On the Harmonic Origins of the World

Does the solar system function as a musical instrument giving rise to intelligent life, civilization and culture on our planet? This 2018 article in New Dawn introduced readers to the lost science of the megalithic – how our ancestors discovered the special ratios and musical harmony in the sky which gave birth to religion and cosmology. The musical harmonies were the subject of my book released that year, called The Harmonic Origins of the World.

After the ice receded, late Stone Age people developed the farming crucial to the development of cities in the Ancient Near East (ANE). On the Atlantic coast of Europe, they also developed a now-unfamiliar science involving horizon astronomy. Megalithic monuments were the tools they used for this, some still seen in the coastal regions of present day Spain, France, Britain and Ireland. Megalithic astronomy was an exact science and this conflicts with our main myth about our science: that ours is the only true science, founded through many historical prerequisites such as arithmetic and writing in the ancient near east (3000- 1200 BC) and theory-based reasoning in Classical Greece (circa 400-250 BC), to name but two. Unbeknownst to us, the first “historical period” in the near east was seeded by the exact sciences of the megalithic, such as the accurate measurement of counted lengths of time, developed by the prehistoric astronomers. With the megalithic methods came knowledge and discoveries, and one discovery was of the harmonic ratios between the planets and the Moon.

The idea that the planets were gods had been born before the ancient world, through the data of megalithic astronomy and this megalithic idea was the basis for the religious ideas of the East. Megalithic astronomy and Near Eastern religious and harmonic ideas have both been written out of our history of civilization, leaving us with enigmatic monuments and ill-defined religious mysteries. How this slighting of our real history happened is perhaps less important than our discovering again the purpose of the megalithic monuments and of those religious ideas that sprang from the discovery that the planets were harmonically related to life on Earth.

Le Menec Alignments indicate a profound astronomical work in the new stone age by 5000-4000 BC. Composite mash up by David Blake using Blender, Google Earth elevation and imagery plus Alexander Thom geometry and digitized stone locations.

Is human history lacking something fundamental?

Continue reading “On the Harmonic Origins of the World”

Parthenon as a New Model of the Meridian

This was published as The Geodetic And Musicological Significance Of The Shorter Side Length Of The Parthenon As Hekatompedon Or ‘Hundred-Footer’ in Music and Deep Memory: Speculations in ancient mathematics, tuning, and tradition, in memoriam Ernest G. McClain. Edited by Bryan Carr and Richard Dumbrill. pub: Lulu. photo: Steve Swayne  for Wikipedia on Parthenon.

This note responds to Kapraff and McClain’s preceding paper, in which they discover a many-faceted musical symbolism in the Parthenon. Specifically,  Ernst  Berger’s  new measurements include the shorter side of the triple pedestal of the monument as an accurate length to represent one second of the double meridian of the earth. By applying a knowledge of ancient metrology, Anne Bulckens’ doctoral derivations of a root foot can resolve to a pygme of 9/8 feet, of which one second of latitude would contain 90 such feet. However, as a ‘hundred footer’, the foot  length  should  then be 81/80 (1.0125) feet, the ratio  of  the syntonic comma. This would indicate a replacement, by Classical times, of the geographical constant of 1.01376 feet  within the model of the earth since the original model, by the late megalithic, assumed that the meridian was exactly half of the mean circumference of the earth. These alternative geographical constants co-incidentally represent the ubiquitous theme in ancient musicology of the transition between Pythagorean and  Just tunings and their respective commas of Pythagorean 1.01364 … (in metrology 1.01376) and syntonic 81/80 (1.0125).

By Classical times the term hekatompedon or ‘hundred-footer’ had evolved, to describe the ideal dimensionality of Greek peristyle temples. One of the earliest, the Heraion of Samos, came to be 100 feet long by the end of the 8th century[1], in contrast to the surface width of the Parthenon’s stylobyte which had been established as in the range 101.141 (Stuart, c.1750) to 101.341 (Penrose in 1888) feet[2].

