11. The Gothic Cathedrals


About 90 kilometers southwest of Paris stands the town of Chartres with it's magnificent Gothic Cathedral. The site on which the present building stands has been a place of worship since megalithic times, starting out with a Dolmen and a Well within a mound. Five earlier churches have been standing on this very spot previous to the enormous building we can still admire today and all five had been destroyed by fire. The present Cathedral was built after the previous church had burned down in 1194 A.D. and it took the builders about 30 years to finish it. Between 1128 A.D. and 1228 A.D. a total number of 80 huge Gothic Cathedrals were build in France and several of the Cathedrals from this period were dedicated to the Holy Virgin and bear the name Notre- Dame. Among them are the Cathedrals of Reims,Evreux, Rouen, Amiens, Bayeux and Laon. The planning and construction of Chartres Cathedral however is special for it is shrouded in mystery and not a single account of the design and the erection of this building exists. This is extremely odd to say the least, for the planning and building of a Cathedral of this size is a formidable architectural achievement. Nobody knows exactly where the knowledge came from that made it possible to build in this new and magnificent style and yet, all over France and within a timespan of about one hundred years enormous buildings were erected in this particular style. A thing that adds even more to this mystery is the fact that the groundplan of Chartres Cathedral is proven to be based on the Golden Number, the Devine Law governing Number, Weight and Measure. The length of the Nave, the Choir and the Transepts and also the distance between pillars prove to be multiples of the Golden Number (1.618...). As a result of this, the groundplan of this building radiates a sense of perfect balance and proportion. (Fig.42).


Fig.42

The Cathedral is built on an exact East-West axis which runs through the centre of the Nave and the Choir. After entering this building through the Great West Door and about halfway between this Door and the point where the North- and South Transept cross the Nave, a visitor will come upon a huge Labyrinth. This Labyrinth which is 13 meters across is set out in the flagstones of the floor of the Nave. Past the Labyrinth and beyond the crossing of both Transepts we come upon another important feature of this building which is called the Sacred Centre. This specific spot lies between the second and third bays of the Choir and is the position of the original Altar before it was moved in the 16th century. Right below this point lies the ancient Well which, for reasons unknown to us, is called The Well of The Strong. The entire architecture of the building seems to embody the perfect balance and proportion of the Universe. The fact that the lay-out of this Cathedral is based on the Golden number, together with the prominent presence of the ancient symbol of the Labyrinth, most strongly invites us to apply our geometry here and see whether this place also demonstrates the cycle of Precession, the cycle of Change or perhaps both. The major features of this building seem to indicate that it does, so let's give this a try. We start by drawing two centrelines through the groundplan of the building, one through the middle of the Nave and the Choir and one through the middle of both Transepts.(Fig. 43).


Fig.43

Since our geometrical Key originates from the Labyrinth, we best start by applying this geometry from the centre of the circular Labyrinth in the Nave. When we take the distance from this centre to the centreline that runs through the middle of both Transepts, this will allow us to draw a large circle around the Labyrinth. The line of this circle touches on the centreline of the Transepts on the Eastside and on a line that runs along the outside walls of the building on the Westside. Inside this circle we can draw a pentagram and when we do this we see that the right hand upper- and lower point of this pentagram come to rest exactly on the Western walls of both Transepts. The left side of the inner pentagon provides for the measurement for the width of the Nave. The correct size and direction of the pentagram is confirmed by several other features of this building. (Fig.44).


Fig.44

Several walls of the building line-up with lines that we can draw through and along the points of the pentagram. Prior to the next step in our geometrical exploration of the place we have to take the essence of the Labyrinth into consideration. As we could see in the bizarre baseline of the Labyrinth, it speaks clearly of mirroring and reversal. Perhaps we have to continue by projecting the pentagram together with it's circle onto the Eastern part of this lay-out. As soon as we 'mirror' the image of the pentagram and circle onto the Eastern part of the building, a remarkable thing becomes visible. (Fig. 45).


Fig.45

The left hand upper- and lower points of the pentagram now come to rest on the Eastern walls of the Transepts as could be expected but the remarkable thing here is that the circle of the Labyrinth fits the semi-circular part of the Choir and that the most left hand corner of the inner pentagon touches exactly on the Sacred Centre. It seems that the original design of the lay-out of this building started out with the right hand pentagram, it's East-West- orientation and it's position in relation to the Sacred Well. This would mean that the exact location of the Labyrinth in the pavement of the Nave was a direct result of the 'mirroring' of the right hand pentagram and it's circle onto the Western part of the groundplan, and not the other way around. However, if the entire design of the groundplan of this building pivots around it's most ancient component, i.e. the Sacred Well, it would have been far more logical that this Sacred Centre was in the heart of the right hand pentagram. When we move the right hand pentagram to the left until the Sacred Centre becomes the heart of it, this movement will not only bring the most Eastern point of this pentagram within the building but it also makes the points of both pentagrams that rested on the Eastern- and Western walls of the Transepts meet on the Western walls. (Fig.46).


