RINGS of GAIA
by Bethe Hagens
by William Becker and Bethe Hagens
Since 1983, and the beginning of our research on the planetary grid, we have encountered an ever-widening circle of colleagues and co-researchers whom we identify as "new" or "holistic" scientists. Beyond their usual commitment to scientific Truth, this growing worldwide network of theoretical and empirical researchers supports as a common goal the sustaining of all life (in both the individual and planetary sense). What distinguishes this group of "scientists" from those in the conventional orthodoxy is their shared belief that only through the development of a truly comprehensive scientific tradition, one that unites trans-physical knowledge with current mechanical and solely materialistic laws can humanity evolve to its next stage.
Now globally based (and gaining experience in both eco-politics and expanding political/economic debates with an increasingly defensive techno-science orthodoxy) this new culture of researchers and seekers is becoming more and more aware of the dawning of a new multicultural, multidisciplined, pluralistic, scientific paradigm. This worldview increasingly draws on discoveries in archeology, biophysics, and the revolutionary psychology of consciousness which no longer can exclude any category of knowledge (i.e., the paranormal, anomalous phenomena , or the occult) from the now global libraries of science.
Within the hardening orthodoxy of modern science, words like "intuitive," "serendipitous," and "visionary" have almost lapsed into adjectives of derision when linked to the work of contemporary researchers. This, ironically and even predictably, comes at a time when fundamental and revolutionary discoveries are being made in mathematics (chaos and string theory), quantum physics (unified field theory), biophysics (self-organizing systems), and astronomy (black holes and galactic bubbles). Orthodox scientists often forget that 16th century pioneers like Sir Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes based their faith in science on their visions. Bacon had "seen" a future Utopia supported by mechanized vehicles. Descartes had been visited by an "angel" who had revealed to him his revolutionary mathematics. Sadly, neither of them could qualify today for publication in a modern journal of orthodox science.
Consciously or unconsciously, these two great philosophers were perhaps equally inspired by the visions of artists of the 15th century Renaissance. Artist/alchemists like Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer had seized upon the legacy of the East-the lost knowledge from the Alexandrian Library that had slowly been reintroduced to the West as centuries passed. They had translated that hoary information into a new world view. This radically new world view rested directly upon the invention of linear perspective which for the first time (since the Alexandrian Library) placed the human individual at the center of the cosmos. Without this artistic paradigm shift which brought new importance to the individual's viewpoint, perspective, and personal point of view, Rene Descartes might never have dared defy traditional Christendom by asserting, "I think, therefore I am!"
Only 500 years have elapsed since linear perspective first truly elevated the individual consciousness above that of tribal tradition . Already we may have become too individualized in the cultures of the West. Other cultural traditions from around the world have begun to reveal to us our implicit alienation and over-detachment from nature, our habituation to a view that equates technical progress with spiritual evolution, and our deep cultural fear of death. The vast majority of informed planetary citizens know we must change but are unsure of the real options we have to consider.
Just as the perspective pictorial systems of the Renaissance first established, and then brought into focus, a new individualistic mythos-we feel that the current network of "Gaian" planetary ecologists (of which we are a part) may be on a similar path toward developing the next unifying symbol of a new cosmos and a new earth. What makes this proposition fascinating is a parallel analogy: just as the rediscovery of ancient knowledge from the Alexandrian Library opened the creative enterprise of the Renaissance, so now the re-evaluation of that same knowledge is setting the stage for an unprecedented shift in global scientific consciousness. Basic to this shift is the rediscovery of the language and deep syntactical structure of what we now call geometry. Its power is most concisely and eloquently summarized in a statement attributed to the great shaman-geometer Pythagoras:
The experience of life in a finite, limited body is specifically for the purpose of discovering and manifesting supernatural existence within the finite!
The bold intuitive quantum theories from computer-assisted researchers in the areas of physics, math, biology, and astronomy are a part of this rediscovery-which is nothing less than a totally new approach to the way we relate to planet Earth.
We believe that the planetary grid 1 is a new model for Gaia. It reveals not only an ancient global mapping system but a universal energy code that will help transform our culture's vision of a dying, entropic, material, mostly empty cosmos into one bursting with an unending froth of full bubbles of living energy. Because this grid is comprised entirely of great circles on the sphere of earth, we have come to think of it as the Rings of Gaia. This holistic global model may be part of a vital informational bridge needed to link Renaissance individualism to a vision of community that is at least planetary in scope-and soon to be interplanetary with the additions of the moon and Mars in the early 21st century.
"Rings of Gaia" Researchers - Ice Age to the Present
The oldest evidence of an ancient "geometric worldview" rests in the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford, England, and in archeologieal collections held privately and publicly in Great Britain and Italy. On exhibit at the Ashmolean are several hand-sized stones of such true geometric proportion and precise carving that they startle the casual viewer (Illustration 1). It is equally startling to hear them conventionally explained away as hunting bolas.
