Legends and Lies about the Washington DC Map


Like most people, I was first introduced to the notion that there were symbols in the Washington, DC map by something that I read on the internets. In the mid 1990's, the main internet voice for Fundamentalist Christain Anti-Masonry was Ed Decker of Saints Alive Ministeries. As soon as I saw his web site, I emailed Decker to request a copy of his 1992 pamphlet "The Question of Freemasonry".

After reading that, I emailed Decker again, to ask him where he got the ideas about the Masonic symbols in the map, because fundamentalists are not noted symbolists. He never aswered that question for me. After some more internet 'digging', I came across the name Charles Westbrook, who is probably that source, but who is not 'clear headed' about matters surrounding the map.

In 1990 Westbrook published a small booklet entitled "The Talisman of the United States", which contained some astronomical refrences that were too obscure for most people, which when examined closely, turn out to be worng. Emails from Westbrook prove that he does not understand the astronomy involved in his argument. Tracing the internet interest in the DC map backwards does however lead us to Westbrook's work, which was picked up on and refined by Decker.

After dealing with those two gentlemen, I decided to search my local library for books about Washington, DC, and came across "Through a Fiery Trial" by Robert Arnebeck, which is a history book. It was there that I learned that both George Washington and Martha Custis, his wife, owned lots of land in the 100 square mile area that he chose for the location of the nation's new Capital (hundreds of acres). Mrs. Washington inherited what is now Arlington Cemetery (900 acres) when he husband died.

I suggest to anyone who wants to do a serious study of the DC map, that they examine first where George Washington, Mrs. Custis, and Thomas Jefferson lived. Next take a look at how 16th Street, which centers on the White House and the Jefferson Memorial, projected straight down the Potomac toward Washington's home. [To save space, I am not going to include links and pix here, and suggest you keep a copy of a browser runninng in a search engine as you read.]

When I asked Arnebeck about symbols in the map, his reply was that he believed that they were all too buisy trying to sell lots and raise money to have an interest in symbolism. This alludes to the legend that L'Enfant, the designer, lost his job because he never produced a map with street names and lot numbers on it. His book was published in 1991, 200 years after the beginning of the city.

I hope you can see, that I, as a writer, could take Arnebeck's opinion, and make a declaration that, 'city planners were too buisy with day to day business to worry with symbolisms'. But I just don't believe that to be the case. Just as I don't believe that the Ellicott brothers were the ones that introduced changes into the planning map layout.

Looking at copies of the planning maps and the letters that accompany those, we see that Washington found the earliest draft too buisy, with to many diagonals, and asked that it be revised on June 22. Comparing that map to the 'finished product' of 1792, we see that the plan has been greatly simplified by removing diagonals. We also see that the bearings of the major streets change as well (esp. Mass. Ave). The question arises as to who made the changes and when.

The accepted academic opinion is that the Ellicott brother made the changes when they took over the job of producing a printed map suitable for the auctions. This opinion derives from reading a book by Richard Stephenson, a former employee of the Library of Congress. If you read the August 19, 1791 letter that L'Enfant wrote to Washington, you will see that he has accompanied it with a map of dotted lines, that we see preserved in the LOC. Looking at that we notice that Mass Ave has already been straightened.

Concerning the pentagram in the map, I will note that you can see it in all three versions of the plan. Here we see the break in it, in the dotted line map, at Rock Creek. (Image of the dotted line map) In 1999, David Ovason published "Secret Architecture" without ever mentioning the pentagram, as he was more concerned with a triangle. Ovason's argument was that the Federal Triangle bounded by the White House, the Capitol, and the Washington Monument, mapped to a triangle of stars around the Virgo constellation in the sky.

He first suggests that both triangles are right triangles, then he owns up to the fact that the DC triangle can't be a right triangle, because the Washington Monument is located east and south of where the n-s axis through the WH, and the e-w axis through the CB meet. It was upon reading that, and looking at images of the offset of the monument looking north, that several things fell into place in short succession.

Revisiting the images which accented the pentagram in the map plan, I noticed that it was short and wide; that you couldn't inscibe it in a circle, but in an ellipse. Then I thought of the ellipse south of the WH. Connecting the points of the pentagram produces an isoceles triangle with ~52 degree base angles like the cross section of the great pyramid. Hmm. Looking at Scott Circle, I saw that it was a shortend hexagram.

