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Sacred Spaces

Updated: Jan 24

Athgreany stone circle, Co. Wicklow. View from the Pipers stone.

Above and below, The Pipers stone at Athgreany

According to the Essene book of creation, the cosmic consciousness, the light, is the foundation of the spiritual universe and it governs all manifestations of life on all planets in cosmic space. Every thinking body experiences inner communion with it, its manifold currents of thought enter into each thinking body, and towards it tend all the thoughts of all beings on all planets, such is the light to which the book of creation refers. Consequently; darkness is the absence of thought. Could it be, that an awakened soul can take themselves to a darkened energised space within the earth to connect with their inner light, thus creating a connection with the light and the cosmos?

Telluric currents are low-frequency electrical currents that travel through the crust of the earth and at liminal portions of the earth's crust can, to those who are sensitive, or to those that have the attention span, be physically felt. This telluric, or earth energy is generated by shifting wavelengths in the magnetosphere and also by the compression of rock strata. As these electrical energies emerge and traverse the landscape they find their way to locations close to the earths surface via conductive minerals and rocks or subterranean water courses and aquifers; where underground streams cross energy is generated. The early Templar knights and perhaps an inner circle of knights in later years were particularly interested in exploring this divine energy, and I suspect this was a key reason for their considerable tunneling activities. This power, its direction of travel and where it came close to the surface was understood by the ancients and employed as a means of enhancing their spiritual journey.

A structure in its simplest form could be a circle of standing stones. These conductive stones are buried deep within the earth, they define the place of worship, and they draw up and concentrate energy. If you will; imagine the stones as the non-polarised field magnets of an dielectric motor, the worshipers are the armature. “The potency of the telluric wave attains its maximum force in the Dolmen chamber, which acts like a resonant drum” - Louis Charpentier - The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral

Brownshill Dolmen, Co. Carlow.

Dolmens which today are seen overground were constructed in ‘thin’ places, where the earth's energy could most easily be felt, they were originally buried under the earth in a mound and often near a source or flow of underground water. Water is an excellent conductor/generator of these currents, this is evidenced by the practice of dowsing or water ‘divining’ which relies upon the interaction of charges between the human and the underground source. The dolmenic subterranean room was an important spiritual environment to the ancients, perhaps as a place of meditation, funeral rites, and communion with mother earth and the inner self. The megalithic structure at Newgrange (reconstructed in the 1960’s) is a fascinating example of this concept with an added twist. During the winter solstice for an hour or so, a shaft of light penetrates the inner chamber of the temple. Is the sole purpose of this design a means of marking the shortest day of the year or, does it bare the hallmark of the ancient belief of light = consciousness? The shaft of light for a brief time awakens the mind to begin another year. An example of a divine spark.

The Pyramids might possibly be a further development of this principle. If we think of the pyramid as an upturned funnel or an old timer's ear trumpet, the sheer mass of the stone structure will collect and direct these low-frequency energies upwards. Is it possible that the ancients altered the frequency of these long wave energies, perhaps shortening their amplitude as they traveled to the top of the pyramid? Is this why there are chambers within the pyramid at different heights? Could it be that the subterranean chamber of the great pyramid will gather the longest wave, progressing through the Queen's chamber to the shortest wavelength in the King's chamber. These chambers may have had different uses for specific different spiritual events. Just guessing here, but perhaps the King's chamber, the room intended to gather the shortest wavelength was used for funereal purposes. The pyramids at Giza were originally covered with a smooth white limestone surface, perhaps the intention was to create a reflective surface. Was this surface intended to reflect exterior or interior energies? The gold cap of the great pyramid is missing, could this possibly have been a conductor of energy, but in which direction? Perhaps both. Imagine a corpse washed and laid out in the King's chamber with the energy of the earth being funneled through the pyramid, through the deceased, on towards the sun; the source of all life. The soul of the deceased traveling back to the creator, the sun god. A nice thought. Add into the mix that the pyramid is a perfectly placed, mathematical model of the world and things become ever more intriguing. As we move forward in time to 1000 BC and Solomon’s temple, the same principle though with a slight alteration is applied. The Temple Mount itself, is alive with energies and the foundations of the Solomon's temple reach deep into the mountain. The energy travels through the deep foundations or roots of the building to the Tabernacle where the eternal flame and the Ark of the Covenant are kept.