Illustration 1, These 3500-year-old carved stones are each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Thousands have been found throughout Britain - some carved, others apparently modeled in clay and then fired. Because they have been found near stone circles, it has been argued that the stones are simple (yet extremely accurate) astrolabe-compasses used by megalithic builders. In fact, the geometries represented in the stones are not only precise, but were known by the Greeks and the Egyptians to have been suitable for astronomical observation.
In his book Time Stands Still: New Light on Megalithic Science, Keith Critchlow convincingly links these leather-thong-wrapped stone models (and thousands of very similar others found all over northern Scotland ) to the Neolithic peoples who were living in Britain approximately 3500 years ago. The painstaking attention to symmetry and detail immediately evident in these carved stones indicates the presence of a culture intent upon the refinement of a very sophisticated spherical geometry. Critchlow believes the stones were specifically employed in the design of "astronomical" stone circles such as Maes Howe, Stonehenge , and others throughout Great Britain. 2 A. M. Davie, a Scottish historian and archeological researcher, dates similar stone polyhedra even earlier, to approximately 12,000 years B.C.-and relates their origin to the ancient craft of "finishing the form" of crystalline volcanic rocks which exhibit (to a craftsman) an inherent geometric symmetry.
Either date is paradigm-shattering. Among the stones are exact representations of five classic geometric figures, arrayed for comparison and analysis, many still bearing fragments of leather thongs used to mark out various measurements and proportions. These figures, the so-called 5 Platonic solids (the 8-faced octahedron, the 20-faced icosahedron, the 12-faced dodecahedron, the 4-faced tetrahedron, and the 6-faced cube) were not even recognized in the West until Plato's Timaeus of the 5th century B.C. 3
It is exciting to learn that the stones were not unique to Britain, even in antiquity. We recently discovered in the writings of the 19th century German geometer/mathematician F. Lindemann an account of his decade-long search throughout Europe and the Middle East for ancient examples of these classic polyhedra. So prodigious were his discoveries, numbering in the hundreds, that he became convinced that the "ancient" mind was truly that of a master mathematician. 4
Of particular importance is his discovery of a Neolithic (possibly Etruscan) dodecahedron unearthed by Italian archaeologists at Mt. Loffa near Padua. A numbering system of "conic" dots and linear grooves seems to have been etched into the 12 pentagonal faces of its ceramic body-before it was fired to well over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!
To Plato, and all who preceded him, the 5 (and only 5) equal-sided, equal-angled polyhedral (many-sided) volumes were sacred "libraries." In the hands of those who had been orally instructed in the secret sciences of antiquity, they could reveal all truths regarding humanity, the Earth, and the cosmos. The dodecahedron (middle figure in Illustration 1) was always most important, however, along with its close companion, the sphere. The dodecahedron was so important to Plato that he never described it directly in any of his writings, and mentioned it only cryptically in contexts which, we believe, serve to confirm its power and unique status.
With its 12 pentagonal (5-sided) faces, the dodecahedron stands in fairly clear symbolic relation to the 12 zodiacal signs. But what if what we now call the zodiac was originally derived from the dodecahedron? What if the special distinction the Greeks granted to the dodecahedron was based not only on its being the largest among "The Five" (given a standard edge length), but also on its close and clear resemblance to that most important of all shapes, the sphere?
The Greeks themselves knew they did not have the answers and appear to have craved the "wisdom of the ancients" that might be gleaned from their kin, the Egyptians. 5 Both cultures used the sphere ubiquitously in their cosmogony. Among the Greeks, it organized physical atoms, bubbles, planets, and stars, and was central to their religion which involved geometry. It defined the metaphysical structure of the cosmos and housed what Plato and others called "ideas," upon which all realities were based.
Orthodox historians, of course, reject most of the above, attributing solely to Plato and other Caucasian Greeks the discovery of these invaluable spatial tool/concepts. However, one modern Danish scholar, Tons Brunes, disagrees persuasively with this orthodoxy after nearly 20 years of exhaustive study in which he collected and analyzed not only conventional historic records, but also source material from the archives of the Freemasons. His 600-page 2-volume work, The Secrets of Ancient Geometry, traces the lineage of the so-called Platonic solids first to Pythagoras (with Plato writing as a Pythagorian initiate), and then to the Egyptian priests who for 22 years taught Pythagoras their secrets in the temples at Memphis and Thebes. 6
In addition, Brunes makes the case that Moses and his Egyptian teachers did not arbitrarily designate the sphere as the sacred form of the cosmos, but rather had grasped the profound importance of the fact that "The Five" polyhedra are "perfectly inscribable" in a sphere. (That is, if a sphere were made to contain tightly any one of the five figures, all of that figure's corners would precisely touch the sphere's surface. ) This powerful cosmology sidestepped the hard science or mythology dichotomy which entraps much contemporary Western thought. It combined a satisfying spiritual imagery with sophisticated principles of geodesic architecture only recently rediscovered by R. Buckminster Fuller.
