’s Cathedral in London

marbThe Marble Church in Copenhagen

stbSt. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

DomeChurchDome Church in BerlindomecInterior of the Dome Church

moJami ul Afar Mosque in Sri Lanka:

Many, many mosques around the world feature domes.

mosSelimiye mosque in Turkey

SultanMosqueSultan mosque in Singapore

dome3Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

doTaj Mahal, India

buBuckminster Fuller perfected the  concept of the Geodesic Dome


The Ogdoad of Eight

July 29, 2009

The ancient Egyptian City of Hermopolis herme

is known as the Place Where the Sun First Rose Over the Earth. t

The Greeks named the city after Hermes, messenger of the Gods. hermesglHermes, son of Zeus and a Maia of the Pleiades, invented fire and was patron to writers, musicians, and travelers, thieves, and he liked magic.  Youngest of the Olympians, his attributes parallel the Egyptian Thoth. The historical figure of Hermes Trismegestis taught Pythagoreas and may be called the Grandfather of Alchemy. thoth_01 Thoth was the Patron the city of Khmun, the City of Eight; during the time of the Greeks it was named Hermopolis, and now it is known as el-Ashmuneine.  It may be where  all of Creation was Created.  The 8 gods and goddesses collaborated together to create the Cosmic Egg, and Thoth carried it to the place where the Sun king Ra was born. ogo

Thoth led the pantheon of 8 gods, the Ogdoad who resided at Ancient Khmun, Hermopolis, and now el-Ashmuneine.

ogdBecause these four elements of nature were perceived as beings of creation, and creators themselves, the male gods were given female counterparts. As frogs and snakes were considered representative of prolific, aquatic species, frog-headed males were paired with snake-headed females.  The 8 also represented the Seasons.seasScholars have agreed that Hermopolis was the first Egyptian city visited during the Flight of the Holy Family. christ

There is a legend of a tree touched by the child Christ still grows there.

Mysteries of the 8

July 28, 2009

And so, ladies and gentlemen, the more I think about it, and the more I wander around, the more I notice the number 8, and the magic mystic octagon.  What it means, I really don’t know, but it is a source of intrigue and mystery to me to discover the synchronicities that abound when one focuses the attention on a given number or idea.  The following are my latest disc0veries in the realm of the 8.

Scorpionfluorescent-scorpion

CrabCrabBlue

Spiderbrown-recluse-spider

Octopus

octopusSpiderman vs. Dr. Octopus

spide

Lemniscate-Infinitylem

A truly wonderful article about the Lemniscate and its historic origins, connections to theories of Ogdoad, Thoth’s City 8, the Rod of Hermes, the Ourobourous, the Omega sign, the Moebius strip, DNA, time travel and sacred geometrics, is here.

escher

The Moebius strip is a concept in physics related to time and Euclidean space.

oro

The Oroborus is often depicted as a snake eating its own tail (from an alchemical text), representing the Myth of the Eternal Return and Cyclic Time.

The Cassinian Oval is a mathematical concept related to the Circle and the Elipse.oval

The  Sacred Cut, like Vitruvian Man, reveals all the shapes necessary in ancient architecture.  It is the most simple, sacred geometry that can be created with compass and square.  Supposedly this ritual squaring of the circle which became complete in the symmetry of the octagon, was the penultimate tool used in laying out the geometry of the Pyramids, the Pantheon, and many other important buildings in ancient history.

vitruvian-man

Apparently 888 symbolizes Christ and the Holy Spirit into Eternity.

It is also related to that ‘cardinalnumber’ 1776.  The foot circumference of the numbered hexagon is 1776, the number of the Eagle of Eagles the Phoenix, the alchemical Great Work.  In Mystery of the Serpent Mound, Ross Hamilton breaks down the numbers and shapes.

free

The medieval diagram below was found in a masonic lodge in Germany but was originally created in England in 1789.  The full details on the symbolism are on the Alchemy Website.

al

From the Telegraph (2007) “BANGALORE, India —  Revered by some in her village as the reincarnation of Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess, a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs underwent an extensive surgery through the night to leave her with a normal body.”lakindian-girl-with-eight-limbs1

The most common gazebo is in an octagon shape. George Washington had a small eight-sided garden structure at Mount Vernon.

gaz

The compass itself may be the most important symbol of the 8, for it represents and points to the 8 directions and beyond; anywhere humanity can Go.

