The Judgement of Paris


The following is a look at the symbols in and related to the legend of 'The Judgement of Paris', and a comparison of those symbols to elements contained in Dan Brown's book The DaVinci Code. The suggestion that is made is that the elements in Brown's book mainly derive from that legend, although Brown never mentions it in the book.

  • Modern readers will note that 1) the name Paris in the title does not refer to a city in France, 2) Paris is not the one that is being judged, as he does the judging, and 3) the legend of the Judgement of Paris is the story of the beginning of the Trojan War.

    This is also a critique of the arguments that Brown presents in support of the idea that the pentacle and the number five represent the divine feminine. Personally, I prefer the number 7 for that role. While I center on the notion of the connection between the number 5 and the divine feminine, this is a critique of all of what I call Brown's myth making that he engages in the book. People that would want to argue that there is no sense in critiquing a fiction book, should probably hit the 'back' button now. I intend to show that several of the symbolic connections that Brown makes are not true, and that they serve as misinformation for the serious student of Occult or Masonic Symbolism.

    For instance - on page 125 he speaks of Eve partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, when the Bible never says 'apple' in Genesis, it says 'fruit'. On page 425, the code word is revealed as APPLE, and it is described as "the orb of which Eve partook". On page 120 he introduces Amon Ra, Egyptian god of fertility, and suggests that Amon's counterpart, the goddess of fertility, was Isis. If you know anything about Egyptian mythology, you will know that Isis was married to her brother Osiris.

    We see that Amon was depicted with a ram's head, that reminds us of Aries which is ruled by Mars, who was also connected with male fertility. On page 358 of "The Lost Symbol" we see Amon characterized as a prototype for Zeus or Jupiter, a sky god; that is not the sun and not Mars. You will want to read up on the history of Amun-Ra, so that you can see how he developed from a local fertility god (similar to Mars), to a national god associated with the sun (not Jupiter).

  • I suggest that in spite of the fact that Langdon is presented a teacher in the books, Dan Brown is not much of one himself. When you gather up the pieces of what is presented, at the end of his books, you aren't left with a coherent system of thought much less a 'symbol set', all inextricably tied. (page 91 Da Vinci Code). I recommend that Brown's personal interest in symbology goes no further than using the images to generate ciphers to move the story along another step.

    All the talk about teaching and search after the truth is so much bunk too, at least in relationship to a look at Occult Symbology. I intend to show that Brown is not qualified to teach this subject, either because he doesn't understand the content well enough, or because he is a disinformation agent trying to subvert the system of knowledge. People appear to be hungry for this stuff, and people like Brown find a publisher who will publish their books, then they preface them with a Fact page. The whole package is designed to support an illusion that you can learn something from these books, which is not true. The fact is, he uses wrong data to generate his ciphers. Or rather, he doesn't care how he gets to the solution to them.

    Lawyers and politicians who rely on rhetroic and propoganda are less interested in the truth than they are in persuading people and in affecting their behavior. I recommend that this describes exactly the approach that Dan Brown takes to book writing; that is, while he acts as if the things he points out are true, very few of them are. While Brown portrays his hero as a teacher and a skilled symbologist, the same can not be said for Brown. I contend that instead of explaining a system of symbols, that he is cloaking them in a mist of dis-information.

    Brown, like others in this time, are out of there element when it comes to the subject of Occult Symbology. Just as the Church sought to confuse the issue concerning astronomy for centuries, people like Brown and David Ovason, present the student with such a jumble of mis-matched meanings, that there is no way to make sense of them. The following looks at some of Brown's mis-matches, his myth-making, and mis-information.


  • The story of the Judgement of Paris begins at a royal wedding party that was attended by the gods and goddesses, but one goddess was not invited, that was Eris/Discordia. [Here we see Discord opposed to Harmony or Order that is represented by a wedding, which is conceptually a union of opposites. Remember that Harmonia was the child of Aphrodite (Venus) and Ares (Mars).] During the party, Eris throws in a golden apple with 'For the Fairest' engraved on it. While all the goddesses wanted it, the field of contestants was narrowed to Hera, Athena and Aphrodite.

