Conclusion It seems clear that the ancients looked to the skies in a way that we will never quite understand today. That is, not only did our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years look to the sky as their physical and spiritual roof (because they perceived themselves as being literally nestled and protected within the womb/vessel/heavenly sphere of the great goddess), but some also looked to the celestial vault as a requisite site of return — that is, as their final resting place. The night sky was seen as a blackboard on which the gods first chose to illustrate and illuminate their wisdom and the creation of all things past, present, and future via patterns of light that formed pictures, letters, or words (Logos). The earth to them was merely a reflection of what was patterned/written above. Today, we seem to be so preoccupied with looking forward and downward, so that our blank white ceilings and light-stained midnights are merely a ghostly reflection of what was once the sacred liturgy of the gods, that we scarcely can find the time to even glance up at the sublime Milky Way, our celestial home. I’m reminded of a trip I once took to New York City, where my friend, noticing my preoccupation with looking up at the wonderful architecture that framed the blue sky, remarked that typical New Yorkers, so intent upon going from point A to point B, hardly ever had the time or inclination to focus their gaze upward. Thus, looking back, I consider myself quite lucky that I not only had the good fortune to have first learned to recognize, say, and write the letters of the alphabet by peering up in my kindergarten class, but I also had the good fortune of understanding, just a bit more, the origin of those very letters. Toward this latter aim, I offer this paper as a small step.


by  Brian R. Pellar
Boston, Massachusetts

Acknowledgments I would like to thank Scott Carhart, William Caldarelli, Ronald Pellar, and Victor Mair for their generous support and suggestions.


1 For a discussion of the idea that the constellations of the zodiac are an extension of constellations in the northern sky, see SPP 219 (Part One) and forthcoming Part Two, which will discuss Taurus, Aries, and Pisces as being extensions of the circumpolar group of Ursa Major (Great Bull), Ursa Minor (son/sun), and Bootes/the equinox (the spear of Anu) respectively.

2 It appears that to the Egyptians pi was more than just a number: It seems to symbolize the divine aspect of the doorway/gateway into the Duat or Divinity itself. For instance, Schwaller de Lubicz studied several doorways in Egypt and found that some of them showed a definite relationship to pi. See Figure 10.


Figure 10. Egyptian doorway that demonstrates a relationship to pi as worked out by Schwaller De Lubicz (image from West 1993:19). The height of the inner doorway is pi. It is this inner space, the door/gateway itself, that appears to be  the most important element. Also note that the width of the whole door is 22 units, which is a number that keeps appearing in relation to pi. In Figure 10, Schwaller De Lubicz showed a clear relationship to pi in the doorway. That is: the inner width of the door is exactly 10 units wide (2 squares of 5 units), while the inner height is 31.4 units (6 units x 5 squares + 1.4 units). Thus, 31.4 divided by 10 equals 3.14, a number/proportion of this important opening that seems beyond coincidence (pi = 3.14).

Furthermore, I also noticed that there is also a relationship to pi in the height of the outer door. That is, the outerdoor is 44 units high and the inner door is 31.4 units high. If you subtract, this leaves a remainder of 12.6 (44 – 31.4 = 12.6). 12.6 is exactly 4 times pi (4.00). Thus, the Egyptians also made the height of the outer door exactly 4 times pi higher than the inner. Also, I noticed that the total width of the door is exactly 22 units, a number that keeps surfacing in relation to pi (this ratio of 22/7 is found not only in the alphabet and the seven sacred vowels, which will be discussed shortly, but it is also found in the construction of the Great Pyramid — the ratio of its perimeter to its height that corresponds to 22/7. Also, for another interesting correlation with 22, see SPP 196, endnote 7, where I discuss the 22 nomes of Egypt correlating with the zodiac).

