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Sacred Geometry: Deciphering the Code Hardcover – 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Gaia Books; 1st edition (2006)
  • ISBN-10: 1856752623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856752626
  • ASIN: B008KG9VCE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,554,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This glorious book has been written by Stephen Skinner - who introduced Chinese Geomancy (or Feng Shui if you prefer) to the West in the 1960's with his ground-breaking (literally!) book "The Living Earth Manual". Since then he has produced a number of highly respected books on a variety of Feng Shui, Geomancy and Magical topics.

This new book brings together his broad knowledge of many different religions, sacred philosophies and magic, and his expertise in mathematics and geography.

Dozens of different sections with glorious photography and elegant line drawings show you how nature is based on elegant equations and then leads you through the millenia of ancient mathematics, as the geniuses of the past 2 or 3000 years intricately link mathematics and architecture. Whether it is the Fibonacci series, or the Greeks PI, or the circles of Dante's Hell - everything is clearly explained - you are thrilled at how Nature takes advantage of some of the most beautiful pure mathematics and the scale of the intellects who designed and built these magical places.

Stephen Skinner's book is a wonderful place to start - and will, no doubt, be the spur for many trips and explorations.

If you enjoyed the "Da Vinci Code" - get this book and read about REAL codes, enigmas and mathematics that can be found hidden in some of the world's most amazing buildings.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D&D TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After I found myself borrowing this again from the library, I bought my own copy. I most liked all the great illustrations, many in colour. I've read that there are quite a few silly mathematical errors but I don't know enough to comment (and don't really care as it's definitely not the maths I'm focusing on).

Numbers are the point for some and this won't be the right book for them; to me it's more about how such numbers show up in real life rather than on paper so this "fault" suits me fine. It seems delightfully short on the numbers side of sacred geometry and long on nature, architecture and fine art, proving that sacred geometry cannot help but look glorious when shaping our world.

It is divided into 1) The Hidden Order 2) The Geometry of Nature and 3) The Geometry of the Manmade (sic) World. The book begins with the usual introductory information on sacred geometry, including history of and the embodiment of numbers in music and measurement, as well as Pythagoras and his investigation of the sacred and mystical properties of numbers.

There are a couple of pages each on various beautiful shapes like fractals, crystals, and snowflakes; on geometric patterns in plant and animal life, genetics and the DNA double helix structure, even planets; also ley lines and megaliths, crop circles and half a dozen cathedrals (how geometry was used to situate churches/temples as well as the architecture of such places). A criticism I agree with is why so many examples of christian buildings - surely there are many more examples of sacred geometry in other religions, in history, in prehistory and even within the secular?

[Later note: "Source Field Investigations" by Wilcock includes some amazing new scientific information about sacred (or quantum) geometry.]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
nice pictures ,but text is obscure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
A book that changed my view of the world around me!! 10 July 2007
By Stephen Pletko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
XXXXX

QUESTION: What do the following have in common? A daisy, an eagle's beak, snowflakes, structure of DNA, Egyptian pyramids, crop circles, the stable elements of the periodic table, and Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper."

ANSWER: They are all based on geometry or numbers that are considered "sacred."

This is exactly what "world-renowned expert" Stephen Skinner shows the reader in this beautiful and informative book: how certain types of geometry (a Greek word that means `measurement of the Earth') and numbers are considered sacred.

Geometry was one of the first branches of mathematics to be extensively developed. Long before the Christian era, the Egyptians and later the Greeks had made exhaustive studies of the properties of geometrical figures. While the Egyptians were concerned mainly with practical applications (witness the pyramids), the Greeks were interested in the mental exercise involved in the study of Geometry. Many of these ancient Greek scholars believed that if they pursued the study of geometry far enough they would unlock some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.

Thus we have geometry and numbers that they and other civilizations considered sacred. Why sacred? Because they arrange systematically the hidden order of creation.

The book itself is divided into parts. These are entitled (1) The hidden order (2) The geometry of nature and (3) The geometry of the [human] made world. Each part begins with a brief overview (in italics) that summarizes a particular part.

Each part itself is divided into chapters. Here are the chapter titles for part (3): (i) Sacred geometry and the landscape (ii) Sacred geometry in architecture and (iii) Sacred geometry in art.

Each chapter is divided into sections. The sections for the chapter entitled "Pure arithmetic" are as follows: (I) Pythagoras and the worship of number (II) Music, vibration, and whole numbers (III) The value of fractions (IV) Measuring the Earth with two sticks (V) Original units of measurement (VI) The curious nature of prime numbers and (VII) The Golden Mean--the arithmetic of growth.

A highlight of this book are the many mainly color and truly beautiful pictures and illustrations. I counted almost 200. By the way, the picture on the book's cover (displayed above by Amazon) is a "nautilus shell," a "living spiral" actually found in nature.

Another highlight of this book are its numerous tables of significant numbers that reveal a pattern. My favorite is entitled "The [Egyptian] Pyramids and their Dimensions."