Next, looking at the pyramid cross-section, you see that the Queen's Chamber is offset from the King's Chamber (facing west), just like the Wash. Mmt. is offset. As I said, the monument is east of the axis, but south of the other one, through the CB. Looking at the passageway to the QC, we see that it has a corresponding two foot step in it. The legend that goes along with this is that the 'land' where the monument was planned to go was unstable and it 'had to be moved'.

Actually, when you look, the 'planned' location fell on the edge of Tiber Creek, which rose and fell with the tides. Also, if you look at the plan, you will see that the whole area was suposed to be filled in, but it never was (for some reason), until after the monument was built in the new location with the new design. L'Enfant's plan called for an equestrian statue of GW.

Comparing the map to the pyramid we see that other features fit as well. The subterranean chamber would be under the river, were it to exist. Note the passageway extending past the chamber in the pyramid. In the map, that runs in the direction of the Pentagon Building, and the underground Crystal City. Note especially that the relieving stones and chambers appear to be depicted in the 1792 map, which weren't 'discovered' until 1837.

When we overlay the map on the pyramid we see that the CB is north of where it should be, because Pennsylvania Avenue is bent. We can see the exact nature of the bend by extending the section from Georgetown beyond the WH, all the way to the East Branch of the Potomac. What we might ask would possess planned to put a crook in the main avenue of the Capital city? The short answer is topography.

Today, when we speak of Capitol Hill, we are speaking of what used to be called Jenkins Heights, and the Capitol Building is pretty much perched right on the edge of it. As a matter of fact, the planned (straight line) location for the CB fell on the steep side of Jenkins Heights in 1791. I believe that the east-west ditance btween the CB and the WH was maintained, and that the CB was moved north, a little over 600 feet. In L'Enfant's plan, this produces a triangle with a 19.5 degree angle at the CB (and along one section of Penn Ave). The sine on 19.47 degrees is 0.3333 .

Had the CB been a little bit to the south, Penn Ave would have been straight from G'town to the E Branch; and the two lower sections would align with the diagonal grid of lines produced by the pentagram. Note that the pentagram from tip to tip (e-w) is the same distance as between the WH and the CB, and between the WH and G'town. [The map is symmetrical around 16th Ave (NS) and Capitol St (EW).] The pentagam prduces the grid and sets the scale for the map, the moved CB not withstanding.

That is, I am saying that the central section on Penn Ave (btwn CB and WH) is aligned as it is because the Capitol was moved for topographic reasons. David Ovason suggests that that angle was the first angle determined when laying out the map, and that the rest was built around that segment. He recommends that it is aligned to 'one sunset' on August 10, but fails to mention the May sunset there.

So what angle is the pentagram grid set to? 23+ degrees, like the tropics. We find that this determines the location of the sun at the cross quarter days between the solstices and equinoxes, as well as heliacal rising of the star Sirius.

We see that the pentagram in the map is shortened producing 52 degree triangles rather than equilateral ones. At Scott Circle, we see a shortened Star of David. The star would touch a circle at 30 degrees north and south of the equator, the location of the GP. We also see that reducing an equilateral triangle to 52 degrees, produces diagonals of 23 degrees like the tropics. The shortened hexagram pattern in DC is reproduced at the Stonehenge.

If we view the position of the risings and settings of the sun throughout the year at the equator, we see that it rises first left of due east, then right of there, then back again. We will call this range, the solar arc. At the equator it is 47 degrees (23.5 + 23.5). If we were to watch the moon for 20 years, we would see that it ranges 57 total degrees. Mercury is the most eccentric of the planets and ranges as far as 62 degrees. A hexagram on the ground at the equator does a good job of marking the limits of the planets.

As we move away from the equator, the apparent range widens. At 39 degrees north (DC) the sun ranges 62 degees, like Mercury at the equator.

We can confirm the 'ideal' CB location in more that one way. Just as New Hampshire connects the dots on the left of the pentagram, we can connect the dots on the right; and when we do, we see that the line misses the curent CB location. Looking at a post 1943 map, we see that New Hampshire is projected across the river to Arlington Cemetery, then back to the Ellipse, via Memorial Drive and the Lincoln Mml at the same angle as the diagonal grid.

