Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Pause at the Hexad

A Pause at the Hexad

There is a natural pause over the Hexad: it represents, in many ways, a repetition of the Monad, being halfway in between 1 & 10. The Hexad, or Seal of Solomon, reminds us that even the Monad itself is not original, but ab-original, because Iamblichus never deals with the Number Zero. We might wonder if Zero represents Non-Being, something which Greek civilization did not investigate as thoroughly as it did the Circle and its Center as The Beginning. A bright mathematician and philosopher/poet might add to Iamblichus’ meditations by exploring what the East discerned Non-Being to be, and how this might be integrated into Western metaphysics through Iamblichus’ meditative sequence on Number.

Thus, when the Hexad begins the surge of re-integrative Life, we are reminded that the One or Logos as we know it in the West is itself not God, in a sense, because the chain of progression makes us consider the subtle variations between numbers (as well as Zero). As Jesus said, Why do you call me Good? There is One Good, who is God.” It is no coincidence that Islam arose between East and West, in the wastes of the desert, where men had not forgotten that the scandal of the Incarnation was a fire which might burn those who neglected the study of Non-Being. In fact, the Orthodox argue that Catholic mysticism, over time, degenerated into emotionalism and sentimentality of a sort, which is related to the Western emphasis on the second Chakra (the Logos). As this author points out, this drive lead them to abandon the Supreme Eros (the front Chakra) and also meditation in favor of a degenerated concept of Logos, which leads to Bacon and modern empiricism. The alchemical process degenerated into the world of the Machine. Yet even here, there are echoes, intimations of “deprivation” as George Parkin Grant termed them – we learn the existence of Heaven by experiencing Hell. Even raw physics teaches the importance of the Hexad.

In a future essay, we will see how Tolkien himself (the last man to take up arms against the Machine in letters, as a crusade) anticipated this in his myth of the Lost Road. The world no longer had a straight road “into the West” that rose into the upper air, but became Round. The road to Non-Manifestation and Non-Being was closed to the Western Man.

If we recover a doctrine of the Hexad, we might balance not only the Monad and the end of the cycle in 10, but also see how Zero teaches us even more about Origins. (Please note: in a sense, Iamblichus’ Monad can be said to contain both the 0 and the 1, and so is not incomplete – rather, we say that Iamblichus was more concerned with Manifestation than Non-Being).

The Hexad is the Seal of Solomon, which the Templars were created to embody. Here was yet another opportunity afforded by the far reach of Heaven to remind the West of what it should already know. Some mystics like Nicholas of Flue realized that there had to be two Trinities, since the lower realms had to be constantly related back to, not only the metaphysical principles of realization in the manifested Trinity, but united in what alchemy was designed to reach – perfect reintegration into the Monad of the Monad. This was to occur in the Heart, where was hid all the secrets of earth and heaven. Even in Islam, which kept the echoes alive, a need was seen by the Sufis to recognize the truth which Christianity held in potential, and the heart remained paramount to exoteric doctrine focused on the One.

The mystery of the Hexad, or double Trinity, teaches man that God is a God of the living, and that even correct dogma or doctrine was not everything – there remained the task of the Heart, which Valentin Tomberg undertook to explicate in his Meditations.

The Hexad re-unites Wood (the mortal Fifth Element) with the true Fifth Element or Quintessence: the “Hearth” (another name for the Monad) is in between Earth and Heaven, just as the Heart mediates the lower 3 chakras with the upper 3. God must swear a double oath – one by Earth, one by Heaven (see the Epistle to the Hebrews). This is one of the true meanings of the Incarnation, which was vouchsafed to the Christians, if they can remember it.

An Appeal to Read

For all of those who frequent this site, or wander in (and they are no doubt, few), I am asking that they take the time to read one or two articles at the fountain. Without Gornahoor, I would probably not be calling myself officially a Christian (by this time), if for no other reason than the "Christian Church" in the West has strayed so far from any recognizably "traditional" or (for that matter) even "Christian" form. I attend a good little local Church, but without the bigger horizon, anyone who has an inquiring mind will quickly fall into cynicism, apathy, or worse.

I write there under the name "Logres", but there are better articles from Cologero and Mihai and many others, all of which are concerned with re-orienting the West towards something truly transcendent.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Seven is called the Virgin, Guardian, Message, Critical Time, Athena, Chance & Acropolis. It is a mean between the second Monad (ie., the Hexad, issuing into material Creation, since Dyad and Triad belong more properly to the One) and the Decad. It is perfect: it is 3 from 4 and 3 from 10. It is the balance between the end and the beginning, if we are speaking of the confluence of Being issuing in Creation.
Throughout, Iamblichus has drawn on Nicomachus‘ lost Theology of Arithmetic. In considering the Heptad, he has a long section on gestation and the ages of men, which are divided by sevens. This is interesting, but we will focus instead on another idea, suggested by Iamblichus, that there are three layers of the soul (rational, spirited, appetitive) and four virtues (wisdom, justice, fortitude, and moderation).
For anyone familiar with the Liberal Arts, one should immediately think of the Trivium and the Quadrivium (also note, that these were considered preparatory to the study of philosophy and theology). So, there were seven planets, and seven “subjects”/”modes” to master before one could come in the light of the Sun. There are seven progressions of musical notes in the infra-scale of music. Here again, once subject of the Quadrivium is Harmony, or Music, and this is not accidental: the roots of the sadly degraded liberal arts lie in the greater and lesser mysteries, and not the study of “relevance” or “contemporary” dialogues between modern political factions.

