My quest is to dive back as far as humanly possible to truly understand the thread that is essential about being human.  It is easy to get lost in the noise of modern life, whatever century one may live in, with all its current gadgets and philosophies.  I love being modern and enjoying all the wonderful conveniences of innovation, but I’ve always felt the pull to ground myself in something more essential, universal and timeless.  It is why I visit ancient village sites, go to museums to look at artifacts, read about ancient philosophy and architecture, and contemplate the images carved in and painted on stone that were the first written record of pre-literate humans.  What I’ve discovered is that all existence boils down to numbers, specifically geometry.

Wagon wheel. Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California

Mathmaticians, scientists, philosophers, and numerologists all speak the same language.  Their terminology may differ, but the concepts all revolve around what geometry can tell us.  Waves of sound can be drawn with geometry.  Waves of color energy can be drawn with geometry.  The best science we have today proves that smallest known particles of all matter each have a place within a geometric pattern called E8.  How does this relate to images on stone made by prehistoric man?  It turns out that human kind has always had an innate understanding of geometry shaping the universe.  It is obvious in the forms nature takes and it all starts with a circle.

Pictograph at Honanki – Arizona

Imagine being a conscious, intelligent human in a world before written words or theoretical math.  You are able imagine, create, build, and philosophize.  What is your understanding of how the world works?  Fortunately, thanks to archaeology from the seats of civilization in Sumer, Egypt, and Asia, we have some of the answers about how humans have always understood existence. Evidence of a similar understanding appears the world over in the art humans created, including the art of stone age Native Americans.

Pictograph at Honanki – Arizona

Imagine a time before anything existed.  There was nothing, no space, no time, no matter, all was a void except for ONE inert point of pure potential amidst the vast nothingness.  That point of potential had no size.  It was merely a point that was it’s own center and it’s own circumference.   With no energy behind it and nothing to compare itself to, it was infinitely big and infinitely small at the same time.  There was no means by which to measure it or even make it exist at all.  It was something more than nothing, it was potential, but undifferentiated as anything but it’s own self.  It was perfect wholeness.  It was perfect unity.  It was the concept we represent with the numeral “1”.  It could have remained that way eternally, and maybe it did, if the word “eternally” can be used to describe a timeless state.  Until…

At one moment something explosive happened.  That one point of potential, that “1”, became conscious of itself.  The moment “1” knew it existed there were suddenly TWO, “2”: the point of potential and its idea of itself.  Suddenly the point had a shadow, a twin, something that was both part of itself, and apart as well. That moment gave birth to tension, polarity, energy, movement, existence and non existence, relativity, opposites, male and female energies, all the things that make time, space and matter possible.

1 creating 2

If we were to imagine how this might have looked in a 2-D world, picture a circle.  Then picture that circle imagining itself.  It would create a second circle of equal radius attached at some angle on the first circle’s center.  It would not create an image of itself detached from itself (as in two circles sitting side by side) because space did not exist.  Remember, all that existed was the original circle, so anything that the first circle created must be generated from its own body.


The image of two circles is uber simplified because it draws one flat circle imagining itself as only one other flat circle fixed at one angle of its radius, but it could never really be like that in this universe.  Here’s why.  First of all, that first point would be better described as a sphere, and as soon as it was able to imagine itself, it would imagine the possibility of its twin sphere springing from every angle of its own radius at the same time. The shape it would resemble would be more like a donut.  Geometers call that shape a Torus.

Now if your brain doesn’t hurt too much yet, stick in there for just one more thing.  Once those two intersecting spheres exist you have that funny pointy oval space between the two circles’ radii.  That space is called the VESICA PICES and that is where the rest of everything is born.


Within the Vesica Pices you can draw a line from radius “1” to radius “2”, then draw lines from the points where circles intersect.  FYI, this is where the symbol of the cross comes from.  More on that in a second.

The symbol of the cross comes from the concept of the Vesica Pices. 1, 2, 3.  Two circles and a line are the holy trinity.

Then draw more lines connecting all intersections and a triangle is created.  The triangle represents THREE, “3”.


