Sacred Geometry is Neither
In recent years, there has been a movement which has been gaining popularity across the Internet, known as “Sacred Geometry.” I’m not using this phrase in its historical context, mind, where it traditionally referred to the geometry and architecture found in churches, mosques, temples, and religious artwork. The context in which we’ll be discussing Sacred Geometry, today, is in the idea that the very fabric and origins of the universe are found in fairly simple shapes and patterns. So far as I have been able to deduce, this whole movement owes itself almost entirely to a man who calls himself Drunvalo Melchizedek.
In the 1970’s, Bernard Perona got involved in a number of New Age philosophies. He was especially influenced by Edgar Cayce, an early 20th Century spiritualist who claimed to be able to channel the spirit of Thoth, the Egyptian god, and who made numerous claims about Atlantis. Perona found a Hindu instructor to teach him meditation, and began to “channel” spirits and experience visions. Apparently deciding that his real name didn’t sound mystical enough, Bernie Perona started calling himself “Drunvalo Melchizedek.” He became obsessed with simple shapes– especially circles– and by the mid- to late-80’s, Drunvalo had begun giving seminars on his research (a term I use quite loosely) on the “Flower of Life,” a construction composed of a number of circles interlocked in a certain pattern. In 1999, Drunvalo published his material from the Flower of Life seminars in a two-volume series entitled, The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life.
In the first volume, Drunvalo gives a bit of his own biography (though, he neglects to mention the whole name change) and claims that he was one semester away from finishing a degree in physics, with a minor in mathematics, before he left college. This claim is either a baldfaced lie designed to give him the appearance of credibility, or else Drunvalo was a terrible student. I say this because I took the time to read through the entirety of ASoFoL, and I learned that Drunvalo Melchizedek is bad at math. He has no idea what he is talking about, in many cases. He often gets fairly basic concepts completely wrong. However, because his average reader is even worse at math than ol’ Bernie, they don’t even bother to check his claims. They simply see a bunch of math-looking stuff, and they know that smart people use math; therefore, Drunvalo Melchizedek must be a smart person.
Ignoring Drunvalo’s problems with high school mathematics, for a moment, let’s take a look at his actual claims. These claims, after all, are precisely what have spawned the entire modern Sacred Geometry movement. In the beginning, he claims, the Creator existed in a void. But, the Creator wanted to create, so it expanded its consciousness. Now, Drunvalo doesn’t just use that phrase in its nebulous, New Age way, to mean that it opened itself to new ideas; he means that this Creator literally created a material expanse out of its own consciousness. Since this expanse spread evenly in all directions, it created something like a circle, with the Creator at the center. However, the Creator wasn’t satisfied, so it moved to the edge of the circle and repeated the process. It then continued to do this over and over until the Flower of Life pattern emerged. Thus the universe was born!
For a moment, let’s give Drunvalo the benefit of the doubt, and pretend that this description is not completely nonsensical. One has to wonder: how did he come to this knowledge? Did Drunvalo Melchizedek come to this conclusion after finding curious patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background? Did he construct mathematical models which are built off of known physics? Did he compile and aggregate results from scholarly publications by cosmologists? Don’t be silly. Drunvalo Melchizedek’s sources are much more reliable than that! No, he learned all these things from two ten-foot tall angels (one green, one purple) and from the Egyptian god Thoth in the guise of an old man. Oh, and also a mysterious Freemason who randomly showed up to Drunvalo’s dorm room, once, to talk about geometry.
Drunvalo Melchizedek’s “sacred geometry” is not geometry. There is a great deal more to geometry than just drawing some pretty shapes and patterns. Things like the Flower of Life are absolutely aesthetically pleasing, but they are next to useless in terms of mathematics. If you don’t believe me, go pick up a copy of Euclid’s Elements (in fact, do this anyway) and read through all 13 books. You won’t find the Flower of Life anywhere. Nor will it appear in any modern geometry textbook, because– despite how pretty it looks– the Flower of Life is mathematically boring. There are far more useful constructions to be made with a straightedge and compass.
Neither is “sacred geometry” something which can really be considered sacred. Even amongst its proponents, nobody worships the Flower of Life or the Metatron’s Cube or the Golden Ratio. These things are held in awe and wonder, sure, but no moreso than a sunset or a blooming flower or the rainbow in the mist of a waterfall. They are not ascribed “holy” significance. They are not dedicated to a god or gods. They are not revered or deified. No one is preaching sermons on them, or writing scripture about their nature. Nothing which we could describe as “sacred” can truly be attributed to these things.
Sacred Geometry is neither sacred nor geometry. It is a collection of preposterous assertions about pretty shapes and patterns made by people with little to no understanding of what they are seeing. It stands upon the shoulders of liars and frauds, and persists only due to confirmation bias and ignorance. Sacred Geometry is one of the worst examples of gullible people accepting pseudoscience in order to pretend that their irrational beliefs are actually rational.