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Use of foot ratios in Megalithic Astronomy

The ratios of ancient metrology emerged from the Megalithic innovations of count&compare: counting time as length and comparing lengths as the longest sides of right triangles. To compare two lengths in this way, one can take a longer rope length and lay it out (say East-West), starting at the beginning of the shorter rope length, using a stake in the ground to fix those ends together.

The longer rope end is then moved to form an angle to the shorter, on the ground, whilst keeping the longer rope straight. The Right triangle will be formed when the longer rope’s end points exactly to the North of the shorter rope end. But to do that one needs to be able to form a right angle at the shorter rope’s end. The classic proposal (from Robin Heath) is to form the simplest Pythagorean triangle with sides {3 4 5} at the rope’s end. One tool for this could then have been the romantic knotted belt of a Druid, whose 13 equally spaced knots could define 12 equal intervals. Holding the 5th knot, 8th knot and the starting and ending knots together automatically generates that triangle sides{3 4 5}.

Forming a square with the AMY is helped by the diagonals being rational at 140/99 of the AMY.
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Old Yard’s Mastery of the Square Root of 2

The old yard was almost identical to the yard of three feet, but just one hundredth part smaller at 2.87 feet. This gives its foot value as 99/100 feet, a value belonging to a module very close to the English/Greek which defines one relative to the rational ratios of the Historical modules.

So why was this foot and its yard important, in the Scottish megalithic and in later, historical monuments?

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A Lecture introducing Sacred Number and the Lords of Time

… given as the John Michell Memorial Lecture for
at Megalithomania 2015 in Glastonbury

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Use of Ad-Quadratum at Angkor Wat

The large temple complex of Angkor Wat ( photo: Chris Junker at flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

Ad Quadratum is a convenient and profound technique in which continuous scaling of size can be given to square shapes, either from a centre or periphery. The differences in scale are multiples of the square root
of two [sqrt(2)] between two types of square: cardinal (flat) and diamond (pointed).

The diagonal of a square of unit size is sqrt(2), When a square is nested to just touch a larger square’s opposite sides, one can know the squares differ by sqrt(2)
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Thornborough Henge as Moon’s Maximum Standstill

The three henges appear to align to the three notable manifestations to the north west of the northerly moon setting at maximum standstill. The distance between northern and southern henge entrances could count 3400 days, each 5/8th of a foot (7.5 inches), enabling a “there and back again” counting of the 6800 days (18.618 solar years/ 19.618 eclipse years) between lunar maximum standstills.

Figure 1 The three henges are of similar size and design, a design most clear in what remains of the central henge.
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The Tetraktys as plan of planetary harmony and the four Elements

In "Planetary Resonances with the Moon" I explored the astronomical matrix presented in The Harmonic Origins of the World with a view to reducing the harmonic between outer planets and the lunar year to a single harmonic register of Pythagorean fifths. This became possible when the 32 lunar month period was realized to be exactly 945 days but then that this, by the nature of Ernest McClain’s harmonic mountains (figure 1) must be 5/4 of two Saturn synods.


Figure 1 The elimination of 5 as a factor in the harmonic mountain for 36 lunar years, resolved using matrix units of one tenth of a month and the limit 360 units.

Using the lowest limit of 18 lunar months, the commensurability of the lunar year (12) with Saturn (12.8) and Jupiter (13.5) was “cleared” using tenths of a month, revealing Plato’s World Soul register of 6:8::9:12 but shifted just a fifth to 9:12::13.5:18, perhaps revealing why the Olmec and later Maya employed an 18 month “supplementary” calendar after some of their long counts.

By doubling the limit from 18 to three lunar years (36) the 13.5 is cleared to the 27 lunar months of two Jupiter synods, the lunar year must be doubled (24) and the 32 lunar month period is naturally within the register of figure 1 whilst 5/2 Saturn synods (2.5) must also complete in that period of 32 lunar months.

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Number Symbolism at Table des Marchands

Table des Marchands, a dolmen at Lochmariaquer, can explain how the Megalithic came to factorise 945 days as 32 lunar months by looking at the properties of the numbers three, four and five. At that latitude, the solstice angle of the sun on the horizon shone along the 5-side of a 3-4-5 triangle to east and west, seen clearly at the Crucuno Rectangle "Lunar Counting from Crucuno Dolmen to its Rectangle".