He who attained to Seven, by necessity was graduating to the last grade – it is a mark of completion and mastery to have entered the final grade. Those familiar with the Ur-Group writings will recognize that some of the essays deal with the evocation of the celestial guardians, which are seven in number.
Seven is perfect also, because it cannot be divided by anything except itself (it’s only factors are 1 and 7) – in this sense, it is like 2 and 3, as well as 5.

In Revelation, we are told that there are 7 spirits or archons/angels, represented in the temple candlesticks, which pour out various events upon the earth. Of course, seven is also the number of days in the week, which is not an accident – neither is it accidental that the phases of the moon can be divided into seven week quarters (Iamblichus draws heavily on the phases of moon when discussing seven, and this is proper, because the Moon represents a “fetal Earth in gestation”, whose boundaries mark the limits of the lower powers of the air that govern the soul cages and impose General Law upon mortals – to “jump over the Moon” is to master the astral worlds and to transcend the power of the Lower Guardians: please refer to Boris Mouravieff’s work in this regard).

So we see that Seven is actually, properly, a very lucky number.

To return to the Liberal Arts, the number of Seven was critical – 3 portions to match the various layers of man’s soul (grammar, logic, rhetoric), and 4 virtues or actual “knowledge bodies” that were mastered (Arithmetic, Number, Harmony, and Celestial Proportion). So it can be seen that the Trivium matches the first three numbers, and constitutes a reflection of the higher waters and Divine Essence, while the Quadrivium matches the last four numbers, and is the issuing forth of Being into Creation as manifested virtues and concrete knowledge. In a future essay we will assay more closely how the Liberal Arts are patterned on the mysteries.

Monday, February 11, 2013



The Hexad is the first perfect number: it arises, by multiplication (rather than addition) from the Dyad and the Triad, and is hence termed “marriage” (whereas the Pentad is androgynous). That is, the Hexad unifies Male-Female through “blending” and harmony, rather than sticking them together through addition in the Pentad, in which case (because the Pentad is 2:3), one or the other prevails; with the Hexad, there is a perfect mixing.

There are six directions: back and forth, up and down, left and right; so Reality’s spatial structure reflects the Hexad. Furthermore, if one divides all number series into Triads, they reflect (in one way or another) the Hexad. 1+2+3=6, 4+5+6 = 15, and 1+5 = 6 again (not to mention that the Hexad is a second Triad), 7+8+9= 24 and 2+4=6, etc. (Readers who are familiar with traditional astrology will recognize the summing of the individual digits of sums to reduce the number to a simple one).

6 is the sum of it’s multiplicative factors, which are all prime (1x2x3=6).

Here are some of its titles: Resembling Justice The Thunder-Stone, Amphitrite (Poseidon’s wife; a verbal pun: on both sides [amphis] three [trias]), Male-Female Marriage, Finest of All In Two Measures, Form of Forms, Peace, Far-Shooting (name of Apollo) Thaleia Kosmos, Possessing Wholeness, Cure-All (panacea), Perfection, Three-Fold Health, Reconciling.
The Pythagorean theory of musical harmonies (which is really, as Iamblichus states, no “theory” at all, but rather “the way things actually are”) is fairly complex and is also related to Number.

The Pentad is the beginning of Life on the lower planes, but it is through the Hexad that actual re-integration occurs. In searching for other insights to this piece, I came across St. Nicholas of Flue, whose had a vision of “Two Trinities” : one was of the “old gods” of the West, and one was the newer, Christian perichoretic Trinity. Tomberg gives the key to interpreting some of this, when he notes that the two triangles of the key of Solomon symbolize the movement of lower Creation upward and the the movement of Spirit downward, integrated through the mediation of the regenerated man. Thus, we can see that the “old gods of the West” are not to be seen as “un-Christian”, but are rather, to be baptized and lifted up, through a process of cultural acclimation, in which Western Man is re-integrated into the prime Tradition through participation in Logos. This would (obviously) occur at both an individual and a corporate level, and beautifully illustrates how Christendom was designed to “give the pattern” or archetype to “men of the West”.

