Masonic and Kabbalistic Symbols
in the Washington, D.C. Map
As there is a lot of material contained here, I have posted a list of my DC Symbols webpages and related videos. I will be putting new pages/sections at the top of that listing. I conceptually divide the material into a historical area, an area about geometric design principles, and an area about Masonry and the Kabbalah. But, as these inter-relate in the DC map story, it is hard to separate the three.
"Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." Matt.10
Please note that if you are offended by critique, satire or ridicule, you might want to turn back now, as critique is half of what I do. The same holds true if you are not a reader. You will, I hope forgive any typos and the fact that this page repeats in places, as this has been put together over a period of 17 years now.
I have posted a pair of Utube videos that contain a very slight revision of my 1999 thesis about the Washington, D.C. map template. This is being posted as two parts because there are so many images in them and due to time restraints on Utube videos. Earlier, I had measured the angle created by New Hampshire Avenue in the map, and had found it to be 53 + degrees, which is larger than the ~52 degrees of the Great Pyramid base angle, which I saw as one template for the map. For a long time, I was unable to resolve this discrepancy. I even considered that the images that I was measuring on my computer screen were not at the correct 'aspect ratio', so I decided to reserve judgement until later.
Re-reading "Secrets of the Great Pyramid" (P. Tompkins), I was reminded that the base line casing stones of the GP (seen above) were not discovered until 1836. That is, in 1791-2, the DC planners had no accurate information about the base angles. Jim Alison measured the map at 54 degrees, and associated that with the 36-54-90 'mr' triangle from ancient Egypt, which was seen as a building block of the cosmos. It is now my opinion that both the mr triangle and the GP were used as templates for the map. So were Metatron's Cube and the Tree of Life. Those two were shortened until the equilateral triangle was 80% of it's height.
I suggest that the planners thought, in 1791-2, that the GP had 54 degree base angles to match the pentagon. Note that Sandusky , Ohio has a 54 degree triangle included in its map plan. If you inscribe a pentagon in a circle, and draw lines from the center of the circle to each of the points, you generate five triangles. Each triangle has a 72 degree angle at the center of the circle and two base angles of 54 degrees. New Hampshire Avenue forms the left side of one of these triangles in the DC map.
The Utube videos are called "The Washington, D.C. Map and the 36-54-90 Triangle: Introduction and Part 2.
I contend that this website represents the first original, comprehensive, and Masonic-friendly examination of the subject of Symbolisms
Embedded in the District of Columbia Map Layout.
It is original in the sense that what I present here concerning templates that were used for the Washington, D.C. map are
My Own Ideas (first posted online in 2001), and is comprehensive in that I have made an attempt to cover all the bases so to speak,
from history to astronomy and architectural design principles - including dealing with the huge amount of
Misinformation about the
ongoing DC planning project that is being broadcast without regard to the Truth, mainly across the internet by
anti-Masonic individuals , although some book authors are guilty as well.
I would like to point out that I was originally inspired to write and post online comments about the DC map, after seeing things on the internet that were intended to make Masons look bad based on what was supposedly going on in the map. After that I continued to write and post about things that I saw that came from book writers/sellers, who just can't seem to get their facts straight.
Facts and Fiction
For instance, on page 1 of "The Magic of Obelisks", Peter Tompkins calls George Washington 'a thirty-third degree Mason'. Now, any one who knows anything at all about Masonry knows that the group with 33 degrees is the Scotish Rites, and they didn't even institute the 33 degree system until after George Washington died. Also, in his book "Solomon's Builders", Mason Christopher Hodap suggested that there we 10,000 lots up for sale in the City of Washington. However, if you look at a map that shows lot numbers, you actually find just over 1000. Later Hodap recommends that the new city was being started from 'scratch' and the area where it was located was 'wilderness', as if no one had ever been there before.
The truth is that George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon, was just a few miles straight down the Potomac from the eventual White House location, and his wife, Martha Custis Washington, owed 900 acres that is now the Arlington Cemetery. Please see this webpage, and see the maps that depict the properties in the area before 1791. Near the bottom of the page, you can see that small towns of Hamburg and Carrollsburg lay within the area encompassed by the new city. Figure 4 on that page, shows the Hawkins topo map of the area that clearly depict a road that ran from Georgetown past the White House location and south of the Capitol location, to the ferry on the East Branch of the Potomac, which served as the basis for Pennsylvania Avenue.
Then there is the story about the Ellicott Brothers having made 'revisions' to L'Enfant's map, including eliminating diagonal streets and straightening Massachusetts Avenue. If you read about the history of the map, you will find that L'Enfant presented drawing to Washington, three different times, in the spring of 1791, in June of 1791 and in August of 1791. The August drawing is in the Library of Congress, accompanied by a letter to George Washington, and it shows Mass Ave to have been 'straightened' by L'Enfant himself, not by the Ellicotts. And none of this came from anti-Masons!!
I recently completed reading a 2007 book entitled "Grand Avenues" written by Scott W. Berg. Berg has a website but there isn't any useful information there. Note the section called 'Facts and Fiction', where you read only "Coming Soon".
I will have to say that I like Berg's treatment of the planning of the map much better than I do Bob Arnebeck's in his book "Through a Fiery Trial", his book is STILL full of the tired old fictions about DC. The most common of those being that the White House and the Capitol Building were located on the two highest points in the area. To prove that is not true, you need only go to the Library of Congress Map Collection, click on search by Keyword and enter "Washington DC Hawkins". You will be led to a drawing entitled, "Topography of the federal city, 1791 : [Washington D.C.] / by Don A. Hawkins, Washington, D.C.".
You can search the image and prove that there are locations near both the WH and the CB location which are higher than both of those are. Another fictional statement in Berg's book can be found on page 185, where he states categorically that "The only known copy of a plan for the federal city in L'Enfant's own hand" is referred to as the manuscript plan. If you go back the the search option at the LOC Map Collection, you can now enter "Washington DC L'Enfant", and change to 'Gallery View' after you click.
There you find, not one but several versions of the manuscript plan, plus another map by L"Enfant. The OTHER map is labeled "[Dotted line map of Washington, D.C., 1791, before Aug. 19th]". That is the map that contains the revisions to the manuscript plan that George Washington requested that he make in June 1791. The dotted line map proves that L'Enfant was the one who straightened Massachusetts Avenus, and not Ellicott. Beware of what you find in these books about planning Washington, D.C., as they were written by book sellers.
Perhaps the saddest and most pitiful players in this story, are those who try to make themselves out to be the 'good guys', while trying to make Masons out to be the 'bad guys'. Unfortunately for their self esteem, they never really study Masonry, and as a result have no REAL understanding of the symbolisms involved, and they have to result to lying to do that. My two unfavorite examples of that are connected to the number 666, which every one knows is 'bad' or evil. The first is a popular notion with people who never took the time to look at the map, like Christopher Hodap, who proclaimed that there were 10,000 lots in DC. The idea that was presented was that the Capitol was placed on lot number 666 for occult reason (cue the scary music). Any one who has read about the history of DC knows that only lots that were to be sold were numbered, so that is a lie, pure and simple. A perfect example of the good guys resorting to bad behavior to try and make their supposed opponents look badder.
Another 66 story, involves the idea that the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall, but that it has a base that goes 111 feet into the ground to make it actually 666 feet tall. The story goes on to suggest that Egyptians buried their obelisks in the ground for stability too. The problem is that the Egyptians balanced theirs on the end above the ground like you see in New York and at the Vatican. The monument is NOT 11 feet in the ground. That is another lie made up to make some one else look bad. Guess who it makes look bad to me??
People Say and Write the Silliest Things
As you can well imagine, in the 15 + years that I have been studying the Washington D.C. map layout, I have read some of the silliest things that you have ever heard in your life, all designed to negate the idea that the city planners put in place a system of Masonic Symbolism in the map. I suggest that if you read this whole page, it will become apparent to you that people who make those comments have never looked closely at the map, as I have.
The comments range from casual comments like, "Oh, you could probably find geometric shapes in the maps of any city that you look at" (from Dan Brown), to supposedly serious comments from people like Robert Hieronimus, who suggests that he 'made his own drawings' of the pentagram. Of course, there is no need to ever do that will zillions of copies of the map available to us.
Look at the image at the top of the page and note that a pentagram is composed of five lines that cross and form a total of 15 segments. In the map ONE of those is missing. Robert tells us that he made his own drawings and found that the map pentagram 'doesn't have ANY legs'; which is stupid. You can easily see that the intention was to represent a pentagram and that New Hampshire Avenues represents one side of an equilateral triangle with 52 degree base angles like the Great Pyramid. The right side of the triangle doesn't have to be filled in for you to see that.
The more you look the more figures you see, like rhombus and hexagrams etc. But you have to look, rather than just talking about it in a discussion group with others who never studied geometry or surveying. He is my most recent favorite comment which I have received from a Mason, who seem to feel that being a card carrying member makes them better qualified to divine what is going on in the map (without studying it) than others (who don't study it).
"We DC Masons argue back and forth whether there is any intentional Masonic symbolism in the District's layout. One thing we tend to agree on, whether we're on the yay or nay side, is that no one knows just what the hell the founding fathers would have inlaid them on the DC map for. Cubes, pentagrams, lines this, and lines that ... and?"
No one knows? That is just silliness, as I said. I have studied the map long and hard, and I contend that I know as much as any one alive today 'what the hell the founding fathers' put in the map. I welcome you to read closely and see what you think. You will notice that people who make comments like the above do not have extensive web site or videos covering the subject matter.
Watch the animation at the top of the page until you get a feel for the grid pattern that forms the basis of the Washington, D.C. map. See how the grid develops out of the lines which connect the points of the inverted pentagram. Now cut a narrow strip of paper and tie it into an overhand knot and notice the pattern that it makes.
Compare the lines in the form that results to the lines in the DC map grid, and pay particular attention to the pentagram that is formed.
If you were able to tie a strip of paper five times, you would find that it would create a larger pentagram as seen below.
Here is another image, in case you might have trouble seeing the pentagram that some people can't see.
Hopefully you can see that this is pure geometry and that Satanism was not involved in this demonstration in any way. If you either can't see the pentagrams or you believe that Satan rules certain geometric forms in God's Creation, you might not want to continue past this point.
A Surveyor Looks at the Washington DC Planing Map
When I was first introduced to the idea that there were symbols embedded in the Washington, D.C. landscape I was working as a carpenter. It didn't take long for me to figure out that if I really wanted to understand the processes that were involved in the design and layout of the city, I would need to work with surveyors. When ever you read a history of D.C. you are continually reminded that Washington, Jefferson and Ellicott were all master surveyors. When you read modern attempts to account for the features and structures that we see in the map, it is painfully apparent that none of them have been written by people with surveying backgrounds.
The thesis that I present here is that the map plan was based on a rhombus grid that develops from extending the lines of the pentagram located north of the White House. In the design world, this method is called 'polygonal projection', because you are projecting lines of a polygon (a rhombus). If you know anything about geometry, you know that a rhombus is derived from a vesica; and that it is composed of two isosceles triangles. In the animation at the top of the page, you see that the map grid results from extending the lines of the rhombus north of the WH.
The second part of my thesis is that the Capitol Building was 'dis-placed' from its ideal location since that fell on the steep side of Jenkins Heights. I suggest that the CB is about 600 feet north of where it should be to fit the rhombus grid. A line connecting the points on the right side of the pentagram show the displacement, and indicate the ideal CB location on a straightened Pennsylvania Avenue.
When you read David Ovason's book "Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital", you see that he suggests that the map designed centered on the right triangle that has the CB and the WH at two of its corners. On page 349 he writes that:
"Either Ellicott or L'Enfant drew a line from the top of a wooded hillside, and directed it toward a specific point of sunset. From this single line, the planner subtended another which ran due west from the hill. At a certain point along the second line, he drew across it, at right angles. a third. He extended this, so that it cut the first line - the sunset line. In this way, he formed a triangle on the earth."
