Three Keys to the Kaaba

first published 2016
now part of chapter 8 of Sacred Number: Language of the Angels (2021)

The prophet Mohammad declared he was the last prophet of Allah, a name resembling the El Shaddai (trans. Lord God, KJV), the god of Abraham in the Bible. Mohammad galvanised the Arabs and nearby nations with an original religion, branching off from the start of the Patriarchs found in the Bible’s first book, Genesis. His story follows Ishmael, the first son of Abraham, from whom the Arabs believe themselves descended.

The Kaaba of Abraham (left) and Mohammad

Mohammad’s religion of Islam (“salvation”) started in Mecca where he received visions of angels and spontaneously recited suras (verses) which became the Quran and associated texts. An unknown history of Abraham and Ishmael emerged, intimate with Mecca, long a spiritual center for the Arabic world. Mecca’s principle monument, the Kaaba or “cube”, has taken a number of forms. Adam located it as a dolmen created by God when Adam was formed; Ishmael built the next design for his father, “open to the sky”, using surface stones from nearby mountains; and Mohammad’s dispensation adds ancient stories about cubic arks and located these as a renewed Kaaba, the prime center, or Pole of redemption for the world.

The three keys here will be the Kaaba as an Ark, the Pole (Qutub) and model of Great Time.

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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.

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The Stonehenge trilithons as synods of Venus

Figure 1 The five Trilithons of Stonehenge 3, highlighted in yellow within the Sarsen ring to express the five evening and morning star couplets which occur in eight practical years of 365 days. Plan from Megalithic Remains in Britain and Brittany, Oxford U.P. Central portion is fig.3, upside down to match the horseshoe of trilithons..

Inside the Sarsen ring of Stonehenge, there once stood a group of five trilithons, each made up of two uprights and a lintel stone, repeating the unique style of building found in the Sarsen ring. However the Trilithons were higher than the sarsens, punctuating an elliptical cup shape towards the midsummer sunrise, the axis of Stonehenge and its solstice-marking “heel” stone.

The Horns of Venus

The symbolism therefore involved (a) the Sun, (b) the number five of the trilithons while (c) expressed something involving close pairs. The dominant astronomical significance of the number 5 comes through the brightest planetary phenomenon of all, in which the planet Venus approaches the Earth, as Venus approaches from the east, preceding the Sun in the evening sky. It is often therefore called the Evening Star. Venus then shoots past the sun and reappears in the morning sky, again growing in brightness as the Morning Star.

Figure 2 The Horns of Venus when the evening and morning “stars” are visualised over an extended present moment of the Venus synodic period of 1.6 (⅝) practical years of 365 days. Fig. 2.2 of my Matrix of Creation, Inner Traditions, 2004 . (Drawn by Robin Heath.)

The original astronomers of the megalithic only saw the planetary system from the Earth and not (conceptually) from the Sun, as we do today. That is, they were naturally geocentric whilst the present worldview is heliocentric.

The astronomers could study cosmic time periods without arithmetic, through counting days, using a constant unit length to mark each single day adding up to a fixed length of days. Through such counting they would see 365 whole days between the solstices and (more reliably) between the equinoxes (when the Sun moves most rapidly on the horizon). It was also quite obvious that the horns of Venus were bracketing the Sun, just as the elliptical cup of the trilithons they erected at Stonehenge bracketed the solstitial sun, a sun which travels every day from east to west.

Five-ness in the Zodiac

If the earth was their viewpoint then the Zodiac of the sun’s path over the year could, like the Sarsen Circle, be seen as a circle of 365 days, and when the time between evening or morning stars was counted, the result was 584 days between the horn-like and brilliant manifestations of Venus. 584 days is 219 days more than 365 days. The sun has therefore moved 3/5th of a year forward and hence it became noticeable, as stated above, that 1/5th of the practical year is 73 days, the practical year 5 units of 73 days long whilst the Venus synod is 8 units of 73 days long. The Venus synod therefore has exactly 1.6 (8/5) practical years between its phenomena.

Figure 3 The Horns of evening (E) and morning (M) stars shown upon the circle of the Zodiac, each successive pair 3/5ths advanced within the solar year. [from Joachim Schultz, Movement and Rhythms of the Stars, Floris, 1986, fig 88]

The form of Venus upon the Zodiac therefore describes a 5-fold pentacle star. This would later make the number 5 and all of its properties, sacred by association to the planet Venus who became the leading goddess of the Ancient Near East. The Golden Proportion or Mean (1.618034…), often seen in Classical and Neoclassical architecture, has the number 5 as its root. Also, many living bodies share forms derived from the number 5, or of the Fibonacci approximations to the Golden Mean.

The Fibonacci series (of 1, 1, 2, 3 ,5 ,8 ,13 ,21, …) has successive numbers that sum to give the next number, and each new ratio, between successive numbers in the series, yields an ever-better approximation to the Golden Mean: (2, 1.5, 1.6, 1.6, 1.617, …).

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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.

pdf: Astronomical Musicality within Mythic Narratives

Ancient musical knowledge came to Just tuning long before Greek music, in Babylonia. It now seems likely that two sources of musical information, were involved in an early tradition of musical tuning by number: firstly, the early number field is the original template upon which musical harmony is based; and secondly, the prehistoric geocentric astronomy which preceded the ancient world had been comparing counted astronomical time-periods, and had discovered the rational tone and semitone intervals between the lunar year, Jupiter and Saturn . Ernest G. McClain identified a harmonic parallelism within ancient texts in which the anomalous numbers found within mythic narratives inferred a unique array (a matrix) of whole numbers, shaped like a mountain, which could explain plot elements, events and characters of the narrative, as intended parallels to such harmonic mountains. McClain’s matrices allowed the author to locate the harmonic intervals found between planetary synods as a reason why religious texts should have employed harmonic numbers, these relating to planetary time as gods alongside ancient systems of tuning. Based on a talk delivered at ICONEA2013, 5th December at Senate House, University College London.

Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization

Published by Inner Traditions

Back Cover


“Richard Heath sweeps away the mechanistic and relativistic paradigm to reveal an earth-centered, celestial system founded upon the beauty of musical harmony and geometric symmetry.”
–Robert Lawlor, author of Sacred Geometry and Voices of the First Day

“Richard Heath effectively rewrites the book on the mysterious but accomplished megalithic cultures preceding ancient Egypt, Sumer, China, and India.”
–John Anthony West, author of Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt

“. . . well-expressed, with a deep insight into the ancient science.”
–John Michell, author of The Dimensions of Paradise

The ubiquitous use of certain sacred numbers and ratios can be found throughout history, influencing everything from art and architecture to the development of religion and secret societies. In Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization, Richard Heath reveals the origins, widespread influences, and deeper meaning of these synchronous numerical occurrences and how they were left within our planetary environment during the creation of the earth, the moon, and our solar system.

Exploring astronomy, harmony, geomancy, sacred centers, and myth, Heath reveals the secret use of sacred number knowledge in the building of Gothic cathedrals and the important influence of sacred numbers in the founding of modern Western culture. He explains how the Templar design of Washington, D.C., represents the New Jerusalem, and he identifies the role secret societies play as a repository for sacred numerical information. Those who attempt to decode its meaning without understanding the planetary origins of this knowledge are left with contradictory, cryptic, and often deceptive information. By examining prehistoric and monumental cultures through the Dark Ages and later recorded history, Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization provides a key to understanding the true role and meaning of number.

Richard Heath is a Web developer with degrees in electrical and computer engineering. The author of The Matrix of Creation: Sacred Geometry in the Realm of the Planets, he lives in Scotland.