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An Immersion in Medieval Spain - Nicolás Parra Duncklee  

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(@pitiparra)
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31/01/2018 10:43 am  

An Immersion in Medieval Spain

Introduction to Applied Sacred Geometry

 Introduction

The first part of my 10th grade homeschooling was a two-month trip to Spain, where we focused on four main topics – wildlife, especially birds, Iberian gastronomy, The Camino de Santiago and everything around sacred geometry.

We were very lucky to be able to see and identify over 80 new bird species, including the Iberian imperial eagle, the Balearic shearwater and the Hoopoe.  We were also incredibly lucky to see the most endangered species of wildcat in the world – the Iberian lynx. 

Our good luck did not end with the birds and the lynx.  It extended to my incredible gastronomical adventure, which included some of the best food I ever had.  It was so incredible that I took over 100 pictures of the beautiful dishes that we had all over Spain.  Even though everywhere we went the food was great, my highlights were the jamón con melón, the zamburiñas and the paletilla de cordero lechal.

 Another definite highlight of this trip was the whole experience of the Camino de Santiago from Ponferrada to Finisterre.  It´s rare to have an opportunity to walk 300 kilometers over 21 days on a pilgrimage path that has been traveled for over a millennium.  I could write a whole report on this experience, including our one day on horseback and on bikes, describing the incredible journey of each “etapa”.

But this report is different from the one I wrote in 7th grade, which was a descriptive journal of each of my adventures.  This report will be based on my discoveries, confirmations and connections, especially my connections, around something I never thought I would be so interested in - Sacred Geometry.

 

 


(@pitiparra)
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31/01/2018 10:47 am  

Chapter one – Knights and Dragons 

When you think of a traditional Catholic church, what symbols or characters do you think of being depicted?  Christ, Mary, Saints and Angels, the cross, the Trinity, candles…, right?  And sometimes, especially in medieval churches, you may think of evil beasts like dragons and griffins.

So, that is why I was really confused when in some of the first churches we went to, like the Veracruz de Segovia, the Catedral de Oña, the Colegiata de San Bernabé and the Ermita de San Pantaleón de Losa, we did not see the expected symbols and figures, but instead we saw checker boards, lightning bolts, Babylonian boats and icons, and especially happy smiling dragons everywhere, even on a Bishops tomb, as if protecting it. 

When I tried to ask my dad what it all meant, he of course did not answer, but instead pointed out more symbols on a few stone coffins in the courtyard of a church.  There were large stone crosses on the side of one of the coffins and on the window above, with small concave arms of the same length.  There was also a symbol of two soldiers on a horse on the side of a coffin, which had a long sword carved along the top, and again, little smiling dragons everywhere.

After a lot of research, I finally found out that these were all symbols of the Order of the Templars.

So, with the help of my dad, the internet, and some books, I found out that the Templars were an order of religious knights that were established during the crusades. Over the 200 years of their existence they became very wealthy and powerful by creating buisnesses like the management of relics, and the protection of pilgrims and their land and property.

My dad explained to me how part of what made them so powerful was that they were not just warriors, but also nobles and monks, so they had the skill, wealth and support to access the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and establish it as their headquarters.  This is where they found the secrets of the East and West, which made them become a threat to the Pope and the king of the Carolingian empire, so much so that they were eventually executed. He also told me about another group of noble warrior monks over in China, The Shaolin Monks, who were also executed by their government for becoming too powerful.

Just as I thought I was starting to figure things out, I remembered the very first Templar church we went to in Spain, called the Veracruz de Segovia, which again was totally different from everything else that we had seen.  Most European Catholic churches are the shape of the holy cross, but this one was a large uneven octagon. Another thing that was different, was a special chamber on the second floor, that had only seats surrounding a large stone box with six lightning bolts and another small Templar cross on the roof.

After seeing all this Templar symbols, I could only wonder what they all meant and why the Templars would have taken the time to carve these hidden messages in stone. 

After a lot of research, I finally found out that these were all symbols of the Order of the Templars.

So, with the help of my dad, the internet, and some books, I found out that the Templars were an order of religious knights that were established during the crusades. Over the 200 years of their existence they became very wealthy and powerful by creating buisnesses like the management of relics, and the protection of pilgrims and their land and property.

My dad explained to me how part of what made them so powerful was that they were not just warriors, but also nobles and monks, so they had the skill, wealth and support to access the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and establish it as their headquarters.  This is where they found the secrets of the East and West, which made them become a threat to the Pope and the king of the Carolingian empire, so much so that they were eventually executed. He also told me about another group of noble warrior monks over in China, The Shaolin Monks, who were also executed by their government for becoming too powerful.