It is through the ancient sacred form of the cosmos, the sphere, that Gaia, the beautiful mythos of a living Earth, connects with the biophysical structure of geometry. Surprisingly, the relation between the two is quickly revealed in their common word histories. "Geometry" is easily separable into its classic Greek roots: Geo is "earth," and metry is "measure." Earth measuring. Both ge and gaia mean "Earth."
All along in this research, we have been greatly inspired by the ancient linguistic connections that bind the ge in geometry, geology, generate, gene, Genesis, to Gaia, the Greek goddess of Earth and mother/consort of Uranus. As with the origin of the Ashmolean polyhedra, most orthodox linguists believe that the root word ge (gaia) is solely of Greek origin with no known antecedents. In fact, connections abound. As far away as the isolated interior mountain wall of New Guinea is a creator named Geb. In ancient Egypt, Geb is god of flora, fauna, and the underworld (possibly meaning this world). In early Scotch-Irish Gaelic, Gael is "love."
In the Gaelic, we also find guaigean, "a thick, little, and round object." Is this the indigenous name for the stone polyhedra of Britain? Further etymological analysis makes this a strong possibility, and even hints at ancient usage of the guaigean as a hand-held map of the cosmos.
The paths by which words and meanings twist from one language to another are by no means agreed upon, guaigean being a clear case in point. Linguists have tended to agree that thousands of years ago a language existed in India and Europe to which most historical languages in these areas can be connected. The word "polyhedron," for example, is Greek and means "many seats." Hedron is derived from a proto-Indo-European root sed. Many contemporary words that imply sitting down or settling come from sed: e.g., sedentary and soot (that which settles). Sed also means "to go," however, and words such as "episode" and "exodus" are derived from it. "Cathedral" is derived from sed and is, therefore, both a seat (or place) and a way or journey. "Polyhedron" can be "many places" and "many ways" !
Guaigean is all the more fascinating in this light. In Gaelic (an Indo-European language) gu means "go, to"; aig is "egg"; aigean is "sea, an abyss'*; and gean is "keenness, good humor." What ancient journeys "to the sea" were made using the "thick, little, round object" as a guide? Is guaigean the cosmic egg, a reminder of our original descent to Earth? Is the Aegean Sea of ancient mythology a metaphor much diminished in translation? From such tentative beginnings as these, we may be able to establish a new, warmer relation with geometry-not as a cold, inhuman series of abstract proofs, but as a body of ancient symbolic wisdom humans have almost instinctively drawn upon to better know themselves, the planet, and the outlines of our finite yet infinite cosmos.
Imagine, for example, a Neolithic artisan who had decided to create the ultimate guaigean (or polyhedron)- one that would display on the surface of a single small sphere the corners and thong-wrappings of all five of the figures shown in Illustration 1. This task is easier than might be imagined. It would have been immediately obvious that the 12 icosahedron "corners" would fit precisely into the centers of the 12 faces of the dodecahedron. (Note in Illustration 2 that those center spots are clearly marked on the ancient stones .) And of course, the 20 corners of the dodecahedron would fit perfectly into the centers of the 20 faces of the icosahedron. At places where the edges of these two figures cross, and only at these places, corners of the octahedron would fall. Imagine the artisan's delight to discover that, were one corner of either the tetrahedron or the cube placed at a corner of the dodecahedron, every other corner would also fall at another dodecahedron corner. This is the essence of the knowledge Brunes attributes to Moses and the Egyptian priesthood-that the figures are "perfectly inscribable " on a sphere.
The cumulative result of nestings and wrappings just described is a set of fifteen rings symmetrically circling the sphere, each of which divides it in half (Illustration 2). These are the Rings of Gaia which create the 62 intersections and 120 identical scalene triangles of the planetary grid. Modern mathematicians know this figure well as a kind of Mother Sphere, for all regular polyhedra can be placed within its net of 62 intersections. It is also the prodigious structural framework that underpins the architecture of geodesic domes.
Pythagorean Cosmic Morphology
Illustration 2. In the "ultimate polyhedron," the five figures are arranged as shown in the order of increasing geometric complexity (from tetrahedron to cube to octahedron to icosahedron to dodecahedron). The meanings roughly chart the progress of planetary development as it is explained today by geologists (barysphere [fire ball] to lithosphere to atmosphere to hydrosphere to biosphere). New picture. Illustr. 2 and caption moved up from below.
In the Timaeus, Plato seems to be describing this same structure in his discourse on the Creator of the Universe:
For the original of the universe contains in itself all intelligible beings, just as this world comprehends us and all other visible creatures . . . And he gave to the world the figure which
was suitable and also natural. Now to the animal [the living Earth/Gaia?] which was to comprehend all animals, that figure was suitable which comprehends within itself all other figures [emphasis ours]. Wherefore he made the world in the form of a globe. 7
We have variously called this figure the Mother Sphere, UVG (United Vector Geometry) 120 Polyhedron, or most recently the Rings of Gaia-depending upon the context in which we were speaking.
