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Sacred Geometry: Deciphering the Code Hardcover – November 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Skinner, credited with introducing feng shui to the West, continues his search for the underlying order of the world with this beautifully illustrated examination of the notion that some geometries reveal hidden truths about the way the universe operates. Beginning with the Greeks, such as Euclid and Pythagoras, who, Skinner explains, invented geometry as a means of constructing sacred buildings in a way that was pleasing to the gods, the text explores a variety of natural and human-made examples of sacred geometry, including the construction of Stonehenge, the shapes of crystals, and the idea of "living spirals" (the horn of a goat, the shell of a nautilus, or DNA). While some parts of the book are harder to accept than others--see, for example, the discussion of crop circles--Skinner argues persuasively that many aspects of art, architecture, and science are linked through mathematics to universal principles that govern the universe. The book's success depends entirely on how much stock one puts in this basic premise, but Skinner makes a remarkably elegant case. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Skinner makes a remarkably elegant case.”—Booklist

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1ST edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402741294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402741296
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Skinner wrote, with Francis King, the classic "Techniques of High Magic" in 1976. He followed that with "Oracle of Geomancy" and "Terrestrial Astrology: Divinatory Geomancy", which has become the standard work on Western divinatory geomancy. Highly illustrated books on "Nostradamus" and "Millennium Prophecies" followed. He also edited "Aleister Crowley's Magical Diaries" and "Astrology".

In the 1970s Stephen was responsible for stimulating interest in John Dee and Enochian magic by publishing through his imprint Askin Publishers the first reprint of Meric Casaubon's "True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers between Dr John Dee and some Spirits.." and Dr Donald Laycock's key reference book on the angelic language "The Complete Enochian Dictionary".

He is currently working with David Rankine to reproduce the best available source books of practical ceremonial magic, particularly from old never before printed manuscripts owned by practising magicians.

His latest book on magic, "The Complete Magician's Tables" is a book of correspondences, which with more than 800 tables, is the most complete tabular book of magical correspondences in print.

Stephen is also the author of eight books on feng shui, including the first English one in the 20th century.

He has written more than 27 books translated into 20 different languages. He lives in Johor Bahru, near Singapore, where he researches both feng shui and classical magic.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book is well-written, gorgeous, printed on fine paper with extraordinary illustrations.
Jan Lee Ande
Unfortunately, a number of errors in the text and poorly written descriptions of the diagrams actually detract from understanding the subject.
D. Miller
It consists of 160 pages, and about 1/5 to 1/3 of each and every page is illustrated, and most are color illustrations.
Bruce Bain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on July 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover

QUESTION: What do the following have in common? A daisy, an eagle's beak, snowflakes, structure of DNA, Egyptian pyramids, crop circles, the stable elements of the periodic table, and Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper."

ANSWER: They are all based on geometry or numbers that are considered "sacred."

This is exactly what "world-renowned expert" Stephen Skinner shows the reader in this beautiful and informative book: how certain types of geometry (a Greek word that means `measurement of the Earth') and numbers are considered sacred.

Geometry was one of the first branches of mathematics to be extensively developed. Long before the Christian era, the Egyptians and later the Greeks had made exhaustive studies of the properties of geometrical figures. While the Egyptians were concerned mainly with practical applications (witness the pyramids), the Greeks were interested in the mental exercise involved in the study of Geometry. Many of these ancient Greek scholars believed that if they pursued the study of geometry far enough they would unlock some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.

Thus we have geometry and numbers that they and other civilizations considered sacred. Why sacred? Because they arrange systematically the hidden order of creation.

The book itself is divided into parts. These are entitled (1) The hidden order (2) The geometry of nature and (3) The geometry of the [human] made world. Each part begins with a brief overview (in italics) that summarizes a particular part.

Each part itself is divided into chapters. Here are the chapter titles for part (3): (i) Sacred geometry and the landscape (ii) Sacred geometry in architecture and (iii) Sacred geometry in art.
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126 of 138 people found the following review helpful By W. C. Lang on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is pleasant to browse, containing various lore about geometry, history, geography and the occult. It is very attractive visually, containing many nice photographs and diagrams. Unfortunately, given the important place of mathematics in the book, I am afraid to say that the author appears to know rather more about art and mysticism than he does about mathematics. For example, on page 52 we read: "For modern mathematics irrational numbers are those that cannot be pinned down to a few digits. They are, in fact, repeating decimals that go on forever." In fact, of course, irrational numbers are characterized by having decimal expansions that do not repeat. Also, on page 51, it is apparent that the author does not understand the construction of the mathematical curve known as the Conchoid of Nicomedes. This is a pity, because it would have been very easy to give the correct description since the relevant diagram is already included on the page.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shackelford on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This glorious book has been written by Stephen Skinner - who introduced Chinese Geomancy (or Feng Shui if you prefer) to the West in the 1960's with his ground-breaking (literally!) book "The Living Earth Manual". Since then he has produced a number of highly respected books on a variety of Feng Shui, Geomancy and Magical topics.

This new book brings together his broad knowledge of many different religions, sacred philosophies and magic, and his expertise in mathematics and geography.

Dozens of different sections with glorious photography and elegant line drawings show you how nature is based on elegant equations and then leads you through the millenia of ancient mathematics, as the geniuses of the past 2 or 3000 years intricately link mathematics and architecture. Whether it is the Fibonacci series, or the Greeks PI, or the circles of Dante's Hell - everything is clearly explained - you are thrilled at how Nature takes advantage of some of the most beautiful pure mathematics and the scale of the intellects who designed and built these magical places.

Stephen Skinner's book is a wonderful place to start - and will, no doubt, be the spur for many trips and explorations.

If you enjoyed the "Da Vinci Code" - get this book and read about REAL codes, enigmas and mathematics that can be found hidden in some of the world's most amazing buildings.

This book is for those of us who revel in the glorious elegance and simplicity of mathematics as applied to ALL good design (whether Natural or Human) - and is not aimed at mathematicians specifically.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Bain on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover

Sacred Geometry by Stephen Skinner

This is the best of all the books on the subject. The extant texts were becoming dated and a new book was long overdue.

It consists of 160 pages, and about 1/5 to 1/3 of each and every page is illustrated, and most are color illustrations. The author devotes about 2 to 5 pages to each subject. The author indicates that GEOMETRY is considered sacred because it shows the ARCHETYPAL patterning of things. This carries over into the realms of Architecture, Mathematics, Conceptual Abstractions and of course, NATURE.

The author begins with the Greeks of course, and continues on into the Middle Ages, where the basic curriculum for study was the TRIVIUM (three subjects): LOGIC, GRAMMAR, and RHETORIC.

These subjects expanded into the QUADRIVIUM, which added GEOMETRY to LOGIC, GRAMMAR, and RHETORIC. By page 22, the author gives consideration to MUSIC, VIBRATION and WHOLE NUMBERS. Those 2 pages are followed by FRACTIONS.

By page 26 (the number of LOVE and the NAME OF GOD in Gematria, the author introduces a favorite of many, ERATOSTHENES, the "man who measured the earth".

Egypt and early measurement follows, and then PRIME NUMBERS, and this chapter delightfully includes a very important graph for us all, the SIEVE OF ERATOSTHENES, by which Primes are discovered.

By page 34 the author introduces the GOLDEN MEAN, and this section includes the FIBONACCI SEQUENCE.

The author reserves in depth discussion of EUCLID until page 40, and by page 44, moves into THREE KEY TRIANGLES, the Equilateral (three equal sides), the Right (90 angle at base) and the Isosceles (whatever the heck that is! NO, just kidding. Two equal sides!
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