Just as I thought I was starting to figure things out, I remembered the very first Templar church we went to in Spain, called the Veracruz de Segovia, which again was totally different from everything else that we had seen.  Most European Catholic churches are the shape of the holy cross, but this one was a large uneven octagon. Another thing that was different, was a special chamber on the second floor, that had only seats surrounding a large stone box with six lightning bolts and another small Templar cross on the roof.

After seeing all this Templar symbols, I could only wonder what they all meant and why the Templars would have taken the time to carve these hidden messages in stone.

 


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31/01/2018 10:49 am  

Chapter two – The Dragon Tamer

The next time we saw these lightning bolts was at an amazing place called San Pantaleón de Losa.  Part of what makes this place so special is that it is the top of a hill that slopes up on one side, and drops of as a cliff on the other.  The hill, on the slope side is surrounded by a river, which is surrounded by a vein of mountains. 

When we arrived near the small chapel at the top of the hill, my dad turned to me and asked if I was ready to tame my dragon. I had never been to Europe before, but I was pretty sure that dragons didn’t really exist.  But, knowing my dad, it had to be something very special, so I went up to the top of the hill and started to do a qi flow.  As I started, the more and more powerful it got, until I felt like there was a two-way waterfall of energy running through me into the ground and sky.  And then all of a sudden, I felt as though I was turning into a dragon.  You might think this is pretty cool, and looking back it was, but as this was happening, I was terrified that the powerful chi flow would make me fall off one of the edges of the cliff.  

It was like an energetical rodeo, but the more I was flung around, the more I was able to control it until my “dragon” finally relaxed and sat down.  Then came the really incredible part, when the qi in my dantien grew and grew until I was inside a ball of energy.  I felt like the man of Vitruvius with a huge light circle around me.   

After this awesome experience, I walked down to the chapel and met my dad waiting at the gate.  Sadly, the door was locked, but that did not matter, because what my dad wanted to show me was standing on the stone pillars of the arch way.  The entire wall around the door was covered with chiseled patterns and figures, but again, none of which were the traditional symbols you expect to see.  Creating an arch all around the door were checker boards, people seemingly trapped inside the stone, and on either side, were a man with a large mace, a huge lightning bolt and small chiseled depictions of a man with wings – one in the air – wearing a headdress, and people on a Sumerian-looking boat, alongside a legged serpent wrapping itself around a column.  For the second time seeing these lightning bolts alongside an important looking man made me wonder who this could be.

As it turned out, this man was the Sumerian dragon tamer, god of lightning, Marduk.

Dad explained to me how he is not just described in in Sumerian theology but he also appears in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, where he is called Archangel Michael, and how he is also represented as Zeus, Jupiter, and Thor. 

This is when I made my first big discovery. Dad helped me understand that my two-way waterfall was the connection of earthen and cosmic energies, and that the symbol used for this connection is the dragon, because it is half reptile and half bird - reptiles being found on earth and birds in the sky.  And therefore, a dragon tamer is someone who knows how to connect to these energies and “tame” them to be able to use them. 

 


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31/01/2018 10:52 am  

Chapter three – Earthen and Cosmic Pulses

 After this discovery, I realized that it probably wasn’t a coincidence that this beautiful place had such powerful energy, so my dad had me look at the map of the energy lines of Spain. These earthen lines (telluric veins, Ley Lines, Hartmann lines…) are lines of energy that stretch across the whole planet and are typically formed by energy flowing through mineral veins and underground waterways. He also explained to me how when the rocks and water are not visible, people can dowse to find them. And he explained that dowsing is really finding the pulse of the energy of a place or thing and that it can be done using any scale or instrument. 

When dad was showing me first how to dowse, he started by asking me to find my own pulse.  But then, when he asked me to find it without touching my arms or neck or anything, I was really confused.  He showed me how by setting my attention on what I was trying to measure and by using an “instrument”, like my finger, I could easily feel it.  Then he went further to show me that by creating a scale I could even find my blood pressure.  The scale we used was our own hand – the edge from our pinky knuckle to the tip was diastole and from the knuckle down was systole.  Then, when we tried practicing on each other, he explained how it can be not only applied to finding blood pressure or pulse, but can be used to find the “pulse” of anything in nature.