In his version of the story, the first line to be surveyed ran from the future location of the Capitol to the future location of the White House. Then a second line was drawn due west. Then a third north-south line was drawn from the WH location. If you look at the map, you can see that the 'first line' does not match the rhombus grid of the upper parts of the map. That means that he has you beginning a survey with the mis-matched part of the map, rather than with the 'regular' part that surrounds the WH.
It also means that he makes no attempt to account for tying the survey down in any way. When you do a survey, you like to 'tie it down' by locating some adjacent know location as a reference base point. If you study the history of the survey of the Mason-Dixon line, you find that it was tied down to three different points. I suggest that the DC map is tied down to a point where Pennsylvania Avenues and N Street meet in Georgetown; and that the 'base line' for the survey was the section of Penn. Ave, between there and the WH. location. If you extend that line to the East Branch of the Potomac, you see that it points to the place where Penn. Ave. is directed today. If the CB were 600 feet south, PA would be straight all the way.
A third part of my thesis about the map grid shows that in the 20th century, elements were placed in the map, like the Pentagon Building, which were once again in line with the bearings established in the original rhombus grid. The 'front' of the Pentagon is directed, not toward the actual location of the CB, but toward its ideal location. In addition to that, the designers included a cross-section image of the Great Pyramid in the plan. Instead of an equilateral triangle, New Hampshire Avenue forms a 52 degree angle like the base angle of the pyramid.
You can see a series of videos entitled "A Surveyor Looks at the Washington DC Map", at my Youtube channel. Here are links to
I have added a section that 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.
If you have read Brown's book, you know 1) that it opens in Paris, 2) that you are quickly introduced to the symbol of a pentagram within a circle which he ties to the goddess Venus by virtue of the orbit of the planet Venus, and 3) that the code word in the middle of the book turns out to be 'apple' which he connects to the Biblical figure Eve. If you look at the story of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, you find that the word apple does not appear there; the word that is used is 'fruit'.
The story of the Judgement of Paris, is the story of how the Trojan War got started. A golden apple with the words "For the Fairest" is thrown into a wedding party at Mount Olympus which, of course, disrupts the party. In the story, Paris, from Troy, is asked to judge a beauty contest among three goddesses, and he ends up giving the apple to Venus. As to the connection to the pentagram, you find that figure displayed if you cut an apple in half cross-wise. That means that the key elements of Brown's book are presented in the story in a simplified manner since Paris gives Venus the apple.
Sky Watching in Washington, D.C. -
An Astronomer Looks at the Washington DC Map
If you are in DC the first week of May, you can go to the west side of the Capitol Building at sunset and looked toward the White House to see the sun. The image above shows the sun setting May the first, 20 degrees north of due west in DC. This event is the flip side of the story told by David Ovason about the sun setting over Penn Avenue in August, which you can see in the image below. Here you can see that the sun also sets there in May. Now, re-read his book where he talks about Pennsylvania Ave having been aligned to one sunset on one day.
If you are in DC the second week of November, you can stand on the west side of the CB to watch the sunset near the Jefferson Memorial to the left of the Wash Mmt. If you were there in February, the sun will be setting in the same place again after having made its southerly most pass in December. David Ovason never mentions that Maryland and Penn Aves are symmetrical to one another.
Penn Ave is NOT aligned to one sunset, but to two of them, just as Maryland Ave is!!
From page 339 Secret Architecture, "Both L'Enfant and Ellicott would have insisted that only one day (which is to say, one particular sunset) would mark precisely the orientation between the Capitol and the President's House." Parentheses are his.
I remind Serious Students that these dates, early Feb, May, Aug and November correspond to what are known as the 'cross-quarter' days - the days half-way between the solstices and the equinoxes. In the northern hemisphere the cold peaks statistically on about Feb 6th, while the heat of the summer peak about Aug 6th. The mid-points are in May and November.
Students of astrology should note that the solstice and equinoxes happen on the cusp (beginning) of the cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The cross-quarter days occur at 15 degrees of the fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, 45+ days after the equinoxes and the solstices. If you know your zodiac symbolism you will recognize these four as relating to the four creatures which were depicted in Ezekiel and Revelation as - a bull, a lion, a man and an eagle. Here is a standard
Royal Arch image used by Masons that bears the same creatures.
If you were to watch the sunset for a year from the west side of the Capitol, you would see the sun set in front of you in March and September, it would set on Penn Ave in May, it would set 31 degrees north of due west in late June, and on PA again in August - as Ovason points out.
Next you would see the sun set over Maryland Ave in November, it will set 31 degrees south of due west in Dec and over MA again in Feb. Instead of being oriented to one sunset on one day, the city appears to have been oriented to four sunsets on four days, as seen by Penn and Maryland Aves. The city is not aligned to the solstices but to the cross-quarter days; the fixed zodiac signs, not the cardinal ones.
Some of you may have seen David Icke's demonstration where he uses the image above from Charles Westrbrook's book to prove the DC streets were aligned to the solstices. Please note, first of all, that those three sets of lines are not all parallel, yet they are all labeled as a solstice alignment. (I have added the numbers on the right.)
If you study the solar arc, you will find that while the sun moves to 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator at the solstices, as seen from the equator, that arc widens as you move north or south on the globe. At the latitude of DC, the total solar arc is 62 degrees, 31 north and south. That is, the sun is located 31 degrees north of due east on June 21 in DC.
Since the sun moves 71% of the arc between the equinox and solstice in half that time (45 days), The cross quarter day sunrises and sets happen at 31 x .71, or 22 degrees from due east-west in DC. That matches the alignment of Penn and Maryland Aves.
Take a look at the DVD named "Riddles in Stone" at about 17:00, where they are discussing the star Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. When you look at the earth's orbit around the sun, you will see that on July 4th, the earth is at its far point from the sun, and it is in such a position that the sun aligns with Sirius. That means that the sun is in front of Sirius, so that you can't see it.
In the DVD, it points to the cornerstone ceremony for the Washington Monument, noting that the sun aligned with Sirius then. They fail to point out that the ceremony took place on July 4th, and that the sun aligns with Sirius then every year. Next they present an image of DC looking east -
They proclaim that on the day of the cornerstone ceremony for the monument, you would have been able to see Sirius rising in the east, and hovering over the Capitol Building as seen above. You now know that you can not see Sirius July 4th, since the sun lies directly in front of it then!! What you would have seen would have been the sun only. Sirius does not emerge from behind the sun until August, the time that David Ovason writes so much about.
Note also that in the DVD it is suggested that the pyramid was 'aligned' to Sirius; that is was built so that the light of Sirius would travel down one of the air shafts and fall on an initiate located in the Queen's Chamber. Have a look at a drawing of the Queen's Chamber and the shafts, and you can see that it is impossible for that to happen, as the southern shaft has a bend in it.
You should know that when you study Philosophy at the graduate level for a while, critiquing becomes second nature. (If I have to explain, you might not understand.) What you find before you is the Doctoral Dissertation that I never got to write some years ago. That is, this is intended to be master's level reading.
Please don't mis-understand the method. The point of a critique is not merely to show that people are wrong, the point is to keep moving toward the Truth, the Light if you will. As an Apprentice you are taught how to apply the forces that will free the rough stone, and as you progress in the Craft you learn how to refine that into the finished product, according to the specifications of your craft. Quality control entails making sure that everything is level, plumb and square, True in other words.
The problem, in terms of Masonic and Kabbalistic Scholarship, is that 1) so much of what is being written about the DC map is intended to indict or defend someone, and 2) a lot is being written just to promote books, without regard to the Truth. The bigbytes teaching method entails less presenting a string of facts, and more contrasting misinformation to the truth. I believe that you learn the 'lesson' better when you have two things to contrast.
For instance, the idea that Evil Masons placed the Capitol Building on lot 666 for Satanic Reasons!! (cue the sound effects) As the idea refers to a 'lot 666', it should be easy enough to LOOK AT a DC map and see if that is so. As you can imagine any article claiming that doesn't show a picture of the lots in the map for obvious reasons. It's a lie intended to make someone look bad. Consider the ethics of the good guy telling a lie in order to make the bad guy look bad. Oh, you say those are lawyers?
Lots were numbered from north to south; And where is lot number 666?
That is the short story; one paragraph. The rest of the chapter points out that the reason that the lots were numbered was that they were to be sold to raise money to finance the building of the city. To pay for the building of the Capitol and White House, etc. Lots for public buildings were not numbered, as they were not being sold. As to the lots, they were offered for sale at several public auctions. If you read Bob Arnebeck's Through a Fiery Trail, you will see that the cornerstone ceremonies that people make so much about were planned to coincide with these auctions, in hopes that the theatre would be good for business. The October 13th cornerstone ceremony did coincide with the anniversary of the Templars arrest (and the fourth of July coincides with a Templar defeat in the Holy Land in 1187).
Arnebeck writes (page 173) that Washington did not intend to reside on square 667 that he bought, but that according to his calculations, that would be the center of a future commercial hub. At least that is the story that is told. According to the book, "For his city residence he had his eye on lot 21 at 25th and E Streets, overlooking the Potomac".
As to the number 666, you will note that it appears twice in the KJV as 'six hundred threescore and six'. Once is in the Book of Revelation and the other time in in I Kings, where it is describing how much gold Solomon took in in a year's time. Gold is a symbol of the sun, which is associated with the magic square of six, which has 36 cells containing the first thrity six numbers which total to 666. The number is refering to the sun as the name SOL o MOON is.
The flip side of someone who critiques/prosecutes is someone who is an apologist/defender of certain ideas, systems or persons. Apologists don't present ideas as such, they mainly defend against critiques. The implication of the term 'apologist' is that they are about as sincere as a defense attorney, and that they will do or say ANYTHING they need to to convince people of their case.
Imagine that you and I were members of a secret society or a society with secrets and people were all the time making accusations about the group, and we wanted to put them off the trail, so to speak. What I would do would be to roll out a couple of people that make our organization look the Keystone Cops movies try to make police look, like fumbling fools.
If you watched TV when Dan Brown's book came up, you saw one of the people that I am talking about. Brent Morris is who the Scottish Rite people in DC roll out every time someone from the public has a question that requires a spokesperson. You may have seen him in a DVD about Masons and the Washington, DC map talking about how the pentagram is not complete there. If you listen carefully you will hear him say that to his knowledge the pentagram is used as a magical tool for protection, and that his understanding is that in order to be effective, a magician's symbols need to be complete. With a chuckle, he says that if Masons were so all powerful why couldn't they have made a complete pentagram, ha, ha. He adds that he has never heard of an incomplete pentagram being used in magic.
Next the DVD turns to Goethe's play Faustus (Faust in English) which features dialogue between Faust and Mephistopheles about how me has been ensnared by a 'broken pentagram'. The film makers point is to make Morris look stupid, which doesn't take much. I wouldn't want him as my spokesperson, unless this was my goal, to make the rest of us also look dim witted or slow.
There are many versions of the idea that the pentagram in the map isn't REALLY a pentagram because it is missing one of 15 sections, which is the lamest of all the arguments concerning the map. Pentagrams are formed by 5 crossing lines, that make 15 sections. Removing one line does not keep it from being a pentagram. The film maker who was able to capture Brent Morris in one of his finer moments was also able to capture the lamest presentation of that argument as delivered here by Robert Hieronymus, where he suggests that the pentagram 'doesn't have laygs'. Click the image for sound.
He talks about drawing his own lines? Why would you need to do that?
This presentation depends a lot on visual imagery and setting some facts straight, as critique is half of what I do, and we can learn a lot about astronomy, the map, and the design and development of the Capital City in the process of dispelling some myths and 'bad facts'. I say astronomy again because where ever we find geometry, astronomy won't be far off. Hence the two spheres that we see in Masonic symbolism,
the globe and the celestial sphere. Remember that geometry means literally 'earth measure', so on a practical, macro level it equals land surveying.