Fig.46

Where the previous positions of both pentagrams within their circles concerned themselves mainly with the lay-out or the groundplan of the building, this new geometrical composition lifts itself free from it and as such can clearly have a higher and different meaning. It appears that it are not the circles that had to be reversed or mirrored here but rather the pentagrams themselves. With the baseline of the Labyrinth in mind it is easy to imagine each pentagram to represent one of these linehalves and as such, two reversed or opposing forces working towards each other. And if the entire baseline or complete Labyrinth would represent the large cycle of 34.560 years, each pentagram would represent half of this timespan and this should be demonstrated in it's movement. However, in order to enable both pentagrams to move we need a static framework against which their movement can be measured. We can create this framework by including both circles of the pentagrams within one large circle and by dividing this large circle by means of a hexagram. (Fig. 47).


Fig.47

Having established our geometrical framework or dialplate, this latest manifestation in a long line of geometrical clockworks is ready to demonstrate the ancient knowledge about a large and important cosmic cycle. In order to create more clarity however, it is necessary to lift this geometrical composition from the groundplan of the Cathedral so we can have a proper view on the exact working of this geometrical clockwork. (Fig.48).


Fig.48

The same as was the case at Giza, Angkor and Borobudur, the distance between two successive points of the pentagram should be read as representing 72 years (one click). In the case of this specific geometrical composition, two pentagrams of equal size move simultaniously along the inside of the large circle and in opposite direction of each other. The numerical outcome of their movements must therefore be added up to give a total result. All we have to do here is to follow the movement of one pentagram and double it's numerical outcome. Let's follow the movement of the left hand pentagram and see what this movement will tell us. When we start out with point A and let the pentagram move in a clockwise direction along the large circle, we see that it takes exactly 48 clicks to end up at the same position we started from. Fig.48 shows that here again it is not the same point of the pentagram that concludes this first small cycle as the one we started out with. We've started this first cycle with point A and we conclude it with point D. At this stage, our clockwork has ticked away 48 clicks of 72 years or 3.456 years. We will have to repeat this movement five times in order to end up with exactly the same point of the pentagram as the one we started out with, namely point A. Having done this, we will see that one full and complete cycle of the left hand pentagram generates a timespan of 5 times 3.456 years or 17.280 years. However, since this clockwork, which is a geometrical representation of Chartres Cathedral, harbours not one but two equal moving pentagrams, we have to double this numerical result. When we do this we can clearly see that this Cathedral most firmly embodies and also demonstrates a total timespan of 2 times 17.280 years or 34.560 years. This quite stunning outcome certainly proves that the presence of the ancient symbol of the Labyrinth inside this building is highly appropriate. It seems that the Labyrinth and with it also many ancient structures all point towards an obscure but extremely important large cosmic cycle. Inside this cycle, two equal but opposing cosmic forces gradually work their way towards each other over a timespan of 34.560 years and when they meet, they will put the surface of our planet into complete turmoil. Is there any more circumstantial evidence that Chartres Cathedral or the Gothic Cathedrals in general might be the latest manifestation of knowledge about this cosmic cycle? It seems there is for when we look at the period in which they were built, another remarkable thing becomes clear. Most Gothic Cathedrals were finished just before the year 1250 A.D.. This fact places the time of their completion in the middle of the Age of Pisces. Can it be that according to some obscure tradition the knowledge about the periodical destruction of the earth's surface had to be kept alive and that this had to be done during every Age of the Zodiac? We believe that there has always been a strong connection between the Christian Religion and Jerusalem. In the ancient Jerusalem, the temple of King Solomon was completed around the year 1000 B.C., approximately in the middle of the Age of Aries. Is this a coincidence? Perhaps we will never know but one thing at least is very, very strange here: Those who rummaged through the remnants of this temple for almost 10 years were the same people who, after their return to France, instigated and supervized the building of the first Gothic Cathedrals here. Another thing that is quite remarkable is the name that many of these Cathedrals have. Many of these buildings are dedicated to the Virgin that gave birth to a Child, Notre Dame. The choice of this name might have a very special meaning. When we assume that the present cycle of 34.560 years started with the Age of Leo, this means that the previous cycle ended with the Age of Virgo. In a most splendid and symbolical way this might be exactly the reason for the namegiving of these Cathedrals for then their name would refer to the fact that the present cycle is the child that was born from the Virgin. We encounter this story of a Virgin giving birth to a child in many ancient myths. Among these mythical births are: Zoroaster, born from a virgin around 1500-1200B.C.; Krishna, Hindu Deity, born from the virgin Devaki around 1200 B.C.; Adonis, Babelonian Deity, born from the virgin Ishtar; Indra, born from a virgin in Tibet around 700 B.C.; Mithra, born from a virgin around 600 B.C.; Attis, born from the virgin Nama in Phrigia around 200 B.C.; Gautama Buddha, born from the virgin Maya around 600 B.C.; Dyonisius, born from a virgin; Quirinus, early Roman Saviour, born from a virgin. It seems that it are not the special circumstances around their actual birth that are important here but that these births refer to the special status that these people developed during their lifetime. They all developed in their own way into great Teachers and bringers of culture and as such gave direction to the social and cultural development of mankind. With reference to the possible extremely high level of development that might have existed at the end of the previous cycle that ended with the Age of Virgo, these new bringers of culture may indeed be called true Children of the Virgin. Seen in this light, the dedication of a building that harbours the detailed knowledge about this Cycle of Change to the Virgin seems highly appropriate.