Throughout our trip across Northern Spain we looked at the “pulse” of many different places using a Bovis biometer.  A Bovis biometer is a bioenergetical scale, which is a half circle with different increments of BU´s (Bovis Units) on it. The increments of BU´s on the scale show what effect the energy of the place will have on any living things there.  For example, when an area is very low on the scale, in can harm us, while other levels higher on the scale can indicate a good place to live, a good place for mental work, meditation, or spiritual connection.  The tricky thing is that the Bovis Biometer is just a piece of paper with that scale on it!  So, as my dad explained to me, there are three things that are needed to be able to read the energy of a place, an object or a person:  the subject, the scale and an instrument.  In our case, I used my finger as the instrument, the Bovis biometer on the piece of paper as a scale and the place I was as the subject.  To my surprise, the only thing needed to make this work was to clear my mind, ask the specific question I wanted to know – what is the energy of this place? – and allow my finger to find the answer on the scale.

This understanding of how these simple instructions can help you connect, brought me to a new major discovery – the importance of intention + location

1.- The focus my attention, which is my intention, helps me connect to the two energies.

2.- The different combinations of these two energies defines the “sacredness” of a location.


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31/01/2018 10:54 am  

Chapter four – The Seven Segments

Next, we went to the Monasterio de San Salvador de Oña, which was built on the side of a big hill, where a natural spring bubbles up underneath. As we walked in the front door, we could see that the church itself was made up of seven segments. Dad told me that each one of the segments is connected with a specific part of the torso and the head, and as we got to the center of the first one, he told me to go into a qi flow.  As I went up through the church, I noticed how each flow felt different, and how I could feel them connect with the different parts of my body. 

After number five, we reached a staircase going up to the altar, which is a place where people are normally not allowed to go, but in this case we were, because my dad is a crazy guy who was friends with the guard, who happens to be the father of the priest.  On the floor of the platform my dad showed me that there were two octagonal designs of tiles.  By connecting the lines, he helped me realize that they were hidden Templar crosses.  I also noticed that the rest of the tiles on the floor of the altar were checker board, which dad explained was also Templar signature. 

He then told me that the two “hidden” crosses were marking a special place and that I should try a qi flow on one.  As soon as I started, the energy spun me around and pushed me in and around the Sancto Sanctorum behind the Altar, which was segment number seven.  While spinning in my crazy circles, I could feel my “baihui” open up and connect to the bright light from above.  When I finally finished, my dad laughingly showed me that watching over everything, right on top of the reliquary, was Archangel Michael, the Christian version of Marduk, the Dragon Tamer.

After my experience in Oña, with dad’s help I realized that apart from intention and location, a third variable for connection is important – the construction of sacred structures:  cosmic and earthen energies, which of course come from the Cosmos and the Earth, are so huge compared to us, that we need an intermediate structure to act as a funnel to make the connection easier. But this depends on the proportions, angles and shapes used for the construction of this intermediate structure. 

And that is where sacred geometry comes in.


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31/01/2018 10:56 am  

Chapter five – Roots, Ratios and Proportions 

As you probably know, my dad never just gives information, but helps me through a long process to realize things on my own, and this of course was no exception. 

First, he started by asking me what the origin of geometry was.  After a lot of talking and thinking (and of course not being able to google anything), I finally came to the conclusion that the origin comes from the Egyptians needing to measure the changing farmlands of the Nile delta after every flood.  This, he said, is called ordinary geometry, because it gives “order” to the areas of the horizontal plane of our surroundings.  Whereas sacred geometry is used to create the structures that connect us to the vertical interaction of energies, like my flows in Oña or sitting in Malokas. 

Sacred geometry plays mainly with shapes, angles and proportions to accomplish this connection, so he led me through a whole process of discovery. 

To start understanding sacred geometry, he gave me a compass and a straight edge and asked me to draw a perfect square.  From the perfect square I found the diagonal, which is the square root of 2, if one of the sides is a unit.  From there, we went on to the Vesica Piscis and the square root of three, and the rectangle formed by two squares, where we found the square roots of four and five.  Dad told me that these first five square roots are essential in sacred geometry, so now I knew how to recognize them in their geometric form.

Then, he asked me the problem of the “Euclidian Extreme and Mean Ratios” - Where do you have to cut a straight line, so that the whole line is to the greater segment, as the greater is to the lesser?

After a long time doing mental math, I figured out that if the whole line is one unit, then you need to cut it at around 0,62, so that the three segments are proportional:  1: 0,62 = 0,62: 0,38.

Then he had me write out the first 25 numbers of the Fibonacci sequence and then divide each number by the last.  As I went down the line, the quotient got closer and closer to 1,618. 

Then he gave me this crazy formula, where three of the square roots interact: 

X = (V5 + 1) / 2

and again, the result was 1,61803399… 

Then he asked me to find the square and 1/x of this “magic” number and I was surprised to see that they were 2,618… and 0,618…, or x+1 and x-1, which doesn´t happen to any other number.

