Famous (and not-so-famous) Pentagrams of Washington D.C. - Part 1
Mundane Astrology
The Knepf's Snake-eye
by Ed Kohout

Famous (and not-so-famous) Pentagrams
of Wshington D.C.
Part 1

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Masonic geometry of Washington D.C.

"...it was called the pentangle, or seal of Solomon, and the shield of David, and was employed all over Asia as a preservative against witchcraft, in which superstition the Jews are said to have participated; for they used written charms enclosed in the above hexagonal or pentacular figure, and disposed cabalistically, which were worn about their necks.  It constituted the Pythagorean pentalpha, and was the symbol of health."1 (emphasis mine.)

"The Signet of Solomon, the Pentalpha -- called by Our Ancient Brethren 'the Star in the East' -- the Symbol of Masonic Light; otherwise represented by the five-pointed Star of Masonry -- which corresponds eith TGAOTU, etc, and being a fivefold and endless triangle, whose lines are continually reproduced to infinity, is the emblem of Eternity."2

Washington D.C., a city designed by Freemasons for the newly created Federal constitutional government of the United States of America, is expectedly home to some interesting geomertry, including pentagrams and pentacles, as well as other Masonic symbols.  The street grid north of the White House is shaped like an upside down pentacle.  The White House, and therefore the pentacle, is aligned to the Capitol via Pennsylvania Avenue, to the Washington Monument directly to the south, and to the Pentagon -- another pive-pointed structure, to the southwest, via sacred geometry as well.  This series will attempt to describe the "astrometry" of Washington D.C., or the astrological measures that accompany the geometry.  

The Pentagram in Masonic History

 Figure 1-1

The word "geometry" literally means "earth measure."  Along with Astronomy, the study of the temporal order through observation of cyclic movement, and mathematics, the language of harmonics, the cosmos could be explained and the temporal world could be reconciled with the profane, giving rise to "sacred geometry," and the language of universal order.  The pentagram as a measure of sacred geometry is but one level of depth in geometrical progression, but it is where we first encounter the phi ratio.

The connection of the pentagram to the golden ratio, or "phi," symbolized as , is long revered and used in Egyptian neolithic architecture, most notably in the layout of the Sphinx and large pyramids at Giza.  Basic fundamentals of the 5-pointed star can be found at this site.

So much could be said about the pentacle, or the five-pointed star, in the history of Freemasonry that this website cannot do it justice.  The pentacle is one of the oldest occult symbols on the Earth.  In contemporary society is has become rather ubiquitous, from the local sheriff's seal, to the stars on the flag, to the symbol of majick in witchcraft, to the gradeschool reward for extra effort.  A more storied history of the pentacle is found in the anals of Freemasonry, and thier alleged predecessors the Knights Templars.  Yet, the pentagram as an icon of sacred geometry was well known to the Greeks and Arabs millennia earlier.

<--- Baphomet.

Alledeged to have been the deity worshipped by the Knight Templars, this human/goat figure is the motif of The Devil in the Masonically inspired Waite-Rider tarot deck.

This closeup clearly shows the inverted pentagram in the third eye of Baphomet.  A pentacle on The Devil does not appear in tarot decks prior to Waite's 1910 deck.  The number of lines in a pentacle is 15, which is also the number of this arcanum, "XV."
 Figures 1-2, 1-3, 1-4

An important link regarding the pentacle in Freemasonry's transitional period of the 17th Century is found with its usage by Robert Moray, who not only integrated a pentacle into his signature, but also incorporated it into various seals.  He did not take take this practice directly from Masonry, but instead found Masonry compatible with his own occult symbolry.3  From this point on, and then surely in the American realms, the pentacle gained widespread use in Masonry.

The Pentagram and Sacred Geometry in the design of Washington D.C.

 Figure 1-5

The Pentacle that extends north of the White House possesses many invisible levels of sacred geometry.  Based on geometric progression of squares, it appears to be skewed an unequal, yet it supports a complex set of shapes that are common inside the Masonic lodge.  It is explained in Bromwell's Restorations4 as the function of the oblong square, or a 1:2 rectangle (upside down):

 Figure 1-6

Here we see the White House as the anchor of progressively larger circles, based upon the oblong square:

 Figure 1-7a

 Figure 1-7b

 Figure 1-7c

 Figure 1-7d

 Figure 1-7e

The line extending northeast from the White House defines another oblong square, as well as the northernmost boundary of the city:

 Figure 1-7f

The red circle defines the northern border of the city directly north of the White House:

 Figure 1-7g

If we take that same square mile, and connect it to the two northernmost points on the pentacle, we can draw some more circles.  The White House lies at the midpoint of the square and its circle:

 Figure 1-7h

 Figure 1-7i

The 47th Problem of Euclid

Better known as the Pythagorean Theorem, Euclid's 47th problem is one of the hallmarks of Masonic geometry.  