The design of Solomon's Temple has aspects in common with the great pyramid of Giza. There is little to no evidence that the Great Pyramid was a tomb. Instead, if we consider that the ‘kings chamber’ containing only an empty vessel is one of three darkened spaces within the temple as a whole, then we can relate this to Solomon's temple where the Holy of Holies inner sanctuary was a darkened room containing only the ark of the covenant. The ark was said to contain light within, and as we now know, light to the ancients equated to consciousness. The Hebrew translation of Lamb can also be interpreted as lamp. So we have a container, the ark, which is the light of God or creation. The pillars on either side of the gold-covered folding doors that led to the nave were called Boaz and Jachin. These two pillars are the pillars of the Tree of Life, and outside, to the West of these pillars is the ‘kingdom’, the realm of man. If we travel through the doors to the nave of the temple we find Foundation and Beauty. To ascertain knowledge, balance is found along the central pillar between understanding and wisdom, severity and mercy, glory and victory. Then in the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, lies the Crown, the divine.

Kilcooley Abbey, Co Tipperary.

A Cruciform building such as a Cistercian Abbey adds transepts to either side of this basic plan. This design represents the human body, feet together, arms outstretched. The chancel, home of the alter, sits where the third eye (pineal gland) chakra sits on the human body - “the light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” - Matthew 6:22. A pulpit would be placed to the west (lower down) at the top of the crossing. The throat chakra. The crossing itself, where the chancel, transepts, and nave intersect locates the heart chakra. Moving in sequence down the nave you would have the solar plexus, sacral and root chakras. The crown, the connection with the divine, would exist outside of the building itself.

The proportions of sacred buildings are also dictated by the proportions of the human body. Our bodies are a sensory instrument through which we experience the universe, this of course shapes our perception, and this perception is shaped by the energies of the universe. The structure in which the faithful worship is therefore a representation of their own body, their own temple. The ancient principle of “man know thyself” and “man is the measure of all things” are now coming to the fore in modern physics, to quote physicist Robert Dicke -“The right order of ideas may not be, ‘Here is the universe, so what must man be?’ but instead ‘Here is man, so what must the universe be?”. The ideal human body in its natural ratios and proportions contains all of the geometric measures and functions used in the creation of ancient structures. For example; an arm span is a fathom, and a forearm is 1 cubit. Therefore, a combination of geometry and measurement derived from this ideal human body create structures that represent the divinity of all creation in the image of man. I have skimmed over a massive subject here in one paragraph, but I do think it illustrates rather well the skill and depth of knowledge of the master mason.

Dunbrody Abbey, Co. Wexford.

The master masons that worked with the Templars and Cistercians had a deep understanding of these principles, they were adept at creating structures that resonated with the liminal surfaces of the earth's crust in specific portions of a structure; for example the crossing of a church or cathedral, where the human voice is easily amplified. When given free rein from the purist design principles of the Cistercians these masons created an architecture of divine complexity at locations such as Chartres and Rosslyn. These men did not have access to a structural engineering education and relied instead on the knowledge accrued through generations, whilst also for the most part massively over-engineering their structures. Most of the columns in Gothic cathedrals are capable of supporting much greater loads than they do. Better safe than sorry. There have been some unfortunate examples of crossing towers collapsing, most notably at Lincoln, and the beautiful scissor arches at Wells Cathedral were created to avoid disaster. The principles of geometry, experience both inherited and personally gained, in addition to basic mathematics were all these master masons had to work with.