As discussed in SSP 196, the shape of the Gemini gate/candle (the Phoenician letter couplet Zayin/Heth), which resembles the shape of the above door, is not only related to the Hieroglyphic symbol for “Gateway,” “Great Door of Heaven,” etc., but also the shape of the temple itself (see n. 3). Simmilarly, as noted in Figure 15 in SSP 196, the Gemini Gate/Flame that is cleverly disguised as the entrance into the Duat is in the form of a circle created by the body of the god Osiris (thus the candle image of Gemini seen in the celestial diagrams is still relevant, as the flame is seen as a circle, with the sun itself being the ultimate circle as fire/gate. This latter aspect is discussed in more detail in both SPP 196 and SPP 219). Also, note that, shown in Figure 7a, Cancer is in the form of the Egyptian God Khepri, who symbolizes the morning sun, or the birth of the sun from the horizon/Nut. Thus, not only does the circle of Gemini as a flame/gate fit quite nicely just above Khepri as Cancer (that is, as being the sun disc that Khepri is holding), but it also symbolizes the birth of the sun (from the celestial horizon/ecliptic) in the center of the Milky Way between Gemini and Taurus, exactly as Santillana and Deschend postulate4 (see SPP 196 and Santillana and Von Dechend 1998:245).

Furthermore, as this image depicts the 12th hour (Book of Gates), then considering the interesting fact that the twelfth hour exactly divides the circle of the day, this division/gate at Gemini once again alludes to pi (a circle divided by its diameter). This idea of a circle being divided by its diameter (pi) is further reinforced in the Pisces symbol in the Roman Amulet (Figure 4), which not only points up towards Gemini, but also points up toward the line that bisects the circle that makes up Gemini (again, indicating the division of the circle by a line). Furthermore, as Taurus/Aries/Pisces are really just extensions of constellations in the circumpolar region (see n. 1), it appears that Anu/Pisces symbolize the spear/equinox that opens/divides the sphere/vessel of the goddess/bull at the gate of Gemini (the site of the vernal equinox in the center of the Milky Way between Gemini and Taurus in 4320 BC. See SPP 196 and SPP 219). This division of the sphere/vessel once again alludes to the  division of a circle by its diameter — pi.

It appears that pi has played a much more significant role in Egypt than previously thought. It is well known that the ancients knew pi. Direct evidence of it is seen in Babylon in 1900 BC and in Egypt in the Rhind Papyrus in 1650 BC. There is as well indirect evidence of it, seen in the work of numerous Greeks, including Pythagorus and Plato, who studied in Egypt with the very secretive Egyptian priests. As mentioned in SPP 196 (in endnote number 2), the Nag Hammadi text, The Gospel of the Egyptians, shows a strong connection between the sacred invisible vowel/logos and pi (i.e., the “three powers” giving rise to seven sacred vowels, which are repeated exactly 22 times each — thus, the elements of pi: 22,7, 3), which implies a possible connection to the alphabet (with its own reference to pi) that forms the vessel, so to speak, for those sacred vowels (I am not alone in noticing a correlation between the 22 Phoenician letters and the 22 Chinese calendar signs that make up the Chinese Sexagenary Cycle: others, such as Gordon, Moran, and Mair, have also noticed this connection as well. See SPP 196). That is, just as the body/vessel of Osiris and the wheat/seed must be cut/divided/ground up to release the son/sun/Horace/seed that rises as bread/nourishment in the heat of the oven, so too must the vowel be cut up (divided, like the circle) by the mouth to release the word/Logos/seed/sun that rises in understanding/wisdom like the rays of the sun/son/Horace.