The Pentagram and can be functionally represented by the following graphic, based on H.E. Huntley's work in The Divine Proportion5.

 Figure 1-8

The triangle AEF is a typical 3-4-5 triangle.  The rectangle ABCD has a 1:2 ratio, as does the pentacle above the White House.  The ratio starts at K, and proceeds through N, H, C, A, B, and ends on F.  When we superimpose this graphic onto the map of Washington, we begin to see exactly how some of the dimensions of the layout was determined:

 Figure 1-7j
  • The major streets that radiate from the Capitol in the northwest quadrant are Pennsylvania Avenue and New Jersey Avenue.
  • They are at the angle of the 3-4-5 triangle.
  • The White House is the base for the ABCD rectangle/double-square.
  • The Old Post Office is at two-thirds the distance of FA.
  • The point where AC intersects JM is becomes the radius of a circle that touches the city's border at 18th street and "U Street," or point H
  • Moving directly east along "U Street," we hit the border again at 9th street, which is also touching the line CD.
  • A new circle is drawn from a central point J. This circle intersects Pennsylvania Avenue at 13th Street, making the only "kink" in the otherwise straight line to the White House grounds.
  • The Intersection of this circle and the arc CF defines yet another city boundary on Florida Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, which extends northwest to the point where "U Street" intersects with CD.
  • This circle intersects EF at "N Street," which runs directly west through the center of our original pentacle.
  • Point N intersects all circles at "H Street."
  • Point R locates "25th Street."
  • Point C locates "W Street."
  • "M Street" ends at the border of the city and the large circle.
  • The "kink" in "M Street" at New Hampshire Avenue is on the long side of another 3-4-5 triangle JRS.
  • The Justice Department lies at point P, where FP = FN.
  • "Judiciary Square" is bisected by the line FL.

All the shapes together show that the White House and Congress are the centers of sacred geometrical formations:

 Figure 1-7k

The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, 33, at 1733 16th Street NW, sits at the corner of one of these squares, a symbolic 13 blocks north of the White House:

 Figure 1-7l

19.5, 33, Poles, Pentacles and Presidents

A little-known facet of the pentagram is its relationship to the English measurements of the inch, foot, yard, pole, mile, and "Domesday league" (a mile and a half) -- and the earth's circumference.  All six measures can be expressed as factors of four prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, and 11, and it is simple to make calculations interchangeably:

  • inches in a foot:  2 2 3
  • inches in a yard:  2 2 3 3
  • inches in a pole:  2 3 3 11
  • inches in a mile:  2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 5 11
  • inches in a
    Domesday League:   2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 11
  • feet in a pole:    16.5 {11 3 2}
  • feet in a mile:    2 2 2 2 2 3 5 11
  • yards in a pole:   5.5 (11 2}
  • yards in a mile:   2 2 2 2 2 5 11
  • yards in a
    Domesday League:   2 2 2 2 3 5 11
  • poles in a mile:   2 2 2 2 2 2 5
  • poles in a
    Domesday League:   2 2 2 2 2 3 5

These factors multiplied together equal a factor of 33:

{2 3 5 11 = 330}

The purpose of this, on the surface, seems to be avoidance of the complex prime of 7.  But, why 11?  The likely answer to this lies in the number "pi" when expressed in the classical 22/7, as 11 is half of this numerator.

If we want to find the radius of a circle whose circumference is a mile, we can then employ simple divisors:

63360 inches 7 22 2 = 10080 inches, or 840 feet.

Using a precise 13-digit value for pi, we get:

63360 3.141592653589 2 = 10084.0571943 inches,
which is a tolerance of 99.95976625%.

The "pole" measure, or 1/320th of a mile, is 2x3x3x11, or 198 inches, which translates into 16.5 feet.  Two "poles" total 33 feet.  One-sixth of 198 is 33 inches, and if we create a circle with the radius of 33 inches, we find that a circumscribed hexagon's perimiter will total 198, which is again one "pole."  If we want the diameter of a circle whose circumference is one pole, we find it to be:

198 7 22 = 63.

You may notice that this is a factor of the 630-foot height and width of the Gateway Arch.  If we were to draw a circle that would have the Arch's special height at a diameter, and thus a 315-foot radius, and use the classical pi formula of 22/7, we would find:

circumference = 11880 inches, or {33 360}, or {60 198}.

The pole value has other magical uses as well.  If we take this figure, and multiply it by one million, and then 5, we get an approximation of the circumference of the earth -- 24858 miles, or 1,575,002,880 inches. The true value is 24,901.55 miles (40,075.16 km) at the equator, with the pole to pole circumference being 24,859.82 miles (40,008 km), which is frighteningly close to the above "pole" value.

