The Integration of the Megalithic Yard

Above is a proposed geometric relation between Thom’s megalithic yard (2.72 feet), the royal cubit (1.72 feet) and the remen (1.2 feet). Alexander Thom’s estimate for it based on decades of work was refined from 2.72 to 2.722 feet at Avebury. If the origins of it are astronomical, then its value emerges from the Metonic period of 19 years which is 235 lunar months, making its value 19/7 feet or more accurately 2.715428571 (19008/7000) feet and this makes it 2.7 feet x 176/175 within ancient metrology. Another astronomical derivation is found at Le Manio as the difference between three lunar and three solar years, when counted in day-inches as 32 + 5/8th inches which is 2.71875 (87/32) feet. For a fuller explanation see my the appendix of my Language of the Angels book .

One can see that the Megalithic Yard is a tale of many variations, some of which might not consider how or why the megalithic might have come to adopt such a yard. I have come to trust simple integers and ratios to guide me to a possible megalithic pathway. To demonstrate, the above megalithic yard at Le Manio, of 32.625 inches is 29/32 of the English yard, and 32 lunar months (at Le Manio Quadrilateral) is 29 AMY. Such simple rationics is explored here.

My 2012 Post below discusses John Neal’s view of the megalithic yard
drawing on his ancient metrology.

John Neal makes a masterful job of considering the megalithic yard in the context of historical metrology, a metrology that he has managed to forge into a single conceptual scheme in which measures known to history from different lands all inter-relate.

Neal’s book, All Done With Mirrors, is one of the most fundamental and significant contributions to the late megalithic and ancient world understanding of numbers but to read it is no easy matter since he takes no prisoners and fully expects readers to resolve through calculation what he does not explicitly state. This makes his approach different to mine in which I try to present as easily a possible aids to the visualisation and registration of a pattern of facts. However, neither approach can really substitute for what one has to do for oneself in order to understand and John gave his “Secret Academy” idea the catch line “We can’t give it away” because of the often deafening silence with which his work is met.

The aim here is to give some workings based on Neal’s book, to give others a taste of what lies beneath what is written and also to further my own interests in the Megalithic Yard. Thom’s lack of metrological background led to both an original approach but also a disconnect to what is known about historical metrology. One particular mystery is how measures appear to have propagated unchanged across millennia.

Neal says on page 47:

Thom made a comparison of his Megalithic Yard with only one other known unit of measurement. This was the Spanish vara, the pre-metric measurement of Iberia, its value 2.7425 feet. Related measurements to the vara survive all over the Americas wherever the Spanish settled, from Peru to Texas. Although the vara is exactly one of the lengths of the m.y. the fact that it is divided into three feet makes this relationship uncertain. These feet are thought to be Roman but this belief is also unlikely, and they would appear to be related to the earlier Etruscan-Mycenaean units. This is a good example of an intermediate measure being thought to be related because of a similarity in length, and illustrates the importance of considering the sub-divisions when sourcing a measure.

How units of measure are divided and aggregated follows strict rules. If these rules did not exist then the system of metrology would have no inner structure as a system. We don’t expect measures to follow rules because today we simply measure things, and do everything else as a calculation following on from that. Metrology is an “ology” because it is a system of calculation that was used for building ancient structures when only limited calculation was possible.

Thus Neal can talk about the ancestry of the megalithic yard because the forensic tools are available through the system of metrology, in which a yard has three feet but that places the foot at close to the limits for a foot, at just over 0.9 feet, for the vara which would then be a yard of near Assyrian feet (9/10 feet). The Roman foot is far greater at 24/25 or 0.96 feet. A Mycenean foot would be 15/16 of the Roman which is in the region of 0.91 feet but the compounding to two errors, that the vara is a yard and that the Roman is its foot is the sort of confusion that only an exact metrology can ever recover from.