Before numbers were individually notated (as with our 3, 4 and 5 rather than |||, |||| and |||||) and given positional notation (like our decimal seen in 945 and 27), numbers were lengths or marks and, when marks are compared to accurately measured lengths measured out in inches, feet, yards, etc. then each vertical mark would naturally have represented a single unit of length. This has not been appreciated as having been behind marks like the cuneiform for ONE; that it probably meant “one unit of length”.


Figure 1 The end and cap stone inside the dolmen Table des Marchands in which the elementary numbers in columns and rows perhaps inspired its attribution to the accounts of merchants
Locmariaquer (Morbihan, Bretagne, France) : la Table des Marchand, interieur.
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Lunar Counting from Crucuno Dolmen to its Rectangle

Figure 1 The entrance of Crucuno’s cromlech, which opens to the south-east
[Summer Solstice, 2007]

It is not immediately obvious the Crucuno dolmen (figure 1) faces the Crucuno rectangle about 1100 feet to the east. The role of dolmen appears to be to mark the beginning of a count. At Carnac’s Alignments there are large cromlechs initiating and terminating the stone rows which, more explicitly, appear like counts. The only (surviving) intermediate stone lies 216 feet from the dolmen, within a garden and hard-up to another building, as with the dolmen (see figure 2). This length is interesting since it is twice the longest inner dimension of the Crucuno rectangle, implying that lessons learned in interpreting the rectangle might usefully apply when interpreting the distance at which this outlier was placed from the dolmen. Most obviously, the rectangle is 4 x 27 feet wide and so the outlier is 8 x 27 feet from the dolmen.

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Earth and Moon within Westminster’s Coronation Pavement

Our modern globes are based upon political boundaries and geographical topography yet they have geometrical predecessors, which described the world as an image, diagram or schemata. The original idea for the form of the world was summarised within a simple two dimensional geometry, like an eastern mandala or yantra.

Such a diagram was built into the Cosmati pavement at Westminster Abbey, built by Henry III and dedicated to the Saxon King and Saint Edward the Confessor. This exotic pavement became the focus for the Coronations of subsequent English then British monarchs.


Figure 1 Photo of the Cosmati Pavement at Westminster Abbey
[Copyright: Dean and Chapter of Westminster]
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Musical Tones of the Outer Planets

My crucial entré to planetary harmony came when I noticed musical ratios in the synodic time periods of Jupiter and Saturn relative to the lunar year. This approach differs from the norms for “harmonies of the spheres” (a.k.a. Musica Universalis) which are geometrical and spatial, rather than temporally harmonic.

The planetary harmony I found within synodic periods became the subject of my new book The Harmonic Origins of the World (pub. 2018). These synodic ratios have been parts of my work from c. 2000, then expressed as “matrix diagrams” (Matrix of Creation, figure 2 below). In my new book, I show how ancient tuning theory seems to have presented the same information, in a different type of matrix (see figure 4).

Below I connect the outer planets using two additional (and useful) kinds of diagram, the right-angled triangle (figure 1) and the Pentad (figure 5), the latter developed in the 20th century within a discipline called Systematics. 


Figure 1 The harmonic ratios between the nearest two outer planets and the lunar year. The four square rectangle with side length of four, when equal to the lunar year gives, geometrically, the solar year as its diagonal length. The outer planetary synods are longer than the solar year as the planets have moved ahead of their last opposition to the sun. Such oppositions are marked by an outer planet appearing to travel in a loop, amongst the stars
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Precessional Time: Working with Ideas

My third book, Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness is my slimmest (surely a virtue) about how we work with ideas. It has its own conjunctions and disjunctions; where conjunctions are discovered meanings and disjunctions are changes in direction. The book is dominated with the cyclic metaphors of the

  1. Tone Circle of 1st Millennium BC tuning theory (Ernest McClain),
  2. The narrative structure called Ring Composition, found within ancient texts (Mary Douglas) and
  3. The Enneagram brought to the West by George Gurdjieff.

A key power of such cyclic structures is that they belong to a species of Media in which consciousness is both portrayed as a process and freed from the normalising identification with an idea often found in our World View (or paradigm about how “the world” – our environment – works.) As Gurdjieff in particular made clear, identification is part of the world process over which the human mind has to struggle, just like the hero in a mythic tale – within a ring composition – must struggle (as protagonist of the narrative) with an antagonistic force that binds his or her struggle as a demon, dragon, tyrant, etc. preventing a golden fleece, holy grail or other treasure being recovered (Joseph Campbell).

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