The Roseline of Venus

While researching a strange and previously unexplained carving in the crypt of Rosslyn chapel, I discovered a connection between Rosslyn and the Vedic mythology of Mt. Meru (discussed in two parts beginning here). The evidence suggests that Venus and its orbital approximation of the golden mean was a central element in the Vedas and, by inclusion, the likely inspiration behind the architecture of Rosslyn. There is substantial evidence to support this claim.

Truth Behind the Venus Myth

The planet Venus and its mythology is connected to the Sanscrit words Veda and Vena.

Vena, Veda, Venus by Subhash Kak

Veda means “knowledge” or “to see.” The English word “video” finds its origin in Veda. The Vedic god Vena was then a personification or “avatara” of a celestial being, most likely the planet Venus.

Venus was known as “the light bringer” (translated from Latin as lucifer) because it rises before the Sun in the morning (called the “morning star”) and follows it in the evening (called the “evening star”). But because it traces a pentagram in the sky every 8 Earth years, it is also revered as a religious object once known as the Babylonian Ishtar (star) or Star of Bethlehem. I have discussed this pentagram many times in this blog and my books, but it is important to review it one more time because it is so important in understanding the ancient worldview.

The period at which Venus and Earth align and repeat their orbits is 13 and 8 years respectively. This 13:8 ratio is equal to 1.625. As Venus rotates in the opposite direction of Earth, it aligns 5 times over this 8-year period to face (or “kiss”) the Earth. When these 5 facing alignments are connected, they trace a pentagram in the night sky. Ancient astronomers discovered this fact and marveled at how the same 5-fold arrangement could be found many other places in nature, such as a rose, the seed pattern in an apple and the human anatomy. As a result, five was taken as a sacred number and the pentagram a sacred symbol by ancient philosophers, such as Solomon and Pythagoras. Indeed, it is the source of irrationality in the golden mean as Φ = (5 + 1) / 2.

But, this discovery opened up something else, namely the discovery of the Fibonacci series. The numbers 5, 8 and 13 found in the Venus-Earth orbital pattern are part of the Fibonacci series, calculated by adding adjacent pairs of numbers beginning with 1+1 = 2. This series is represented as {1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ...} and discussed in detail here. Natural philosophers noticed that when they then divided each pair of numbers in this series, they got closer and closer to one specific number, which we now call the golden mean. Thus, 8/5, 13/8, 21/13, 34/21, and so on, converge closer and closer to the non-repeating golden mean constant of 1.618033...

As explained in previous posts, Vedic mythology refers to this golden series and constant in mythological terms as Mt. Meru,upon whose mountaintop it was said gold lay hidden and the gods danced. Known as the “mountain of cadence” and represented in five levels of ascension, Mt. Meru is an ancient model of the Fibonacci spiral where the center of the mountain is symbolized by the golden mean. Some suggest that the Biblical Tower of Babel was the Babylonian equivalent, spiraling upward toward God. At the center of these and other sacred stories is Venus and its golden star.

The Rosslyn Temple of Venus

So we find that Venus was the astronomical proof of divine beauty and order. Named Vena in the ancient Vedas, its legend descended into Greek mythology as Aphrodite and renamed Venus by the Romans. The “divine proportion” was at the center of other ancient beliefs too, including the Egyptian Naga and meso-American Mayan pyramid builders. In the middle ages, it became the founding architectural principle of Rosslyn chapel (perhaps meaning “rose line”), offering the world yet another temple to Venus and its pentagonal “rose” orbit.

Here’s a partial list of Venusian symbols in Rosslyn chapel:

1. There are 13 musical angels and 8 dragon-serpents carved into the pillars, symbolizing the 13:8 orbital frequency proportion of Venus to Earth,

2. The angels are stylized cherubs, the mythological children of Venus,

3. In the central pillar of the chapel, the angels are sitting on pentagrams.

4. There is a pentagonal window box at the top of the chapel that aligns with the Sun on the Spring and Autumn equinoxes.

5. There is a carved sketch of what appears to be Mt. Meru in the chapel’s crypt, a direct reference to the Vedic mythology of Mt. Meru and golden mean.

6. The dimensions of the chapel can be derived entirely from the golden mean using a folded “rose line,” or “Rosslyn.”

The Harmonic Architecture of Rosslyn chapel

Below is a mathematical derivation of the dimensions of Rosslyn chapel from the golden mean, which appears linked to the orbital geometry of Venus.

The Kabbalah connection to Rosslyn

There is also solid historical evidence that Rosslyn’s designers had access to ancient Vedic knowledge.

The chapel’s designers, William Sinclair and Gilbert Hay, were close friends and had a connection to certain mystery teachings through René de Anjou - the Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence, King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem and King of Aragon. In fact, Gilbert Hay was his consort.

Now, René d’Anjou "was related to the king of France by marriage and remained a trusted ally during the war with England.” On paper, Renè was one of the most powerful men in Europe. Through him, both Sinclair and Hay came into contact with Cosimo de Medici who was responsible for compiling the Medieval Kabbalah from ancient text. After the failure of his Italian campaign, Renè became a patron of the arts and a collector of books, co-sponsoring the mystical Arcadia revival in the late 15th century.*

Through his patronage of art, literature and the advancement of knowledge, Renè is one of the most important figures of the formative years of the Renaissance. It was directly as a result of Rene’s influence that Cosimo de Medici sent agents out to look for ancient texts, which resulted in the revival of Neoplatonic and Hermetic thought in the Arcadia revival.

The Kabbalah has direct references to Mount Meru and the Vedic teachings. In fact, it is made up of many old world philosophies and scriptures from all over Europe, Egypt and Asia. The Rosslyn connection to the Kabbalah would naturally include Mount Meru and the symbolic figure of its representation. In particular, it highlights the Shekinah connection to the Jewish Kabbalah.

* Note: The legend of Acadia appears to be a variation of the Vedic legend of a supernal realm named Mt. Meru, later found in the myths of Shambhala and Hyperborea. According to W.H. Muller in his book ‘Polaria’, “the Black Sun is the Beacon of the World-Mountain of Meru spinning in the Space of Spirit.” The term “Black Sun” is sometimes used to refer to the actual black hole spinning at the center of our galaxy.