Circles and squares and triangles and stars, oh my! No, this is not a post about your sugariffic breakfast cereal but about the symbolic—often esoteric—power of shapes. Before man carved pictographs and told the Gods’ tales in cuneiform, the meanings of shapes denoted meanings and were imbued with mystical power.
The following is a blog-quick look at a few common shapes.
universal symbol of completeness and perfection
the sphere of Heaven
circle of life
movements of the stars and heavens
Hindus and Buddhists associate it with birth, death, and rebirth
Wheel of law in Buddhism
A round table ( early management style first practiced by the legendary King Arthur ) denotes equality—all stakeholders having an equal share in solving a problem
Dante saw Hell as a series of concentric circles
A ring denotes a pledge or promise
a sphere represents the spiritual aspect of Heaven/Universe, which is why domes top many religious buildings
spirals are symbolic of energy
spirals drawn in a woman’s womb indicate fertility
the helix is also a fertility symbol and the double helix has become the visual representation of DNA—guess those ancients were on to something
Triangles—associated with the number 3
beginning, middle, and end
trinities of gods
body, soul, and spirit
man, woman, and child
an upward-pointing equilateral triage represents the male organ
a down-ward pointing triangle is the symbol for a woman or her womanly parts
the base of a pyramid represents the earth; the apex, heaven
a pausing or suspension—not necessarily associated with negative aspects
the four directions
In Islam it represents the heart’s susceptibility to the divine, angelic, human, and diabolic forces
square halos in Christian art indicates the person was alive when painted
a cube is symbolic of the material universe
wisdom, veracity, and moral fortitude
the cloistered courtyard of religious structures indicate endurance and security
spiritual counsel or advice
light of wisdom shining in the dark ( sinful ) world
mythological figures or deities
the Star of Bethlehem symbolizes Christ’s birth
the 5-pointed pentagram pointed upward represents a human ( the top point is the head, 2 arms on the side points, 2 legs of the downward facing point )
flip the pentagram around and it’s the sign of the Devil—the two upward pointing points becoming the Devil’s horns
the 6-pointed hexagram—2 interlocking triangles— is symbolic of: 1) the conjoining of male and female; 2) the four elements; 3) Star of David; and 4) Judaism
the merkabah is an ancient geometry dating back 3 thousand years. Some believe the shape has Egyptian origins. The symbol is shrouded in mystery and attributed with supernatural ( even divine ) power that allows one to enter enlightenment, zen, achieve spiritual and/or physical ascension, or even experience cosmic transport!
the 7-pointed heptagram is: 1) a magic symbol for pagans; 2) symbolic of the 7 days of creation; and 3) the 7 steps of enlightenment for Buddhists
Crosses—I could do another blog about the many different types of crosses—and probably will
the shape predates Christianity
sacred shape to Ancient Egyptians and Aztecs
more to come on crosses
Mandala—not a shape per se but a pattern
search for inner peace or spiritual enlightenment
pathway to the Divine or God
a symbolic trap for malevolent spirits
used as a tool or focal point in meditation
A giant thank you to Sue O’Kieffe for allowing me to post her mandalas. For more of her gorgeous Sacred Circles click HERE.
The most frequent question I’m asked is “What’s a Merkabah?”
The short answer: The Merkabah is an ancient geometry and spiritual tool found in many religions.
Pronounce it as though each syllable was its own word: Mer …..kah….bah.
The word comes from ancient Egyptian texts and each syllable has a specific meaning.
Mer— inner light
Ka—spirit or character
Bah- physical body
Here’s a few definitions:
Chariot of Ascension
Angel of the Chariot ( the cheribum)
Cart to ride in
Throne of God or chariot ( Hebrew)
A spiritual ascension
Jewish mystics believe the prophet Ezekiel witnessed the might of the Merkabah. He claimed it was made of angels, and their faces resembled an eagle, a man, a lion, and an ox. There’s a wonderful interpretation of his vision at St John the Baptist church in Kratova, Republic of Macedonia
The Old Testament refers to its divine powers when it appears to take Elijah in a whirlwind.
Followers of the Talmud (mystical interpretation of the Old Testament) are forbidden to speak of the merkabah or its powers. Rabbi Moshe be maimon—Maimonides—a Jewish Talmud scholar who lived during the Middle ages, warns that only those who are wise, self-possessed, and spiritually strong should be given knowledge of the Merkabah.
There are 8 Merkabah Angels who represent the 6 classes of angels—the galgallim, the hayyoth, the ofanim, and the seraphim. Their names are Anafiel, Galgaliel, Rikbiel, Sopheriel, Soqed Hozi , and 3 others.
Some believe the Merkabah is a complex analogy about man and his interactions with the world
A few tribes in Africa believe the Merkabah is an intergalactic, time-jumping medium to a higher or lower plane of existence
Imagined as a rotating field of light that impacts both body and mind
Generates a higher personal magnetic field
Produces powerful thoughts and feelings
A living field of light
Possesses the ability for one to travel within dimensions.
NOTE: This is not an uncommon concept. Most religions, even Christianity, recount stories of people physically manifesting in another place or time.
Accessed through fasting, meditation, and breath control
One thing is for certain. The Merkabah is steeped in mystery, its power and divinity lost in ancient texts and buried in the sands of time.
What’s a Merkabah? And how the heck do you pronounce it?
The word is pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable: Mer-kah-bah
This ancient geometry originated over 3 thousand years ago! Some believe the shape has Egyptian origins. The symbol is shrouded in mystery and attributed with supernatural (even divine) power.
The 3-D hexagon star is believed to have mystical powers that allow one to enter enlightenment, zen, achieve spiritual and/or physical ascension, or even experience cosmic transport!
In the Old Testament, Ezekiel claims he saw an actual merkabah in the heavens. The Merkabah is thought to encourage both transcendent and physical travel. Additional details about its mysteries and history are explained in The Merkabah Recruit.
A merkabah resembles a 3D star of David, but it’s often portrayed with one or two spheres enclosing it.
One thing is certain, the enigmatic merkabah continues to be attributed with powerful elemental, cosmic, and divine forces. Maybe one day its true power will be revealed!
What’s a Merkabah?Pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable: Mer-kah-bah
An ancient geometry that has been around for 3 thousand years,this hexagon star is is believed to have mystical powers, allowing one to enter enlightenment, zen, or achieve a spiritual and or physical ascension or cosmic travel. Resembling a 3D star of David but also portrayed with one or two circles enclosing it, the word and shape have Egyptian origins.
Find out more when history, mythology & science collide in The Merkabah Recruit