As a matter of fact, surveying in 1791 was still a practical combination of geometry and astronomy, as it had been for centuries before - like Masonry and symbolic architecture in general. The method begins with establishing a true meridian (N/S) line, then determining due east-west. You will recall that amateur astronomer Benjamin Bannekker was brought in on a temporary basis to help Andrew Ellicott establish meridian (north-south) lines and orient the District to the cardinal directions, before L'Enfant arrived on the job.
Reading about the Mason-Dixon Line, you will see that one of them was a surveyor and one was an astronomer, although one can imagine a surveyor who is also an astronomer. You find when you study Masonry, that it centers around surveying and astronomy, and the building arts in general, plus some symbolism.
Consider the placement of geodetic centers on the globe. A geodetic center is the 'navel' from which measurements are made in a certain culture. Today, the accepted center is located at Greenwich, England. Apparently the Romans had a stone that is still in London that they used for measurements there. In Egypt the geodetic center was once located at Thebes (Karnak Temple), and in Greece it had been at Delphi.
"One indication of the transition of a people from nomadic wandering to a settled society is the founding of a permanent temple. Another is a switch in interest from the number seven to the number twelve, from lunar to solar calendrics, the 7-note diatonic panpipe to the 12-note chromatic scale, and other symbolic activities which informed every aspect of the culture." One examples he uses is the mythology of the founding of Thebes where the Temple of Karnak is. The suggestion is that as people settled down they threw off a 7 based system for a 12 based one.
Schneider refer's to John Michell's book Twelve Tribe Nations and claims that "there is abundant historical information to confirm that the ancients gave great importance to a twelvefold order of society. Many of these twelve tribe nations are revealed by their twelve-gated cities, myths of twelve disciples around a central figure, and cosmologically ordered royal courts".
By this line of thought, you would expect our culture to be covered up with refrences to the number twelve, while lacking in those to seven. There is mainly twelve inches, twelve hours and twelve months. I challenge you to name three cultures with twelve tribes and 12 gated cities. As you will see, all his references are literary, like King Arthur and his Round Table, or the 12 Hebrew Tribes, the 12 disciples, the 12 gods of Olympus, the New Jerusalem and the city in Ezekiel, etc.
I recommend that none of these legends suggests that cultures anywhere centered their number system on 12 rather than 7 when they settled down. As a matter of fact, in his book Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, Schneider says that, "The Bible, literary source of Western culture, contains thousands of refrences to sevens, heptarchies, and septenaries".
With seven and twelve it is not a case of either or, because you need both. Just as you need three and four. 3+4 = 7 and 3x4 = 12. Seven is the days of the week and 12 is the months, and the number of years that it takes Jupiter (King of the planets) to orbit the sun once. Stories about 12 labors of heros can refer to Jupiter or the sun and 'work'.
Curiously we find that if we divide ninety by seven, then multiply by 2 we get Thebes latitude, multiply by 3 and we arrive at the latitude of Delphi, and (90/7) x 4 equals the latitude of Greenwich. Delphi is at 38 27 north latitude, about 38.5 degrees. You will note that Jefferson located Monticello at 38 north, and that the north point of the district is located very near 39 north; one degree straddling the Delphi latitude. Monterrey, Mexico is parallel to Thebes.
It was said that L'Enfant designed a column to be located 1 mile east of the Capitol Building, where Lincoln Square is today, from which measurements would be taken. In the map at the top of the page, you can see a rhombus between the CB and Linc. Square. We find the longitude of the Capitol to be 77 25 W, and we wonder where 77 00 falls. Lincoln Sq. is 76 35, so we know that 77 degrees splits the rhombus between these two. Jefferson's Monticello is located at 38 30 W, a degree and a half to the west.
If we divide 90 by 7 then multiply 6 by we get 77 (77.14) degrees, which is also 7 x 11. 360 / 11 = 33 (32.7) degrees, the location of Charelston, S.C.
Ellicott's Topo Map of the District
(with 16th St axis in red)
Above we see Ellicott's 1793 topogrpaphic map of the ten by ten mile area of the District of Columbia. The north south axis of 16th Street is marked in red. Notice how it is aimed down the Potomac River. George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon, is located just south and west of the southern tip of the map. Washington owned hundreds of acres within this 100 mile area. His wife, Martha Custis, owned 900 acres that
is now the Arlington Cemetery, on the west bank of the Potomac.
In case it hadn't already occured to you, I will point out that 77 is twice 38.5 degrees. The real numbers are 38.57 (38 34 12 N) and 77.14 (77 08 34.25) W. Mt. Vernon is located at 38 42 40 N and 77 05 24 W, on the north shore of the river: 3 seconds east and 8.5 seconds north of that point, which is south of the river. (GW inherited Mt. Vernon when his half-brother died, so he did not pick the location; he did however choose the position of the district boundaries along with Thomas Jefferson - before L'Enfant arrived.)
The Masonic Party Line
You will please note that this is not in any way an anti-Masonic treatise. I am neither a Mason, nor am I anti-Masonic. My degree is
in Philosophy, and this is directed to the philosophically minded reader, book publisher and film maker, as well as to the curious and lovers
of puzzles in general. My intention here is to approach the subject matter from an architectural and historical, rather than an emotional and superstitous
point of view.
I will have to say, though, that I am a little disappointed in the weakness of the Masonic arguments in regard to this matter where most Masons (and Masonic apologists) appear uncharacteristically shy. The schizophrenic nature of the 'party line' is illustrated by Chric Hodap in his book, Solomon's Builders.
Recall what I wrote above, "In Magic of Obelisks, Peter Tompkins writes, "Ever since 1646, when Elias Ashmole had been the first gentleman "accepted" into the order of Masonry, the operative guilds had taken in more and more mystics and occultists with no relation to the actual building trade". What he fails to point out is that the building guilds were mystics and occultists. That is where the pagan symbols in cathedrals comes from. The suggestion is that new members were allowed into the 'school' that were not guildsmen. It implies that none of the new 'speculative' Masons were also operative Masons, or builders".
On page 6 of Hodap's book we read that, "The building of the new capitol (capital?), Washington, D.C., would give the Masons a unique opportunity to combine the modern with the ancient styles of Masonry - the new speculative Freemasonry would now have a chance to actually work in stone, erecting its own city from the ground up". If you read, you will see that it was mainly Irish operative stonemasons who did the work, so this is not completely true. What is true, is that at that time you had a division of labor where the architects separated themselves from 'workers' as a gentleman class.
AND the implication here is that the operative guilds were not 'speculative' or philosophical before. This raises the question as to when philosophical symbolism entered the system, and I am fairly certain that it predates the Grand Lodges of England. But I digress.
Hodap ends the book by saying that "Solomon's Builders still build temples on earth today, but they do not need to hew stones or erect marbile edifices. They do not need to hide cryptic messages in street maps or conceal strange symbols. The temples they build are in their own hearts and the monuments they leave behind are far more eternal than any limestone obelisk. That is the true secret of Freemasonry".
As you can see, while this will become a popular quote for Masons throughtout the world, and makes Chris a name for himself, it is about as hollow as the logic of the third degree. You will recall that Hiram was killed over a password, and that passwords only make sense if more than one person knows it, so if one person with it dies, the 'secret' is not lost. In the legend, work is suspended because of loss of a password and a Master Mason. As A.E. Waite points out, it doesn't work very well as a legend, it doesn't give you closure, and it points to further degrees.
Likewise, Hodap opens with promises of "a chance to actually work in stone", but ends with Real Masons don't need to build in stone. As you can see, this is a thinly veiled attempt to avoid having to really look at what those Masons did "from the ground up'. It looks like to me that Hodap couldn't come up with a conception of what a blend of specualtive and operative would look like that was different that 'plain' operative masonry. It would clearly involve symbolism, eh?
If you think about it, if you remove the notions of symbolism and building, it's not Masonry any more. And when you think about the Hiram myth, you will see that it doesn't involve building, it just takes place in the unfinished Temple. On the other hand, the Royal Arch legend entails building and symbolism. When the Grand Lodge of England (GLE) was formed in 1717, there were only two degrees. The third degree was added in about 1725. In 1753 a schism occured in Masonry over the inclusion of the Royal Arch degree.
The reason is obvious, Enoch makes a better Masonic and Kaballistic hero than Hiram does. The Enoch stories work on so many more levels than the Hiram ones do. And you will remember that Enoch was ordered to erect architectural structures that were intended to preserve knowledge from loss.
Serious students would do well to read up on the split between the modern and the antient factions of Masonry. The antients split from the moderns in 1753 over inclusion of the Royal Arch degree. That degree was first conferred in the US in the Fredricksburg Lodge where George Washington was raised as a Master that year. The antients were warranted mainly by the Irish Grand Lodge that supported the higher degrees, and which was producing operative stonemasons.
This would lead me to say that the moderns would agree with Hodap's assertion that real Masons don't need to build anything, or design symbolic structures, while the antients would be inclined to be builders, surveyors and carpenters who would disagree.
After proclaiming how many Masons signed this and that document and have served as president, when it comes to the subject of the Great Seal or the
Washington, D.C. map, the claim appears to be 1) that the design work was 'subbed out' to non-Masons, 2) that there was only one Mason on the committee
to influence it, and 3) that those aren't Masonic
symbols - with a footnote that reads "Although architect John Russell Pope was not a Mason, his plans naturally integrated much Masonic symbolism".
Working on a Building
Pope designed the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives Building and the Scottish Rites House of the Temple (seen above) with a thirteen tiered
unfinished pyramid on top that begs the question whether the thirteen tiered unfinished pyramid on the Great Seal is a Masonic symbol or not. The point
is that one does not have to be a Mason in order to be able to integrate Masonic symbolism into design schemes with knowledgeable Masons or Kaballists
close by (or next door).
Below we see the House of the Temple, that is the one with the square top that Dan Brown speaks of in The Lost Symbol, and at 1701 16TH St NW, a residential building known as The Chastleton, which is the one shaped like the letter G. 16th St is on the left, 15th is on the rigth, and S St is at the top. In Brown's book, they travel right on S St, then turn right on 15th, and right into the back of the HOT.
The HOT from above.
As interest in the Great Seal and DC map symbolism has grown, so has the number of arguments in what I have chosen to call the Masonic Party Line
in this regard. You have never seen the number of uses of the phrases "was not known to have been a Mason" or "their is no documentary evidence of.." as
you will see in a book or film about the seal or map. The lack of evidence is presented in just the manner that you would expect of defense attorneys.
This argument goes nowhere since JR Pope proves that 'one does not have to be a Mason in order to be able to integrate Masonic symbolism
into design schemes'. I recommend that 'although designer L'Enfant was not known to have been a Mason, his plans naturally integrated much Masonic
symbolism', just like Pope. And the same can be said of others like Jefferson; at some point the question of Masonic memebership falls to the side as an important issue.
As you can see from the title, the subject matter here is the Washington D.C. map layout, which I suggest contains Masonic and Kabbalistic Symbols. By Masonic I mean that it pertains to the notion of 'building' somehow, and Kabbalistic means that it pertains to notions of the transmission and preservation of knowledge. The quintessential Masonic/Kabbalistic legend is the one where Enoch builds two pillars in order to preserve knowledge in case of a disaster (the flood). The main kabbalistic compound symbol is the Tree of Life. In the map, the tree represents Israel and the pyramid represents Egypt, where Egypt represents material matters, like building, and Israel represents spiritual matters like theosophy.
The pharaoh wore a headdress that featured a cobra and a vulture (a serpent and a bird) that represented the upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt, but you can see that it is also the same body/spirit dichotomy that is being presented. The serpent represents the earth and the bird the sky, as well as two 'kingdoms' which were always at war, seeking to dominate one another. You can see the mythology being constructed and projected onto history.