Neal continues:

Why he [Thom] did not analyze the Megalithic Yard in terms of what was already very well known of ancient metrology, must remain a mystery. And why, after the Megalithic Yard becoming the most scrutinized measure in the history of measure, nobody else has succeeded in doing so, is an even greater mystery. The very simple fact of the matter is, that if as Thom claimed from the beginning, the Megalithic Yard has 40 sub-divisions, then it is not a “yard” but a double remen [1.25], or 2 and 1/2 feet, and the “megalithic inch” is a digit! If the Megalithic Yard is taken to be 2.7272 feet, which is within Thom’s parameters for the value, the megalithic inch is .06818 feet, which is well within the range of the digits of all known ancient measurements. 16 of these digits are therefore one megalithic foot of 1.0909 English feet. This is a well-known measurement in ancient metrology, sometimes referred to as the Ptolemaic foot, and mistakenly, as the Drusian foot. His “fathom” of 2 m.y. is the historically well-known intermediate measurement, of a pace of 5 feet. Then, his “megalithic rod” [6.8 feet] is 6.25 Ptolemaic feet, which is also a measure known in antiquity as being 100th part of a furlong of 625ft or 1/8th part of the 5,000ft mile. The megalithic measures are not, therefore, peculiar to what is accepted as the megalithic arena, but are perfectly integrated with measuring systems found throughout the ancient world.

One should realize here that Neal is using the word “ancient” in an unquantified way because he believes metrology and other sciences of the numerical arts were inherited by the megalithic – a position that I question since there is no evidence for it. The megalithic could have generated a science of metrology in its earliest phase which then evolved into the greater system of many types of feet (Neal’s modules) since the older megalithic monuments have not been well studied – the British monuments being from a later phase. The early burial mounds, if found to have employed this fuller system, would prove Neal’s thesis. he continues,

Furthermore, the methods whereby Thom discovered [his megalithic measures], namely by careful surveys and comparisons, are the time honoured methods pioneered by Petrie and in no way are they a mistaken interpretation of the evidence, or invention.

The pattern of metrology comes in the ratios between types of unit. If a different foot is used these patterns remain constant and when metrology is used to analyse monuments then it this grammar of its usage that has remained invariant. This may seem to be geeky nonsense until metrology is resolved as a system within which the apparent babel of metrological signals become a direct communication from the past. Neal does not make this any easier by delivering a masterly analysis that prerequires most of the structural understandings to be in place.

Doth this profit a man? And is it simply a specialist field? For sure, by now, like Neal I am something of a specialist. It is true that no older language than metrology, other than language itself, has come down from such antiquity. If there is a truth behind claims (like mine) that the number sciences were sacred and contain mysteries concerning the spiritual world, metrology could be a philosopher’s stone. But when and how?

It is also true that this system of prehistoric thought is now a very powerful forensic tool for recovering their intended meaning of ancient sites and the types of measure found might reveal lines of metrological transmission in the ancient world. Anyone interested needs to apply it in practice.

This excerpt was first published on matrixofcreation.co.uk in 2012

Postscript

The only problem in adopting Neal’s full structure for ancient metrology is that it bears upon the type of metrological knowledge of the size and shape of the Earth, that lies behind the form of the Great Pyramid and other ancient buildings. But I have since seen, from the point of view of early megalithic astronomy, a much freer use of the ordinal numbers {1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9… etc} was applied to counts of astronomical time, using simple geometries of circles and right triangles within which a simpler metrology arose, as explained in Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels. Another problem with Neal’s metrological grid of “Earth ratios” is that the modular range becomes so filled with versions of each foot that a given measurement can give one a false identification upon which a false interpretation or dead end can defeat the process.