3 Aside from the words just mentioned, the Egyptian Hieroglyph “P” , which I correlate to the constellation Gemini (see SPP 196), not only forms the later word pi itself (of which the Gemini Gate is the symbol/form of that opening/division as discussed earlier and in SPP 196), but it is also the root of many words in Egyptian that one might expect to contain references to the mystical qualities of pi: that is, one should see words that begin with “P” that relate to the opening of the Gemini Flame/Gate of Heaven and fire/sun and division (of a circle/circuit or matter, etc,) and giving birth or the giving forth of something (as a result of that opening/division), etc. A cursory glance at Egyptian words beginning with “P” indeed shows some interesting links: Pet (sky, heaven); Papa (to bring forth, to bear, to give birth to); Pi/Pit (heaven); Pefes/Pens (to boil or roast); Pensa (to cut off); Penq (to pour out, to empty a vessel); Per/Perit (house, palace); Per (to go out, to go forth, to be born, to arise from, to empty itself, etc.); per (what comes forth from the mouth — word, speech); Pert (exit, issue, what comes forth, manifestation, outbreak of fire); Per (to rise — of the sun); Per (spendor, to shine); Pert (grain, corn, wheat, etc.); Peh (to arrive at the end of a journey, to attain to a place or object, to reach); Pekh/Pekha (to split, to divide); Pekhar/Pekharr/PekharPekhar/Pekhart (to revolve, to go round about, to encircle, to make a circuit); Pekharit (revolution of time, the course of time, circle, the rolling year, “a circle is life”); Pekharu (course of time, revolution of the sun); Pekhar ur shen ur (Great Bend of the Great Curcuit); Pekhes (to split); Pesi (to boil, to roast, to cook); Pesesh (to cleave, to split, to slit, to divide, to divide with, to share or participate with someone, to open the legs or arms, to distribute); Pesshet (ration, allowance, share, division, etc., the half of anything, the two halves, the two portions, divisions, borders, boundaries); Pesesh-kef (the name of the principle instrument used in the ceremony of Opening the Mouth); Pesh (to divide, to split, to cut, to separate, to distribute, to share); Peshti (the two halves of heaven, the South and the North); Peshsh  (to spread out the legs, to spread out the arms, to divide); Peshen (to cleave, to divide, to split, to separate from); Pesher (to revolve, to make a circuit, to turn the face round); Peshert (a circuit); Peshes (to divide, to cleave, to split); Pega (to divide, to cleave, to open, to open the arms and legs, etc.); Peg (to unfold, to explain); Pet (to break open); Pet/Pteh (the creator god Ptah, architect of heaven and earth); Pteh (to open, to engrave); Pet (to open out, to spread out); Ptsu (opener, breaker, destroyer). 4 A similar idea is found in the older Egyptian zodiac (Figure 7a). As this might be from the age of Taurus (as Serres reports in his book), one might expect to find it beginning with Taurus, but instead it starts with Pisces and ends with Aquarius. This again is evidence for the idea I present in SPP 196 that the Egyptians thought that the “First Time” (Tep Zepi), was when the sun was first born from the Gemini Gate. More specifically, this was when the Vernal Equinox was between Gemini and Taurus (4320 BC), the Summer Solstice between Virgo/Leo, the fall equinox between Sagittarius/Scorpio, and the winter solstice between Pisces/Aquarius. The latter was the “birth of light,” which is where the start of that zodiac is shown (in fact, all four of them). Interesting, in the Roman zodiac (Figure 4), all of those “First Time” zodiac pairs are shown actually linked/carved together as though they are one unit. The only pair not shown linked is the fall equinox (Sagittarius/Scorpio). In fact, the way the Roman/Corneto zodiacs are shown, they appear to be made up of two distinct parts just like the letter pairs I show.

References Budge, E. A. Wallis. 1978. An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, vols. I and II. New York: Dover. Didier, John C. 2009. “In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 B.C.-A.D. 200, Volume 1, The Ancient Eurasian World and the Celestial Pivot.” Sino-Platonic Papers 192, September. Didier, John C. 2009. “In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 B.C.-A.D. 200, Volume 2, Representation and Identities of High Powers in Neolithic and Bronze China.” Sino-Platonic Papers 192, September. Didier, John C. 2009. “In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 B.C. – A.D. 200, Volume 3, Terrestrial and Celestial Transformations in Zhou and Early-Imperial China.” Sino-Platonic Papers 192, September. Gardiner, Alan. 1957.

Egyptian Grammar: Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs. Third revised edition. London: Oxford University Press. Liungman, Carl G. 1991. Dictionary of Symbols. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Pellar, Brian. 2009. “On the Origins of the Alphabet.” Sino-Platonic Papers 196, December. Pellar, Brian. 2012. “The Foundation of Myth: A Unified Theory on the Link Between Seasonal/Celestial Cycles, the Precession, Theology, and the Alphabet/Zodiac. Part One.” Sino-Platonic Papers 219, January. Robinson, Andrew. 1999. The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs and Pictograms. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc. Santillana, Giorgio De, and Hertha Von Dechend. 1998 (originally printed in 1969). Hamlet’s Mill. Jaffrey: David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc. Serres, Patrice. 2010. Le Mystere De L’Ordre Alphabetique: De la mesure du temps a l’ecriture. Paris: Presses du Chatelet.

Wei, Julie Lee. 1999. “Correspondences Between the Chinese Calendar Signs and the Phoenician Alphabet.” Sino-Platonic Papers 94, March. West, John Anthony. 1993. Serpent in the Sky. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House.

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