Recent measurements in 1982 by Ernst Berger[3] found that the top surface of the stylobyte was just over 101.25 feet wide4 and that the most frequently occurring length was 857.6 mm. Anne Bulckens’[5] corresponding foot measure for this would be a step of 2.5 feet, each of 9/8 (1.125) feet, to within
one part in 2500; a foot length called a pygme within historical metrology, after the size of small men first mentioned when Herakles was travelling back from India6. The shorter ends of the Parthenon’s stylobyte would then be 90 such feet across.

However, should the two ends be divided by 100, the required foot length of 101.25 feet becomes a microvariation of the English foot, namely 81/80 (1.0125) feet, a ratio identical with the syntonic comma. This is another ratio crucial to the history of ancient tuning theory; being found between pure Pythagorean tones (9/8) and their counterparts within just tuning (10/9); when string lengths are given specific whole number lengths to specify their pitches intellectually.

1. Hurwit, Jeffrey M., (1987), The Art and Culture of Early Greece, 1100-480 B.C., Cornell: Ithaca, 74-77
2. Berriman, A.E., (1953) Historical Metrology, London:
Dent. IX, 116-120.
3. Berger, E., ed. (1986) Parthenon-Kongress Basel, 2 Vols, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.
4. an average noted by Berriman, 119.
5. Bulckens, A.M. (1999) The Parthenon’s Main Design Proportion and its Meaning, [Ph.D. Dissertation], Geelong: Deakin University, 269 pp. ; (2001) The Parthenon’s Symmetry in Symmetry: Art and Science (Fifth Interdisciplinary Symmetry Congress and Exhibition of the ISIS-Symmetry), (Sydney, 2001), no. 1-2, pp. 38-41.
6. Philostrates of Lemnos (c. 190 – c. 230 AD) Imagines Heracles among the Pygmies, see Loeb Classical Library

A recent article by Jay Kapraff and Ernest McClain[7] observes that the width of the Parthenon symbolically defined one second of latitude (taking surface lengths as linear fractions of latitude). This implies the double meridian length was known within 0.003% of its modern estimation.

A geodetic symbolism was apparently given to shorter side length of the Parthenon, making it smaller than it would have been if modelled on the circumference of the earth as one 3,600th of one 360th part of the mean earth. If so, this geodetic meaning of the Parthenon can be compared with monuments built two thousand years earlier, such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza, within which the relationship of the mean earth was specified, relative to the polar radius, using the same metrological system.

The ancient model of the earth, recovered[8] by John Neal[9] and John Michell[10], used three different approximations of π to model the distortion of
the rotating planet relative to its mean, or perfectly spherical, size. In that model, the Meridian was assumed to be half the circumference of the mean earth of 44 times 126 (131,383.296) feet or 24,883.2 miles. Had the Parthenon’s builders used this model then its ends would be 101.376 feet in width and one hundredth of this would be a foot of 1.01376 feet, the foot known as the ‘Standard Geographical’ Greek foot[11].

The mean circumference of the earth (24,883.2 miles) and the actual double meridian length (24,859.868 miles) are in the same ratio as the geographical foot of 1.01376 (3168/3125) and 1.0125 feet: the 81/80 foot measure that makes the Parthenon’s 101.25 feet a ‘hundred footer’. It is therefore reasonable to assume that, between the building of Stonehenge and Great Pyramid (by 2,500 B.C.) and the building of the Parthenon (designed by 447 B.C.), a more accurate
measurement of the Meridian had superseded the previous assumption, within the old model, that the Meridian was half the length of the mean earth circumference.

7. The Proportional System of the Parthenon, in preparation for the In Memoriam volume for Ernest McClain (1918-2014)
8. Michell by 1980 and Neal, fully formed, by 2000.
9. Neal, John (2000) All Done With Mirrors, Secret Academy, London.
10. Michell, John (1982) Ancient Metrology, Pentacle Books, Bristol, 1982; (2008 new ed.) Dimensions of Paradise, Inner Traditions: Rochester.