Looking at the front of the Pentagon Buidling (completed in 1943), you can see that it is directed to the ideal location, at this same angle. If the CB had been located there, this line would be Maryland Avenue, and the Jefferson Memorial would lie where 16th St crosses it. Had that been the case, the Wash Mmt would have been further south, moving Virginia Avenue which aligns with that.

Moving the CB south, also moves E Capitol Street and Lincoln Square. Notice how Massacheusets Avenue is bent because it is directed to the square. Moving E Cap St south would worsen this bend, unless Linc Sq were moved to the east. For Mass Ave to match the diagonal grid, Lincoln Square need to be the same distance east of the CB that the WH is west of it.

If the Capitol had been to the south, a great place for a monument would have been on the west bank, in line with Georgetown, which along with the repositioned Jeff Mml, would produce a large rhombus outline. Instead the McMillan Commission located the Lincoln Memorial in line with 23rd St, the left tip of the pentagram, and we get what looks just like an atom bomb. Look closely at the 1901 plan and note that it features a circle instead of an ellipse below the WH.

Now you can see how the triangle produces the pentagram, and how the diagonal lines produce the hexagon/cube illusion, and overlapping pentagram and hexagram, symbols of the micro and macrocosms. Projecting the top sides of the hexagram in the triangle locates the top points of the pentagram. The hexagram and pentagram show us the Tree of Life and Metatron's Cube as well. Remember that all features in the map have been shortened.

In 1992 we were told that this (below) was the face of evil in the DC map, a compass and square, and a pentagram. Notice that he closes the pentagram, that is Decker does not raise the issue of the pentagram being broken. As you can see, this is not a very elegant representation of a compass and square. Notice how the artist attempts to make the image represent an actual set of compasses, instead of what the compass and square represent.

The square is actually half a geometric square, or one square angle formed by rays meeting at a point. The compasses are two sides of an equilateral triangle. Compass and square: 3 and 4. The pentagram is 5. 6 is a hexagram or double equilateral triangle. But look closely at the image, at the supposed square. As you can see, the square lines aren't on the streets. If you take an index card and put the square corner on the DC map, you will see that it is not a 90 degree angle there.

Some one is 'fudging' here with the facts. If we are going to use supposed symbols in the map to indict a group of people, we might as well get our facts straight. And if it is not a square angle, then it can not be said to represent a Masonic square, which is... square. As to the compasses, the combined angle is 39 degrees. What is the significance of that angle supposed to be?

Since the square is not square, and the compasses are at an odd angle, I decided that that was probably not the intention of the city planners. He we see the compasses as the equilateral triangle (red) and the square as the half square (blue). You can see the 'G' formed in the middle.

The square is related to the 'ad quadratum' form, and the orthogonal (n-s e-w) street grid in the map. The triangle is associated with the 'ad triangulum' form, and the grid of diagonal streets there. The image below compares the plan for the Milan Cathedral and the Washington DC planning map. The Milan plan is from a 1522 woodcut, and shows the regulating lines for the design. In the central circle, we can see, a square, a triangle and a hexagram.

Note the pentagram generated by extending the top sides of the hexagon to the sides of the triangle. Note also that the main triangle in the cathedral is equilateral while the template has been shortened for the map. Below we see the first printed depiction of the Tree of Life (1516). The Kircher tree does not work for the map or for the cathedral plan.

Here we see an image of Hugh Libergier, a 12th Century architect. Note the rhombus grid on the roof of the model that he holds in his right hand. See the square and compasses below, and compare to the 'chair' above. And the cap and cape. The above image is depicting a master builder with his model in his right hand.

In short, it didn't take long for me to prove to myself that if Masons were indeed involved with the design and construction of Washington DC, that there was probably more to it than just a compass, square and a pentagram. Which raises the question, if people were worried about a pentagram in the map, what will they make of the fact that the founding fathers were Kaballists?

Not that it matters. Most people who adopt an anti-Masonic stance know next to nothing about the Craft. The most unfortunate aspect of the 'moral warfare' being waged is that people trying to present an upright face, stoop to low down methods to try and prove the other guy to be bad. Above we saw the attempt to connect a square that is not a square to Masons in order to prove evil intent. Is it not also immoral to fudge the facts?