He explained how this magic number is called Phi and that it is the base of the Golden Ratio, and he asked me to try to draw a Golden Rectangle and a Golden Spiral.

Now that I had the basic concepts of these shapes, ratios and proportions we went to experience them.  First, we went to the Romanic church of Frías, where we saw an example of a structure based on squares and square root of two.  As we approached the doorway, my dad said to slowly walk through to see how it felt.  As I walked through, I could feel my energy get rooted, as if my dantien was sinking.  On the other hand, when we went to the Gothic cathedral of León, with a structure based on equilateral triangles, Vesica Piscis in circles and the square root of three, as I did a qi flow inside, I felt my energy connect upward, like I did in Oña.

Now, did I not only have a mathematical understanding of some shapes and ratios, but the geometric application of them in architecture and how that affects people energetically.

And therefore, I was beginning to understand the function of sacred geometry. 


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31/01/2018 11:00 am  

Chapter six – Spinning Squares

To help me better understand the function of sacred geometry, my dad took me to the Mosque - Cathedral of Córdoba.  The Mosque was originally a Visigoth temple and in 780, when the Arabs invaded Southern Spain, Abd Ahr Rahman I converted it into a small mosque, without destroying the original building.  Over the following years it was added onto by each caliph until it was a huge mosque as important as the one in Damascus, which had 21 naves separated by 856 stone columns.  Because of the Reconquista – the Catholic kingdom taking back the Iberian Peninsula from the Arabs in 1236 – King Fernando III of Castilla decided that the mosque was so beautiful, that instead of destroying it, he would convert it into a Catholic cathedral, again adding onto the existing building. This is the only example of a Visigoth temple converted into a mosque and then into a cathedral, without destroying the preexisting structure.

There, in the part built after the Reconquista, right in the center of the main nave, was a circle of tiles on the ground that were a different color than all the rest.  When my dad asked me what I thought happened, I said that they had probably been replaced after being worn away by so many people standing there.  After a second look around, I realized that it did not make any sense, because the rest of the isles would have been worn away, too. Just as we did in Frías, he told me to slowly walk across the area and see what it felt like. If my eyes were closed, I would have completely believed that I had walked down a staircase and then back up again (this is where it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but trust me, I’m not).   After this experience, he explained to me how what made that area a different color was the strong energy, which had made the tiles begin to crystalize in a different way.

Then, he told me to go back into the area and say whether it felt like a circle or a square and a sphere or a cube.  So, remembering back to Frías, I said that it felt like a square.

This is when he explained to me, that because this church was so old and had been added onto so many times by each culture, it contained all of the first five square roots in its shapes and proportions.  He told me, that instead of just having square root of two and being a good place to connect to earthen energy, or just square root of three and being good for connecting to cosmic energy, it was a lot more.

Looking around I now not only could see the shapes and what they represented, but I realized that they were making a “path” of connection – from squares at the base, to double squares, to floral equilateral triangles, to octagons, to circles.  And again, these shapes were not only that, but they were representations and connections of three different proportions – the Golden proportion, the Vesica Piscis and the Córdoba proportion (which is a rectangle with the width of the side of an octagon, and the length of its radius).  

Now I was starting to put everything together, but as I had realized throughout the trip, whenever I saw something several times, it usually meant it was the key to a new connection and a new level of understanding. 

One of the shapes that I had not fully understood yet, but was all over the place, even with a proportion based on it, was the octagon.  So, when I asked my dad about it, instead of just telling me, he had us lay back and look up at the ceiling to help me figure it out.  He asked me to describe what I saw and I said I saw a huge octagon covering the whole dome, made out of two crossed squares, just like the Star of David is made of two triangles.  Then he showed me that they were not crossed squares, but a single square rotating and when he asked me to visualize it rotating more, I realized that it created a circle.  So really, through the octagon, the square becomes a circle - the symbol of the connection between cosmic and earthen energies!


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31/01/2018 11:02 am  

Chapter seven – The Manual

Then, I came to my big discovery. Dad helped me understand that Leonardo da Vinci’s Man of Vitruvius is not only a model of the human proportions to help artists draw the human body, but is a man reaching out and touching a circle and a square at the same time, with each pair of his hands and feet. Therefore, it is a symbol of a man connecting to the earthen and cosmic energies or as my dad would say - “…an invitation to fulfill the human potential to be a medium between Earth and Cosmos and become fully integrated”.

So, Da Vinci did not only create a symbol, but the simplest manual for the development of human potential.  I thought it was so cool that one of my favorite people in history was a “Dragon Tamer”!

As if all these insane connections my dad and I were coming up with were not enough, my dad woke me up one morning eager to help me understand more about what human potential meant. 