    [Conspicuously absent from the list are Selene and Gaia. or the moon and the earth. Aphrodite was Venus, Hera was the wife of the sky god Zeus, and Pallas Athena was the virgin goddess. Thus we have at least six (with Eris) different forms of important female goddesses in ancient Greece; each with a different essence. You will recall that when you read "The DaVinci Code" you see Brown attempt to paint Venus as the One Greek Goddess that represented the notion of the divine feminine.

    Michael Schneider writes in his "Beginner's Guide to the Construction of the Universe" (p 229), "Unlike Mother goddesses like Isis and Demeter who are represented by the solid earth, the virgin goddesses do not nourish us". This follows his discussion of Athena who bore no children. The point here, is that there is not only one image of the divine feminine, as Brown would have us believe.]

  • Zeus declined the position of judge, but recommended Paris, a prince from Troy. Hera promised him that he would own all of Asia and Europe. Athena promised that he would lead the Trojans to defeat the Greeks, and Aphrodite promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. That, of course, was Helen, and the Trojan War resulted from Paris going to get her in Greece and carrying her back to Troy. (If you look you see cities in France named Paris and Troyes.)

  • A one sentence summation of the legend would be, "In the Judgement of Paris, Paris gives Venus (Aphrodite) the Apple". We see that Brown's "DaVinci Code" opens in Paris, he introduces us to Venus through the pentagram in the opening scene, and the solution to his puzzle turns out to be the word 'apple'.

    You will recall that Brown ties the pentagram to the goddess Venus through the fact that the orbit of the planet Venus traces pentagrams in the sky at inferior conjunctions with the earth and sun. He then brings in the notions of phi and the Divine Order. What he does not do, is to tie Venus to the apple. Remember that Venus and the apple are tied through the judgement of Paris legend.

    Brown points to the graphic origins of its ties to Venus as the pentacle's most astonishing property, noting that 'the planet Venus traces a perfect pentacle across the ecliptic every eight years'. That means that "The motion of the planet Venus over 5 successive inferior conjunctions follows a pentagram pattern, precessing 2/5 of an orbit between conjunctions." An inferior conjunction for Venus is when it is between the earth and the sun.

    If you think about it, that isn't really a 'property of' the pentagram. You also see a pentagram when you cut an apple in half. Later Brown writes about how the lines of the pentagram or pentacle produce the phi relationship as they cross one another. Now that is a property of the pentagram! But he goes a step further -

    "The ratios of line segments is a pentacle all equal PHI, making this symbol the ultimate expression of the Divine Proportion. For this reason, the five-pointed star has always been the symbol for beauty and perfection associated with the goddess and the sacred feminine." (p 96)

    When Brown says 'the goddess' here, he wants us to think of Venus, although there were many more goddesses than just one. He has a problem separating the different personalities and traits of the different divinities. He writes that, "The goddess Venus and the planet Venus were one and the same, and was known by different names, Ishtar, Astarte - all of them powerful female concepts with ties to Nature and Mother Earth".

    [Notice how he blurs the lines between the celestial and the terrestrial forms by suggesting that Venus has ties to Nature and Mother Earth. That is, the earth is terrestrial, but Venus is celestial.]

    Brown attempts to reduce all concepts of the divine feminine into the being of the goddess and the planet Venus. Next he attempts to reduce all concpets of divine order into the pentagonal pattern of Venus's orbit of the sun. Remember that the pentagonal pattern involves Venus, the sun and the earth, and not just Venus. The truth is that the Greeks saw the Kosmos itself as a symbol of the divine order and not just one pattern made between three of the planetary spheres.

  • Try this. Get an apple and a sharp knife. Stand the apple on end with the stem up. Make two cuts across the apple; one at the equator and one at 60 degrees south latitude. The second cut produces a point in a circle (Brown's circumpunct from his "Lost Symbol" book), while the equitorial cut produces a pentagram in a circle with 5 pods and 10 seeds.

    As I said, Brown does not connect Venus to the apple, but brings the biblical Eve into the picture. Try doing a search of the KJV Bible for the word 'apple'. Now look at Genesis 3 where it says "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat". Nowhere does it say the words Eve and apple close together.