This means that, earlier than the late megalithic, one is studying primitive ratios between astronomical measurements. This is clear at Crucuno Dolmen to Rectangle, where the month was coded as 27 feet but the day was the root Iberian foot of 32/35 feet. From this can be deduced an accurate approximation of the lunar month as 27 feet divided by 32 and multiplied by 35 giving 29.53 125 (27 x 35/ 32) Iberian feet. When one multiplies this month by 32 (the denominator) the result is 945 so that 945 days equals 32 lunar months. It is therefore true that the original three lunar year count (leading to the megalithic yard) is 36 months, two lunar years 24 months and two Jupiter synods are 27 lunar months. This forms a limiting octave of {18 24 27 36} which became Plato’s World Soul in his Timaeus cosmogony 6:8::9:12 only tripled [do1 fa sol do2} (see my Harmonic Origins of the World). From this the megalithic can be seen to naturally lead finding 27 lunar months between three loops of Jupiter, so that one Jupiter synod is 13.5 (27/2) months. Hence my reconstruction of the Pythagorean Music of the Spheres, as a mystery garnered from the megalithic.

Introduction to my book Harmonic Origins of the World

Over the last seven thousand years, hunter-gathering humans have been transformed into the “modern” norms of citizens (city dwellers) through a series of metamorphoses during which the intellect developed ever-larger descriptions of the world. Past civilizations and even some tribal groups have left wonders in their wake, a result of uncanny skills – mental and physical – which, being hard to repeat today, cannot be considered primitive. Buildings such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza are felt anomalous, because of the mathematics implied by their construction. Our notational mathematics only arose much later and so, a different maths must have preceded ours.

We have also inherited texts from ancient times. Spoken language evolved before there was any writing with which to create texts. Writing developed in three main ways: (1) Pictographic writing evolved into hieroglyphs, like those of Egyptian texts, carved on stone or inked onto papyrus, (2) the Sumerians used cross-hatched lines on clay tablets, to make symbols representing the syllables within speech. Cuneiform allowed the many languages of the ancient Near East to be recorded, since all spoken language is made of syllables, (3) the Phoenicians developed the alphabet, which was perfected in Iron Age Greece through identifying more phonemes, including the vowels. The Greek language enabled individual writers to think new thoughts through writing down their ideas; a new habit that competed with information passed down through the oral tradition. Ironically though, writing down oral stories allowed their survival, as the oral tradition became more-or-less extinct. And surviving oral texts give otherwise missing insights into the intellectual life behind prehistoric monuments.

Continue reading “Introduction to my book Harmonic Origins of the World”

Twelve: determining Time and Space on the Earth

ABOVE: South rose window in Angers Cathedral of Saint Maurice. Stained glass by Andre Robin created after the fire of 1451. At centre, Christ of the Apocalypse, in glory (Revelation 21:5). At bottom, 12 radial windows showing 12 elders, crowned and playing musical instruments, rejoicing, indicating the remade world (the heavenly Jerusalem). At top, circular ends of 12 radial windows showing the 12 signs of the Zodiac, indicating the incarnation of Christ as a man on earth under the stars. Sequence from left to right has last 2 signs before first, i.e. Aquarius/Water-bearer (grey), Pisces/Fish (grey), Aries/Ram, Taurus/Bull (yellow), Gemini/Twins, Cancer/Crab (red), Leo/Lion (yellow), Virgo/Virgin, Libra/Scales, Scorpio/Scorpion, Sagittarius/Archer, Capricorn/He-goat (blue background)
photo: Chiswick Chap for Wikipedia Foundation.

The Moon was the means by which a 12-fold harmony became established on the Earth. This harmonization occurred through the lengthening of the lunar month until 12 months fitted, in a special way, within the solar year. The excess of the solar year over the lunar year of 12 months became 7/19 lunar months, causing seven extra whole months over 19 years. This 19-year (235 month) Metonic period was well-known to the ancient world, and it leads to the remarkably short cycle for the pattern of similar eclipses, we call the Saros period, which repeat every 18 years (235 minus 12 months = 223 months). And eclipses are highly visible because the disk of the Moon has come to be the same angular size as the disk of the Sun, causing total solar eclipses.

Continue reading “Twelve: determining Time and Space on the Earth”

The Geocentric Planetary Matrix

Harmonic Origins of the World inserted the astronomical observations of my previous books into an ancient harmonic matrix, alluded to through the harmonic numbers found in many religious stories, and also through the cryptic works of Plato. Around 355 BC, Plato’s dialogues probably preserved what Pythagoras had learnt from ancient mystery centers of his day, circa. 600 BC.