The high mass constructions of Norman/Romanesque churches where often as much of the building was buried beneath the earth as above, is a basic evolution of Solomon's temple, the crypt being subterranean whilst the congregation gathers in the uppermost part of the building for services. As the design of sacred buildings progressed these thick-walled structures were superseded by the thinner higher walls and larger windows of the Gothic cathedrals. These large windows allow ‘divine’ light to enter the building and illuminate the soul rather than a darkened space with an everlasting flame (Light) representing divinity and all of its attendant spiritual properties. Focus on this flame would aid the connection with the inner flame, the inner light. In a gothic cathedral, the light the worshiper focuses on is streaming through ornate stained glass, glass which has a story of its own to tell with back-illuminated images. These larger spaces for worship are perhaps a pragmatic reaction to increased congregation numbers. It would be difficult to gather 80 or 800 people in a dolmen! The ancient underground or small chamber of spiritual devotion that had been reserved only for those that were spiritually or theologically awake, the very small numbers of priests and high priests; was no longer suitable, so the idea of a resonant building of lesser power but greater volume was in the end, perhaps a necessity.

The Templars and Cistercians had a very distinct architectural style for their sacred buildings, the Cistercians opting for a cruciform church around a cloister. The Templars constructed (where practicable) circular churches, chiefly inspired by Byzantine design, these structures were based on a dome seated on an octagon. The dome has since the first places of worship were constructed been used to symbolise perfection (circle) eternity and the heavens. The square represents the earth or material realm, thus the octagon is symbolic of balance and regeneration being halfway between the circle and the square. This design can be seen in the form of the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount and locations as far apart as Tomar in Portugal and Temple Church in London. The Dome of the Rock sits at the very pinnacle of the revered Mount Moriah within the walls of the holy city adjacent to the Al-Aqsa mosque. On the walls of this edifice, in a mosaic frieze, is the following inscription - “Bless your envoy and your servant Jesus son of Mary and peace upon him on the day of birth and on the day of death and on the day he is raised up again. It is a word of truth in which they doubt. It is not for God to take a son. Glory be to him when he decrees a thing he only says be, and it is” This appears to be the earliest extant citation from the Quran, with the date recorded as 72 years after the Hirja (AD691-672), which historians view as the date of the Dome’s construction. The Dome of the Rock was shown on the reverse side of the Templar seal.

According to the Kaballah, there are 72 angels and 72 names of God. The ‘Latin rule’ written by or edited by Bernard for the Knights Templar contains 72 rules. The ancient texts of Hebrew (old testament) and Greek (new testament) are languages of gematria, in other words, the letters of the alphabet have a corresponding numeric value. The numeric value of the word ‘truth’ in Hebrew is 72. Decoding the Kaballah numerically is a subdivision of the study of these texts. An astrological platonic day (a movement of 1 degree through the zodiac) comprises 72 calendar years. Another interesting number is cited in rule 3 of “The rule of the fellowship of the poor Knights of the Holy City”. Rule 3 - “What is to be done on behalf of deceased brothers. But when any of the permanent brothers is near death, which spares no one and is inevitable, we command that the chaplains and clerics serving in charity with you temporarily as the highest priests, offer solemnly to Christ the office and mass owed for his soul in the purity of their hearts. Moreover, let the brothers standing there and faithfully passing the night in prayer for the salvation of the deceased brother offer a hundred Lord’s prayers to the seventh day on his behalf. So I say: from that day when the death of a brother will have been declared to them until the aforementioned day let the hundred-fold number of perfection hold integrity with brotherly observance.” In the above translation of Bernard’s text by Robert T. Wojtowicz the number seven is the number of completion and one hundred is perfection. Jesus spoke seven times from the cross at his crucifixion. In the book of Revelation, Christ sends seven letters to seven churches to assure each community that if they live according to God’s rules they will receive their promised reward. This number appears over 700 times in scripture and also has connotations of fulfilled promises and exoneration. This number will reappear again in these texts in due course.

It’s worth noting that around the 12th century the concept of zero was newly introduced to the Western world from India via Arabia and then Spain. Numeric systems up to this time did not utilise zero, for example, in Roman numerals, the number 1505 is represented as MDV. This profound intervention radically altered Western science and thought. The impact on our most basic psychological beliefs is without question; the penetrating idea that after death there can be zero - nothing, nothing at all; that we are separate entities with separate energies existing in a world which ultimately will also be reduced to zero, is a direct contradiction of ancient philosophies. The early Cistercians in tune with their semi-mystic theology very much struggled with this concept, considering the whole idea to be the devils work. I can see their point, if you think about it, nothing doesn't exist.

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