The 120 identical scalene right triangles of the Mother Sphere created by the 15 equators or rings are exactly those described by Plato in the latter half of the Timaeus as "the triangle upon which all polyhedra are based." We believe this same triangle was described in the ancient cosmologies of Egypt as the MR Triangle, and that it contains not only the advanced knowledge of Thoth (known to the Greeks as Hermes Trismegistus), but also reveals the archetype of the Trinity upon which the mysteries of both Hinduism and Christianity rest (Illustration 3).
The ancient Egyptians referred to their country as the "Land of MR" (in hieroglyphics symbolized by a stylized triangular hoe), with MR meaning cultivate, love, hack up, or Meridian Triangle. The right-angled scalene MR Triangle, with its smallest angle at 36°, is exactly the one most important to Plato. On ancient maps, 4 of these triangles joined together at their right-angled bases defined the boundaries of Imperial Egypt-that land Arab nations still refer to as "the country built according to a geometric plan." Eight of these same triangles, joined structurally at their 36° vertices, create a proportionally exact replica of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Twenty-eight MR triangles cluster to form a squared circle with twelve "corners." The "four corners of the Earth" are represented on ancient maps of the traditional known world of Mediterranean cultures in just this way-with 12 geometrically derived nodes creating a squared circle. And of course, 120 MR Triangles are arranged to match the structure created by the 15 Rings of Gaia, and the base for a global mapping system we believe is well suited to represent our contemporary knowledge of Earth's biosphere (Illustration 3).
Once we accepted the possibility that deeply embedded structures of geometry had shaped both ancient artifacts and philosophies, we made enormous strides with our theory that the Rings of Gaia had been the basis for a comprehensive world mapping system. Plato, for example, could not have been more clear when describing, in Phaedo, the organization of Earth as a spherical dodecahedron:
Illustration 3. The 120 identical right triangles formed by the fifteen rings of the planetary grid (one triangle is shown highlighted) were known to the Egyptians and given the name MR. The triangle was used in Egyptian funerary texts to illustrate the relationship of the mortal body (kha) to three more subtle and divine essences - akh, ba, and ka- of which humans are composed.
But if I must tell you a story, Simmias, it is worth hearing what things really are like on the earth under the heavens. . .It is said then, my comrade, that first of all the Earth itself looks from above, if you could see it, like those "twelve-patch leather balls" (emphasis ours). 8
We are far from the only contemporary researchers to have explored the ramifications of this image. In 1866, Leonce Elie de Beaumont, one of the founders of the modern science of geology, published a geological map of France centered on Paris and based on a pentagon format. Predictably , orthodox cartographers today (who are untrained in three-dimensional geometry) dismiss de Beaumont's work as arcane; in fact, his Paris-centered pentagon is exactly 1/12 of Earth's surface-a perfect "patch" of the spherical dodecahedron. In his own time, however, Elie de Beaumont was well on his way to convincing the austere French Academy that the ancient tradition of geometry would ultimately overcome the apparent disorder of geology. Had it not been for his involvement in a scandalous court case in 1867, he almost certainly would have secured Academy endorsement of the spherical dodecahedron (our Mother Sphere) as the preferred mapping format on which to base the science of geology. 9 His dream may yet be realized in the 21st century.
Probably the most important source for arguing not only the existence of ancient maps based on the Mother Sphere, but also for affirming the possibility that these maps originated prior to 3000 B.C., is the revolutionary book by Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age. Using exhaustive cartographic, geological, archaeological, and ultimately mathematical methodologies, Hapgood (until his death, Professor of History of Science at the Keene State College of the University of New Hampshire) was able to muster overwhelming evidence that ancient cultures possessed a sophisticated global world view technically equivalent to our own. 10
The maps Hapgood studied were largely sea charts, maps made or copied by sailors whose lives depended upon their accuracy. Since the maps were not produced within the land-bound halls of "the academy," they have commonly been dismissed as items unworthy of serious inquiry. Hapgood was fascinated by the tortuous process of copying by which the maps reached present times at all. Seen in the light of a seafaring as opposed to land-based tradition, they reveal to the modern navigator a well-developed knowledge of spherical coordinates needed to sail (or fly) efficiently around the globe. In turn, an open-minded scholar is hard-put to deny the presence on these charts of detailed information about Earth's geology and history not available to science until the first International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1958. Despite scholarly protest that these maps are clever fakes, most of the charts Hapgood studied were documented into "official existence" prior to the turn of the century. The latest map he cites was discovered and officially recorded in 1931.
Of all the maps Hapgood reintroduced to the light of day, the most interesting to us is the di Canestris Map of 1335-37, a degenerated (copy of a copy of a copy...) medieval rendering of what must have been a sophisticated chart of the Mediterranean world. It is centered precisely on the Library at Alexandria. This map has not received the kind of attention it should, owing to its "fantasy" aspect: North Africa and Europe are anthropomorphized as a king and queen. Yet the primary lines of the map are oriented to true north/south and east/west, and reveal the pattern of the 4 MR Triangles which defined Imperial Egypt.