Therefore, if we divide any longitude into five segments of 72, we find that this measure is 4971.6 miles, or 315,000,576 inches.  This number divided by 1,000,000 can be rounded off to 315, which happens to be the height in feet of the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, and half of the height in feet of the Gateway Arch.  This is also perhaps the explanation of why the Arch, which is situated 18 offset from the north-south polar meridian, is as tall and wide as it is -- 630 feet, to symbolize the harmonic measure of the earth's circumference.  A circle drawn with such dimensions would be:

1 / 66315   the circumference of the earth.

"315" and the Old Post Office will prove vital to our study of the White House and Capitol in the following pages.

The address of the White House is also tied into a "33" with the measure of the city.  The Constitution specifies that the new Federal City not exceed ten miles square.  Ten miles is 52800 feet, and ten square miles is 2787840000 square feet, which gives us this set:

2787840000 33 = 8448000
8448000 33 = 256000
256000 1600 = 1600.

Or, the area of the original 10-mile square Washington D.C. is:

{1600 33}

"1600 West" is 16 city blocks, or two miles, and thus the White House is two miles west of the Capitol.  How far north it is can be solved with basic geometry.  To figure out the area and perimiter of a right triangle, we only need the length of one side and one other angle, from which we can use the SINE function.  First we need to convert to "poles," of which there are 320 in one mile.

Capitol to right angle, labeled "B" is 2 miles.
Angles are 19.5 and 70.5.
Hypotenuse is the line from Capitol to White House, called "C"
Formula is:
{C = [B SINE of angle opposite B]}
{C = 640 miles SINE 70.5} =
{640 0.94264~ = 678.943167~ poles},
678.943167~ poles 320 poles per mile = 2.121697~ miles}
or about 2 miles and one block, or 17 blocks.

Line A, from the White House to the 90 angle can the be figured by using the standard {a + b = c}, but inverted to {c - b = a}:

{678.9432 - 640 = a};
{460963.8250 - 409600 = 51363.825};
{Square Root of 51363.825 = 226.63589};
{226.636 poles 320 poles per mile = 0.708237 miles.}

{0.708237 3 = 2.124711}

...precisely the same as the length of Philadelphia Avenue between the Capitol and the White House, as well as the inverted logarithm of ".33", and thus is ~33% of the length of that Presidential way.

If we add all the sides of this triangle, we arrive at ~1545.6, which is ~= {5 100}, confirming the "sacred geometry" of Washington D.C. to be:

19.5  =  33  =  72!

Furthermore, much of ceremonial Washington is constructed around the above number symbolism.  Case in point the way we elect the President with the Electoral College.  Here are the dates associated with this controversial process:

  1. EC electors must be "chosen" by December 12.
  2. EC "votes" at noon, December 18.
  3. Congress reports vote *sometime* on January 6.
  4. The Presidential Inauguration is been held at noon on January 20.
Presidential Election "Fuzzy Math":
  1. Noon, December 12 = 19.5:
    ......1a) Deadline for picking electors = December 12;
    ......1b) Year ends December 31 at midnight;
    ......1c) Dec. 31 - Dec 12 = 19; 19 + 1/2 (noon) = 19.5 days.
  2. Noon, December 18, to Noon, January 20, total 33 days.
  3. EC "votes" at Noon, December 18:
    ......3a) Votes are revealed in Joint Session of Congress, January 6;
    ......3b) December 31 - December 18 = 13;
    ......3c) 13 + January 6 = 19; 19 + 1/2 (noon) = 19.5
  4. Inauguration Day, January 20, Noon, 19.5 days into new year.

Other items of interest:

  • Flag Day, June 14, is the 165th {33 5} day of the year.
  • George Washington's birthday, February 22, is 33 days after Inauguration Day.
  • 66 days beyond that is April 29, a date that is important to the layout of Washington D.C., and will be explained in Part 3.
  • 66 days beyond that is July 4 -- 165 days {33 5} after Inauguration Day.
  • Recall that 165 is the distance of feet is equal to 10 "poles."
  • Congress is sworn in on January 3, 13 days after the winter solstice, and 66 days after Halloween.
  • July 4th is 13 days after the summer solstice
  • Congress passed the Terrorism bill on September 14, 2001, 72 days after July 4.
  • JFK was assassinated on November 22, which adds up to a 33 {11 + 22}, and is 33 days before Christmas.
  • September 11 is 72 days separated from November 22, and 111 days separeted from December 31.

In the following parts of this series, we will see how the Capitol's astrology utilizes cosmologically aligned pentacles and pentagrams.

1 Macoy, Robert, A Dictionary of Freemasonry, Gramercy Books, New York, 2000, reprint of 1869 edition, pp. 613 - 4.
2 Bromwell, H. P. H, Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry, p. 360.
3 Stevenson, David, The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century 1590 - 1710, Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 168 - 75.
4 Bromwell, p. 194.
5 Huntley, H. E. The Divine Proportion: a Study in Mathematical Beauty, Dover Publications, New York, 1970.

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