What is Sacred Geometry?
A brief introduction to Sacred Geometry, which replicates nature’s perfection through religious art.
Geometry is a fascinating branch of Mathematics that is dedicated to exploring the relationship between shapes and spaces. Its origins are traced back to the 2000 BCE–1001 BCE in Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. Thirteen centuries later, when various philosophers and thinkers –amongst them the brilliant Pythagoras– started seriously studying its potentials, it blossomed in ancient Greece.
In time, Geometry became one of the most impressive, exquisite branches of Mathematics because it allowed for the development of innumerable practical principles and aesthetic and sacred manifestations.
Formally, sacred geometry refers to the use of geometric principles in religious contexts. It would be used, for instance, to define the shapes and patterns carved into altars and cathedrals. However, in a much less orthodox yet sensitive way, when speaking of Sacred Geometry we may also refer to the patterns and rhythms found in the aesthetic perfection of the universe around us, be it astral formations, rhizomes, mineral structures or our own genetic code.
Sacred Geometry uses art to echo the sublime mathematical perfection found in nature. Two of the most captivating examples of this artistic echoing came about in ancient Buddhist culture and medieval European culture.
The first case is represented in mandalas: the complicated geometrical forms that represent or narrate the stories of various phenomena of human history, from its relationship with deities to the design of the cosmos. These colorful diagrams—which Carl Gustav Jung introduced to the West for therapeutic purposes—are notable for constructing allegories through a nearly impeccable segmentation of space. The second case refers to European gothic art of the late medieval era, where artists established an intimate relation with sacred geometry through magnificent rosettes, magnanimous cathedral-vaults, and even mystical labyrinths.
But even outside these two traditions, it’s clear that Sacred Geometry is invariably present in the semiotics of all the major spiritual traditions: in Judaism’s Sephirot or Tree of Life, in the Celtic’s Book of Kells, in China’s Yin Yang and I Ching, and in the Mayan pyramids which were erected in alignment with the astral cycles.
To further understand this fascinating phenomenon, perhaps the best approach is to start with the conscious observation of nature and its shapes—even our own irises. But if you’d like to delve even deeper, we suggest you check out one of the following books: How the World is Made: The Story of Creation According to Sacred Geometry and The Dimensions of Paradise: Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order on Earth.
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