Part of what separates us from other animals is that we have the potential to develop the four qualities of being – our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies – and each body´s tool of connection – perception, emotion, reason and intuition.  Once we start to develop these four, the next step is to integrate them, so that they work together.  If we don´t do this, they will end up contradicting each other and create a struggle (like trying to rationalize intuitive messages).

I then started to realize that one of the main differences between ordinary geometry and sacred geometry is that ordinary geometry is the geometry needed for survival, which we share with most mammals.  For example, understanding angles, areas and distances is essential to either hunt or avoid being hunted. When a person or another mammal perceives a threat – they hear or see a predator who is going to attack them – this trigger an emotional response – they get scared.  That fear triggers a reaction – fight or flight.  So, to survive, you only need to have developed perception and emotion.  When we gather information through perception, what we are mainly doing is scanning the horizontal plane with our eyes and ears.  This is so vital, that we have evolved our vision and hearing to do this much easier than to scan in the vertical plane.

So, ordinary geometry is the geometry of instinctive survival and it is mainly based on perception and emotion of the horizontal plane.

Therefore, I was able to infer that sacred geometry is the geometry of consciousness and it is mainly based on reason and intuition on the vertical plane.

But this inference was not just a guess, because I had experienced it throughout this trip.  I started by understanding the concepts of the math behind the basic shapes, angles and proportions of sacred geometry.  This rational understanding is the first part to using sacred geometry.  Then I moved from this understanding to finding these concepts everywhere in these sacred constructions.  But the confirmation came through my next experiences – I did not “see” the dragons, the staircases or the two-way waterfalls, but I completely connected to them without doubt.  My dad explained then that a connection that you can feel happen, but cannot be perceived through the senses or explained rationally is an intuitive experience. An intuitive experience is your spiritual body making a connection.


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31/01/2018 11:03 am  

Chapter eight – The Temple

Now I was able to start connecting everything:

Ordinary and sacred geometry are tools for the potential development of the four qualities of being.  Ordinary geometry focuses mainly on the physical and the emotional aspects and sacred geometry on the mental and spiritual ones.  Ordinary geometry is mainly an instinctive process and sacred geometry a conscious one.  Instinct is the untamed earthen animal and consciousness is the untamed cosmic being. Da Vinci´s invitation with his Man of Vitruvius is to show us how to tame the two and integrate them into one single being – the mythical dragon.

After we got back from Spain I talked with dad about how all this could be applied in everyday life.  So, he explained to me that constructions that are built with sacred geometry, are man-made imitations of nature.  I remembered from my research that the golden proportion is found in almost all living things, from the growth of trees to the spiral of shells and the movement of galaxies.  He also explained how a cathedral is like a forest – the columns as trees and the ceiling as the canopy. So, sacred constructions are even more hidden manuals to teach us how to connect.  But once we learn how to, all we need to do is go into nature and find these magical places to do it.

And finally, going back again to the Man of Vitruvius, where Da Vinci shows us the perfect proportions and potential connections of the human body, I realized that we humans are a part of nature, and therefore are the best “temple”, so what we need to develop and integrate our “qualities of being” is within ourselves.  This is a continuous process of discovery, confirmation and connection.


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31/01/2018 11:05 am  

Gratitude

Even though thanking everyone who helped me through this journey of discovery would mean that I would need to include Euclides, all the druids and dowsers of Celtiberia, Fibonacci, De Molay and all his Templar knights, Leonardo da Vinci, Alfred Watkins and John Michell, and everyone who has left their knowledge imprinted in the stones of all the sacred places, I also like to thank those who helped me who are still alive: 

First, I like to thank Gus, who walked the 300 km of el Camino de Santiago with me and was my partner in all of my Dad´s crazy experiments and challenges.   

Also, thank you to Gus, Lina and Gaby for studying pulses, pressures and energy of places with me and understanding how to use the biometer.

Thank you to Lina for joining me in figuring out my Dad´s geometric and historical minute mysteries, which always took a lot more than a minute! 

Thank you to Doctora Helena for listening, editing and helping me structure the mental map for this report. 

Thank you to Dongui for giving me an awesome introduction to life in Medieval Spain, both in our pre-trip studies and in our time together in Las Merindades.

Thank you to Mom for helping make this homeschooling semester happen and coordinating it with my school in Marblehead.

And thank you to Dad for planning, organizing and leading me through all these awesome experiences!


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(@linaagudelo)
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10/02/2018 6:56 pm  

Piti & Nico, it was a BLESSING to share this months of homeschooling with you.

Thank you for letting me be part of it.

All my Love and Gratitude,

Lina


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