    On page 125 he speaks of Eve partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, when the Bible never says 'apple' in Genesis, it says 'fruit'. On page 425, the code word is revealed as APPLE, and it is described as "the orb of which Eve partook", without mentioning that if you cut that in half you get a pentagram.

    Eve is, however, an instantiation of the divine female. "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Gen 3:20. Eve is terrestrial and not celestial.

    My point is that Brown would have been better off if he had stuck to the Judgement of Paris story, introduced the idea of the pentagram in the apple half, and left Eve out of it!!

    If you read "The DaVinci Code" closely, you will see that Brown is attempting a transfer in reader's minds from Venus to Eve, with both being portrayed as instantiations of the Divine Feminine. Through the connection to the path of the planet Venus and the pentagram and phi etc, he makes Venus out to be THE SYMBOL of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Order in general. This wouldn't work if it were presented in the context of the Judgement of Paris legend, since there we see three feminine deities.

    That is, different goddesses portray different aspects of the notion of the Divine Feminine. Astronomically we see goddesses representing the sky (Nuit), and the earth (Gaia), as well as the moon and Venus. Again, there is no ONE symbol for the divine feminine idea.

    Now, if you think back on Brown's line of thought, you will see that had he presented the Judgement of Paris legend, he could have shown the connection between the apple and the pentagram and phi before he introduced the idea about the shape of the orbit of Venus, and he could have left Eve out of it all together.


  • Brown writes - "The ancients envisioned their world in two halves - masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced, there was chaos." Notice how well that fits in with the features of the Judgement of Paris story.

    The he adds, "This pentacle is representative of the female half of things." He divides the world into male and female and makes the pentacle the symbol of the female, which immediately raises the question as to what figure or number represents the male half of things? If the pentagram is to represent the divine female, what is to represent the divine male?

    Not 3 or 4, since those are the triangle and the square which are masculine and feminine. And not 6, since the hexagon or double triangle is used as a symbol for sexual union. If you make 5 female, that almost forces you into calling 7 the male number.

    He ties the pentacle to Venus through the pattern that the planet makes in the sky (5 orbits every 8 years), and he ties that to the goddess of love, but does not name the god of love there. Instead he introduces the idea of an Egyptian fertility god. The reason should be clear; the male counterpart to Venus is Mars, who was a fertility god and the god of war. And hen you think war, you think of the pentagon (as in the Pentagon Building).

  • Consider the Masonic Rebis (below), where the first dichotomy that we see is an image of a body featuring two heads, one masculine and one feminine. The Rebis (from the Latin 'res bina', meaning dual or double matter) is an alchemical symbol for the divine androgyne. [You will recall that Genesis Chapter 5 reads, "In the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam", which implies that the 'image of God' is somehow both male and female.]

  • Notice that the male half holds a set of compasses and is accompanied by the sun, while the female half holds a square and is accompanied by the moon, telling us that symbolically the compasses are considered solar and male and the square is seen as lunar and feminine. A Dualistic Symbol Cluster with left-right (horizontal) symmetry is developed.

    In the circle we see a 1, a 3 and a 4 with a triangle and a square. You will notice that a set square is half a geometric square; the woman is 4 and square. The compasses opened to 60 degrees depict an equilateral triangle; the man is 3 and a triangle, and a circle as compasses make those. The Masonic compass is the top of the triangle, and the square is the bottom half of the square, male and female. The earth is square and the heavens are round. Three plus four is the number of the planets, and three times four is the number of the zodiac signs. This is the sign of the Mysteries.

    Consider the image of the Tree of Life below, where each sphere is associated with a 'planetary sphere'. Notice that the earth is female, as is the moon and Venus. Also, in Egyptian mythology, the zodiac and sky were depicted by the goddess Nuit. That provides us with four different characterizations of female divinity. Notice that Mars is at sphere 5 on the tree while Venus is at sphere number 7.

    The Tree of Life is a System of Correspondences centered around the first ten numbers. Closely related are what are being called Magic Squares, which are squares of the first ten numbers. Magic squares add to the same number on every row, column and diagonal. Each number and square has been assigned a planetary sphere (includes the sun and moon). The Throne of God is a One, the zodiac is at two, Saturn is at three, Jupiter at four, Mars at five, the sun at six, Venus at seven, Mercury at eight, the moon and nine, and the earth at 10.

