Updated: Jun 16, 2019
The number three comes up in occult practices, spiritual systems, religions, and esoteric traditions often. Three has often been considered a sacred number associated with many different trinities:
Mind, Body, Spirit
Past, Present, Future
Maiden, Mother, Crone
Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Mother, Father, Child
With three playing such an important role in humanities exploration of itself its no wonder that the geometric shape of the triangle plays such an important role. As always you can follow along with this post over on my YouTube channel as we discuss this topic here:
The Equilateral Triangle
The most common triangle that we see appear in spiritual and sacred context is the equilateral triangle - a triangle made of three sides of equal length. Most who study the occult will quickly note that this simple symbol was adopted by the Alchemists who used it to symbolize each of the four basic elements that comprise all things within the universe.
The upward triangle with its phallic point represents the masculine, the elements fire and air. Conversely the womb shaped downward pointing triangle represents the feminine, and elements of water and earth. The upward pointed triangle also represents the ascent into the heavens, or ascension to another plane of existence and the transformation of something basic to something more. Conversely the downward pointed triangle represents a descent into earth, a grounding, or reduction of complex substances into their basic constituents. When you combine the these two basic concepts you are met with the Hexagram. A sacred symbol representing the union of the masculine and feminine and a representation of all four of the elements in one, or ether.
The most common representation of the Hexagram is that of the Star of David, a symbol used to represent the Jewish faith, people, and is even found on the flag of Israel. Although the origin of this symbol goes back in time long before it was adopted by the Jewish peoples in the middle Ages when it was widely known as the Seal of Solomon, a symbol worn by King Solomon which granted him powers unlike what we consider magick today, including the ability to summon and control the Jinn, speak with animals, and control demons. It was later adopted Alchemists and by Kabbalistic traditions for various occult meanings. Also adopted by Astrologers to represent the earth and the original planets that rotated around it. In the 19th century the Zionist movement also adopted it as their organization symbol. Some of these reasons are why many orthodox Jewish people today no longer use the Star of David to represent their faith. Later Levi, the prolific oculist and writer of the 19th Century further expounded upon the power of this symbol associating it with the concept of 'As above, so below.' The symbol can even be found in use in Masonic symbols and writings. The symbol even appears on Moroccan coinage from the late 19th century.
The Tetrahedron, Octahedron, & Pyramid
In the third dimension three equilateral triangles form the most basic of pyramidal shapes, the tetrahedron. Although many people are familiar with the 4 equilateral triangle set on the base of a square such as the famous Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. This architectural shape can be found at sacred sites all over the world. If we remember our lessons from the chapter on Platonic Solids the tetrahedron is one of the fundamental building blocks of life. It represents the element Fire and is heavily associated with manifestation. Likewise, the octahedron, which is basically two pyramids glued together at the base, represents the element of air and is associated with integration magicks. If you overlap two tetrahedrons in a similar fashion to the hexagram the resulting geometric shape is known as the star tetrahedron, or merkaba - the vehicle of life. One of the many symbols found within Metatron's Cube. The word Merkaba is actually composed of three separate words: Mer, which means light, Ka, which means spirit and Ba, which means Body. Together this word and symbol is the embodiment of mind, body, and spirit. The star shaped symbol is believed to be a divine vehicle made entirely of light and designed to transport or connect the spirit to the heavens. Jewish texts reveal that the word is also the Hebrew for a chariot, and one can even find the Merkaba mentioned indirectly in the Old Testament of the a total of 44 times according to some scholars.
Interestingly enough, the tetrahedron never saw much use as a shape in the ancient architecture, but half of the octahedron became on of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in the world. The pyramid.
The pyramids found on the Giza Plateau are some of the most instantly recognizable architectural monuments today, and is the only remaining Seven Wonders of the World left standing today. The three pyramids including what is known as Khufu's Great Pyramid are perfectly aligned to the cardinal directions. They align with the stars of Orion's belt, and most interestingly, they are geographically in what is considered to be the center of the world. Although in the past many academics thought the Pyramids were built as tombs of the kings of Egypt, no body or reliable inscription (Yes, Khufu's name was found in graffiti in the Great Pyramid. Yes, there is tons of reliable research that proves its from the time the pyramid opened, and no, we will not go into details here.) The Pyramids however did play a significant role in the Egyptian culture although what role and purpose they had is still shrouded in much mystery - obviously though these shapes and what they represented where important enough to build colossal monuments out of. If you are interested in the Pyramids and their mysteries I would highly recommend the documentary The Pyramid Code that is available in North America on Netflix.
Pyramids however are not localized to Egypt. They can be found on every major content in the world. Even in the United States of America right in Illinois you can find one of the largest pre-columbian earth works that is known as the Monk's Mound built in the shape of a pyramid. From the USA all the way to China you can find Pyramids overgrown with lush vegetation. Of course, Central America is also dotted with pyramids built by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. The one thing all these structures have in common is that they are all built as a part of some kind of temple complex and often are sites associated with archeoastronomy - the study of the use of astronomy in prehistoric sites. In modern metaphysical practices pyramids are believed to be able to cleanse and purify energy, much like a filter of sort. By sitting inside of a pyramid one can ground and center your energies and heighten your intuition and psychic abilities. It is also thought that by placing food and herbs inside of a pyramid that their natural properties will become enhanced and more effective. Crystals also can be charged inside a pyramid structure, and one can meditate inside a pyramid to enhance their meditative practice. More recently some studies have shown to support these claims as science and spirituality move ever closer to answering the same question - Why? Many other sacred geometric shapes are comprised of the triangle, and today we have explored just a few to wet your appetite, spark your intuition, and light the proverbial flame under your ass to get out there and research and explore this topic to find what resonates for you and your own highest good. As always, remember everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about - so be kind. Always.
Gardner, Helen, et al. Gardners Art through the Ages. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.
Greer, John Michael. SACRED GEOMETRY ORACLE. STYLUS PUBLISHING, 2019.
Hart, Francene. Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck. Bear & Co., 2001.