compass5

ocFor a number of years, the octagon has fascinated me. o

The more I learn about it, the more mysterious it seems.  I continue to discover images and ideas, histories, links, and facts about this most beautiful of shapes. OctagonLimit

Finally after so long I have decided to create this site to collect all the things I’ve found online about the shape, the number, and the many roads that lead through it, from it, into it, above and below it.go

I have often thought: why not have green GO signs on the Left hand side, across the street from the normal old red Stop signs, perhaps attached to the back of Stop signs? o1

I’ve always been more likely to stand up and Go than sit down and Stopo2

I can trace my interest in the shape to when I was living in the mountains of eastern British Columbia with a community of hippies, indians, russians, and elvish faery folk.  As a traveling, wandering, nomadic creative soul (some might say a bum or gypsy) I had found that blessed valley in search of guidance and something spiritually wholesome.  I had originally gone to Canada for the Shambhala music festival, a week-long, electronic rave in the woods with an international host of characters and creatures.  Upon arriving, I couldn’t wait for the music to stop so I could hear the birds again.  Once it did stop, all I could do was gaze at the endless stretches of forested hills, and talking with the locals, I learned that there was plenty of oddjob work for a nice guy like me, so I stayed, and made my way.  Somehow I found myself invited and welcomed with open arms into a closeknit community of families living on the fringes of the rules and the law.  I tried that coat on and it fit me, much better than my urban life back in Portland, Oregon as an artist driving taxi in between live painting gigs and gallery shows.Yurt-Inside

In that blessed valley, I migrated from tipi to tent to cabin to yurt.  Each spot I landed seemed to blossom with greater lessons, healing my urban scars and blessing me with sight to see how to simplify my life and find some peace and purpose.  It was in the yurt that I discovered the octagonal sky-light window, with all radiating support beams centering upon its eight sides.  Here was the physical manifestation of my own traveling ways.  For after spending so much time with the indians I had learned of the respect for the directions and their significance to family and faith.  The yurt itself beckoned me to explore my own heritage, my grandmother having her ancestral roots in Jewish Russia and perhaps 13 generations back to the Golden Horde’s Mongolian-Tartar occupation of Russia as far as the Don River and Voronezh, the place of my family, Voronoff. o3

So.  I was a 21st Century nomad traveling in the 8 directions, making my seasonal migrations.  Certainly a far cry from the comfortable, safe life of a teacher, cashier, cook, or something else career-minded and therefore normal.  I knew from the time I was young that I could not fit any template or previously set mould, but was meant to cross the length and breadth of the world and see as much as there was to see, within the confines of my means, which have never been much.  The confines of my culture however, have had little success in holding me down, though at times I have felt overwhelmed by the pressures of America’s timetable for success.  But I am not a roundtrip, 2-week vacation kind of guy.  I lust for the oddysey, the unknown.  And so back to the octagon.

I do consider myself to be a somewhat obsessive researcher, compulsively led to discover symbols and meaning in random occurrences that some would call coincidence.  I do believe in synchronicity, the meaningful connections and threads that unite seemingly random events.  It is therefore no simple fact that one day I decided to do a google search of my grandmother’s uncle, the infamous Serge Voronoff, and began a very strange quest to pull back the veil of the past and sift through the ashes of the Holocaust to learn the truth of my Russian family. v

What I discovered seems stranger than science fiction.  In the 1920s, Dr. Voronoff gained worldwide fame and fabulous wealth for pioneering a rejuvenation procedure that involved the transplanting of chimpanzee testicle glands into the testicles of elderly men.  And chimpanzee ovary glands into women.  His methods were celebrated by thousands of doctors and scientists, and his techniques were taught and elaborated upon by medical professionals in many countries around the world.  If you are actually reading this and care to learn more, click on his name above.  Perhaps the most relevant aspect of my illustrious grand-uncle was that he and his first wife were involved in numerous mystical societies during Le Grande Epoche in Paris at the turn of the century.  This is certainly what holds my keen attention.  Involved in MacGregor Mathers’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Max Theon’s Cosmic Movement, Rothschild’s Zionist movement, the Parisian Grande Jewish Freemasons, and Head Surgeon for the Last Khedive of Egypt in Cairo, Dr. Voronoff was a well-respected, intense, flamboyant personality, brushing shoulders with Europe’s ruling elite class as well as occultists, alchemists, and the famed artists who gave birth to the great art movements.