Illustration 4. The di Canestris map of 1335-37 (above-top) reveals the outlines of four MR triangles centered upon the Library of Alexandria. The seated fantasy figure to the east retains vestiges of five-fold symmetry that characterizes this type of intersection on the planetary grid. The map is almost certainly the result of hundreds (if not thousands) of years of copying - with resultant loss of knowledge of the sophisticated context within which the map was originally developed. The figure below shows how the map of Europe can be superimposed on the di Canestris map.
Hapgood was able to place this chart within the twelve wind system of map organization, the oldest and most accurate true geometry underlying his most ancient maps. This system establishes what we have previously referred to as a twelve-node-perimeter (the 28-triangle "squared circle"), and thus exactly corresponds to the Rings of Gaia.
Because of its uncanny accuracy, the most controversial of the maps in Hapgood's collection is a chart dated 1513 A.D. and attributed to one Piri Re'is, a known 16th century admiral in the Turkish/Ottoman Navy (Illustration 5), Along with several other charts "copied" from pre-Alexandrian sources and discussed at length in his book, Hapgood's Piri Re'is map reveals clear details of the twelve-node or twelve-wind cartography pattern, which naturally extends from a cluster of 28 scalene MR Triangles. This is the four corners orientation visible in later, considerably less sophisticated Roman sea charts of the Mediterranean world. The Piri Re'is map also reveals sections of the coast of Antarctica and clear renditions of the Atlantic sea bottom, which could only have been visible during the last ice age.
Illustration 5. The Piri Re'is map of 1513 (shown in greatly simplified form) reveals details of the coast of South America and Africa - also of Antarctica-years before this knowledge was theoretically available. This map is believed to have been sourced from charts as old as the last ice age. Because of its astonishing accuracy when projected to planetary scale (left), some have labeled it a hoax. We were intrigued by three factors: first, the map is composed of MR triangles; second, the "turning points" in the Atlantic Ocean correspond with intersections of the 15 planetary grid rings; and third, four MR triangles meet at Alexandria.
By early 1984, our inventory of evidence supporting the theory that a geodesic model of the Earth had been available to pre-Egyptian peoples had grown to a point where we (as with those preceding us) desperately needed some method to begin to organize and catalog the mountains of evidence we were finding. Our evidence came from disciplines as diverse as the synergetic geometry of Buckminster Fuller and the anthropology of the world's creation myths. We also came to recognize that neither of us was going to be able to organize all this alone, that it would have to be as a team or not at all.
The task of analysis at hand seemed to require combined backgrounds (such as ours) in anthropology, geometry, archaeology, history, geography, cartography, linguistics, and even music. We also found that we relied heavily upon written correspondence with other "new science" researchers around the world, and we longed to meet them. We had our first opportunity in 1985 at a conference organized by Jim Swan at the University of Massachusetts entitled "Is the Earth a Living Organism?" Later, in 1987, we received a travel grant to the British Isles from Governors State University to meet firsthand with A. M. Davie, John Michell, Paul Devereux, and James S. Brooks, whom we found to be as deeply enmeshed in related puzzles of the new paradigm as we have been. It was at the Amherst conference, however, that we formally introduced EarthStar, our foldable globe/map that incorporates the insights of Plato with the geometry of Buckminster Fuller and contemporary earth-modeling theories compiled by Christopher Bird.
Christopher Bird, along with Peter Tompkins, has produced and/or disseminated some of the most fertile and controversial research regarding the life of planet Earth that is currently available. 10 His work on how to cultivate energies of the soil (MR, it will be remembered, also means "to cultivate" ) is really an extension of ideas he developed in the early 1970s that describe the planetary grid as "a network, lattice or matrix of cosmic energy the study of which will give us more understanding of [Gaia's] structure than we have heretofore possessed." 11
We were fascinated by the fact that his matrix was exactly compatible with dome frameworks developed by Buckminster Fuller. We extended Bird's original lattice into the ring structure-and tied it to the planet with latitude and longitude coordinates to see if a pattern of cosmic energy could indeed be mapped.
Because of the historical importance of Alexandria in human history, and the geophysical evidence supporting Cairo/Egypt's established location in the center of the world's continental land masses, 12 we oriented EarthStar's 120-triangled mapping pattern to a meridian of longitude running through the axial North and South poles and through the pyramid complex at Giza, just east of the estimated location of the Library of Alexandria and just west of Cairo. This "Orienting Ring" is crossed by another ring just north of the Nile Delta at a point called Behdet. We designated this as point #1 on EarthStar. The fifteen Rings of Gaia intersect each other 62 times to form the 120 MR triangles of the Mother Sphere. Beginning with #1 at Behdet, we numbered the remaining 61 intersections according to a convention established by Bird in his original article (Illustration 6).
