Eleven Questions on Sacred Numbers

In 2011, Sacred Number and the Origins of the Universe was nicely re-published in Portuguese by Publisher Pensamento in Brazil. Their press agent contacted my publisher for an email interview from a journalist who posed eleven questions about sacred number.


1) Is the universe a mathematical equation? 

If the universe is a creation then it needs to have organizing principles governing its structure. I believe that this structure is governed by what we call sacred numbers. Numbers relative to each other form proportions that in sound are perceived as musical intervals. The universe is more like a set of musical possibilities, making it more dramatic and open-ended than an equation.

2) Please, explain the sentence: The number is a set of eternal archetypes.

Eternity is a set of structures that do not decay but remain present and this is what is meant by an archetype. We are familiar with archetypes as patterns we recognize and it seems the dimensions of time and space form patterns that were traditionally seen as recurrent spiritual archetypes.

3) What is the legacy of the atlantean civilization

All of our units of length and many of our ideas about numbers, gods and planets appear to come from a coherent system of thought which we call Atlantis only because it is the closest surviving story of such a civilization.

4) What do you call sacred geometry?

Sacred geometry is a type of environmental design that seeks to exemplify the spiritual archetypes of sacred number, either upon the land or within a building or both. Such designs might then function to connect the human to the spiritual.

5) Explain how the knowledge of the sacred numbers influenced the civilizations?

In prehistory there was no picture of the world as we have it today – through our knowledge of physical laws.  Instead, prehistory had to study time and number and that work created a cosmology and a system of knowledge that was lost, as a civilization, but preserved in our historical cultures as a set of religious symbols, myths, a sophisticated system of measures and an increased competence with numbers and rationality.

6) Is this sacred mathematics still present in our lives?

A perfect example is in our calendars and the counting of time. Sacred days are associated with saints that displaced older archetypes (such as the gods) and there are still links in living traditions with these days and where the sun rises on that day from a given spiritual centre. The seven day week has no astronomical justification like the month and year have, but the number seven is associated with Saturn as 54 weeks, a matriarchal 364-day year of 52 weeks and a solar year of “a year and a day”, that is 365 days, after which the solar hero dies.

7) What is the importance of the numbers in our lives?

If there is virtue coming into creation from the spiritual worlds, then one can look for a likely mechanism. If sacred numbers were widely employed in past religious activities, then numerical patterns in time and space may well have a spiritual meaning today. Receptivity to this is blocked by thinking that our lives have no cosmic significance. Sacred numbers present a structure to life and the universe where things are spiritually connected – the original meaning of “Religion”, to reconnect in Latin.

8) What is your concept about God?

God exists in the reason for the creation but only when the spiritual structuring of the creation is understood. When this is understood, God’s reason for the creation is present but otherwise appears absent.

9) What do you think is our mission in the planet?

To do what cannot be done outside of the creation through finding a spiritual pattern within ourselves that can recognise spiritual patterns in our environment.

10) Can the numbers explain the possibility of lives in other planets?

I would prefer to concentrate on the possibility of life on this planet.

11) How do you define the spirit, if we already know that life is mathematics? Are we immortal?

If there was no life in the universe, would there also be no mathematics? YES if life is necessary for any consciousness of mathematics but NO since planets would still orbit in elliptical paths. The problem is consciousness: what is it? do we have it? and can we lose it? There must be a relationship between numbers and consciousness in that numbers lie beneath the creation whilst consciousness appears, like a spirit, to complete the creation. Human beings have evolved to work with this consciousness and in the past, this was combined with an understanding of sacred number.

2 thoughts on “Eleven Questions on Sacred Numbers”

  1. Hello Richard.
    I’m writing to you about a rock art cupule array that I associated with a grave goods board game called the Game of 58+1 by Sir William Flinders Petrie and more commonly known as ‘Hounds and Jackals’. I found examples of this in Azerbaijan first at a stone circle then later through a archaeological contact as grave goods tablets. What is interesting about this is that it demonstrates cultural connections between Azerbaijan and the Near East, including ancient Egypt in the late Neolithic to Early Bronze period. I wrote about it here:

    Click on No. 7.

    The array was recently investigate by Dr. Walter Crist, who confirmed that it was an example of the H&J board game and evidence of connections to Egypt. See:


    However, I think there is much more to this on many levels, but importantly I suspect that it is an example of a lunar calendar representing two lunar cycles and that it has an astronomical function. Perhaps later it developed into a board game.

    In your paper ‘The Origins of Megalithic Astronomy’ you state in the section, -The Development of the Day-Inch.

    The primary unit of time employed was the day itself. Counting days
    allowed significant achievements: For example, by good fortune the lunar
    month can be counted over two whole periods to total 59 days. At 29.53 days,
    the lunar month is nearly 29 ½ days and this means that two months are 59 days
    long, to nearly one part in a thousand.

    While the numbers may be coincidence, this observations reflects my thoughts about the Azerbaijan array and I feel ought to be investigated. I was therefore wondering if you would like to look into the array. Please note that I have discussed the matter with Walter Crist, but his inclination is that the array is simply a board game. I feel sure that you and Robin ought to be able to develop this into a significant archaeoastronomical story and insight into the origins of an important ancient game.

    I’d be pleased to share what information I have.

    Best wishes.

    Ronnie Gallagher

    1. Hello Ronnie,

      Thanks for writing this.

      The notion of stone age counting over two months was pioneered by Alexander Marshack (The Roots of Civilization) and he showed 59 signs where phase seems a likely symbolism.

      The problem with such a probably connected small count is one cannot make 58 holes into 59 except by having an exceptional rule at which point one appears to be wishing it to be true. But we need to keep this in mind, and perhaps try another angle on it, such as metrology. Are the cup marks evenly spaced or same diameter?

      It was amazing what Alexander Thom achieved with his observation that cup marks were an “inch” one 40th of a megalithic yard (chapter 5 of his Megalithic Remains and chapter 18 of Records in Stone, a review by Alan Davis).

      It is important to be able to read measurements on photos or plans in case metrology is recognisable. I would be happy to try metrological analysis if that is possible

      I hope you have seen many of my articles where counting moons enabled 222 months to have the Saros primary eclipse as 223 months (Fylindales and Thornborough). Carnac had a carrot like symbol to represent a triangle hypotenuse 37.1 months, of the Moon’s 3-year near integer anniversary of 36:37.

      Best Regards,
      cc your email

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