Yet, another highlight are the numerous isolated (from the main narrative) boxes that contain information the author feels is important for the reader to know. My favorite is entitled "Visual tricks" that describes "one of the unique tricks of geometry incorporated into the [ancient temple called the] Parthenon [of Athens, Greece]."

Want to know how to draw a special type of snowflake (called a Koch snowflake)? How about a special curve known as the logarithmic spiral? This book provides step-by-step constructions (in isolated boxes outside the main narrative) on how to draw (using a compass and ruler) these geometric figures and others.

Fans of Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code" should find the material in the last chapter entitled "Sacred geometry in art" very interesting.

There are a few non-serious typos in this book. Unfortunately, a typo occurs for a definition of irrational numbers. The author states:

"Irrational numbers are those that cannot be pinned down to a few digits. They are, in fact, repeating decimals that go on forever." Examples include the square root of 2, the square root of 3, and the square root of 5."

The second statement in the above quotation is actually incorrect. But this is a typo. How do I know this? By the third statement above. The square root of 2 is 1.4142136..., the square root of 3 is 1.7320508..., and the square root of 5 is 2.236068.... The typo is that they're non-repeating decimals (not repeating decimals).

I make it a policy not to condemn books that have a few typos unless they're in too many key spots.

Finally, the only problem I had with this book is that I don't really know anything about the author, Stephen Skinner. We're told on the book's back cover that he's a "world-renowned expert" and that's it! I would have liked to have known more about the author.

In conclusion, this remarkable book changed my view of the world around me!!

(first published 2006; introduction; 3 parts or 7 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 150 pages; bibliography; index; acknowledgements)

<<Stephen Pletko or "Uncle Stevie," London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX
132 of 144 people found the following review helpful
Pretty book of mystical lore related to geometry, but weak on math 15 Nov. 2006
By W. C. Lang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is pleasant to browse, containing various lore about geometry, history, geography and the occult. It is very attractive visually, containing many nice photographs and diagrams. Unfortunately, given the important place of mathematics in the book, I am afraid to say that the author appears to know rather more about art and mysticism than he does about mathematics. For example, on page 52 we read: "For modern mathematics irrational numbers are those that cannot be pinned down to a few digits. They are, in fact, repeating decimals that go on forever." In fact, of course, irrational numbers are characterized by having decimal expansions that do not repeat. Also, on page 51, it is apparent that the author does not understand the construction of the mathematical curve known as the Conchoid of Nicomedes. This is a pity, because it would have been very easy to give the correct description since the relevant diagram is already included on the page.
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful review of the Mathematics of Nature and Magic 1 Dec. 2006
By Mark Shackelford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This glorious book has been written by Stephen Skinner - who introduced Chinese Geomancy (or Feng Shui if you prefer) to the West in the 1960's with his ground-breaking (literally!) book "The Living Earth Manual". Since then he has produced a number of highly respected books on a variety of Feng Shui, Geomancy and Magical topics.

This new book brings together his broad knowledge of many different religions, sacred philosophies and magic, and his expertise in mathematics and geography.

Dozens of different sections with glorious photography and elegant line drawings show you how nature is based on elegant equations and then leads you through the millenia of ancient mathematics, as the geniuses of the past 2 or 3000 years intricately link mathematics and architecture. Whether it is the Fibonacci series, or the Greeks PI, or the circles of Dante's Hell - everything is clearly explained - you are thrilled at how Nature takes advantage of some of the most beautiful pure mathematics and the scale of the intellects who designed and built these magical places.

Stephen Skinner's book is a wonderful place to start - and will, no doubt, be the spur for many trips and explorations.

If you enjoyed the "Da Vinci Code" - get this book and read about REAL codes, enigmas and mathematics that can be found hidden in some of the world's most amazing buildings.

This book is for those of us who revel in the glorious elegance and simplicity of mathematics as applied to ALL good design (whether Natural or Human) - and is not aimed at mathematicians specifically.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Best of all the books on SACRED GEOMETRY 27 Aug. 2008
By Bruce Bain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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Sacred Geometry by Stephen Skinner

This is the best of all the books on the subject. The extant texts were becoming dated and a new book was long overdue.

It consists of 160 pages, and about 1/5 to 1/3 of each and every page is illustrated, and most are color illustrations. The author devotes about 2 to 5 pages to each subject. The author indicates that GEOMETRY is considered sacred because it shows the ARCHETYPAL patterning of things. This carries over into the realms of Architecture, Mathematics, Conceptual Abstractions and of course, NATURE.

The author begins with the Greeks of course, and continues on into the Middle Ages, where the basic curriculum for study was the TRIVIUM (three subjects): LOGIC, GRAMMAR, and RHETORIC.

These subjects expanded into the QUADRIVIUM, which added GEOMETRY to LOGIC, GRAMMAR, and RHETORIC. By page 22, the author gives consideration to MUSIC, VIBRATION and WHOLE NUMBERS. Those 2 pages are followed by FRACTIONS.

By page 26 (the number of LOVE and the NAME OF GOD in Gematria, the author introduces a favorite of many, ERATOSTHENES, the "man who measured the earth".