We based EarthStar-our flat projection of the Mother Sphere's round geometry-on a polyhedron known as the rhombic triacontahedron. Each of the triacontahedron's 30 diamond faces is made up of 4 MR Triangles. Each of its edges is the ba (the first incarnating principle) edge of the MR Triangle. The figure is closer to the sphere than even the dodecahedron and, unlike other geodesic maps, it is easy to read and equator-based when displayed flat.
We were truly surprised to discover a mathematical oddity of EarthStar's 120 MR Triangles when we had charted them out on a world globe: the ratio of each triangle's side lengths was virtually 7:11:13. We used average distances of 1400, 2200, and 2600 miles for the sides of the MR triangles (the actual distances are approximately 1440 miles, 2160 miles, and 2592 miles) and found that one Ring of Gaia (the Earth's circumference) would measure 24,800 miles. This accords well with the standard geophysical calculation of 24,885 miles. 13
Illustration 6. EarthStar is our foldable planetary grid globe/ map. An advantage of this mapping system is the ease with which approximate distances can be calculated.
The significance of EarthStar's planetary grid intersections and triangles is both scientific and mythological, intriguing and elusive. It is an inescapable conclusion that any satisfying description of what it is will be not only multidisciplinary, but multicultural. It will echo the timeless wisdom "as above, so below." Clues are everywhere. At the microscale, scientists now know the 30-sided rhombic triacontahedron to be the structure of the living virus. In the Hebrew Kaballah, lamed (the 30th letter, which is also the number 30) symbolizes the metabolism and manifestations of Gaia at the planetary scale. Echoing ancient theories of the music of the spheres, harmonic proportions between tones of the classic scale are mirrored in proportional distances between intersections of the Rings of Gaia. In a Brule Sioux creation story, the Sun empowers the Earth by calling the orbits, planets and stars to "come to the sixteen hoops!" While there are 15 theoretical Rings of Gaia, once the planet is set in place in the solar system, it acquires a 16th-the Equator.
We have included, as an appendix, a very condensed summary of our map of cosmic energies as we can currently describe them. (Illustration 5 provides a visual guide to our numbering system.) If, as the MR Triangle suggests, the Earth's body is analogous to a human body, the intersections of the planetary grid rings may mark planetary chakras. Perhaps the general health of the Earth's body is reflected and magnified at these locations. By our very long-standing and ancient attention to the map of the Rings of Gaia, we may have actually imprinted it upon our collective species memory-and thus created enduring geographical patterns of human energy and emotion. Because of its resonance with the molecular carbon and cellular structures that compose our physical bodies, it is completely predictable that the mnemonic of the Rings of Gaia should be powerful within us. We may simply see this way.
We continue to think of the Rings of Gaia as a web of life, especially when the full array of rings shines forth from the planet in a pattern that Buckminster Fuller predicted (Illustration 7). Bringing the web into creation is Spider Woman: 14
When she [Spider Woman] awoke to life and received her name, she asked, "Why am I here?"
"Look about you," answered Sotuknang, "Here is the earth we have created. It has shape and substance, direction and time, a beginning and an end. But there is no life upon it.
What is life without sound and movement? So you have been given the power to help us create this life. You have been given the knowledge, wisdom, and love to bless all the beings you create. That is why you are here."
Illustration 7. Buckminster Fuller spent his life exploring spherical geometry. In one experiment, he used microphotographic techniques to chart energetic stresses and reactions on the surface of a round balloon. The result turned out to be an elaborated form of the Rings of Gaia. In our research, we have discovered startling coincidences between this more complex ring structure and other patterns of lines on the earth.
1. William Becker and Bethe Hagens, "The Planetary Grid: A New Synthesis," Pursuit, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1984.
2. Keith Critchlow, Time Stands Still: New Light on Megalithic Science. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1982.
3. Raphael Demos, ed., Plato Selections. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1927.
4. F. Lindemann, "Zur Geschichte der Polyeder und der Zahlzeichen ," Sitzungberichte der Mathemaiisch-Physikaliscken Klasse der Koenighiich. Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 26, pp. 625-783 (1897).
5. Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, 1987.
6. Tons Brunes, The Secrets of Ancient Geometry. Copenhagen: Chronos, 1967.
7. Raphael Demos, ed., Plato Selections. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1927.
8. Raphael Demos, ed., Plato Selections. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1927.
9. L. Elie de Beaumont "Note sur la correlation des directions des different systemes de montagnes," C. R, Acad. Sci. Paris, Vol. 31,325-338, 1850.
10. Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, Secrets of the Soil. Harper and Row: New York, 1989. Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants. Harper and Row: New York, 1973.
11. Christopher Bird, "The Planetary Grid," New Age Journal, May 1975.
12. Peter Tompkins, Secrets of the Great Pyramid. Harper and Row: New York, 1971.
13. Rand McNally World Atlas, Rand McNally and Company: Chicago, 1975.
14. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, Penguin Books: New York, 1963.
Some Major Intersections
ORIENTING RING. The "great circle" (equator) beginning at Point 1 and running completely around the Earth through the axial north and south poles and back again to Point 1. It is the most important of the fifteen rings that make up the most basic planetary grid system.