Further to this, one can see how the transition from Pythagorean to just tuning systems[12] is strangely present in the relationship between the mean earth circumference and the actual meridian length, since the geographical constant of 1.01376 is near identical to the Pythagorean comma of 1.0136433 while the (chosen) ratio of 1.0125 is the syntonic comma and this, times 100, is near identical to the actual length of one second of latitude which would be 100 times 1.0128 feet[13], just one third of an inch different from a more
modern result.

The Parthenon ‘Hundred footer’ was able to dimensionally reference one second of the Meridian by having its shorter sides one hundred feet of 1.0125 feet long. Aligned to north, this presented accurate Classical knowledge of the
Meridian’s length. The monument expresses other musicological features via its metrology: the 81/80 foot unit is 125/128 of the Athenian foot of 1.0368 feet, a musical interval called the minor diesis, also found within just intonation and equaling the deficiency of three major thirds to the octave

12 The latter prevalent in other aspects of the monument, see Kappraff, J. and McClain, E.G. (2005: Spring–Fall) The Proportions of the Parthenon: A work of musically inspired architecture, Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography, Vol. 30/1–2.
13 A non-harmonic 79/78 feet.

Walking on the Moon

There are plans to walk again on the moon (above is a NASA visualization), but there is a sense in which the surface of the moon belongs to the surface of the earth, since the earth’s circumference is 4 times the mean diameter of the earth, minus the moon’s circumference.

The Earth and Moon were formed out of an early collision which left the two bodies in an unusual relationship to one another, in more ways than one. Here we discuss the diameter (and circumference) of each body as a sphere as being in the ratio 11 to 3. The diameter of the Moon is 2160 miles so that the common unit is 720 miles (the harmonic constant) and the diameter of the spherical mean earth would be 7920 miles.

Continue reading “Walking on the Moon”

Working with Prime Numbers

Wikipedia diagram by David Eppstein :
This is an updated text from 2002, called “Finding the Perfect Ruler”

Any number with limited “significant digits” can be and should be expressed as a product of positive and negative powers of the prime numbers that make it up. For example, 23.413 and 234130 can both be expressed as an integer, 23413, multiplied or divided by powers of ten.

What Primes are

Primes are unique and any number must be prime itself or be the product of more than one prime. Having no factors, prime numbers are odd and cannot be even since the number 2 creates all the even numbers, meaning half of the ordinals are not prime once two, the first “number” as such, emerges.

Each number can divide one (or any other number) into that number of parts. In the case of three (fraction 1/3) only one in three higher ordinal numbers (every third after three) will have three in it and hence yield an integer when three divides it.

Four is the first repetition of two (fraction ½) but also the first square number, which introduces the first compound number, the geometry of squares and the notion of area.

Ancient World Maths and Written Language

The products of 2 and 3 give 6, 12, etc., and the perfect sexagesimal like 60, 360 were combined with 2 and 5, i.e. 10, to create the base 60, with 59 symbols and early ancient arithmetic, in the bronze age that followed the megalithic and Neolithic periods.

Continue reading “Working with Prime Numbers”

Developmental Roots below 6

Square roots turn out to have a strange relationship to the fundaments of the world. The square root of 2, found as the diagonal of a unit square, and the square root of 3 of the diametric across a cube; these are the simplest expressions of two and three dimensions, in area and volume. This can be shown graphically as:

The first two roots “open up” the possibilities of
three-dimensional space.
Continue reading “Developmental Roots below 6”

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. The megalithic yard of Thom’s first appraisal, of 2.72, probably arose from its megalithic rod (MR) of 6.8 feet since, the Nodal Period of the moon’s nodes take 6800 days which in feet would be 1000 MR. For a fuller explanation see my the appendix of my Language of the Angels book and my discussions of the Cumbrian stone circle, called Seascale by Thom and the only known example of a Type D flattened circle.

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


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.