    The tree is a represntation of emanation philisophy, where the world emanates from God, just as the other numbers emanate from the number One. The world is the unfolding of the One. This leads to the idea that all the god and goddesses are expressions of the top God. Dion Fortune describes co-ordinating the ancient gods with the spheres on the tree. She writes, "We sort out the gods and goddesses of all the pagan pantheons into ten pigeon-holes of the Ten Holy Sepheroth, relying chiefly upon their astrological associations to guide us, because astrology is the one universal language, for all people see the same planets.

    Page 19 DaVinci Code "Taurus was always the bull. Astrology was a symbolic constant all over the world."

    Numbers and planets are the archetypes of the tree, and each is inseparable. So in term of identifying the sacred feminine on the tree we have four choices; the zodiac (as Nuit or Space) at sphere 2, Venus at 7, the moon at 9 and the earth at 10. It should be pointed out that at one time the sky was a goddess and the earth was the god, which complicates matters. Here I am pairing the zodiac (Nuit) as Space with Saturn/Chronus or Time. The moon pairs with the sun. The earth is seen as the cubic stone that fell from the Throne of God, as the exiled Bride. Venus at 7 pairs with Mars at 5. Or, we could pair Mars at 5 with the earth at 10 via their squares.

    On page 224 of his book, Michael Schneider writes that, "The gods and goddesses represented principles with certain properties and attributes associating them with mathematical archetypes". Then he notes that the letters of Athena's title Parthenos ('virgin') add up to 515 (nearly 51.4). He also connects her to the numbers 7 and 77.

    7 has been called the 'virgin' number'since 360 divides evenly by all the number form 1 to 10 except for 7. 360/7 is 51.4, which is the latitude of the Greenwich Observatory. This is the 'body weight' that is mentioned on page 394 of Brown's book The Lost Symbol. The Greek name ATHENE adds numerically to 77.

    Both Funcanelli and William Stirling suggest that the Gothic Cathedrals were dedicated to the Cosmic Virgin, and the symbolism involved in the buildings reflect this. Curiously, in Brown's DaVinci Code, we see him mention 'pagan symbolism hidden in the stones of the Chartres Cathedral' on page 7 and 'the pagan iconography of French cathedrals on page 77!

  • Brown has a way of reducing complex symbology to one dimension. When you look at a deck of Tarot cards you see that their are four suits. You presume that for the sake of balance, that two would be male and two would be female, but we see Brown proclaim that, "The Tarot indicator suit for feminine divinity is pentacles". How about cups? On page 391 he identifies them as merely feminine. You will note that pentacles represent the element of earth, and the cups the element of water.

    Through the rest of the book, he points to both a chalise and the Grail, both of which fit the form of a cup, not a coin or pentacle. At one point he ties the rose to the Grail as well as the pentagram. He recommends that the connection between Venus and the pentagram makes the pentagram the symbols of the divine feminine. If this is so, what would be the graphic symbols associated with the divine male?

    On page 237 of "The Da Vinci Code", Brown speaks of the pairs Mars and Venus, male and female, the blade and chalise. On page 445 and 6 he 'closes' the blade and chalice symbols to produce triangles that point up and down; one is the symbol for fire and the other the symbol for water, male and female. Overlapping these two produces the Star of David; the perfect union of male and female. Below we see the planets mapped to the Star of David.

    The image below shows the planetary spheres and days of the week mapped to a heptagram (a seven pointed star). Note that this is done by moving the sun off the center of the above hexagram. The red numbers are the numbers of the spheres on the Tree of Life.

    At one point, Brown describes the image of a dead man on a floor. surounded by a cirlce with a pentagram drawn on his stomach, and on page 45 describes the pentagram in a circle as , 'a feminine symbol of protection'. Note how out of place that statement is, when compared to the image of a dead man! The question that arises is, if that were true, why is the Vitruvian Man a man and not a woman?


    DC Symbols Homepage