You can also tell from the title that I intend to talk about a pentagram and pyramids. I point out that New Hampshire Avenue connects two points of the pentagram in the map, and that when you measure the angle that this generates as it crosses east/west streets it is 51+ degrees. Greenwich is located at 51.4 north latitude and the base angle of the Great Pyramid is 51.8 degrees. I recommend that inside that 51+ degree triangle in the map, the city planners included representations of the elements inside the pyramid, as well as the Tree of Life. The model that was used was Metatron's Cube which was shortened to 75% of its original height. (The map features ellipses not circles.)
Best-qualified to Ascertain These Symbols
In the recently published book entitled The United Symbolism of America, Robert Hieronimus dedicates five pages to my work. He includes the image of the pyramid compared to the map, and the one of the cathedral plan and the map. Earlier in the book, he had called David Ovason "probably the best-qualified writer on the market to ascertain these symbols in Washington, D.C.". I offer a review of some of these writers.
In the early 1990's, Ed Decker published a pamphlet entitled The Question of Freemasonry, which asked if Masonry and Christianity could be compatible? He publishes that on the internet in 1995 saying that there was a pentagram, compasses and a square 'hidden' in the map. As it turns out, he got the idea from Charles Westbrook who had published a small book.
At that time I wrote that if you use a note card, or something with a square corner, and put it on what is supposed to be a square in the map, it is not really 'square' (90 degrees) there. Also, the compasses are set to 39 degrees, which other than being the latitude of the tip of the District of Columbia boundary is not a 'popular' angle. Looking at depictions of that square and compasses, you see that the scale is not right, the legs of the compasses are too long. It is hard not to see the pentagram however.
The next person to come along to write about D.C. in a big way was David Ovason. But he, like several after him, writes about D.C., but never really discusses symbols in the map itself, which is what I am doing. I hope to show that I am in fact, the best-qualified writer on the market to ascertain these symbols in the D.C. map.
In case you are new to the study of the D.C. map, I will walk you through the animation above where we see the map as two layers; one an orthogonal east/west, north/south gird, and the other a set of diagonal lines which get more disorganized the further you are from the pentagram. As a matter of fact, connecting the points of the pentagram forms the grid of diagonal streets.
In the field of design, this is called polygonal projection where the sides of a polygon are projected to provide the regulating lines for a plan. You can use triangles, or hexagons, or squares, or in this case a shortened pentagram.
[Note that any mention of the pentagram is conspicuously absent from Ovason's book. To be qualified to talk about the symbols, you need to first talk about them. If you don't, you aren't. It's simple.]
Away from the pentagram Pennsylvania Ave is bent because the Capitol Building is too far north, Mass Ave is bent because Lincoln Square is too far west, and Virginia Ave is directed at the Wash Mmt from Georgetown and the river. The only regular part of the map is around the pentagram.
[I trust that you understand what I mean when I say the pentagram? I hope that you are still able to see that with one of 15 segments missing. Just as I trust that you can see the large triangle even though only the left side is being depicted since the map is symmetrical around 16th St. You should be able to see the hexagon with the top point on Scott Circle too, overlapping the pentagram and centered on the White House. If you can't see the pentagram, I am in trouble here.]
If the CB had been 600 feet south, Penn Ave would have been straight all the way. As it is now, the section between the CB and WH forms a 19.5 degree angle. The statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol is 19.5 feet tall. Thomas Jefferson is 19 feet tall in the memorial to him. The sine of 19.47 degrees is .333. The building was moved because the planned location fell on the south side of Jenkins Heights. (Or was it? Cue organ music. Fade to black.)
What I am suggesting is that the bearing of the segments of Penn Ave that connect to the Capitol Building are bent because it was displaced for topographic reasons. If you read Secret Architecture of Nation's Capital, you see David Ovason suggest that the line between the CB and the WH was the first line that was drawn on the map, in order to align to a sunset. You will also see that the reason for this 'exact' alignment was in order to match a triangle of stars in the sky that surround the Virgo constellation.
Ovason uses several different images of the sky to illustrate that triangle and the constellation; here are two. Notice that one shows the Virgo inside a triangle and the other shows it cut in half. His editor decided that it would be more sexy to say 'surrounds the Virgo' constellation than 'cuts the Virgo in half'. On page 263 he recommends that the 'final placing' of the Washington Monument was really in order to better match the star pattern in the sky.
You can see a map of the mall below, including the 19.5 degree angle. Try putting a protractor on his images above and see if you don't get about 35 degrees. I am NOT making this up. If you have not read THAT book, you can know that THIS is what he is proclaiming. If the angle on the ground doesn't match the angle in the sky, what is exact about the bearing of Penn Ave?
And why hasn't anybody else said anything about this? Even after I showed this to Robert Hieronimus, he still published in his book, that the angle of Pennsylvania Avenue was set to match a triangle of stars in the sky, and that David Ovason was the first person to show this. This what? It doesn't work!! It is intellectually dishonest to continue saying that; you lie (as some one recently said).
If you have read the book, you will know that this is about as close as David Ovason ever comes to examining symbols in the Washington D.C. planning map itself. Dan Brown almost completely avoided talking about the map in his new book, and certainly doesn't attempt to discuss any of the symbols there - other than one supposed cross. The cross that is formed by the White House, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building.
Note that the Washington Monument was moved 371+ feet to the east, and 123+ feet south, so that the line from the CB to the Linc Mml through the Wash Mmt runs downhill (south) one degree from due west. Also a straight line does not connect the WH, Jeff Mml and the Wash Mmt. The image that you see above is the source of the fiction about a 'perfect cross' in the map.
That is the 1901 McMillan Plan, and if you take one look at the real modern map, you can see that it looks nothing like that, but that doesn't stop people from refering to it as if it is the map. Consider this page that refers to the 1901 plan as "The Mall overhead view", which it IS NOT. On that page they proceed to locate the spheres of the Tree of Life on the McMillan Plan as if it were how the map looks. (Scroll up and down this page and look at about a dozen images of the map, and see that it looks nothing like this today.)
Notice that those geniuses claim that "In NEWS1040, we broke the story that the street layout connecting the White House with the Capitol was originally laid out by Masonic architect, L'Enfant in 1792, so that the streets formed the evil Goats Head of Mendes Pentagram encompassing the White House -- plus the Masonic Compass, Square, and Rule from the White House to the Capitol". They broke the story (on the web) about symbols in the map, just after Al Gore invented the Internet, maybe before.
You wanna say it with me this time? "You lie!". As I point out, Charles Westbrook published a small pamphlet, from which Ed Decker borrowed and published his own pamphlet ('92). Decker published that on line before 1995.
If you look Real Close you will see that the plan included a square structure at the 'crossing point' (probably inspired by a Christian). Notice how the McMillan Plan has a circle south of the White House, where there is an Ellipse today. They never got the memo about the fact that all the features in the map have been shortened; circles became ellipses. Even with a recentering, that monument would still be over 120 feet south of the due west line from the CB.
The above is taken from "The Temple and the Lodge" by Baigent and Leigh, authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", and is supposed to depict octogons in the DC map?? We are reminded of the attempt below to place Kircher's version of the Tree of Life on 16th Street.
Here is what James Wasserman has to say about The Secrets of Masonic Washington D.C.; and I mean this is it - one paragraph.
"Hidden in plain sight: thus would I describe the esoteric and occult symbolism of the sacred space of Washington, D.C. Sit down with a map of the city, pencil, ruler, protractor, and a pair of compasses. You can draw pentagrams and hexagrams, triangles, crosses, circles, and other multiangled geometrical constructs that will fill the pages of books and websites with potentially erudite speculation and amazing detail. Many people have and many more undoubtably will. "
[Hidden in plain sight. Dan Brown uses that same idea when writing about the words on the tip of the pyramid on top of the Washington Monument. The phrase is used in all the web sites that talk about the cross in the map, as they all eventually lead to the top of the monument. But where the phrase comes from is Umberto Eco's book "Foucault's Pendulum" which contains every theme Dan Brown has ever used in his books. I recommend it.]
That means that he, like Ovason and Brown doesn't really care to deal with the map. And as to the 'many people' filling pages of books and websites about constructs in the map, I welcome you to name three. As I don't count Nicholas Mann or Charles Westbrook who are not clear about many of the issues involved in this study, that pretty much leaves just me. Below we see Westbrook's Tree of Life with 9 spheres.
Nicholas Mann recommends that L'Enfant was forced to make changes to his first draft (June 22, 1791) of the map, and that today's map does not reflect the artists original intentions. He therefore limits his discussion to that map, which doesn't even relate to today's city? Go figure. He recommends that emphasizing the 16th Street axis is causing all of America's problems, and that things would straighten right up if we simply empasize Capitol Street instead. Yes he is friends with Lawler and Michell. Surveyors please note that Mann suggests that surveying circles with diameters of a mile would be simple like using a piece of string to draw a circle around a point in the sand?
Above we see how Mann envisions the plan. Remember that this is the June map that got revised. Mann recommends that there is no pentagram in today's DC map, yet submits that L'Enfant projected them to the east? Once again, Mann suggests that L'Enfant was forced to make changes to this map, so he doesn't even analyze the modern plan.
Gary Osborn posted this webpage in 2005 that talks about the pyramid and Tree of Life in the map. See the footnotes at the bottom where he credits me. Notice how he fails to mention the bend in Pennsylvania Avenue, except in the foot notes. One of his images still reads "Figure 11: The 52-degree triangle, a 2D image of the Great Pyramid of Giza, with the west bank of the Potomac River at the left corner, the Capitol Building at the right corner". The Capitol is NOT on the right corner as you can see. I corrected one of Gary's posts for him where he had suggested that the Washington Monument had been moved to America from Egypt? Yikes!
Here is the thread where I post online about the error after having found it, and emailed Gary, and posted a comment on his web page. As he is not a big internet person, the messages pile up before Gary gets back to 'explain' that as a typo? "Note the location of the Washington Monument, which incidentally, is one of three ancient Egyptian obelisks taken from Luxor in Egypt (the other two standing in Paris and St Peterís Square in Rome)." from www.freewebs.com/garyosborn/thewashingtonpyramid.htm THAT is NOT a TYPO, that is an error in judgement to post about something that you know absolutely nothing about.
Jim Alison? He suggests that the city planners laid the city out using "a grid aligned to the cardinal directions, with lengths in even units of 900, 1200 and 1800 meters", and that that grid "provides a simple and accurate key to the location of the main buildings and monuments in the city and the slopes, angles and distances of the diagonal avenues". That is, he is suggesting that the planners used a grid with three different sized cells? Notice that Scott Circle and the tip of the pyramid in the map do not fall where lines cross. The Capitol is not centered either. It is easy to show that Scott Circle is half way betwen the top of the traingle and the WH, and that east west lines at these three set up the grid for the map.
Consider this from self described archaeologist, cartographer, and adventurer Cort Lindadhl entitled The Geomancy of the Washington D.C. city limits. Notice that Cort has tagged Dan Brown's name and the words Lost Symmbol on his title in honor of the new book, just like Gary Osborne did.
Symbolic Masonic Architecture A Lost Art?
Authors like Jonathan Hale, Herbert Bangs, John Michell, and William Stirling are fond of writing about the 'lost art' of Symbolic Masonic Architecture. In Stirling's book The Canon, he recommends that when the Protestant Reformation pretty much put Cathedral builders out of work and there was no longer a need for architects instructed in the theological mysteries, "the secret methods of all previous temple builders left in the hands of Freemasons fell into disuse and were gradually forgotten".
Dan Brown tells us that, "Unfortunately, modern man has lost the ability to deciper this complex network of symbolism and the great truth has been lost". (LS page 407). This is the lost word idea that comes from page 10 of The CANON (1897), "Few people have an adequate appreciation of this lost principle, the art of working symbolically".