The triangle represents the number 3

vesicapices3But to say that the Vesica Pices merely creates “3” is selling it short. “3” is just the next logical step by connecting intersecting points with the first straight line, but the Vesica Pices simultaneously makes all other numbers/shapes possible as well.  The Vesica Pices has been called “the womb of creation”. Circle “1” is the Mother, circle “2” is the Father, and the first lines that can be made by connecting the radii and all other intersecting points give birth to all of geometry, all of creation, they make everything in the universe possible, they are “the holy ghost”.  This is the trinity of myth and lore.

On that topic, geometry aligns with creation philosophy of all ancient cultures which put the goddess at the top of the pecking order, not the god as in modern patriarchal religions.  Geometry shows that creation starts with a female shape, the circle, not the male shape, the line.  First the female existed, when the time was right she opened up her Vesica Pices, then the line could be inserted to impregnate the circle with all other shapes.  Frankly, the line doesn’t even show up until Step 3 of the process.  It looks more like Eve gave Adam one of her ribs instead of the other way around, doesn’t it?

“Universe” means “one turn”.  As soon as that first circle made its first self conscious turn, it created the universe.  Conversely what we call “the universe” is simply one circle making a turn. True story.

My hobby the last few weeks has been learning how to construct 3D versions of the five Platonic Solids by drawing circles on paper with a compass and studying the energies created by the numerical values the shapes represent, you know, and watching Drunk History.

It may not be a coincidence that the Vesica Pices looks like a woman’s vagina.  The Vesica Pices quite literally gives birth to everything in our known universe.  Nature makes this shape when there is tension between two objects that want to be round.  Below water erosion on the granite in Joshua Tree National Park rounds the stone.  Water erodes a crack into a mountainous boulder, thus creating two separate boulders from one.  The water flowing between the two ever more rounded boulders creates a Vesica Pices.  Isn’t that amazing?!

For all the shapes and ideas that burst forth from the Vesica Pices, those forms always maintain an innate memory of being part of that original circle which was their mother. They always feel that tug to shrink back into the spherical oneness, wholeness, of that first point. Raindrops bead up on your windshield, planets pull matter to their center making them round, gravity works in circles creating three dimensional space, and all humans crave the unity of love.  These are all expressions of that original circle pulling us home.  Everything tries to be round. (There, by the way, is where the starts the conversation about how gravity works … how gravity spawns time … etc., but that is for another day.)

So there you have it.  Creation in a nutshell.  And we covered it all ONE, TWO, THREE without even mentioning math!  That means it doesn’t require any understanding of math or science to conceptualize the universe or creation and so it has always been.  It seems that all pre-literate cultures contemplated spiritual geometric concepts. We know this because as soon as any form writing was invented, in Mesopotamia for example, geometric shapes were the first images created.


Cuneiform clay counters from 7,500 BC Mesopotamia


At first these shapes were three dimensional tokens used for counting commodities.  That evolved into pressing these three dimensional geometric shapes into wet clay like stamps to represent the shape without having to carry them around.  That evolved into simply drawing these geometric shapes into the clay and presto! You have writing.

The Vesica Pices is a very common shape that appears in Native American rock art.  I’ve heard it said that it represents “birth”.  Well, of course it does.  We now know that it is a universal symbol the world over that represents the creation of all matter.  In Southwestern rock art you’ll often see the Vesica Pices repeated over and over again on the same panel like an accounting.  For that matter, it is very common to see other images repeated over and over again on one panel.  I often think it looks like some kind of accounting.  I doubt that the accounting would be of anything as mundane as commodities; all it takes is a little common sense to conclude that.  Why would any human create an indelible panel of accounting of something as transitory as an exchange of a commodity?  Rather the accounting may have been more ritually symbolic.

Repeating lines in pictographs at Honanki – Arizona

In the book Mutant Message Down Under, the Australian aborigines have a secret cave they return to annually to record the year’s events, like an almanac.  Before the advent of agriculture, Southwestern tribes were migratory.  Often a band of people would have a summer camp and a winter camp they would use to follow food with the seasons.  It is more than likely that a tribe would return over and over again to a protected stone panel or cave to add information to their almanac…like an accounting.

