This graphic demonstrates how the inner geometry within numbers can point to significant aspects of Celestial Time or here Space regarding the relative sizes of the Earth and the Moon, namely 11 to 3 according to pi as 22/7.

In some ways one cannot understand numbers without giving them some kind of concrete form as with seeing them as a number of identical units. Sixteen units can make a square of side 4 since the square root of 16 is 4 and 6 is factorial 3 (3! = 1 x 2 x 3 and 1 + 2 + 3) which is triangular, so together they make 22, and if the triangle to placed on top of the square, like a house and its roof, then the house is 7 tall. If you want an accurate approximation to pi of 3.14159 … (pi is transcendental), the 22/7 is good and the house defines it.

This adds another mystery to this form of pi often used in the ancient world where numbers were best handled as whole numbers and ratios of these. This pi allows a circle of diameter 11 to be set within a square of side 11, whose perimeter is then 44. This can be seen in the diagram as made up of 16 yellow squares and 6 blue ones, centered on the circle and making 22 squares in all.

If one looks to the end of the 7th square, as a radius, then 22/7 will deliver the dashed circle (red) of circumference 22 and hence equal to the house number (16 +6 = 22) just 1.5 units beyond the first circle (green). This is called the equal perimeter geometry and a small circle radius 1.5, diameter 3, will “orbit” the inner green circle and the ratio between the circles is obviously 11 to 3, and this is exactly the ratio between the mean Earth and the Moon.

It was thought, by John Michell, that the model was well known in the megalithic since simple experiments in geometry, as above, delivers the relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference with very small whole numbers. My own work finds it is indeed prevalent within the design of later buildings, for example in domes, circular windows, and sacred pavements. If so, such buildings became sacred spaces as models of the Earth and moon. Many examples are explored and interpreted in my Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels.

The oral world of early numeracy was rather like number theory, where numbers can be observed as being related to the geometries of square, triangle and hexagon. The Islamic world of the Sufis appears to have continued this form of numeracy.

A recent book about possible Platonic numeracy in the Quran, Plato and the Quran, suggests the numbers 3 to 9 were stated as a puzzle inviting both the addition and multiplication for seven consecutive numbers, to generate two significant numbers, 33 and 20160, where 33 reminds us of the solar hero period of 33 years and 20160 is twice 10080, the diameter of the equal perimeter model of the Earth and the Moon.

Many centuries later, an early poem of Sufi master Ahmad Yasavi, in present day Khazakhstan, expressed a similar additive formula; that one should add the numbers 4 to 8 together and, when done, this generates the number 22. Twenty two was important in the ancient world and was seen to form the geometry of the equal perimeter square side 11 and circle diameter 14, which, can represent the relative sizes of the Earth and Moon. The geometry is a manifestation of a useful approximation to pi, as 22/7 = 3 + 1/7 or 3.142857, instead of the transcendent number 3.14159 … .

If one looks at the sequence, there are four numbers starting with four and so part of 22 is here 4 x 4 = 16, a square number. In addition there are the added ones of enumeration.: 4 + 1 = 5 + 1 = 6 + 1 = 7. These add up to 1 + 2 +3 = 6, a triangular number which one famously sees in the Tetractys of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, then usually expanding downwards from 1, and this then adding to 6 + 4 = 10.

The lesser triangle of 6 can sit on top of the square of 16 to equal 22 while looking like a house roof for the square. The whole structure is seven units tall and I am looking at calling this a house number, but perhaps it is known somewhere in the literature – please let me know.

The first house number must be 5, a single 1 above 4 = 2 x 2.

The second house must be 12, a triangle of 3 above 9 = 3 x 3.

The fourth is 22.

The fifth is 35, a triangle of 10 above the square of 25 = 5 x 5.

The sixth is 51 , a triangle of 15 above the square of 36 = 6 x 6.

In each case, the triangle’s bottom row can be seen to share the top row of the house’s square and the triangular roof is most simply equilateral.

I wish happy celebration to my worldwide visitors, between the solstice and new calendar year; inviting you to see this “house number” as a “room” with a celestial “roof”.

There are two things we can count in this world, one is the number of objects on the Earth and the other is the number of time periods between events in the Sky.

photo: The Moon, with Jupiter and Mars, on 11th January 2018. (see end for interpretation)

Objects are counted in an extensive way, from one to an almost infinite number, the count extending with each addition (or multiplication) of a population.

Time periods appear similar but in fact they emanate from measurable recurrences, such as phases of the moon, and these derive from the behaviour of celestial objects as they divide into each other.

For instance, the unit called the day is created by the rotation of the earth relative to the Sun and the lunar month by its orbit around the Earth relative to the Sun, and so on.

Thus, time originally came from the sky. Furthermore, it largely came from the zodiacal band of stars surrounding the Earth within which the planets, Sun and Moon progress eastwards. The Earth’s own orbital motion is superimposed upon those of the other planets and the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) also appear to orbit a Sun that appears to orbit the Earth once a year.

The zodiacal band is naturally divided up into a number of constellations or stars and about three thousand years ago it became popular to follow the Sun throughout the year into 12 constellations whilst the Moon tends to create 27 or 28 stars (nakshatras) where the Moon might sit on a given evening. When the moon is illuminated by the sun, the primordial month has 29 1/2 days and twelve such in less than a year hence perhaps first defining the 12-ness of our months within the year.