Nicholas of Flue, incidentally, is also credited with preserving peace between the Catholic and Protestant cantons of Switzerland through his sanctity, and of being the father of the “state” of Switzerland. The reader can see through this how Iamblichus’ “Numbers” are not mere arithmetic or private meditation only, but are indeed true understandings of how the entire Cosmos functions, at both lower levels and higher ones, physical or spiritual, and by implication, everything in between as well.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wendell Berry

"No community is suitable. There's plenty wrong with them all. I could construct an airtight argument for not settling in my own community. [But] the fact is that I'm spending my life constructing an argument for being here."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Pentad


It is worth while reminding the reader that Iamblichus was not merely a mathematician and a philosopher, in the idealistic fashion: he was of a princely line, and well-educated, and his caste seems to have been that of Brahmin.

Iamblichus wrote a life of Pythagoras, an autobiography of his great master and teacher.
For those who claim the Unity, experience the double oath of Heaven to Earth in the Dyad, reaffirm that Unity in the Three, and move into the realm of Creative affects with the Tetrad, they find the Pentad ready to aid their Will.

Venus traces a Pentagram in the sky with her motion through the celestial heavens. The Pentagram is the sign of the Satanists, but then, they only pay attention to one symbol, and ignore the rest, for the Pentagram is integrally related to the Monad and all that comes prior to it. Unlike the Dyad, whose movement is Divinely Feminine (another Monad) but also ambivalent (in that it duplicates the One : for what purpose? – one asks at first), the Pentad is half of the Decad, and is equivalent to the final Completion. The Pentad is 2+3, the first even number (Female) added to the first male number (Male: odd). As such, it is emblematic of Life itself, the pattern of symbiosis and resulting energies from the union of 2 and 3 (which are also, in Christian tradition, the Son and the Spirit, in the Father). 5 mediates the interplay of Life.

5 follows Creation (4), and manifests Justice, which always splits things into an equal and unequal portion (one side 2, one side 3) in order to determine which side requires re-balance. Life results when the rational side of our nature (the smaller, or 2) is given priority or balance as against the appetitive side of our nature (represented in 3). Life is the restoration of balance, or the Circle, in which no value exceeds its place or any other value. Instead of Equality in the modern sense, perhaps modern men should study the Justice and Balance of the Number 5, whose inequality is manifested precisely in order to redress Balance and indicate which is lower, which is higher.

The five pointed star is also (and I add this) quite obviously a picture of man, who has 2 legs, 2 arms, and a head which decides the balance between them as what to do. The proportions of the pentad are based on the Divine Ratio, and generate the number PHI. (I should mention here that there is some additional symbolism related to man as having an extra appendage, and being symbolized in 666: Man has to seek his polar angel and find salvation in his “lady”, the one who represents the Divine Feminine to him, and mediates Life, since the particular feminine for him is more complete).
The pentad’s symbolism can be directly related to the Divine Proportion. And the regeneration of the pentad is related to the value of phi (?). The image of the pentad is found in nature in leaves and flowers. The Greeks believed each point of the pentad to represent an element: water, earth, air, fire, and idea. Early Christians used the pentad to represent the five wounds of Christ. The symbol, when the point is directed downwards, was later used as a sign for Satan and the Devil.
We will see that the Pentad is in some sense a total completion, as the perfect number (Decad) is simply a repetition of Pentad, just as the Dyad is a repetition of the Monad. 1:2::5:10. Also, 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9= 45, divided by 9 = 5. 5×5=25, x5 again = 125. The third square encompasses itself. It also encompasses two previous squares: 16+9=25. The Pentad is a mediator and balance : it is abundant Life, the Star upon the Cross.

So many esotericisms degenerate into chaos because they ignore the Tetrakys, the sequence of all Ten Numbers, 1 through 10, and their inter-relationships. Some emphasize the Monad at the expense of the Upper Waters, Sophia, and the Divine Feminine or the birth of the Logos. Others situate themselves within the Dyad, and ignore how the Dyad can only exist because of primal Unity. The Satanists, as noted, delight in inverting the power of Life in the Pentagram. On the contrary, the true initiate is aware of All Things and All Number, simply because they are fully aware. They do not fixate on one manifestation, but penetrate to the Divine Principles which animate created matter.

For example, the medievals noted that there are five ordinary senses and five wits. The ancients knew that there were five perfect 3-D shapes: 4 elements, and one called the aether, which was the “air within the air” (and all the other elements). Could one say that elemental Light is the aether? That the Middle Ages strove to embody the Light of Dionysius in their cathedrals, to begin the ascent from real matter up into the higher worlds?
“The Pentad is alteration, light, lack of strife; alteration because it changes three dimensionality into the sameness of the sphere, by moving cyclically and engendering light – hence it is light too; and it is lack of strife because it combines everything which was formerly discordant and brings together and reconciles the two kinds of number.” – Megillus