Celestial Falcon, with accompanying monkeys, representing the adoration
of Ra at his rising in the east.
the papyrus of Hunefer, Theban Book of the Dead. Early nineteenth
Encounter with Pythagoras
by Ann Hallatt
Closing my eyes, I lie down on the crusty, real, physical, Black
Rock Playa, once-moist lake now crumbling, dried by the summer sun.
I dream that I have joined Pythagoras in Egypt, where shores along
the Nile move from flood waters to the dryness of the sun drenched
soil just as the playa becomes solid for the season of the sun.
Sitting in a temple beneath a huge stone carving, he tells me:
The Natural Phenomena, especially the phenomena of the astronomical
world, may be expressed in mathematical formulas. Numbers are not
only the symbols of reality, they are the very substance of real
things. One is the point. Two is the line. Three is the surface,
and four, the solid. Ten is the perfect number, because it is the
sum of one, two, three and four—the point, the line, the surface,
and the solid.
Arrangement of the qualities of odd or even as opposites are found
everywhere in nature. The union of them constitutes the harmony
of the real world. There are ten heavenly bodies—the heaven
of the fixed stars, the five planets, the sun, the moon, the earth,
and the counter-earth (a body under the earth, moving parallel with
it, invisible to us). All these move in the Harmony of the Spheres.
The five planets, the sun, the moon, and the earth with its counter-earth,
moving from west to east at rates of speed proportionate to the
distance of each from the central fire, produce eight tones. These
four tones create an octave, thus forming a harmony known as Musica
Mundana or Music of the Spheres, the sound of which is so exquisite
and omnipresent that it governs all temporal cycles, such as seasons,
biological cycles, and all the rhythms of nature.
(More about the details of this musical system below, under the
description of music.)
stone carvings around us give human face to the power of the heavenly
bodies. The Sun dominates as the Solar Disk, ATEN, who enters the
sacred barque of a million years, and through the twelve daylight
hours visits the twelve provinces of his kingdoms. Aten changes
its name to RA at zenith and ATUM as it descends into darkness.
The night voyager AUF (corpse) sails the 12 hours of darkness through
the 12 provinces of the underworld in another boat, the mesektet
or night-barque. Stars form the crew of the solar barques during
the day, replaced at night by different stars. The invisible part
of the world is filled with mysterious terror and invisible perils,
including monstrous serpents and demons. HORUS, OSIRIS, and ISIS
are present, as are the four female deities with frog heads and
four male deities with snake heads who navigate. At dawn the gods
drag up the barque and KHEPRI rises up once more.
sculpture will be built of wood in a spiraling pattern until all
48 pieces are joined, creating a spiral pathway fixed in time and
space as a reference for contemplating the motion of the sun and
the other heavenly bodies. Each of the 48 tetrahedrons will be larger
then the previous one in all dimensions by two inches, starting
with the struts measuring 24: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38,
40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64,
66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 84,86, 88, 90,
92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 114,
116, 118, 120. The sculpture is anchored to the playa by 6 screws
2 feet in depth, preventing movement in high winds. The sculpture
will be lit from four directions, powered either with solar panels
or a small generator boxed away from the installation.
holding a sistrum.
of Seti I at Abydos.
"Ra, the sun-god, in the solar barque with the sun. Together
they traverse the heavens on their daily course."
of Ani from the Theban Book of the Dead.
Egyptian-inspired artwork depicting the travel of the Solar Disk
will be the location for a reenactment of the Journey of the Sun
through the Daylight sky into the Nighttime sky, later in the week
(likely Friday evening). Musical accompaniment based on Pythagoras
musical system will accompany the procession/performance. A papyrus
boat mounted on wheels carrying the solar and lunar disks will circle
the spiral sculpture, passing the circular opening, which represents
the great Celestial Falcon whose right eye is the sun and whose
left eye is the moon.
are many levels of interactivity in this project. The sculpture
itself changes as you walk toward and around it. The music of the
spheres will be played live and recorded at the site. The public
will be invited to participate in a procession/performance later
in the week. Fire performance will be featured. A small representation
of the Eye of the Falcon will be gifted to visitors as a souvenir.
on just how strong the sculpture turns out to be, we may be able
to roll it, so that the sculpture changes position from time to
time. The public wil necessarily be involved since it will take
many hands to accomplish this. In any case we plan to roll it to
its final destination: on top of one of the large burn blankets
(the Man or the Temple), where the Celestial Eye itself will be
sent heavenward in the form of smoke.
it Means to Me
invitation to gaze at and ponder the Vaults of Heaven, has led me
to reflect on the recent death of my father, on the last day of
the year 2003, just as I was preparing my annual card gift. This
became the sharing of the experience of accompanying my father into
the underworld. With a photo of him at his solar peak in life, I
included Hymn to Ra from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The shape
of the sculpture is a celebration of the spiral of Time, Space,
Life, Death, Sound, Silence and The Harmonious Whole.