In Magic of Obelisks, Peter Tompkins writes, "Ever since 1646, when Elias Ashmole had been the first gentleman "accepted" into the order of Masonry, the operative guilds had taken in more and more mystics and occultists with no relation to the actual building trade". What he fails to point out is that the building guilds were mystics and occultists. That is where the pagan symbols in cathedrals comes from. The suggestion is that new members were allowed into the 'school' that were not guildsmen. It implies that none of the new 'speculative' Masons were also operative Masons, or builders.
I suggest that a very quick look (depending on how fast you read) at the Washington D.C. map will prove this not to be true. I offer a comparison of the DC planning map with the plan for the Milan Cathedral (1521) and the cross-section image of the Great Pyramid as direct links to the past. Elements in the map appear to correlate with features in the Great Pyramid, including the Great Step at the top of the Grand Gallery (Penn Ave), and the relieving stones and chambers.
Further down the page there is an animation where I overlay the pyramid image onto the planning map. The first question that comes to mind is what is there under the river that might correlate to the subterranean chamber? The next question is, does it look like the relieving stones are being depicted or not? Because those weren't discovered until 1836, and the map was published in 1792!! That leads us to ask, what other features of the pyramid that we don't know about yet might be depicted in the planning map?
Continue to a discussion of Geometric Design Principles and the Aztec Calendar Stone, the Sri Yantra, and the Bible.
Speaking of Operative Masons, Tompkins writes that Christopher Wren had been the last Great Master of the actual builders, and that he left his post in 1702 for religous reasons. The DC map plan was published in 1792. Consider what Tompkins writes of the new accepted Masons, that they considered themselves the perpetuators of the ancient mysteries of Egypt with its higher science and deeper understanding of the secrets of nature passed down to Gnostics, Neoplatonists and Templars.
Note that while Brown writes of a 'lost symbol' and focuses narrowly on the Washington Monument, it should be clear that the art is alive and well in DC. The page linked to above also contains an analysis of the round Templar Church from The Da Vinci Code, and the Washington National Cathedral from The Lost Symbol, begun on Sept 29, 1907.
Kaballistic Themes on Film
Whenever we think of symbolic architecture, we think of Enoch who was told of the upcoming Flood and ordered to build two pillars or columns on which to preserve the whole of human knowledge. Enoch is the Godfather of Symbolic Architecture and Freemasonry, and the original mandate to build symbolic monuments comes from God (in this story). Architecture is an observable representation of what occultists would call the Secret Tradition. The Kaballah was originally an oral version of this.
I recommend that Kaballists take another look at the Beyond the Thunderdome movie. Remember that early Kaballah was an oral tradition passed on from mouth to ear, from generation to generation. Two of the main Kaballistic themes are the Journey of the Soul and the Preservation and Transmission of Knowledge. One is an individual's story, the other is the story of a group.
The archetypical Kaballistic legend is the story of Enoch, where he buries a cube with the Name of God insribed on it. As the legend goes, when the Hebrews were in exile without a temple and no where to perform their Ritual, the Name of God was 'lost' or forgotten. Upon returning from exile, and during preparations for the building of a new Temple, Enoch's Cube was 'discovered'.
In the movie, we see that the young people in the desert have lost the 'knowing' that others that went before had, even though they do 'the tell' nightly still. Max is the one who points them to the city which we see in this clip. Please rewatch the end of the movie and consider it as a Kabllistic Legend. We see the individual, the group, and the themes of preservation and transmission of knowledge.
This ain't one bodies tell, it's the tell of us all...
Without much trouble you can redraw the plan to see what it would look like with the CB moved and Mass Ave straightend. For this reason, we will call the area around the pentagram the correct section of the map. New Hampshire Avenue connects two points of the pentagram and aims at Arlington Cemetery. This is one side of a triangle that has the same base angles as the Great Pyramid. We see a tetrahedron being depicted from above (centered on Scott Circle).
The pentagram reminds us also of Tut's death mask and the sphinx in front of a pyramid. The features in the map appear to be representing elements inside the Great Pyramid. The last frame reiterates what I said about the pentagram being the correct part of the map. There we see that the line of New Hampshire Ave has been projected across the river to Alrington and back to the Ellipse, by way of the Lincoln Memorial, placed on the line from the CB passed the Wash Mmt.
Here the right side of the pentagram points to the ideal location of the CB on the straightened Penn Ave. Had the CB been here, the Jefferson Memorial and Maryland Ave would have both been further to the south. Where the red line is, as a matter of fact! And when you look at that red line, you see that it is aiming in the 'front' door of the Pentagon. When the Pentagon and Lincoln Memorials were built, they were positioned so that Memorial Drive and the alignment of the Pentagon matched the bearings of New York and Rhode Island Avenues.
Below we see circles centered on the Ellipse, where the line from Arlington Cemetery through the Lincoln Memorial is pointing. The inner circle falls on the ideal location of the CB, where the line from the right side of the pentagram crosses Penn Ave, and it touches the top of the triangle. The outer circle crosses the center of the Pentagon and the point where Memorial and the line from New Hampshire meet.
Pentagrams, hexagrams, triangles, crosses and circles.
Note that the bearings of all those diagonal streets from the pentagram are forming about 23 degree angles with east-west streets, that is the angle of the tropics. At the latitude of DC, that is the location of the sunrises and sunset on cross quarter days, half-way between the equinoxes and solstices.
When David Ovason talks about the sunset over Pennsylvania Avenue on August the 10th every year, he recommends that Penn Ave and the city were aligned to that one sunset on that one day; but if you know anything about astronomy and the movements of the sun, you know that is sets there twice each year. He never mentions the fact that Maryland Ave is symmetrical to Penn Ave at the Capitol Building, so that looking west you see the cross quarter sunsets down Penn and Maryland Ave's in Aug, May, Feb and Nov.
Some of you will recognize these as what are called Witches Sabbaths. Archaeologists have pointed out that before the year was reckoned from solstice to solstice, it was reckoned by cross-quarter days half way between solstices and equinoxes. At the time there was what has been called a May/November year. The May celebration coincides with or May Day and Cinco de Mayo festivals, while the November date is our Halloween.
Above we see Charles Westbrook label three sets of line 'solstice'. The problem is that the lines are not all parallel. Also, at the equator, the solstice occurs 23.5 degrees from the equator, at the latitude of D.C., the equinox occurs 31 degrees from there.
Ancient and Modern
Looking at the map we don't see the solstices emphasized (they would occur 31 degrees from due east/west), but rather we see the quarter days marked. This appears to a nod to the pagan Celtic traditions. We are reminded of the 1753 schism in English Masonry between the moderns and the ancients that turned mainly around the idea of whether or not to make the Royal Arch Degree a part of 'blue' Masonry.
The ancients were suggesting that the moderns were straying from the old traditions, and were insisting upon the inclusion of the Royal Arch Degree which features the Patriarch Enoch. The moderns were insisting on limiting the number of degrees to three. As a result eventually see the formation of the York Rite and Scottish Rite, each with there own version of the Royal Arch Degree, and a compromise and reunion in 1813 in England. In the reunified version , the RAD is a sort of merit badge.
But back to the map; the Royal Arch was first conferred in the US in the Fredrickburg Lodge where George Washington was a member. Lodges that supported the higher degrees were affiliated with the ancients and were getting their charters from the Grand Lodge of Ireland which was promoting them. We also see that the stone masons doing much of the work in D.C. were Irish and formed their own lodge there. The choice of the Celtic quarter days as aligment points seems a logical symbolic choice for that group.
You should note that the York Rite is open to Christians, while the Scottish Rite only insists on the belief in a Supreme Being; in other words, they are Deists. When it comes down to it, the difference is that the Scottish Rite sees scripture as allegorical teaching tools, while the York Rite insist on a historical interpretation of the Bible. Which brings us back to Ed Decker's question about the compatibility of Masonry and Christianity.
The short answer is that there are certain groups that allow any 'believers' and there are those aimed at Christians. Unfortunately for the discussion, Decker doesn't pinpoint this distinction, but aims his anti-Masonic attack at Albert Pike and the Scottish Rite. After listening to him you get the feeling that there is no Christian Masonic Rite, which is not true.
I will have to say that from the perspective of people who are intolerant of those who do not adopt their religous point of view, that the Scottish Rite would be the ones to attack, as the hallmark of the rite is Religous Freedom and Tolerance. Every one knows that the last thing that fundamentalists of any kind can stand is freedom of religion and tolerance for the views of others. You also know that they are the very first to volunteer as judge, jury and executioner.
Let me put it another way, it is not likely that a Scottish Rite Mason will disrupt your meeting by shouting "God is great", and then shooting people. But, if you hear that the shooter was Islamic, or a fundamentalist Jew or Christian, you don't think about it for a minute, and it seems 'natural' then.
[The Deity is not an object of Knowledge, but of faith, not to be appraoched by understanding. The Divine Nature is a theme on which man is little entitled to dogmatize, and yet it is here that man most dogmatizes, classifies and describes God's attributes, maps out God's nature, and his inventories of God's qualities, feelings, impulses and passions; and then hangs and burns his brother, who as dogmatically as he, makes out a different map and inventory." Albert Pike p 222 Morals and Dogma]
The fact is that the Scottish Rite headquarters is located in the top portion of the triangle in the DC map, and that the SR sees itself as a continuation of the Ancient Mysteries and endorses the Kaballah. The Rite was formed and the first 33rd degree conferred in Charleston, SC at 33 degrees latitude in 1801. James Hoban, an Irish Mason Architect was working in Charleston before coming to Washington to work. He helped form a lodge there (DC). The SR moved to DC following the War Betwen the States. As the Royal Arch was first conferred in the lodge where Washington was a member, we can safely presume that they and Hoban and the Irish Masons were a big part of bringing that to DC.
What I am suggesting is that the Masons around DC at the time of the planning and initial construction phase were mainly Kaballists, and that is where the symbolism comes from. The pyramid and Tree of Life are not Christian images, and I take issue with the comment that David Ovason makes about 'commited Christians', by which I presume he means the historical interpretation, literal Bible. Yet when he describes the city, he recommends that it was "designed and built on Christian hermetic principles derived from or linked with ancient cosmological ideas".
Please know that 'Christian hermetic priciples' is code for Kaballah. See Fulcanelli's book about Alchemy and pagan symbology in Cathedrals, and William Strling's Canon. Stirling writes that the esoteric doctrine of the Cathedral Builders was the Kaballah, and that the number symbology in it helped inform their works. And when he says 'linked with ancient cosmological ideas', he means astrology.
Continue to a short page where I look at the Hermetic Christian tradition and analyze the front of the Nortre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Recently I have been working on a page that deals with 'the feeding of the 5000' in the New Testament of the Bible. Right now that is embedded within a section about Geometric Design Principles, but I am going to make it into a new section soon. The Christian Hermetic tradition is closely related to Geometry and Gematria as is the Kabbalah. In this section I look at geometry riddles in the Bible.
While it is true that the streets number and letter beginning at the Capitol Building, it should be clear that 16th Street is the main north south axis. Also, the distric boundary and meridian lines were being laid out for weeks before L'Enfant arrived on the site, so it is not true that L'Enfant laid the center of the city out, then determined the border. And since Mr Bannekker left in early 1791, it is not possible for him to have saved the day by drawing the map from memory in 1792, when L'Enfant was fired. The Benjamin who helped with the drafting was Benjamin Ellicott, Andrew's brother.
The timeline that I develop does not support the idea that Ellicott significantly altered L'Enfant's map. This idea is introduced
in an alternate timeline developed by Richard M. Stephenson (a former employee of the LOC) in an 85 page book called A Plan Whol[l]y New: Pierre Charles L'Enfant's Plan of the City of Washington (1973). The Stephenson timeline is used by the Corps of Engineers in writing about the L'Enfant plan, as well as by Nicholas Mann, author of The Sacred Geometry of Washington DC. In a critique of Stephenson's book I defend the idea that it was L'Enfant that introduced the changes into the map that have been attributed to the Ellicott brothers.