Repeating lines in pictographs at Honanki – Arizona

The panel below is in a hidden cave in the Mojave Desert. Let’s assume that it is an Almanac that was revisited annually to record a tribe’s important events.  I see a lot of Vesica Pices, births.  Perhaps some of these images represent deaths and count years.


img_4495Simple geometric shapes appear everywhere in painted, as well carved, Native American images on stone, especially in older images.  Southwestern American images created within the last couple hundred years tend to be drawn with finer lines and be more representational, like images of horses with skinny legs or fine feathers.  Images in the American Southwest, that are thousands of years old, are more likely it is to be simple geometric shapes or a series of lines.  That’s not to say that some of the images were not representational, like of water, mountains or big horn sheep. I’m just generalizing the common thread, that the principles of sacred geometry were understood and represented by early people in the American Southwest.  They contemplated universal principles of creation that have been proven accurate by modern science.

Stone circle in Sycamore Canyon – Arizona

Until the advent of agriculture and permanent settlements, Native American housing in the Southwest was also created on a circular floorpan.

U’macha / bark house in Sierra Nevada Mountain – California
Hun’ ge / roundhouse in Sierra Nevada Mountains – California

Imagine the symbolism of cooking food in a circular pit, like a clay lined roasting pit, that is geometrically perfect for reflecting heat into the the food that will nourish you.

Clay lined roasting pit at Besh Ba Gowah in Globe, Arizona

Most Southwestern tribes are part of the Uto-Aztecan language family.  The two-second explanation of this is that humans migrated from Asia over the Bering Straight.  They continued to settle and migrate down the west coast of North, Central and South America.  They filled up South America and began to circulate back up to North America, populating the rest of the continent.  Since Mexico/United States was not a thing in the ancient world, the entire region of the American Southwest and Mexico was just one big related region, therefore they shared language and cultural influences.  Central and South America were densely populated thousands of years longer than most of North America, therefore we can see a more advanced expression of a similar culture.  Even in advanced Central and South American civilizations that built great cities, they held tight to the simplicity and perfection of geometric shapes.  The Aztec built great pyramids (based on the symbolism of a spiritual triangle-3 sitting on an earthy square base-4) and carved a complex calendar of the sun on a circular stone tablet.

Aztec Calendar of the Sun

Geometry geometry geometry.  Its as simple as 1, 2, 3 and yet shapes everything we know to be real.  Wanna make your brain explode?  Remember that first point of pure potential, sphere number “1”, that I mentioned in the beginning of this meditation on sacred geometry?  Imagine that it was not the only “1” floating about  in the void.  Imagine there were or even are infinite “1’s” out there existing in a void, suddenly thinking of themselves, creating “2’s” and the Vesica Pices, and drawing the first line in that universe and from that the creation of whole new universes.  Imagine there are infinite universes out there, both infinitely big and infinitely small.  I know, the very thought makes you clutch your hair at the roots and shout, “Why, God why?!!!”  But there’s no reason to over think it.  Everything is possible.  And it is all just simple geometry.  1, 2, 3.

Roof of the gazebo at California Science Museum

A few fun facts about numbers.

  • There are only nine numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  All numbers are some combination or other expression of one of these numerals.
  • When you multiply nine 1’s times nine 1’s it creates a number that sequentially lists all nine numerals both forward and backward:
    111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321
  • Any numeral times 1 equals itself.
  • Any numeral divided by 1 equals itself.
  • A point becomes a circle/sphere which is the parent if all shapes.


One thought

  1. Interesting observations, reminds me of studying the “golden” mean/ratio in college (BYU). I believe that the earths creation was intentional; not random, and that it’s possible that repeated shapes/ratios are part of the intended thumbprints left behind…but maybe that’s over analyzing? Regardless speaking of yoni/birth/creation the clearest natural example I’ve seen is palatki cave (you may have been there as it’s right by the honanki Sedona site you mentioned in this post?) which also has hundreds of years of overlapping glyphs at the site and was clearly a place of importance for centuries. Also nearby is boyton canyon which ends in a natural “birthing” esque canyon end and local tribes supposedly see it as their version of the garden of Eden. Though a resort has encroached on some of the land many cliff dwellings remain (some very inaccessible, but I’ve made it to 2) and it remains a beautiful place. An Indian flute player has been there every Saturday morning I’ve visited over the years (very nice guy and very “Sedona”, he hands out rocks from “Mother Earth”).
    Thanks for sharing your adventures and giving me ideas for future hikes. Most of our exploring is also Arizona/California but we will be hitting Mayan Uxmal soon; close to chichen icha but supposedly less touristy with slightly more freedom to explore.

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