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On the Symbolic Correspondences of Polygons

On the Symbolic Correspondences of Polygons

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Published by D G Mattichak, Jr
An essay on the symbolic meanings of the various shapes and stars in Holy Qabalah
An essay on the symbolic meanings of the various shapes and stars in Holy Qabalah

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Published by: D G Mattichak, Jr on Jul 26, 2011
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11/24/2012

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On the Symbolic Correspondences of Polygonsand Various Other Lineal Figures
 
 
I. General Symbolism of Shapes
 It is generally held that all shapes have a definite psychological dynamic quality about them.Different shapes cause the human eye to move in different manners and to focus upon particularpoints, whether because of natural inclination or through social or cultural indoctrination. Forinstance, the eye will be naturally disinclined to focus upon any one point on the circumferenceof a circle, rather it will circumnavigate the shape continuously, rebuilding the mental image of acircle constantly. Likewise, the eye will traverse a quadrilateral shape in the direction in which ithas been taught to read text. This is why artists sign their works in the bottom right corner, asthis is the final place that the eye will fall upon (at least in the Western Cultures; Semitic peoplemay observe a different dynamic).As a rule, the properties of the dynamics of shapes are determined by either their ideographicqualities or by their mathematical properties, or by their symbolic association with a schemasuch as the Holy Qaballah.
 Ideographic references of simple shapes
 The most straightforward association that shapes have with concepts is their ideographicqualities. Entire Scripts and Alphabets are based upon this connection, as are a great number of non-linguistic signs (such as flowcharting symbols and road signs etc.). Viewed from this point,the most basic shapes can be said to have some very basic correspondences which are almostuniversally comprehended as such:i. Circles are a symbol of wholeness, harmony or completeness (i.e. "to come
 full circle
").Symbolic of the Self as a unification of its separated Elements.ii. Triangles are usually images of various trinitarian concepts: Salt, Sulphur and Mercury of Alchemy,; Father, Son and Holy Spirit etc. Also of Fire (as in Tejas or its Yetzirac Symbol) onaccount of its upward focus and flame shape in its upright forms.iii. Squares tend to symbolize solid and stable concepts, often being associated with concepts of manifest form.
Qaballistic References of Shapes
 The practical means of relating shapes to concepts or ideas is via some mathematically basedschema or system of correspondences, such as the Holy Qaballah. For the purposes of Ceremonial Magick this is, of course, the most practical way to associate shapes with the broaderpractices of the discipline. Other systems exist which incorporate symbolic reference withvarious shapes, the Hexan system of symbols is a very excellent example of such schemas, forinstance. Qaballistic correspondences are very similar to the Pythagorean theories upon shape,and the facts of Euclidean Geometry also bear heavily upon some of the Qaballistic attributionsof various shapes.i. Correspondences of some of the more simple lineal figures are as follows: Kether, the point;Chokmah, the line (or the circle); Binah, the triangle; Chesed, the square (or the tesseract),Geburah, the Pentagon or the pyramid (though this tends to be outside the parameters of ourdiscussion); Tiphareth, the Hexagon or the Cube (but again this is outside of the discussionreally); Netzach, the Heptagon; Hod, the Octagon; Yesod, the Enneagon and Malkuth has the
 
 
Decagon and the Double Cube attributed to it (here though, the correct attribute of materialsolidity admits the possibility of the third dimension as the other Sephiroth could not before).ii. Planetary Shapes are dictated by their Sephirotic correspondence. Saturn is attributed toBinah, three, and so to the Triangle (and to the Magick Square of three and so on); Jupiter is of Chesed, and thereby of Four and so the Square corresponds, but not the tesseract which is tooabstract a shape to apply to the God of Law. The tesseract is more properly associated with theWatery quality of Chesed on account of its conceptual geometrical nature. Generally, allquadrilaterals (rectangles, parallelograms, rhombi etc.) all correspond to Chesed and to Jupiter if some law can be determined to render their shape regularly. Mars is of Geburah, the FifthSephirah, and so the Pentagon is correspondent (note that the Pentagon Building houses the U.S.Military administration). The Tetrahedron can be made to correspond here also but the non-material nature of the Sephiroth makes it difficult to employ this shape, except perhapsconceptually. Sol is attributed to Tiphareth and so to six, making its shape the Hexagon. Thecube is not suited to the nature of Sol being a consummate symbol of the Element Earth. ThePlanet Venus is attributed to the seventh Sephirah, Netzach, and thereby to the Heptagon, whichis also something of a symbol of the seven old planets and of the days of the week. Mercury iscorrespondent to Hod, the Eighth Light, and so to the Octagon, and Luna is attributed to Yesod,the ninth Sephirah, and so to the enneagon.
II. The Symbolic Correspondences of Various Lineal Figures
 In addition to the basic geometric shapes that correspond to the Planets and the Sephiroth there isa large compendium of lineal figures that also express, sometimes very accurately, these sameconcepts in a more dynamic fashion. The interpretation of the symbolism of these figures is bestdetermined by the manner in which they have been constructed and to a certain degree by thenatures of the other similar figures with the same numerical properties.
 Methods of Calculating Different Star Arrangements
Many of the geometric lineal figures, or stars, of the Planets (and thereby the Sephiroth; at leastfrom Tiphareth to Malkuth) have more than one possible method of calculating the joining of thepoints. The lower numbers cannot be made into stars, as one and two points have no linealfigure, three is the triangle, without exception, and four has only the square or a shape thatresembles two triangles joined by their single points, which can only be construed as a star by thelongest stretch of one's imagination.The First "star" is of five points, called the Pentagram, and it is at once attributed to Mars, to theElements and to the Microcosm, generally. There is only one way of connecting the five pointsto create a star, and often the direction of the line is indicated by the overlaps being exaggeratedsuggestively. The points are attributed to the Elements as follows: the top point (in the uprightpentagram) is attributed to Spirit, the top left point to Air, the bottom left to Earth, the top rightto Water and the bottom right point is attributed to Fire.The Hexagram is generally attributed to the Planets, one per point with Sol at the centre. Thereare two methods of drawing a star with six points; firstly, two interlocking equilateral triangles,one upright, the other averse, making up the classical "Star of David". The second method is theUnicursal Hexagram. The latter is a definite improvement upon the former as a symbol of theSolar force, implying its unity, rather than the duality implied by the Star of David. This is

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