For a long time an attempt was made to convince people that tha Capitol Building was purposefully place on lot 666 for occult reasons, and people never bothered to go an look that up, but simply cut and pasted. The truth is that the only lots that were numbered were those that were to be sold to raise money; public buildings are not on numberd lots. Also, you can find lot 666, and it is very small and not near the CB. My question has been for years, what does this say about the supposed good people who engineer these disinformation campaigns, and who are they trying to attract/control?

Another 666 related lie deals with the Washington Monument, which is 55.5 feet wide at the base and 555 feet tall, a 1/10 ratio. But there are those who suggest that the monument is really 666 feet tall if you include all of the foundation; because the monument is anchored in the ground 20% like the Egyptian obelisks.

First off, when you google "washington monument foundation dimensions", it doesn't say 111 feet deep. Also, the Egyptians balanced their obelisks on the ends. The ones that were moved (like to St Peter's Square) have supports at the corners. And we could go on. My point has been that people are more concerned with propoganda tactics in the name of morality, and with winning arguments or selling books and getting their name and face in print, than with the Truth.

It is not for no reason that organizations like Masonry, or the Catholic Church for that matter, have a multi-level initiation. The method has been called the 'doctrine of exclusion' as it is intended to weed out the unworthy and unprepared. All organizations are structured this way, ask the guy with a rifle in the field of combat. Generals know more about the organization (in some ways) than privates; that is the facts.

So we can count any attempt to attack an organization because of secrecy as both misguided and lame. In "The Question of Freemasonry", in which Ed Decker attempts to prove that Masonry is incompatible with Christianity (to which I would add 'his kind of Christianity'), he suggests that if Masonry is a rightous organization, then it is to be welcomed in the community, BUT if it should be shown to be 'keeping secrets' then it should be exposed (Tear Down The Wall!!) . He goes on to quote Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma" where Pike suggests that those in the lower degrees are not let in on the full meanings of all he symbols.

You, of course, know that this is because it is a progressive initiation, like life is. We learn adding before calculus; crawl then walk then run. And I have challenged Decker to tell us (in this context) what we are to make of, not only the parables, but the discussion of parables in the Bible. We are told there that he spoke in parables because it is not given to all to understand the doctrine that he was preaching. Not every one can run or do calculus; or astrology.

In 1999, David Ovason, calling himself an astrologer, published "The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital", in which he weaves a tale about Masons and the influences of the Virgo constellation. This is probably the best known and widely read book about the DC map. It is another one from which people cut and paste with out ever studying.

In the book, he suggest first that a right triangle in the sky is mapped exactly by a right triangle in L'Enfant's plan, the corners being marked by the White House, the Capitol and a statue of Washington in the square corner. Later, when discussing the fact that the Wash Mmt location was changed, he says, that's OK, the triangle in the sky is not a right triangle, and it still maps closely even with the change. Unfortunately, when you compare his illustations of the sky and the DC map, the angles are not even similar? But this appears to be the quality of stuff that book buyers and internet readers have come to love.

Note especially, in regard to Ovason's triangles, that when you look in the sky, the Virgo triangle has the square corner on the lower left, and you have to look south to see this. To see the triangle in the map you have to look to the north. Just like, in order for the stars in Orions belt to align with the three pyramids, you need to be north of the pyramids looking to the south. Neither of these is projected onto or maps directly to the earth.

As I alluded to above, Ovason says repeatedly that the segment of Penn Ave between the CB and WH (2 below) was intentionally aligned to one sunset, and that the rest of the map was built around that line. He sugests that this day was chosen because, after sunset the Virgo triangle is visible in the sky. Then and for several months. There is nothing special in that regard here. He also fails to metion that the sun also sets there in May each year too.

To get a feel for this, I worked with two different surveying companies. I recommend that the diagonal base line that was used ran from Georgetown to the East Branch (A - B). While the CB was moved north for topographic reasons, the northwest segment of Mass Ave parallels that line. NY and Rhode Island run at the same angle the other way, completing the pentagram figure.

In the image above, I have moved the CB and E Capitol St south and moved Lincoln Square east, there by straightening Penn and Mass Aves. We will call the section of the map above the WH, the 'correct' section of the map. Below that, the CB was too far north, and Lincoln Square was too far west.