I’m sure they all knew why the octagon was so significant.

That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  Why the octagon haunts me.

I have tried asking the Magic 8 ball, 8ball2

but the answer is always inconclusive.

Back in Canada I had this idea.  For a new kind of church.  Really it’s not a new idea, but when I thought of it, I thought, I’m sure there are other people out there who feel the way I do.  Maybe not, maybe.  My idea for a church was that it would be in an octagonal shape.  White.  With 8 doors leading into it.  It would be pointed at the top, like a pyramid.  Those eight doors would represent 7 faiths, and 1 for those who have no faith.  I figured these 7 faiths could represent the great faiths of the world: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Aboriginal, Science, and Atheism.  I figure, that just about covers what one can believe.  This sacred place would be there for all people.  Not like the Unitarian Universalists, not like the Theosophists.  Like something for our times.  For these pre-2012 times.

Eventually I discovered that I wasn’t the first one to think of this octagonal church idea.

The Russian Orthodox church figured it out a while ago.rus

And apparently churches since the beginning of churches have been using octagons in baptisms.  The 8 sides of the octagon may represent the 8th day in which Christ was resurrected, the Day Out of Time.  So symbolizing resurrection, rejuvenation, and a new beginning.pias

On the blog  Just a Catholic Shane Kaplar discussed this.  Maybe this is because of the First Epistle of Peter: “God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you” (1 Peter 3:20-21)

Of course, plenty of other kinds of churches have made use of the Octagon.

OctagonChapel_small

The Octagon Chapel in Norwich, England was once Presbyterian and is now Universalist.

The Baptistery in Florence is one of Europe’s oldest octagonal structures.battisteroview from within the baptistery

The Octagon figures prominently in Islamic architecture.

dome tajmahal6fv

The Octagon is very often the foundation for most domes around the world, being the ideal sided support for a circular top.

It is interesting to me that the Dome of the Rock is in an Octagonal shape, considering that this was the original site of the Temple of Solomon where the Knights Templar

De_Molaylived during the Crusades.  There is an article about the Power of the Octagon in Templar ritual here.  Another link is here detailing Octagonal Geometry as it relates to the circular Templar churches of Rosslyn Chapel, and the Round Churches at Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Northampton.  Apparently their 8-sided cross is based on the Octagon.  As far as the Templar descendants, the Freemasons go, apparently they like Octagons too.

OctagonLogo2

Orson Squire Fowler was the champion of the Octagon House.

orFowler inspired thousands of people during the late 1800s to build octagonally shaped buildings as healthy living spaces across Eastern America.  He is also considered to be one of the proponents of Phrenology, an early ‘pseudoscience’ of personality.

Octal is a number system most often used in computers.  It is also known as an Octal System of counting the spaces between the fingers.  In 1716 Emanuel Swedenborg proposed this idea as a way to teach mathematics to the masses.

The octagon forms the basis for the I-Ching or Book of Changes.

iching

8×8=64.

ch

In Chess, there are 64 squares, 8×8.

ka

There are 64 sexual positions in the Kama Sutra.

Now I am not exactly a raving Synchromystic but. well. maybe I am okay?  ”The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance” does seem to apply to my own obsession with the Octagon. I am intrigued by the connections that Jake Kotze has made regarding the Octagon and certain Freemasonic, Templarized Egyptian rituals and symbols. There are loads of videos and links that might make you a little paranoid and might just be interesting food for thought.

SeaLion’s theory concerning the StarGate locked within the 8-sided Pyramid of Giza, the Dome of the Rock, and more…

Jack Black educates the youth of America about the ‘glories of the Octagon’ on Sesame Street on this youtube video. haha.

FreedomTower3-798837

As far as freaky paranoia goes, check out this to learn more about the numbers behind the Octagonal-shaped Freedom Tower scheduled to be completed in 2012.

chase

Good old Washington Mutual Bank broke, so Chase bought them, and has now invaded the west coast.  In Arizona last December employees celebrated by forming the ‘world’s largest human octagon’ around Chase Tower in Phoenix.  J.P. Morgan Chase Corporation, one of the oldest banking entities in the U.S., is now headquartered in an octagonal building in manhattan.  I don’t know why but the picture above really disturbs me, and usually I’m the guy who likes octagons.  I can accept octagons as churches and umbrellas, but a bank?

um

Yes, umbrellas are Octagons too.

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