Egypt and early measurement follows, and then PRIME NUMBERS, and this chapter delightfully includes a very important graph for us all, the SIEVE OF ERATOSTHENES, by which Primes are discovered.

By page 34 the author introduces the GOLDEN MEAN, and this section includes the FIBONACCI SEQUENCE.

The author reserves in depth discussion of EUCLID until page 40, and by page 44, moves into THREE KEY TRIANGLES, the Equilateral (three equal sides), the Right (90 angle at base) and the Isosceles (whatever the heck that is! NO, just kidding. Two equal sides!)

Page 46 shows three ancient geometrical problems:
(1) Squaring the Circle, (2) Doubling a Cube, and (3) Trisecting an Angle.

Page 48 covers CURVES & LOGARITHMIC SPIRALS, and by page 52 consideration is given to GEOMETRY OF IRRATIONAL NUMBERS. Page 54 covers THE FIVE PLATONIC SOLIDS. Page 56 covers the THIRTEEN ARCHIMEDEAN SOLIDS. The lucid color illustrations on these pages are fantastic, each solid being shown in vibrant yellow, orange, green and red.

Page 58 covers the FRACTALS, and page 61 shifts into the GEOMETRY OF NATURE, including PLANT GROWTH, CRYSTAL STRUCTURE, LIVING SPIRALS, LIVING WATER, SNOWFLAKE WONDERLAND, GEOMETRY OF GENETICS etc.

Page 75 introduces GEOMETRY IN ASTRONOMY and COSMOLOGY and ends in Significant Sky Markers. Then comes MAPPING the WORLD and LATTITUDE & LONGITUDE. MEASURING TIME BY SUN & MOON is on page 84. Then the HIDDEN CONNECTION BETWEEN TIME & LENGTH.

By page 89 we are shown THE GEOMETRY OF THE MANMADE WORLD, SACRED GEOMETRY & THE LANDSCAPE which covers some material on Alchemist John Dee and sites such as Glastonbury, etc and other sites. Page 202 covers ASTRO-ARCHAEOLOGY, a favorite subject of many, and covers other English sites, and finally STONEHENGE.

I was surprised by the next informative subject, because I've been thinking a lot about the nature of life and how the LABYRINTH relates to human experience. Page 112 covers LABYRINTHS & MAZES.

CROP CIRCLES comes on page 114, and I am happy to say that none of that nonsense about the cause of crop circles being two pranksters with some boards is included in Stephen Skinner's book.

Page 116 introduces SACRED GEOMETRY IN ARCHITECTURE, and this covers PYRAMIDS.

By page 120, we are introduced to the SECRETS OF HERODOTUS, of which I knew nothing. Then the TEMPLE OF SOLOMON is covered and the Dome of the Rock.

By page 124, we find the PARTHENON, a favorite of mine because I saw it, and must tell you that when you see it, you can be mightily impressed with the powerful beauty of ancient architecture.

Another surprise comes on page 128, with Leonardo Da Vinci and the ARCHITECTURE OF MAN.

On page 130 comes CHRISTIANITY AND THE SACRED FEMININE, which covers the "vesica piscis" which is the common intersection area of two circles. Then the MILAN CATHEDRAL, CHARTRES CATHEDRAL, ST. PAUL's CATHEDRAL, and finally MODERN ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE.

Then we come to SACRED GEOMETRY IN ART on page 140 and on 141 ROGER BACON and GEOMETRY, LIGHT & OPTICS. Whew!

What would a book on geometry be like without GEOMETRY PERSPECTIVE IN THE SERVICE OF PAINTING? By page 144 we find LUCA PACIOLI and the DIVINE PROPORTION. Finally, Leonardo DaVinci's use of PERSPECTIVE in the painting THE LAST SUPPER. Winding down to page 148, we come to PAINTINGS ANALYZED GEOMETRICALLY. Man, this book is full of fantastic insight into several thousand years of human culture.

Then, at the very end, THE TREASURE OF RENNES-LE-CHATEAU, which I believe featured prominently in the books about "THE DA VINCI CODE" which was made into the popular movie.

This is one WHOOPEE book. Glad I bought mine at first sight. I'll never regret it.--Bruce R. Bain

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Pretty, thought provoking, but full of errors 9 May 2009
By D. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was attracted to the high quality of this book and many illustrations and diagrams which aid in understanding. The book is arranged in short, readable, 2-3 page chapters per topic which can mostly be read separately as you have time.

Unfortunately, a number of errors in the text and poorly written descriptions of the diagrams actually detract from understanding the subject. This is especially true if you want to better understand the relatively simple geometry or math behind the beautiful shapes and natural patterns. The sidebar on the quadratix and custructing root rectangles are frustratingly incomplete for no apparent reason. Other reviewers have pointed out other silly mathematical errors in the book. The author gives you plenty to think about, but you'll have to look elsewhere for accurate description of the concepts.

Perhaps the author was not able to clearly explain understand some of math he didn't understand and the publishers certainly rushed the book to market without a mathematical proofreading. Maybe a second printing will correct these flaws in a book with great potential. For now, I'm glad I picked it up off the clearance rack for under $10.
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