* Library of Congress Map Collection search results for
"washington, d.c." -
These, along with the collected letters of the Founding Fathers, will provide the primary documents for this study. Note that you can toggle between
the list and gallery views.
Why the Bend in Pennsylvania Avenue?
Looking further down the page you can see another animated image where I overlay the pyramid cross section onto the map to measure the 'fit'. In the image above we see that connecting the points of the pentagram also produces a grid of parallel (red) lines. Projecting Pennsylvania and Mass. Avenues as straight lines to the southeast show both of those to be bent. Penn Ave is bent because the Capitol has been located so far north. It was moved because the planned location fell on the steep side of Jenkins Heights.
Had the CB been a few hundred feet to the south Penn Ave would be straight there and match the pentagram grid. A (red) line connecting the points on the right side of the pentagram helps locate the ideal position of the CB. The last frame of the animation shows the map after 1943 when the Pentagon Building was built. There we see that New Hampshire Avenue is extended to Arlington Cemetery, then is reflected back to the Ellipse via Memorial Drive and the Lincoln Memorial, at the same angle as the pentagram grid. We also see the front side of the Pentagon directed to the ideal CB location at this same angle.
We conclude from this that the pentagram produces a grid of lines which serve as the regulating lines for the design of the DC map. Also that Pennsylvania Ave is bent for topographic reasons. Since the designed location fell on the side of a steep hill, it was moved north a bit, so that two segments of PA don't match the grid. The new location produces a 19.5 degree angle with the WH; and the sine of 19.5 is .3333. Elements in the post 1943 map were designed so as to bring parts of the map back into alignment with the pentagram grid.
Scott Circle and the Tree of Life
If you focus your attention on Scott Circle north of the White House, where Massachusetts and Rhode Island Avenues cross, you can see that it represents the center of a triangle with crossing diagonals. The designers of the map began with the figure of an equilateral triangle, including the diagonals which bisect both the internal angles and the opposite sides, and they shortened it, so as to represent the pyramid cross-section. If the image were not shortened, it would represent a 'top' view of a tetrahedron; or conversely, you can see a shortened version of a top view of a tetrahedron.
That is, the pentagram and the triangle are intimately related, and all the elements in the map are short and wide, like the Ellipse located south of the White House. Notice how extending the sides of the hexagon inscribed in the circle below locates the top points of the pentagram.
Lines which bisect the angles of an equilateral triangle also bisect the opposite sides. As the angles are all 60 degrees in that triangle, the diagonals generate 30 degree angles. When an equilateral triangle (with its diagonals) is shortened so that the base angles are ~52 degrees, the diagonals become 23+ degrees like the tropics. The Great Pyramid is located at 30 degrees north latitutde and has 52 degree base angles.
Scott Circle was a point in a circle in a hexagram before it was shortened. The fact that the McMillan plan was drawn with a circle south of the WH indicates that they were not 'in' on the symbolism. The image above compares the 1522 Milan Cathedral plan (including regulating lines) and the DC planning map. Both can be seen to be based on the triangular
Gates of Light form of the Tree of Life; the
Kircher tree does not work here. The cathedral plan uses an equilateral triangle and the map uses an isosceles triangle with ~52 degree base angles. See once again how extending the sides of the hexagon inscribed in the circle locates the top points of the pentagram, and how this form of the tree features an overlapping hexagram and pentagram.
The Ideal Template for the Map
Displacing the CB bends both Penn and Maryland Aves
The pentagram not only defines the regulating lines, but it also sets the scale for the map plan. The wide points of the pentagram
are the same distance east-west from each other as the WH and CB are. The point where Penn Ave meets the East Branch is the same distance east of the CB.
Penn Ave and N St intersect in Georgetown that distance west of the WH. If the Capitol had been 600 feet south, the development of the 23 degree rhombus
grid containing the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and Metatron's Cube in the map would have looked like
I recommend that the image on the right below is the ideal template used by the map planners, with a few changes, like the large triangle was reduced so
that the base angles were ~ 52 degrees like the Great Pyramid; this is why the figures in the map (pentagram and hexagram and triangles) are short and
wide. This figure uses three overlapping circles to produce a circle centered on the central circle but twice its size. The upper and lower circles with
the outer circle figure to us the yin/yang emblem.
The Tree of Life on the Dodecahedron on Metatron's Cube
We can also see the tetractys, the vesica, the rhombus, the cube, the Star of David, the Tree of Life (10 spheres) and Metatron's Cube (13 points), which is itself related to the platonic solids. Note again, that the tree shape that works here is the A-shaped Tree of Life and not the H-shaped Kircher version of the tree. The image on the left shows the relationship between this form of the tree and the dodecahedron and Metatron's Cube. Note how the pentagonal faces triangulate and form the illusion of the hexagon and cube.
The Tree of Life represents the relationship of the One to the Many (Essence to Existence) and is here composed of a pentagon overlapping a hexagon. The hexagon, which can be seen as a cube, represents the macrocosm and the pentagram, associated with the dodecahedron, represents the microcosm. Here we see the same idea developed by M.C. Escher.
3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Below we see this template on the western half of the DC map, shortened so that the triangle simulates the pyramid cross-section. We also know that the
Washington Monument is east and south of its ideal location, in order to better represent the Queen's Chamber in the map/pyramid. The Capitol Building is
also about 600 feet north of its ideal location, for topographic reasons. The only major point that appears to be missing is the one opposite to the
Capitol on the west bank of the Potomac.
Concerning the pentagram in the map, you will note that it consists of 5 crossing lines that produce a total of 15 segments. One of those line segments is missing, but it does not keep us from recognizing the pentagram, just as having only half the triangle does not keep us from visualizing that as complete. The lamest of all the arguments concerning the map, is that that one missing segment (of 15) invalidates the pentagram in the map; and the lamest presentation of that argument is delivered here by Robert Hieronymus, where he suggests that the pentagram 'doesn't have laygs'. Click the image for sound.
He talks about drawing his own lines? Why would you need to do that? If you look at this image, you can see that the section that was left out ran in the low area of Rock Creek there (for what that's worth). No legs? What the heck does that even mean? Its missing one segment of fifteen. It is hard to conduct serious scholarship in this environment Robert, but you can tell us about the 'seven layers of meaning' again if you want. :-(
The image that you see above comes from page 169 of Chris Hodap's book "Solomon's Builder's", and illustrates how Rhode Island Avenue does not run all the way to Washington Circle. [You will note that Chris has chosen to use the June 1791 map as an illustration. That map was revised and never used. Compare the image here with the one at the top of the page, and see "DC Map Timeline" above.] Above that it reads, the question is whether the pentagram really appears at all and the answer is not really. What is sad is that this is about all these two have to say about the geometry of Washington DC between the two of them, and this is just silliness.
Brent Morris, who pretends to be a scholar too, chimes in with the idea that to his recollection magical signs and sigil needed to be complete to work, and since the pentagram wasn't complete it couldn't be a magical or satantic sign, therefore Masons are not Satanic or magicians. Actually he puts it in the form of a question, which is: if magical signs need to be complete to work, and if Masons are supposed to be so all powerful, why couldn't they make a complete pentagram?
If you look you will see that Mason Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published a partial printing his play "Faustus" in 1790; a play that the earliest forms of which, known as the Urfaust, were developed between 1772 and 1775. In Goethe's Faust, the pentagram prevents Mephistopheles from leaving a room -
Mephistopheles: Let me own up! I cannot go away; a little hindrance bids me stay. The Witch's foot upon your sill I see. Faust: The pentagram? That's in your way? You son of Hell explain to me, if that stays you, how came you in today? And how was such a spirit so betrayed? Mephistopheles: Observe it closely! It is not well made; one angle, on the outer side of it, is just a little open, as you see.
This suggests that while the pentagram is generally understood to be a tool for protection, to ward off, or keep evil at bay, the broken pentagram is a symbol of magical invocation, of capturing or containment; a symbolic means of a controlling ensnarement.
The open pentagram is a snare.
Emblems with Symbolic Significance
Herein I suggest that the appearance of symbols in the Washington, D.C. landscape as well as in the U.S. Great Seal (seen on the back of
the one dollar bill) is neither accidental nor coincidental, but is a strategem illustrating Allegories Rich in Coded Messages composed by and
addressed to a few knowledgeable individuals, just as we see in
Remember that it is the ability to interpret the esoteric symbolism that separates members from non-members, and masters from apprentices.
Encoding the esoteric (secret) teachings as a means of segregating the inner circle from 'them that are without' is not an uncommon practice, and is
referred to as 'the doctrine of exclusion'.
From "The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry" by AE Waite:
"Masonry is described as belonging to the realm of Allegory and Symbolism from which it should follow that it has one meaning on the surface and another beneath, while in the logic of this world of images it is held that things which are within are greater than those without, some secret matter not imparted ligthly or some vital truth which is capable of illustration and adornment by recourse to images and types. We deal in Scripture with substitutes and veilings everywhere."
One part of the ancient mysteries (the so-called lesser ones) was astronomical as we see in the Hiram
legend, while the other (the greater mysteries) was theosophical as in the Royal Arch stories which feature Enoch. Theosophy is concerned with "the
mystery of the kingdom of God', which like mathematics, geometry and symbolic thinking is beyond the capabilties of some people.
"And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are
done in parables... Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" The suggestion is clearly that the message has been composed
on at least two levels as some of the content is not meant for everybody. Remember that when you read the exoteric official explanations of
the symbols in the Great Seal; or when you read that the thirteen step pyramid signifies Strength and Duration and that's all.
I stop short of recommending that these symbols were designed to serve as talismen or instruments of dominion over nature (that is for purposes
of magic or practical geomancy) as some have done, saying only that they were
intended as contemplative and meditative glyphs accompanying and illustrating legends, like all Masonic and Kaballistic symbols.
Much of what has previously been written online about elements of the DC landscape has been done so in the 'tabloid style', meant as an indictment of
Masonry, and intended to cause a sensation- you will find none of that here. I intend to look at the symbols in the DC map and US Great Seal as forms
of heraldry, without trying to prove occult intent. [There will be time for that later :-)] A national symbol like the Great Seal, is built up in the same way as a herald designing a coat of arms.
Akhnaton was an 18th Dynasty Egyptian King who instituted a short lived religous reform. The problem was that he was a monotheist, and most of the people were polytheists. This derived from the fact that political unity had been bought at the price of including everyone's local deity into the religion. Akhnaton mandated a Universal relgion which used the sun as the outward symbol of the invisible infinite deity. When he was 'voted out' his religous system was over-turned. In a page that I am calling Moses Was an Egyptian I echo the assertion that Moses and the Levites were priests of the Aton religion that may have been forced out of Egypt in the revolt.
I think that you can appreciate the historical richness presented on this page which suggests that, "The enlightenment philosophy embraced by Jefferson,
Madison, Franklin, and other engineers of American Democracy evolved from the same Rosicrucian roots that Freemasonry did".
* The Symbols of America - "There are those who argue that despite
appearances, the Masonic looking symbolism is pure accident." It is probably not an accident that reformer Martin Luther chose a rose and cross for his
personal emblem . The fact is that Masonry, Rosicrucianism and their symbols and legends were a large part
of the intellectual climate of the day in the 1790's; as was neo-classism.
Temple Architecture and Pagan Symbolism of Washington, DC - According to this page, "The Roman Pantheon, with it's classical portico and pediment,
was the model for the Capitol's original dome and rotunda. Classical temples and their libraries were the models for the buildings of Washington, DC."
