Friday, February 13, 2009

Sacred Geometry

You know I've been couped up too much inside when I begin studying sacred geometry again.  

This winter I have found myself struggling with composition.
As a gardener and a learning painter I am aware of the use of golden proportions in nature, art, architecture and landscaping. It is something I intuitively use all the time, and have studied it for years, but recently I had a light bulb moment when I heard someone explaining the geometry in terms of quantum physics.

The light bulb went on when I heard the words "Geometry creates resonance....60 degree angles represent the hyper dimension, where things are perceived beyond this dimension."

I immediately related to my thesis in college entitled 'What Makes a Garden Beautiful".

In my paper, I researched the use of sacred geometry in the creation of histories most well known and timeless gardens.  I wrote this paper because when I visit a garden designed from these principles I am instantly transported out of now modern urban time and float in the beauty of all time and no time. You can feel the shift in these ancient places, when you enter, something divine is going on and you know it. 

I know I've hit the mark in my own garden creations when people zip into a dimension of delight, relax, giggle, play or just wander around in awe. 

Here is a snip from my term paper relating to the use of sacred geometry in the English Landscape gardens of the early 1700's. 

This paper covered the whole history of sacred geometry from the Parthenon to the US Air Force Academy, but I won't bore you with all that. 

The landscape garden was conceived in England between 1710 and 1730—that is, during the period of the European Enlightenment, which coincides with the role of Freemasonry in England and Europe.  Many landlords and intellectuals of the eighteenth century were freemasons.  Among them were famous people of the period.  The writer Alexander Pope, Edward Harley, the Earl of Chesterfield, James Addison, Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, James Thomson, Lord Burlington, Lord Cobham, William Stuckley, Lord Montague, and Voltair.  It is at this point in its history that Freemasonry develops as a focus for intellectuals, politicians, the gentry, artists and architects, and fosters a continuous exchange of ideas, aesthetic values and beliefs between English and European intellectuals.  Freemasons believed in virtue, progress, equality, and they contributed to the ideology for the late eighteenth century democratic revolutions.

These Enlightenment ideals (tolerance, equality, universalism, civic duty, natural religion, and morality) were also reflected in the use of iconography and design in the early English landscape garden.   During that time the intellectuals who belonged to or had links with this secret society were also responsible for the developments in the arts including landscape architecture, so it is important to understand the relationship between Freemasonry and the early 18th century English landscape garden.   Freemasonry carried mystical overtones and origins dating back to the Middle Ages.  Medieval stonemasons were called "freemasons" since they were not bound to a guild in any specific city but were forced to wander from place to place where churches were erected.  Thus the design principles of the freemasons spread far and wide across Europe and into America.

Two common elements of these works on Masonic history are the reference to God as the Great Architect of the Universe and the definition of the seven liberal arts which are grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy, harmony and geometry, with a heavy emphasis on geometry, which was considered to be the source of knowledge, an art which had the potential to re-create the Divine in building.


I love that recreating the divine stuff! I also love the words virtue, progress, equality, tolerance, universalism, civic duty, natural religion, and morality.  I think I will meditate on these as I putter and paint and practice the art of re creating the divine. 


bunninmonkey said...

Sacred Geometry has kept me indoors for a while now, and its not even winter!?
I'm just about to give the garden a makeover, coincidentally at the same time that i've got into SG. Any quick tips of how to combine the two, in my non-landscaped "working" garden? Planting fruit & veg in geometric shaped layouts? Planting with phi ratios between them? I will probably try anything that come so to mind when i get out there in the next few days...

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