According to the late Ernest G. McClain*, Plato’s harmonic matrices had been widely practiced by initiates of the Ancient Near East so that, to the general population, they were entertaining and uplifting stories set within eternity while, to the initiated, the stories were a textbook in harmonic tuning. The reason harmonic tuning theory should have infiltrated cosmological or theological ideas was the fact that, the planets surrounding Earth express the most fundamental musical ratios, the tones and semitones found within octave scales.

* American musicologist and writer, in the 1970s,
of The Pythagorean Plato and The Myth of Invariance.

Ancient prose narratives and poetic allusions were often conserving ancient knowledge of this planetary harmony; significant because these ratios connect human existence to the world of Eternity. In this sense the myths of gods, heros and mortals had been a natural reflection of harmonic worlds in heaven, into the life of the people.

In the Greece before the invention of phonetic writing, oral or spoken stories such as those attributed to Homer and Hesiod were performed in public venues giving rise to the amphitheaters and stepped agoras of Greek towns. Special performers or rhapsodes animated epic stories of all sorts and some have survived through their being written down.

At the same time, alongside this journey towards genuine literacy, new types of sacred buildings and spaces emerged, these also carrying the sacred numbers and measures of the megalithic to Classical Greece, Rome, Byzantium and elsewhere, including India and China.

The Heraion of Samos, late 8th century BC. [figure 5.9 of Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels.]

Work towards a fuller harmonic matrix for the planets

In my first book, called Matrix of Creation, I had not yet assimilated McClain’s books, but had identified the musical intervals between the lunar year and the geocentric periodicities of the outer planets. To understand what was behind the multiple numerical relationships within the geocentric world of time, I started drawing out networks of those periods and, as I looked at all the relationships (or interval ratios) between them, I could see common denominators and multiples linking the celestial time periods through small intermediary and whole numbers: numbers which became sacred for later civilizations. For example, the 9/8 relationship between the Jupiter synod and the lunar year could be more easily grasped in a diagram revealing a larger structural network, visualized as a “matrix diagram” (see figure 1).

Figure 1 Matrix Diagram of Jupiter and the Moon. figure 9.5 of Matrix of Creation, p117.

One can see the common unit of 1.5 lunar months, at the base of the diagram, and a symmetrical period at the apex lasting 108 lunar months or 9 lunar years (referencing the Maya supplemental glyphs). In due course, I re-discovered the use of the Lambda diagram of Plato (figure 8.7), and even stumbled upon the higher register of five tones (figure 2) belonging to the Mexican flying serpent, Quetzalcoatl (as figure 8.1), made up of [Mercury, the eclipse year, the Tzolkin, Mars and Venus], Venus also being called Quetzalcoatl.

Figure 2 My near discovery of Quetzalcoatl, in fig. 8.1 of Matrix of Creation

These periodicities are of adjacent musical fifths (ratio 3/2), which would eventually be shown as connected to the corresponding register of the outer planets, using McClain’s harmonic technology in my 5th book Harmonic Origins of the World (see figure 3).

Probably called the flying serpent by dynastic Egypt, Quetzalcoatl’s set of musical fifths was part of the Mexican mysteries of the Olmec and Maya civilizations (1500 BC to 800 AD). This serpent flies 125/128 above the inner planets – for example, the eclipse season is 125/128 above the lunar year: 354.367 days × 125/128 = 346 days, requiring I integrate the two serpents within McClain’s harmonic matrices in Harmonic Origins of the World (as figure 9.3).

  • Uranus is above Saturn
  • The eclipse year is above the lunar year
  • the Tzolkin of 260 days is above the 9 lunar months of Adam
Figure 3 The two harmonic serpents of “Heaven” and “Earth”

By my 6th book, Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels, I had realized that the numerical design within which our “living planet” sits is a secondary creation – created after the solar system, yet it was discovered before the heliocentric creation of the solar system, exactly because the megalithic observed the planets from the Earth. Instead of proposing the existence of a progenitor civilization with high knowledge** I instead proposed, as more likely, that the megalithic was the source of the ancient mysteries. Such mysteries then only seem mysterious because; a kind of geocentric science before our own heliocentric one seems anachronistic.