* Goddesses, Eagles, and Coins - "The new republic of the United
States went beyond its Capitol city's architecture being full of classical themes; its coins adopted classical mythology and some of its politics for its
It is also true as A.E. Waite says that, "Since Masonry appeared on the historical plane, occultists and mystics have tended towards it, it has received
them amiably, and all have elaborated the system in accordance with their particular notions." This means that there are multiple versions of Masonry,
like the Kaballah and Christianity.
Consider this neo-classical interpetation of the Greek legend where the soul comes from and returns to the stars via seven planetary spheres. In Masonry
this is depicted as a ladder and as a spiral stair case. This is the pulpit from St Paul's
Chapel in NYC attended by both Washington and L'Enfant.
(See L'Enfant and the Iconography of Independence which
discusses emerging American values.)
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
All God's Children go to Heaven.
Here we have the earth represented by the checkered floor, the seven steps, and the heavens at the top for a total of nine arcs, arks or arches as we see
in the Royal Arch legend. Pure Masonic/Kaballistic imagery. Adding the four directions we get a total of thirteen.
The Scottish Rites
Please see this web page about
the differnce between the Scottish and York Rites. "It is in the focus of their objectives that the two organizations can most easily be seen to differ. Scottish Rite Masonry is the champion of individual freedoms and citizenship rights as well as responsibilities. York Rite Masonry in its concluding Degrees or Orders is the champion of Christianity. A man must pledge to defend Christianity to become a Knight Templar Freemason in the York Rite. Good men of other religions (Jews, Moslems, Hindus, etc.) believing in Deity may become Scottish Rite Masons." Reckon a Christian wrote that? The implication is that a Christian wouldn't consider joining the Scottish Rite.
Some one else writes, "I don't have personal experience here, but from all I have read, The York Rite is a continuation of the Blue Lodge degrees, and as such, completes and perfects the three Blue Lodge degrees. the YR contains some of the most beautiful degrees in the entire Fraternity, culminating in a branch open to Christians only which deals with the history and legend of the Knights Templar. Though orders of knighthood are conferred in the SR as well, no doubt they pale in comparison with the crown jewel of YR degrees. If you like studying philosophy, the Scottish Rite is for you".
Again, the implication is that the SR is NOT a continuation of the Blue Lodge degrees as the YR is. I feel confident that most knowledgeable Masons will tell you that the Royal Arch degree is indeed a continuation of the first three degrees, and that we find versions of that in both the York and Scottish Rites.
The Scottish Rites is a branch of Masonry that is based in DC and embraces both the ancient mysteries and the kaballah. The Royal Arch Degree, the crown
jewel of the Scottish Rites, is the the thirteenth SR degree, and was first conferred (1753) in the US in the Fredericksburg, Va. Lodge where George
Washington was a member. Here we see President Washington with an apron trimmed in red, as well as the red sash and triangle jewel that deonotes the Royal
While the Scottish Rites were not organized in the US until 1801, the theosophical and kaballistic ideas on which it was founded already existed in the
Royal Arch Degree and lodges that supported that. Remember that Craft or Speculative Masonry deals with Hiram and the building of Solomon's Temple, while
the Royal Arch pertains to Enoch and the second temple. Below we see the red and the equilateral triangle that we saw in the Washington image above. This
same emblem is on the the west face of the SR House of the Temple.
"The tradition of the kabbalists and gnostics is not merely a collection of facts or beliefs jealously guarded by masonic and other hermetic
groups, but consists of a method whereby certain incommunicable knowledge can be gained through a course of study in preparation for
induced moments of perception, in which aspects of the hidden universe stand out clear and orderly to the inner mind... Revelation comes
to those who invoke it through intense studies and a lively curiosity of mind." - John Michell
The Workings of Freemasonry
The fact of the matter is that, if there are Emblems with Symbolic Significance embedded in the DC Map layout and US Great Seal, ANDif you want to be able to understand the nature of that significance to the designer(s) THEN you need to learn to understand the concepts
implied in the design from the point of view of the designers- and you can't do that 'from the outside', that is, at the same time as you are
attacking the moral rectitude of the symbolisms involved there in.
This means that really understanding the symbology involved in the DC planning map necessarily requires an understanding of the workings
of Freemasonry (especially the Scottish Rites) and the Kaballah
(embraced by the Scottish Rites), as the symbols in the map and seal are both Masonic and Kaballistic; but so is Bible symbolism. Remember that Jesus
is portrayed as a builder (carpenter) who traveled to Egypt and lived 33 years. David reigned as King of a united Israel for 33 years in Jerusalem, after
reigning his first 7 years in Hebron.
Any study of the DC map and the Great Seal needs to look at Masonry and its symbols, and some of what is written online about symbols by Masons is quite
* Masonic Symbols - "Any graphical representation of Freemasonry should be viewed
within the context of what Masonic ritual actually says about such a symbol rather than what others have personally attributed to it!" He contrasts
personal and Masonic symbolism, while some raise the spectre of 'officially recognized' Masonic symbols vs. rogues. This, of course, just depends on
who is in charge in the area at that time.
. . .
Presuming that most readers are not versed in Masonic symbolism, I will review for the shortest time. While most Masons don't realize it, the Masonic ritual is derived from the Mysteries, which grew out of Greek tragedy, which began as festival dances which imitated the movements of the sun, moon and planets in the sky. These early circle dances were the origin of both social dancing and magical and religous ceremonial.
Note that this cannot be rightly called sun or star worship, because what is being imitated in the dances is the Divine Order of which the planetary movements are only one representation; Geometry is another. The goal of these imitative, sympathetic magic ceremonies is the invocation of Harmony via the imitation of the harmonious motions of the planetary spheres, and they were 'institutions truly designed to be a continuing benefit to the human race'.
On a short page called We're All Dancing in a Ring Around the Sun I compare the structure of the Masonic floor work to the Sufi Sema ceremony and ancient Greek Tragedy. The Masonic ceremony imitates the movements of the sun as seen from the earth, north of the equator in the first degree, where the sun moves from left to right; south of the equator in the second degree, where the sun moves from right to left; and between the tropics in the third degree. The sufi dancers moves from right to left in imitation of orbiting bodies, a helicentric image. Early Greek tragedies centered around a sacrificial ode, built around the same dialectic triad as Masonry.
"The dance consisted of three sections: strophe, antistrophe and epode. The strophe consisted of a turn, the antistrophe a counterturn, with matching rhythms and metres. Circumambulation was reversed: the movement from right to left was called the strophe and that from left to right the antistrophe. The epode was a fixed position."
In a set of pages that I am calling The Masonic Lodge Floor Explained, I intend to show how the symbolic lodge floor reflects the astronomical lines of the earth. All of that is explained in HPH Bromwell's book about Masonic Geometry. The first degree pertains to the June Solstice, the Tropic of Cancer, the northeast and the left (looking east into the sunrise.) The second to the December Solstice, the Tropic of Capricorn, the southeast and the right. The third degree pertains to the Equinoxes, the Equator, east and the center. [The cornerstone for the White House was laid in the northeast and that of the Capitol Building was laid in the southeast.]
The Master's Square - compares the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the New Jerusalem to the Masonic Temple, and investigates the universal, astronomically based, geometric method for Temple design and construction. This relates the patterns in the Masonic Floor to all the sacred objects in the Bible, as well as temples around the world.
Closely related is a page where I show how to derive
the Sri Yantra from the template that is
introduced in the pages above. Here is an animation that shows the first six triangles of the yantra drawn on lines on the globe. I suggest that the horizontal lines in the sri yantra are 15, 30, 45 and 60 degrees.
If we can accept the notion that the elements in the Washington, D.C. map may correlate with features in the cross-section image of the Great Pyramid , then two questions present themselves, 1) what is there under the river that correlates to the subterranean chamber, and 2) what might elements in the map tell us about features of the pyramid that we don't know about yet?
In 1646, John Greaves published a book entitled Pyramidographia that included information that he had gathered when he personally
surveyed the Gizah Plateau, beginning in the 1636. You can see a copy of Greaves' illustration of the outside of the Great Pyramid on page 24 of Peter
Tompkins' book Secrets of the Great Pyramid. The Greaves' exterior image of the GP has been cited as being the model for the reverse side
of the US Great Seal, and I had, at one time, pointed to the interior image from Greaves' book (seen below) as one of the templates for the DC map
I say 'at one time' because something occured to me that changed my way of thinking about that. I looked at Greaves image of the inside of the pyramid
closely and noticed that the relieving stones and chambers above the King's Chamber weren't being depicted. I found that these weren't discovered
until 1837. The subterranean chamber is also not depicted since it was full of debris when Greaves was there; yet when you look at the map, the relieving
stones, the decsending passage, and the 'well shaft' all appear to be depicted.
The map/pyramid appears to include features in the real pyramid that weren't in the 1646 Greaves image, and that were unknown to Greaves, but
apparently not the DC planners! This seems to point to an older source than the Greaves images. The big question is, what that source might
be? Who might possibly have been in possession of 'prints' that showed features in the pyramid that were covered up in the construction process?
Below we see an illustration from a book by Colonel Richard William Howard-Vyse
who 'proved' the existence of the upper chambers using gun powder. This is the first 'modern' depiction of the relieving stones and chambers, other than the
map that is :-)
As the story goes, Howard-Vyse is said to have claimed that there were relieving stones and chambers above the King's Chamber, and that he could prove it.
He then set out blasting his way up the interior of the pyramid. He is the one who named the chambers that were found during that event.
The state of the map makers knowledge of the pyramid structure appears to have surpassed that of academics in this case. And as I said, the
other question is, if the map represents the pyramid and it included features that were unknown in 1791, might it indicate somehow features that we still
don't know about?
A third question that arises is whether Howard-Vyse's conjecture concerning the relieving stones and chambers was based on an engineering hunch or on
a drawing such as might have provided the DC planners with their view of the pyramid cross section.
We notice that the fit would have been better had the Capitol Building been a little bit further to the south. See how projecting the (red) line that connects the right side points of the pentagram passes south of the CB location. Penn Ave is bent on both sides of the Capitol because it was located so far north. You can see just how afar north when you project Penn Ave from Georgetown to the White House then straight to the East Branch. The point where the right side of the triangle crosses this straight line is the 'ideal' location of the CB.
Maryland Ave., which helps locate the Jefferson Memorial, also crosses at the CB and is bent. This means that the memorial is north of its ideal location as well. Projecting Mass Ave as a straight (red) line, shows that it is bent too. Note how the SE segment of Mass Ave is anchored on Lincoln Square, as the SE section of PA is anchored on the CB. While straightening PA would entail moving the CB south, straightening Mass Ave would entail moving Linc Sq east.
Note that the diagonal grid formed by connecting the corners of the pentagram features 23 degree angles like the tropics. [At the latitude of DC, the cross quarter days occur 22 degrees from due east and west, close to the same angle.] But this only works north of the WH, due to the displacement of the Capitol Building. The section of the map surrounding the pentagram is clearly the correct part. Everything south and east of there is displaced with the CB.
Below is an image of the current map configuration. We see how extending New Hampshire (left side of triangle) helps locate Arlington Cemetery and Memorial Drive, which is directed to the Ellipse from there, by way of the Lincoln Memorial. Notice that the bearing of Mem Dr is the same as that of NY and Rhode Island Aves. That is, Memorial Drive has been aligned with the diagonal grid north of the WH.
Here we show that a (blue) circle centered on the Ellipse (south of the WH) and extended to the apex of the triangle, also crosses the triangle at the ideal CB location. Looking at a 1792 topogrphic recreation, we see that the planned location for the CB fell on the steep side of Jenkins Heights. Note that each topographic line represents a rise of elevation of 10 feet. The compromise location yields an angle of 19.5 degrees between the CB and WH. The sine of 19.5 is .333.
On top of that, you can see that the front of the Pentagon Building (1, 2) is directed at that point where the right side of the triangle crosses the straightened PA, and that this line is on the same bearing as above (is aligned with the pentagram diagonal gird). Where that line crosses the 16th St axis (red dot) is the ideal location of the Jeff Mml. A (red) circle centered on the WH shows that point to be the same distance from there as the apex of the triangle is. That is the triangle formed by connecting the dots on the pentagram that Robert doesn't see. There are also those who suggest that the pentagram in the map is coincidental.