Unexpectedly, three more chapter were written to conclude Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures, on Cambodian temple Angkor Wat and Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica.

Here is a taster of the later chapters.

figure: the punctuation of towers and western outlook. Possibly a funerial building for the king, it could be used as a living observatory and complex counting platform for studying the time periods of the sun, the moon, and even the planetary synods.

Chapter 9 is on the design of Angkor Wat and chapter 10 is on St Peter’s basilica in Rome (see below). Some early articles on these can be accessed on this site, most easily through the search function, tag cloud and tags on this post..

As you can see, my books partly emerge through work presented on this website. This has been an important way of working. And whilst I am providing some ways of working that could be duplicated by others, at its heart, my purpose is to show that the celestial environment of our living planet appears to have been perfectly organized according to a numerical scheme.

My results do not rely on modern techniques yet I have had to avail myself of modern techniques and gadgets to work out what the ancient techniques arrived at over hundreds if not thousands of years.

My basic proposal is that ancient astronomers learned of the pattern of time in the sky by counting days and months between events on the horizon or amongst the fixed stars. Triangles enabled the planetary motions to be compared as ratios between synodic periods.

This paper responds to Reichart and Ramalingam’s study of three heptagonal churches[1], particularly the 12th century church at Rieux Minervois in the Languedoc region of France (figure 1a).

image: The Church in situ

Reichart and Ramalingam discuss the close medieval association of the prime number seven[2] with the Virgin Mary, to whom this church was dedicated. The outer wall of the original building still has fourteen vertical ribs on the inside, each marking vertices of a tetraheptagon, and an inner ring of three round and four vertex-like pillars (figure 1b) forming a heptagon that supports an internal domed ceiling within an outer heptagonal tower. The outer walls, dividable by seven, could have represented an octave and in the 12^{th} century world of hexachordal solmization (ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la [sans si & do])[3]. The singing of plainchant in churches provided a melodic context undominated by but still tied to the octave’s note classes. Needing only do-re-mi-fa-sol-la, for the three hexachordal dos of G, C and F, the note letters of the octave were prefixed in the solmization to form unique mnemonic words such as “Elami”.It is therefore possible that a heptagonal church with vertices for the octave of note letters would have been of practical use to singers or their teachers.

The official plan of Rieux Minervois

12^{th} Century Musical Theory

In the 10^{th} Century, the Muslim Al-Kindi was first to add two tones to the Greek diatonic tetrachord of two tones and single semitone (T-T-S) and extend four notes to the six notes of our ascending major scale, to make TTSTT. This system appeared in the Christian world (c. 1033) in the work of Guido of Arezzo, a Benedictine monk who presumably had access to Arabic translations of al-Kindi and others [Farmer. 1930]. Guido’s aim was to make Christian plainsong learnable in a much shorter period, employing a dual note and solfege notation around seven overlapping hexachords called solmization. Plainsongs extending over one, two or even three different hexachords could then be notated.

If one takes the figure of 940 feet (that is, 286.512 meters) as the side length factorizing 940 gives 20 x 47 and 47 (a prime number) times 5 gives 235 which is the number of lunar months in 19 solar years: the Metonic period. image by Google Earth

This is the larger of three bounding periods for the sun, moon, and earth. The lower boundary is exactly 19 eclipse years, called the Saros eclipse period of 18.03 solar years. . Within that range of 18-19 years lies the moon’s nodal period of 18.618 years, this being the time taken for the two lunar nodes, of the lunar orbit, to travel once backwards around the ecliptic. It is only at these nodal points that eclipses of sun and moon can occur, when both bodies are sitting on the nodes.

The first article on Ushtogai showed how, by daily counting all the tumuli in a special way, the 6800 days of the nodal period would keep a tally in days, to quantify where the nodes were on the ecliptic as well as predicting the lunar maximum and minimum standstills.

It now seems that, if the absolute size of the monument’s perimeter was able to count the 19-year Metonic, not by counting days but rather, counting the 235 lunar months of the Metonic period. The lunar month would then be 16 feet long. And, within that counting, one could also have counted the 223 lunar months between eclipses having the same appearance. The diameter of a circle drawn within the square would then have a diameter of 235 (lunar months) divided by 4 = 58.75 lunar months which, times the 16 feet per month, is the 940 feet of the square’s side length.

Figure 1. The size of Ushtogai Square, side length 940 feet, is 235 x 4 feet, making its perimeter able to count 235 lunar months of 16 feet.

In Cappadocia, present-day Turkey, this type of geometrical usage can be seen within a rock-cut church called Ayvali Kelise, only then in miniature to form a circular apse, just over 100 times smaller! The church was built in the early Christian period (see figure 2).

The Ushtagai Square has the basic form for the equal perimeter geometry. If so, that would form a tradition at least 10,000 years old. As a counting framework for the 18-19 solar year recurrences of aspects between the the Sun, Moon, Earth, eclipses and nodes the Square appears to be both a tour-de-force in a form of astronomy now largely forgotten.

Figure 3 Showing the circle equal in perimeter to the Ushtagai Square, the size of the Earth (in-circle of diameter 11) and Moon (four circles of diameter 3.)

As an earthwork where tumuli punctuate geometrical lines, it is a highly portable symbol of great time and a highly specific astronomical construction. It was an observatory and also a snapshot within celestial time, built just after the Ice Age had ended.