The crisp autumn air saunters across the cobblestones of the courtyard lit by the warm glow from gas lamps. Nestled in a horseshoe of majestic Baroque buildings, the modern glass pyramid of the Musee´de Louvre seems both incongruous and yet oddly at home amid the splendour of the surrounding 17th century architecture. In one moment the ancient and the modern rub shoulders as if suggesting a continuity of some grand purpose. Indeed, to stand in front of this diamond of glass and steel is to experience first-hand the implementation of ageless knowledge, perpetuated through adepts in secret societies dating back to the Egyptian Mysteries schools, whose original purpose was— and remains— the continuous promulgation of a secret science of life that serves the highest principles of humanity.
The controversial pyramid was commissioned by then president François Mitterrand, a leader sympathetic to the ideals of Masonic orders, and designed by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. Although Pei stated publicly that his pyramid had nothing to do with stone pyramids of old, of all the pyramids in the world he could have used for inspiration, including their myriad angles of inclination, he chose to incline his magnum opus to within a degree of the angle used to construct the Great Pyramid of Giza: an extraordinary coincidence for a man who claimed his design had been inspired by a trellis in the nearby Jardin des Tuilleries.
Such ‘coincidences’ are the stuff of conspiracies; an excuse to point accusatory fingers at secret societies. In this case such claims are justifiable, although the motive is far from sinister. The Great Pyramid of Giza— as well as other identical structures— were built primarily by adepts who learned a specific type of craft from ancient Mysteries Schools. The keepers of an unspecified, arcane knowledge, these societies were careful with whom they shared such information lest it be misused against people or planet. The strategically-chosen slope angle of the Great Pyramid is a good example of the craft they taught.
One of the reasons why this most perfect of structures generates such a profound effect is due in part to its heptagonal angle, for it amplifies the energy of the most mystical of all sacred geometric shapes in the corpus sanctum of esoteric societies. The pyramid’s seven-fold geometry is an allegory of the prime notes of music and the visible colours of light, and thus it is associated with the creative forces of nature. Of all the sacred geometries it is the only one whose angles cannot be bisected to a whole number, so, like the nature of the soul and the origin of the universe, its properties are transcendental, it represents the search for enlightenment. It’s values are also bound within the human body. So, to work with a structure that incorporates this geometry is to magnify the potential of the creative power inside the human being. How strange, then, that these principles should find themselves embodied in this fabulous glass diamond now resting in the center of modern Paris, in the Cour Napoleon, whose namesake once spent a night in the original pyramid in Giza only to run out in the morning, berserk, and raving like a madman. Clearly that pyramid did not agree with Napoleon’s personal ideals.
To people who devote themselves to secret knowledge, such things are not so strange. The kind of gnosis learned in secret esoteric societies surrounds our everyday life to a far greater degree than people are aware. In Paris, the site of the Musee´ de Louvre is itself part of a city-wide plan that incorporates unusual deviations from standard building practice; many of its streets and monuments are also astronomically aligned. It is this perception of a ‘Great Plan’ at work that gives the centre of Paris its inherent air of connection to something far more ethereal and beyond the mundane world.
Just as with London, Washington, and the original Egyptian capital Thebes, Paris is the culmination of centuries of Freemasonic input which seeks to create the ideal ‘City of Light’ through the practical application of biogeometry (that is ‘living geometry’) and the manipulation of subtle terrestrial forces to mirror the celestial order above the city. The idea that the application of specific angles and astronomical alignments are capable of bestowing positive benefits on people and place was precisely the kind of information once zealously guarded and taught to all initiates in Mysteries schools. One of the very best examples of this living art lies in the ground plan of the temple complex at Thebes — today the twin sanctuaries of Luxor-Karnak. Among other things, this complex is aligned to the winter solstice, the time of year when the darkness of the night begins to be supplanted by the increasing light of the day. Another alignment references the heliacal rising of Sirius on June 16. Sirius was seen as the source of all ancient wisdom and the embodiment of Isis, the goddess of the sky. To reference a temple to Sirius is to imbue the temple and its pilgrims with the properties associated with that star.
That such knowledge has spread far from its Egyptian center is seen in a temple dedicated to Isis that once stood on the banks of the Seine, and which today serves as the foundation of the abbey of St. Germain des Pres, just to the south of the Louvre. This homage to the continuation of the cult of Isis even lent the name to the city which sprang from its environs, Parisis. Such solar or sky symbology was applied by esoteric societies even further north, in Britain, possibly by its local secret society, the Druids; its most famous of Britain’s rivers, the Thames, was originally consecrated to the Babylonian solar god Tammuz. It was also named the Isis, and the source of the Thames is today marked on maps as such.
The oldest and main axis of Paris is marked at pivotal sections by an obelisk transported from the temple of Luxor in the Place de Concorde, and by Pei’s pyramid. A second, deviated axis aligns from a strategic location in the Louvre, through the Arc de Triumphe, and along a majestic avenue named Champs-Elyseés. It is this path that gives away the purpose behind the ‘great plan’ upon which this city was designed. The so-called Fields of Elysium are a mythical location where favoured heroes are conveyed by the gods towards a place of the blessed, a state of happiness. Every August 6 the sun sets along the Champs Elyse´es, its orange orb observed through the last of Mitterrand’s grand commissions for Paris, a hollow cube named the Grande Arche. The alignment commemorates the Transfiguration of Christ, a powerful symbol of that establishes Man as a solar hero. Furthermore, the Grande Arche is itself deviated by 32 degrees to match the sunset on June 24— John the Baptist’s Day as well as the Masonic New Year; it is also the day after the Summer solstice, the moment when the light is at its peak; esoterically this moment represents the triumph of light over dark.
Coincidences abound, and yet all of them reference important moments in the machinery of the heavens that are enshrined in the literature of secret societies. The purpose behind such knowledge was to link people with Universal mechanics in a way that enhanced their well-being. That secret societies were able to maintain continuity of information is evidenced by the way that the Paris alignments precisely mirror the very same axis planned into the design of the city of Thebes, a ‘city of the Sun’. Masonic Paris, then, is a case of sacred architecture fulfilling an ancient plan, for 350 years prior to the inauguration of the Louvre pyramid the Hermetic philosopher Tommaso Campanella had announced that in Paris the world would see the reincarnation of the Egyptian City of the Sun.
These practices are still enshrined in the Freemasonic Lodges, a number of which maintain a strict oath to the spirit of ancient codes of practice and the utmost protection of secret knowledge. This very misunderstood society traces its origin through the Knights Templars— the Knights of the Temple of Solomon— to the Egyptian city of Iunnu, the “city of Light”, also called Heliopolis by the Greeks. The history of [Free] Masonry has much to do with the art of building in a physical as well as figurative sense. Well before the libraries at Alexandria, Iunnu was the highest center of learning in the ancient world, preserving the wisdom once practiced and adopted through in temples along the Nile and dating all the way back to Zep Tepi, the ‘First Time’, the post-diluvial age of the gods. After the Romans drove the gnostic schools of Egypt underground, secret societies were formed to maintain the teachings from interference by people who would misuse the information for personal gain and the subjugation of entire societies. Over the centuries the keepers of the Light have gone by various guises— Cathars, Albigencians, Bogomils, Essenes, Priory of Sion, Christian Gnostics, Rosicrucians— and whenever political times have allowed, such societies have shown their hand, and by this method the knowledge has been promulgated through Europe, resurfacing in Paris in time for the French Revolution. In fact many of the figures of the French uprising against a despot king were high-ranking Freemasons, as were the main figures who were inspired to create a new state called America.