Washington DC Monumental Core Shown to Be
Looking at the elevation plan, we see, first of all, three concentric circles, and inscribed within the inner circle is a square (left) and a hexagon (right). Notice the four points where the square touches the circle, the two points where the middle circle crosses at ground level, and the two points where the outer circle crosses the roof line. Looking back at the floor plan, you can see that the vertical line connecting these two sets of points is the outside walls of the main part of the cathedral.
The hexagon (purple) touches the circle at two of the same points on the vertical axis as does the square; and the rectangle and upper triangle figure perfectly the classic greek temple.
Inserting the Pythagorean "Y" (purple) into the hexagon generates three rhombus that form a cube (below left); which is after all how we depict a cube in a perspective drawing, by three different colored rhombus. Ad triangulum is appropriate for 3D space (elevation plans), while quadratutm is for floors.
The diagonals of two of those rhombus (red, above left) form the angles for the mesh of "regulating lines" for the elevation design. Note that these two lines cross floor level at the two central columns, and the roof line at the same place as the outer circle; exhibiting expanding, or projected rectangles.
The Star of David
Adding lines from the top point of the hexagon to the two other corners (above right) completes the figure of the Star of David, which as you can see below is also composed of three overlapping rhombus, generating a central hexagon. It would be safe to assume that these four figures, the hexagon, the cube, the rhombus and the star of david, would have similar symbolic meanings.
Notice how the hexagram (star) is formed by extending the lines of the hexagon. This is the process known as stellation (making stars), where polyhedra are formed by extending the faces of a given polyhedron until they intersect. There are no stellations for a triangle or a square.
Extending the lines of a pentagon produces a pentagram, and continuing to stellate the pentagon produces a dodecahedron, composed of 12 pentagons. 12 was known as the number of completion because 3+4+5 = 12.
You may recall that the definition of the Golden Ratio (phi) is a line segment which is cut such that the ratio of the short piece to the long one is the same as that between the long piece and the whole. The line segments of the pentagram are of this ratio.
The Priestess Tarot Card
The entire rhomboid grid in the cathedral plan, results from extending the hexagon, a process know as "polygonal projection" of a mesh or a grid by geometric designers (analogous to stellation). Note that using such a grid to help place elements in the design guarantees the same ratio among all the parts, as well as between the parts and the whole. Vitruvius calls this notion of part to part, and part to whole, idealized by the pentagram and the golden ratio, Eurythmy.
Notice the grid in the above image of A. Crowley's Priestess Tarot Card. Crowley describes the Priestess as the idea behind all form, the veil which hides the Eternal Spirit; and the link between the archetypical and formative worlds. Note the geometric and natural forms at the bottom of the card. This card, he says, represents the influence and means of incarnation. Compare to the notion of Indra's Net.
The priestess (number 2 card) is seen as a feminine counterpart to the magician (the number one card), like the rhombus and the cross.
In the book entitled "The Mysteries of the Cathedral" (sub-titled A Hermetic Study of Cathedral Construction), Fulcanelli (a pseudonym), presents his thesis that the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, as well as others, was based on alchemical science, that is on "the science which investigates the transormations of the original substance, elementary matter"; that "the Virgin Mother, stripped of her symbolic veil is none other than the personification of the primitive substance", used by the Creator, in his words, "for the furtherence of his designs".
He points to the Central Porch of the cathedral, and what he calls, the figure of alchemy represented by a woman. The image he presents, clearly shows a woman seated on a throne with her head touching the clouds (earth and heavens), holding a scepter (rod) in her left hand, while in her right hand she holds two books; one is open symbolizing the exoteric (public) doctrines, while the other is closed, symbolizing the esoteric (secret or hidden) doctrine. Leaning against her chest we see a ladder with nine rungs, which Fulcanelli tells us symbolizes the "nine sucessive operations of the hermetic labor".
His assertion that is the meaning of the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which he quotes:
"The Lord possesed my at the beginning of his ways. I existed before he formed any creature. When he prepared the heavens, I was present. When he laid the foundations of the earth, I was with him and I regulated all things." (pp 70-1)
Mary, Virgin and Mother, like Isis, represents form, while God the Father is the emblem of the vital spirit. If you believe this to be heresy, then you need to consider that some of the Master Builders at the time that these cathedrals were built, were Bishops of the Church, and that these are the esoteric teachings that they held amongst themselves. In the Canon we read that theology has dropped her secrets, and that her parables are no longer understood. The priest, who ought to be able to tell us the meaning of the scriptures, know nothing of their real significance, as they have lost the old art of working symbolically.
Eve assumes the same role, and we read, "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." (Genesis 3:20) Note that the name Jehovah (JHVH) represents both the male and female forces, with Yod (J) being the phallic male form and HVH being the name of Adam's wife.
The first principle of Alchemy, Gnosticism and Hasidism is that everything that exist contains at it's core a divine spark. This is the gold of which alchemists speak. Distilling the gold from the dross merely means looking for the Divine in everything that is. In the Patriarchal view the source element is defined as masculine while the enforming element is defined as female. Visual designs that have been associated with this feminine aspect range from the vesica, to the rhombus, and nets and baskets which produce the same grid in their warp and woof. For this reason weaving is a popular theme in cosmological myths, as are spider webs etc. The net ties in the symbology of the fish, which is seen to be synonymous with the vesica.
Before he was a Christian Saint, Christopher was called Offerus, whose only desire was to serve the Greatest King on earth. Without going into the whole story, I will point out that at one point Offerus asks a hermit where he could see Christ, and he is told "Everywhere". At any rate, the image of Offerus, a giant who was 'dull in spirit' carrying Christ over the river is a symbol of the gross matter that carries the gold, while the river is Chaos, the opposite of Form. Note the diamond pattern on Offerus' belt below. (Read Fulcanelli beginning on page 148 for more.)