The 1901 McMillan Plan was intended to extend L'Enfant's plan, and complete it. The statue of Washington south of the WH and west of the CB was on L'Enfant's map. Extending 16th south and Maryland Ave southwest locates the Jefferson Memorial. Extending New Hampshire across the Potomac suggests a monument opposite to the Capitol Building, but in 1901 we are given this:

The Lincoln Memorial was completed in 1922; the Jefferson Memorial in 1942; the Pentagon was also completed in 1942. Below we see the post 1943 DC lanscape. A compromise has been reached, and New Hampshire is extended to Arlington Cemetery, then reflected back to the Ellipse, via Memorial Drive and the Linc Mml. at the same angle as NY and Rhode Island.

The front of the Pentagon Building was aligned to the ideal CB location, and not the real one. Again, the angle is the same as that of Memorial, NY and RI. The orange circle is centered on the WH. The orange dot indicates the ideal location of the Jeff Mml, the same distance from the WH as the tip of the traingle is above it.


Mundus Vult Decipi

The image below is a scan of a coin (same image on both sides), which I found on the floor in a 'burnout' remodeling job in Manhattan (NYC) in 1976. The text reads (in Latin) Mundus Vult Decipi: Decipiatur. The figure appears to be a magician standing on the world. Even without understanding Latin, you can get the sense of the world, deception, and a deceiver. It looks very much like a Mardi Gras coin, but is metal and made to last. I have no idea of the coin's origin.

The text, as it turns out, is well known to scholars of Latin literature and googlers. "Mundus vult decipi." translates "The world loves to be deceived." Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur, means "The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived." The phrase has been attributed to pontifex maximus Scvola, who proclaimed that the people should be deceived in religion. Varro adds that 'there are many truths which it is useless for the vulgar to know; and many falsities which it is fit the people should not suppose are falsities'.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable, 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; that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?'

Here we can see that while the rhetoric is similar, the intentions are quite different. Roman statesmen were cynics, and concerned only with maintaining social order, while the Bible alludes to engineering salvation philosophy solutions for different intellectual classes, in an approach not unlike that of Masonry.

For those of you unfamilair with Masonry, you will want to know that it is founded on the belief in God and the immortality of the Soul, and is concerned with the mystery of the kingdom of God. The approach is allegorical and not historical. Masonic legends are not histories, and it appears that some of what people have believed to be histories and predictions in the Bible, are really allegories (parables), just like it says.

The big difference between Masonry and other approaches to philsophy is that, the Masonic ritual replaces vicarious sacrifices with the Candidate. In olden times, the practice was to make a blood sacrifice to insure every thing under the sun. The idea of the scape goat was that it took on the sins on the tribe (somehow). Psychologically this is lacking in that the goat has no connection to the supposed sin, and it is innocent; that is at some point in the development of our religous consciousness, the innocence of the sacrifice make it vacuous.

While, in the third degree, the legend is about Hiram, it is the individual Candidate that enters the coffin. You can see the connection to Osiris too, and can imagine the elaborate ceremonies of the past. In Masonry as in Alchemy, Hasisism etc, it is you who are the sacrifice. You are working on a building for the Lord, and the capstone that you place on the top as you complete your task, is your SELF.

As you can see, I didn't mention saviors once, especially not historic ones. The Gnostic (personal) approach doesn't depend on them. Also, the guage of persoanl success or failure is internal not external. The peak of this experience comes when we follow Rene DesCartes through his 'Meditations'. His statement , "I think, therefore I am ." derives from those.

In an attempt to establish certainty, DesCartes invokes the method of doubt. For something to be certain, he can not doubt it. The very first thing that he brackets is opinions and gossip, then books and texts. This doesn't pose the problem for a personal based system that it does for a book based on, promoted by a priest class. DesCartes goes on to bracket the senses, as a stick looks bent in water (anti empericism); and the contents of his consciousness, as he has dreamed that he was holding his head in his hands.

What he concludes is that the only thing that he could not doubt was that he was doubting, ie thinking. The phenomenology and existentialism that followed DesCartes adopted the personal Gnostic approach to salvation, the Masonry of old. It is funny to read peole say that Masons are sun worshipers, when they say every where, like the Bible, that the stories are allegories. What is not funny is that some people have taken stories about the sun and made them to be about a scape goat/savior person, who the priest/pope represents here on earth.

When I was younger, I was told that there were organization to kill my snakes for me (ie school government the church); but when I got a little bit older, I learned how to kill 'em myself.



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