**such as Atlantis as per Plato’s Timaeus: an island destroyed by vulcanism, Atlantis and similar solutions have simply “kicked the can down the road” into an as-yet-poorly-charted prehistory before 5000 BC, for which less evidence exists because there never was any. In contrast, the sky astronomy and earth measures of the megalithic are to be found referenced in later monuments and ancient textual references. That is, megalithic monuments recorded an understanding of the cosmos then found in the ancient mysteries. A geocentric world view was a naturally result of the megalithic, achieved using the numbers they found through geocentric observations, counting lengths of time, using horizon events and the mathematical properties of simple geometries.

Geo-centrism was the current world view until superseded by the Copernican heliocentric view. This new solar system was soon found by 1680 to be held together by natural gravitational forces between large planetary masses, forces discovered by Sir Isaac Newton. The subsequent primacy of heliocentrism, which started 500 years ago, caused humanity to lose contact with the geocentric model of the world: though figure 4 has the planets in the correct order for the the two serpents, of inner and outer planets, this is also (largely) the heliocentric order, if one but swaps the sun and the moon-earth system.

All references to an older and original form of astronomy, based upon numerical time and forged by the megalithic, was thus dislocated and obscured by our heliocentric physical science and astronomy of the modern day – which still knows nothing of the geocentric order that surrounds us.

Figure 4 The Geocentric Model by 1660

The geocentric model entered Greek astronomy and philosophy at an early point; it can be found in pre-Socratic philosophy … In the 4th century BC, two influential Greek philosophers, Plato and his student Aristotle, wrote works based on the geocentric model. According to Plato, the Earth was a sphere, stationary at the center of the universe.

Wikipedia: “Geocentric model”

Agni, the Indian God of Fire

Those new to Ernest McClain and his The Myth of Invariance, should know this book was a seminal work for anyone in my generation, that opened up a Pythagorean vision; of how number operates in the domain of harmony. This world of harmony can be numerically defined in a quite extraordinary and specific way and we, as human beings, can receive it through our mind whilst also through the senses. This relates to the unusual fact that, whilst all notes can be doubled in frequency through the number two, with a perfect consonance, a new population of notes is then opened up, within an octave, of intervals that are also harmonious, through the use the two next prime numbers: three and five. Thus music, so effective upon the human heart, can build a world of meaning, sometimes referenced in myths as sacred numbers, written through understanding harmony as fundamentally generated through numeric transitions within music.

In 2008 I prepared a summary of Ernest McClain’s statements about Agni because, in the midst of the perfect symmetry of musical harmony lies something new, born to the world opposite its beginnings and endings. I originally made the pdf below for my friend Anthony Blake, part of our attempt to study the origin of creativity within the existing world. It appears that something important comes into being at the centre of this issue of octaval harmony, just as we ourselves come into existence in the middle of the universe, as conscious beings, conscious then of our incompletion.

It occured to me to include this in an email to Ernest and, all in, he said in reply “I can’t imagine anyone improving on your few pages” and “Put it out now on your own website stamped with my approval”. Please enjoy this transmission from the centre of the octave:

What Ernest McClain says about Agni in The Myth of Invariance:

Visit Ernest McClain website: Musical Adventures in Ancient Mythology. In the section of online documents, his books are available for your to study as links to pdf downloads.

The Richard Syrett Interviews on Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels

I recently recorded a podcast with Richard Syrett and will be talking with him again today (January 2nd) on Coast to Coast, starting 10pm Pacific time. In the UK, this is tomorrow (Sunday the 3rd) at 6am GMT. Both these interviews are in response to my new book Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels, which goes on release Monday 4th of January 2021.

Ways of Purchasing: This large-format book, richly illustrated in color throughout, can be seen in the sidebar (on mobiles, below the tag cloud) or visit Inner Traditions.