Point 1. The longitude meridian running through this point has traditionally marked the division between the East and the West. Many ancient mapmakers used it as the orienting line for their charts (see Charles Hapgood's Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings). Folklore has it that this meridian crosses more land than any other line of longitude.
Contemporary salting of the Nile Delta is a serious ecological disaster. Cairo is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
Archaeological points of interest include (within the nearby vicinity) the Great Pyramid at Giza, the ancient Library of Alexandria, King Herod's fortified palace, the Dome of the Rock, and the Temple of Solomon.
The point is 2160 miles from the Equator, precisely the diameter of the moon. In the Ruwenzori range at the Equator (and also on the Orienting Ring) is a sacred Mountain of the Moon of the Pygmies. The ancient Egyptians revered the Pygmies as both their ancestors and as holy people.
Moving south, the Orienting Ring roughly maps the path of the Nile and passes through the ancient territory of the Nubians. It touches the modern city of Khartoum, site of unprecedented drought, famine, incidence of AIDS, political turmoil, and refugee settlements. There are literally millions of orphaned refugee children in the city. It is also reputed to be the center through which plutonium is being sold underground to Middle East nations.
Point 2. Close to the site of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. Kiev has historically been the most beloved and perhaps most politically important city in the Ukraine. Because of the extraordinary number of rivers (Dneper, Volga, Dvina ) which flow through the area, the city has always been an important trading center. The area immediately around the point is of predominant importance to the USSR in terms of food production, coal, iron ore, manganese, and natural gas.
Moscow, with its current political upheavals, is nearby to the northeast. (Point 2 may come to represent the collapse of communism.)
Point 4. Lake Baikal is the planet's oldest, deepest, and largest lake. It is about the size of Belgium and accounts for l/5th of the Earth's freshwater reserves. The threat of pollution to this unique ecosystem, home to more than 1000 species of plants and animals unknown anywhere else, has stimulated an activist environmental movement within the Soviet Union. It has been called the "symbol of the nation."
Point 6, A significant U.S. military base exists here. World War II veterans have referred to Attu as "one of the most beautiful spots in the world." The world's largest concentration of marine animals is found here: vast colonies of sea lions, seals, sea otters. Plankton, tiny marine plants and animals that are the basis of the ocean's food chain, thrive in record numbers. The ring connecting it to Point 7 marks a unique volcanic zone as well as a wildlife refuge protected by the U.S. government since the early 1900s. Birds such as puffins, cormorants, and kittiwakes mass in these islands in the hundreds of millions.
Point 7. Most recently, this pristine Aleut environment was the site of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which has catalyzed world environmental thought and action. Several years ago, two days after nuclear testing in Nevada, an immense volcanic eruption occurred near the point. A number of geographers believe the events were related-North on the Orienting Ring are Mount Denali (McKinley), the Alaska pipeline, and the massive Prudhoe Bay oil deposits. Also to be found are some of the most ancient Siberia/New World migration sites, such as Chugwater.
Point 8. This portion of central Alberta is the site of Canada's most prolific oil and gas reserves. It is also its richest wheat-producing area. It may well become a center of massive world environmentalist action if Mitsubishi is allowed to build the world's largest pulp mill nearby on the Athabaska River. (Pulp mills are first-class polluters of water resources.)
Archaeologically, the area is notable for its 5000-year-old Majorville "medicine wheel," a structure somewhat like Stonehenge, presumably constructed by Paleo-Indians.
Points 10, 19, 37, 38, 39, 50, and 60. These roughly mark the outline of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Associated with this spreading of the sea floor are not only unique hot spots but clusters of bacteria which appear to be kept alive on inorganic chemicals. Creatures known as tube worms eat the bacteria. This has prompted a re-evaluation of our entire theory of how evolution happens. The older "warm sunlight and gentle tide pools" theory is virtually being abandoned by scientists everywhere.
Point 11. This part of the world is the subject of countless books, ranging from the mystical legends of King Arthur to contemporary stories of giant cabbages grown at the community of Findhorn. It is home to Loch Ness; the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Ireland (sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world); numerous ancient stone circles and cairns (somewhat similar to Stonehenge and constructed thousands of years ago). The point also precisely marks the location where the last battle between Protestants and Catholics took place on the island of Great Britain.
A curious and unique species of hallucinogenic mushrooms grows for some miles around the point, and sheep are known to become totally intoxicated by eating them!
Point 12. Here at the mouth of the Indus River is the 6000-year-old origin spot of all Hindu culture and the site of archaeologically significant ruins such as Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, and the "Mound of the Dead." It is not far from contemporary Karachi and has always been a communications center and home to royalty. The infamous Bhopal disaster occurred on the ring connecting Point 12 to Point 25.
Point 13. This spot, near Chengdu, is known in China as Little Beijing. It is most noted as a communications center, but also as the site of the most massive irrigation project in the entirety of China. More than 3000 years old, the Du Jiang Dam system is still keeping the vast plain fertile and is considered a markedly superior engineering feat, in comparison to the Great Wall. The same area is also the natural home of the panda. Slightly north of the point on the ring connecting it to Point 4 is a concentration of Xia dynasty pyramids.