The Pyramid Cross-Section
If you have read David Ovason's book Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital, you may remember that during a discussion of the US Great Seal he
states his opinion that the pyramid makes a better symbol of America than the eagle does , and that
'in spite of the insistence on Egyptian themes within Washington, D.C.' the pyramid has been marginalized and obscured there. I suggest that while it
may have been obscured in the map, the pyramid has in no way been marginalized there. Let me show you what I mean.
The Washington Monument
Looking at the red part of the animated image at the top of the page you will see that 1) the White House and four other points in the map are located
at the corners of a (shortened) pentagram, and that 2) New Hampshire Avenue, which connects the left hand corners of the pentagram, forms one side
of an isoceles triangle with ~52 degree base angles, the same base angles as the cross-section of the GP. That is to say, playing connect the dots
with the pentagram in the map produces a triangle that matches the cross-section image of the Great Pyramid - from pentagram to pyramid. But there's
Looking at the pyramid image you notice that the Queen's Chamber 1) is offset from the King's Chamber, and 2) is directly under the 'apex' of the pyramid.
Below we see that the Washington Monument is likewise offset from the White House, and we wonder if the two facts might be connected? If there is more to
the map than the depiction of the pyramid base angle? [Note the shape of the relieving stones above the King's Chamber and how the shape of the top
of the Wash Mmt is not unlike the shape of the Queen's Chamber.]
The Washington Monument, offset from the White House.
[Note also how the WH centers on 16th St, the Scottish Rites House of the Temple (seen in the distance) fronts on 16th St, and the Washington Monument lies
on a line that passes between 15th and 16th Sts, behind the HOT- that is, these three do not lie on one straight line as some suggest, and the angle between
the WH, the Wash Mmt and the CB is not 90 degrees but about 97.]
Looking closer (in the black section of the animated image at the top of the page) you see that other of the pyramid elements appear to
be represented by features in the map layout as well. Potomac Avenue is the Descending Passage and Penn Ave is the Ascending Passage and Grand
Gallery, while the White House is the King's Chamber and the offset Wash Mmt is the Queen's Chamber. The old canal simulated the 'well' shaft, and even
the Great Step at the top of the Grand Gallery is depicted.
The illustration below is generated by overlaying a cross-section image of the pyramid onto the 1818 DC map and can be used to measure the 'fit'
between the two. The point of the relieving stones above the King's Chamber is matched with Scott Circle north of the White House and the junction
of the Ascending and Descending passages is matched with the junction of Potomac and Pennsylvania Avenues. All in all, the fit is pretty good. Even the great step appears to be depicted. The only element that is not directly apparent is the subterranean chamber, which would be in the middle of the river if it existed.
This does not 'work' well if the Wash Mmt is not offset,
AND would work better if the CB were a bit further south.
I recommend that 1) the open area that was planned for the City Hall south of the CB (Garfield Park today) is intended to represent the grotto in the
wellshaft which is located at ground level where the masonry meets the native stone in the actual pyramid, and that 2) G Street, which today helps
locate the Jefferson Memorial on the 16th Street axis, is intended to represent Ground Level.
The Capitol Building
* Note that the Capitol Building appears to be north of where it 'should be' according to the pyramid image, due to a bend in Penn Ave. That is,
if the CB had been a little bit further south the map would have been a better match to the pyramid image. (See related
The passage to the Queen's Chamber from the Gallery has a 2 foot
step in it, that is, the QC is off set in two planes and the monument is offset 371 feet east of the centerline of the WH and 123 feet south of the
center line of the CB; also offset in two planes.
A corollary of the thesis about the pyramid cross-section being depicted in the map is that the real reason that the Washington
Monument was moved was to better represent the Queen's Chamber in the map.
(See related video)
The official story about the move is that the land was 'unstable' at the point (marked A below) directly south of the WH and directly west of the
CB. Both the L'Enfant planning map (below) and the Ellicot map (1792) show extensive landscaping around the originally proposed site, but by the time that
the monument was to be built, none had ever been done- on purpose, I suggest, in order to force the move.
Note the planned (1791) landscaping around point A
As a matter of fact, none of the proposed landscaping around 'point A' was done until after the design and location of the Washington Monument had been
changed. The DC map that was used in the pyramid overlay image above is the 1818 Robert King map; if you draw a line due west of the CB and due south of
the WH, you will see that they actually meet over water in that map. Since the Potomac River experiences tides like the ocean which is not
far away, the shore line is actually constantly shifting. By 1848,
when work on the monument began, the Tiber Creek had been converted to a canal, but the mouth of the creek had yet to be filled in. The landscaping
indicated in L'Enfant's map was not completed until 1875.
When we hear the story about how the land was tested at 'point A' and determined to be unstable, remember that that location lay on the bank of a river and
that the plan was to position a foundation that is 80 feet across there. The problem wasn't so much that the ground was unstable, but that there was very
little 'ground' there, and the landscaping that had been in the plan, never was carried out, for some reason. As I said, the real reason that the
monument was moved was that the landscaping that was called for in the original plan was not done in time- but on purpose, I suggest.
Since both L'Enfant's and Ellicott's maps emphasize point A as the axial crossing spot, and the Washington Monument is the only element in the map
that requires moving in order to better represent the pyramid, the question arises as to when and by whom that move was included in the plan? An
alternate plan suggests itself, that being that the pyramid cross section was intended from the beginning, and that all the talk about a statue where the
axes cross was just a diversion.
As the story comes down to us, the current placement of the monument was unplanned and an engineering move that trumped L'Enfant's original idea. But
could it be that the original location / equestrian statue story was a hoax, and that L'Enfant himself was the one who designed the pyramid cross-section
into the map, including the notion of moving the monument location?
The implication here is that since the planners knew that an image of the pyramid cross section probably wouldn't be popular with the general public,
nor would the idea of using the phallic monument to represent the Queen's Chamber, they sought to keep their intentions secret. Also since they knew that
the offset of the monument from the WH, the CB and the 16th Street axis would cause
dissonance, they were forced to 'invent' a reason for
the move. Yes the ground was unstable at point A, but the supposed plan was to fill the area in so that it would be stable there- and this was not done
until too late.
There are two axes of symmetry in the DC map. One is East Capitol Street running east from the CB; the other is 16th Street running N-S through the White
House. Point A in the map above, where these axes cross, represents a balance point between these symbolic presidencial (N-S) and legislative
(E-W) axes. The asymmetry caused by moving the monument south and east from this point presented a problem for some people, like the members of the
Below you can see the 1901 McMillan Plan which was supposed to 'complete' L'Enfant's plan. Note 1) the attempt to restore symmetry to the center of the map
by arbitrarily accenting the line south from the WH (the 16th St axis), 2) that the Washington Monument is not at the center of the cross but to the right
of that 371+ feet, and 3) that this is 'just a plan' and not how DC looks today- scroll up to the image of the monument and compare. (See my youtube
video on the McMillan plan.
McMillan Plan of 1901
This McMillan plan image is one of the single greatest sources of misinformation surrounding the D.C. map. Without ever referring to a current map
many people presume that it resembles this plan somehow, but it does not.
In an article entitled Symbolism of Washington, DC we see a copy of the
McMillan plan described as the map of the Mall, which it is not. Please see this interactive map of downtown DC and notice that it does not look anything like this
plan. The basic similarity is that the plan contains the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials that are in the current map, though not much of the rest is. (A
large road map that you can get at your local book store gives
you the current configuration of the city.)
The McMillan plan designs the Mall around the line connecting the CB and the relocated Washington Monument which is south of due west by about one degree.
The Lincoln Memorial is placed on this same misaligned axis. That is the Mall and East Capitol Street are a degree different in bearing from one another.
Only E Cap St is square to 16th Street. What appears to be the central point in the 1901 plan is actually over as 100 feet south of the 'point A' in
Fat Man Atomic Bomb 1945
Note the asymmetry in the 1901 plan itself. As was pointed out, the map is symmetrical around 16th Street running through the White House, but the
plan is not. Instead of locating the Lincoln Memorial the same distance west of 16th that the CB is east of it, they halfened the distance, so that it
looks like an atom bomb instead of a rhombus. (The McMillan Plan depicts the cross section of the atomic bomb in 1901.) Note also that what is a circle
below the WH in the 1901 plan is an ellipse today.
If you look closely at the plan and the red lines that I have added, you will see the reason that they didn't extend the figure. The Mall is running down
hill and it forms an odd shaped axis for the rhombus that is supposed to be in the map.
Christopher Hodap, in Solomon's Builders, uses this cuttingedge.org website
as a refrence (p 176). At the top of that page they show you the McMillan plan (with west at the top) and further down the page they number the points on
the McMillan plan as Sepheroth on the Tree of Life. The problem is that you can look at page 177 of Hodap's book and see that the elements spelled out in
the McMillan plan do not exist in today's layout. Neither of these sources appear to understand this.
In the section on the McMillan Commission in his book, The Sacred Geometry of Washington DC,
Nicholas Mann writes that "the problem of the
mislocation of the Washington Monument was sucessfully resolved by realigning the entire Mall to a new east west axis... The two axes made a great cross
through the Washington Monument and this new focal point was enhanced by formal construction and planting schemes". This comes from page 146 and is right
under an image of the 1901 plan. As I said, the Washington Monument is the object to the right of the
center of the cross in the 1901 plan that he is describing, and the current configuration does not look like this; there are no formal construction and
planting schemes there. Mann is describing the McMillan plan as if it existed today, which it does not.
An American Cross?
Robert Hieronimus in the newly released United Symbols of America displays a copy of the McMillan plan, west up, (p 245) and describes the cross
that Mann alludes to as Christian, as America's cross. He uses the McMillan plan to show how the 'five prominent monuments' on the Mall can be
connected in the shape of a cross; these are , of course, the WH, the Wash Mmt, the Jeff Mml, the CB and the Lincoln Mml., and I have connected them by red
lines above. The Washington Monument is not in line between the WH and Jeff Mml so its a pretty rugged cross.
Robert borrows this idea from internet Christians who point to "a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The
Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west", as a symbol of the Christianity of L'Enfant and the
The fact is that the five monuments don't form a 'regular cross', because the WH, Wash Mmt and Jeff Mml don't line up. What does line up is the element in
the 1901 plan that was placed on the 16th St axis where it crossed the line between the CB and the Wash Mmt. Both Mann and Hieronimus appear to believe that
the monument lies there? Both of these deny the pentagram in the map but bless the 'cross' in the McMillan plan.
Above we see the version of the Tree of Life suggested by Charles Westbrook. As you can see he features only nine spheres and his top sphere does not line up
with the others. If that point had been chosen in line, it would be in the position that I suggested above that is the same distance west of the WH (16th St)
as the CB is east of it. Note that he does the same thing that the McMillan planners do, inspite of the fact that a straight line won't connect the WH,
Wash Mmt and Jeff Mml, he draws one from the WH striaight to the JM. This is the line that forms the cross, but misses the Washington Monument.
were also used as templates for the map. Since the triangles in the map have ~52 degree base angles, both the tree and the cube were shortened for use
in the map. All figures contained within these glyphs are also shortened- like the hexagram, the pentagram and the circle, which becomes an
* Remember that even though the Washington Monument wasn't finished until late in the 19th century and the last element in both the map/tree and the
map/cube, the Jefferson Memorial completed in 1943, was built on land that didn't exist in 1792, there are streets in the planning map pointing to each
of these structures. 16th St, G St and Maryland Avenue point to the future location of the Jefferson Memorial and Virginia Avenue
points to the location of the Washington Monument, before and after it was moved. Many of the features of current day DC are hinted at in the 1792