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Sacred geometric patterns exist all around us – they are the perfect shapes and patterns that form the fundamental templates for life in the universe. From the Fibonacci sequence to the Golden Ratio, design patterns can be broken down as a language of numbers (mathematics) that govern our entire visible and invisible world. But what are the spiritual meanings behind these geometric patterns and symbols?
Galileo once said, “Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe.” Artists, musicians, and philosophers have long evoked the power of sacred geometry in their work, from Da Vinci to Pythagoras. It’s quite probable that Mozart employed the Golden Ratio for his musical compositions. The sacred spiral (fibonacci sequence), for instance, is inherent in everything from a simple pine cone, to a snail shell, to the human body, to the Great Pyramids at Giza. Plato’s solids (platonic shapes) are said to form the basis for every design in the universe, even down to a molecular scale.
But sacred shapes also represent the intangible, mystical elements of life. Why else are we so drawn to them? Does sacred geometry correlate to something deeper within our universal consciousness? Does it reflect or speak to the language of soul? Or are our brains simply hardwired to recognize these patterns in nature?
Whatever the reason behind the prevalence of these patterns, one thing is clear: Symbols have power. Here is a selection of geometrical patterns to help link your body and spirit with the sacred language of the universe.
One of the world’s most ancient symbols, the Flower of Life is said to represent the divine, mathematical order in all of life. Consisting of evenly spaced, overlapping circles (with a six fold symmetry like a hexagon), some believe the symbol to be a divine, visual expression of life, consciousness, and creation. Leonardo Da Vinci was particularly interested in the form and mathematical proportions of the Flower of Life and its connection to physical space and human consciousness. The Symbol has been found at The Temple of Osiris in Abydos, Egypt, The Forbidden City, in Beijing, China, and many other sacred sites all over the world.
Within the Flower of Life symbol is the image of the Seed of Life, which feels very apropos because all flowers contain seeds. The polygon shapes are believed to represent the feminine and some believe it to be the symbol for creation (7 circles, 7 days, 7 chakras, 7 musical notes). These harmonious, interlocking circles are also said to be the Blueprint of the Universe, while also illustrating mitosis (or the fertilization of an egg and cellular duplication).
Predominately found in the Middle East and Africa, the Hamsa symbol is meant to symbolize the Hand of God and is said to bring good luck and protection to the wearer. Also known as the Khamsa, the Hamsa is sacred in both Islamic and Jewish traditions, and the first usage of the symbol dates back to 1550 – 330 BCE. The eye in the center of the hand is said to ward off evil.
Sacred depictions of trees have been around for centuries and are prominent in most world religions, including Judaism and Buddhism. This geometric symbol is at the center of the mystical Kabbalah tradition, but it also showed up in Ancient Egypt over 3,000 years ago. While its roots are fairly esoteric, the spatial formation of the symbol should be quite familiar to you. The National Mall in Washington, D.C., for instance, is even constructed in this exact shape. The Tree of Life is said to depict man’s divine unity with the universe and can be understood as a map of the human mind or psyche.
The three circles that make up the Piscis Eye Trinity are also part of the Vesica Pisces symbol. It can be understood as representative of the different moon cycles: waxing, full, and waning. Sacred in various Neopagan and Goddess traditions, the Piscis Eye Trinity is an powerful, ancient symbol that depicts the sacred trinity and the all-seeing eye.
Metatron’s Cube is also said to symbolize the creation of life itself; the spheres represent the feminine and the straight lines connecting them represent the masculine, as they work together to create a unified whole. This powerful symbol contains the 5 Platonic solids or the 5 elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Aether), and meditating upon Metatron’s Cube is said to have profound healing powers.
You’re probably familiar with this shape from grade school. (Remember the Venn Diagram?) But the sacred geometric meaning behind it is quite different than simply analyzing similarities and differences. The overlapping circles represent duality within unity, or the connection between the spiritual world and the physical. In the center of the Vesica Pisces symbol you’ll notice a fish (the name quite literally translates from Latin as “fish bladder”), which was adopted and held sacred by early Christians as representing Jesus Christ. The symbol can be found on churches all around the world.
Also known as the “Knot of Eternity,” the Tibetan Knot is a power symbol in Tibetan Buddhism, and represents eternity, wholeness, and the interconnectivity of all life. Part of the “Eight Auspicious Symbols” in Buddhism, a variation of this ancient symbol is also seen in other cultures, such as the Celtic Knot.
The Unalome symbol contains the sacred lotus flower, which represents our ascendence from earthly struggle to enlightenment. As a Buddhist symbol, it also represents Shiva’s Third Eye, and the spiraling lines signify the wavering path it takes to find truth and balance.
As the 5th Platonic shape, Icosamedron represents the element of water and is connected to emotional, sexual, and creative energies. The shape is made up of 20 equilateral triangles, and as triangles are often associated with feminine energy, this symbol is said to help with fertility and healing.
Featuring nine interlocking triangles, the Sri Yantra symbol is a mystical symbol associated with Hinduism. Representing both male and female energies with downward and upward facing triangles, the symbol as a whole represents a human being’s path towards enlightenment.
The 5-pointed star, or the Pentagram, dates back thousands of years and can be seen in various cultures and religions, but today it’s commonly associated with Wicca. The five points can represent the five senses, the five wounds of Christ, the five Platonic solids, or even the human body (as in, DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man).
The six-pointed star, or what is commonly referred to as the Star of David, has been used in sacred traditions for centuries, even going back to King Solomon in the Old Testament. Symbolizing the ideal meditative state in Hinduism and magical ceremonies in occult practices, the hexagram can fit inside a perfect circle and is often associated with the heart chakra.