Point 17. Near here are Organ Pipe National Monument; an enormous communications dish array; small pyramids; and Mt. Pinacate. The Hohokum people of ancient times built immense irrigation canals here, and their civilization lasted some 9000 years. They made a ceremonial wine of the cactus we call "organ pipe." In general, this area marks the most sacred territory of the oldest native peoples in North America. The area is currently one of the most intense drug trafficking.
Point 18. Here is probably the most alluring mythological site for the American popular culture-the Bermuda Triangle. A number of people believe Atlantis is rising here, for the sandy undersea floor occasionally reveals what appear to be walls and pyramids. Nearby is Cape Canaveral. The shuttle Challenger disaster, which caused such a dramatic re-evaluation of the real priorities in the space industry, occurred here,
Point 21. Farther south, near the headwaters of the White Nile and an ancient Bedouin watering hole, is Point 21, site of the largest concentration of sickle-cell anemia in Africa. It also marks the heart of the breeding ground for the locust, currently causing widespread devastation that may eventually extend as far as the Atlantic and Pakistan. The United Nations refers to this as "the beginning of a true plague."
Oddly, this same area (slightly southeast of the point) has yielded some of the most crucially important finds in the human evolutionary record (e.g., Olduvai Gorge, the Serengeti Plain, Laetoli. Lake Victoria ). Finds by Donald Johannsen and the Leakey family were all made in this general region of east Africa.
Point 25. This area has been crucially important in terms of the future of the United States as a world moral symbol. It marks the focal point of the Vietnam War. Geographically, the Mekong Delta was once (prior to bombing and defoliation) one of the world's most prolific rice-producing regions. It also marks the site of some of the most prominent Hindu shrines, including Angkor Wat and the temples of the Khmer kings.
Point 35. This is another area that is the subject of a raft of archaeological and speculative research-everything from Van Daniken's "landing strip for the chariots of the Gods" on the Nazca Plains, to an enormous ancient pyramid complex discovered and described in a US. News and World Report story of April 30, 1990. Nearby are the very ancient sites of Machu Picchu, the huge unexplained megalithic walls of Sacsayhuaman, and numerous pyramids and stone circles.
Ironically, this is the most prolific coca producing region in the entire world. (Coca is the source of cocaine.) It marks the headwaters of the Amazon River. Just off the coast from Point 35 was once the most prolific anchoveta fishery in the world. The catch went into sharp decline in 1972 with the advent of El Nino, a mass of warm water that intruded upon the nutrient-rich Peru current underpinning the fishing industry.
Point 41. Continuing south, just north of Point 41, is Great Zimbabwe, often referred to as "Africa's Stonehenge." This massive structure is unprecedented in African history and is of such importance to Africans that its name was adopted when Rhodesia became the independent nation of Zimbabwe . Not far from this site, the first hominid fossils (the australopithecines) were found early in this century by Raymond Dart.
Point 41 is in Swaziland and marks the Ngwenya iron ore mine-one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the world. It is also the site of the second largest rock in the world (Sibebe Rock, 10 km. outside Mban). In general, South Africa and nearby Johannesburg mark not only modern extremes in racial tension and the political legacies of apartheid-but also some of the most substantial deposits of gold, diamonds, chromium, and other essential minerals in the world.
Point 44. This is the site of Wilpena Pound, an enormous meteor crater in the Flinders Range that is also the most popular vacation spot in Australia. There are numerous sacred aboriginal sites here. A unique environmental preserve is maintained at Chinamen's Creek, just south of Port Augusta. The same area is currently slated as a toxic chemical waste storage zone-one of Australia's most controversial proposals.
Geophysicists have discovered a huge natural underground electrical circuit in nearby Broken Hill, which contains electrical currents of more than a million amps. The circuit was found using a sensor which detects fluctuating fields in the Earth's crust. They are created in response to electrical events such as thunderstorms and the movement of dissolved salts in artesian water.
Point 61, An ozone hole over the North Pole was discovered in 1986.
Point 62. Most obvious, at present, is the ozone hole over the South Pole. It is interesting historically that the first landing at the pole by Admiral Byrd was made on the Orienting Ring in an area now known as the Rockefeller Plateau, On his visit to the South Pole, Admiral Byrd had a number of visions involving alien landscapes and spacecraft. He had similar visions, yet to be explained or really accounted for, during his North Pole journey.
1991 Becker, William S. and Bethe Hagens, "The Rings of Gaia," in James A. Swan, compiler. The Power of Place: Sacred Ground in Natural and Human Environments. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
These files are protected by a Creative Commons license. Any of the information and graphics may be copied and freely shared as long as (1) the author and source are cited; (2) the Creative Commons license is acknowledged; and (3) the material is not sold. Please contact me if you have a question about using any of these materials.