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A Story in Stone: Cosmic Pyramid Geometry in Gothic Cathedral Design


with Tom Bree 

3 sessions starting Saturday 29th January 2022, 18.00 - £35
This is a 3-session course focussing upon the use of Geometry and Cosmology within Gothic cathedral design, along with its capacity to spiritually awaken and elevate the soul.
In 12th century Christendom the soul’s cosmic ascent was symbolised by the Seven Liberal Arts in the sense that the seven arts represented the seven planetary spheres.

The gradual illumination of the soul through the study of the ‘Trivium’ (Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic) and ‘Quadrivium’ (Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Cosmology) acted as a preparatory seven steps of ascent eventually leading to the eighth heaven of the fixed stars, to a ‘loving friendship’ with Wisdom or ‘Philia-Sophia’ (i.e. Philosophy) Herself.

The soaring appearance of a Gothic cathedral embodies a similar image of ascent along with the journey through it which ‘ascends’ eastward towards the illumination of the rising sun and the Bright Morning Star. But the ascent through the seven planetary spheres can be understood to move northwards towards the ‘Stella Maris’ – the celestial North Pole or central pivot of the circulating stars in the eighth heaven. This seven-step ascent ‘northwards’ is also embodied in a remarkable cosmic diagram discovered by John Michell.

This course will demonstrate how Michell’s discovery was in fact a rediscovery of knowledge possessed by medieval cathedral master masons who themselves appear to have possessed an ancient lineage of knowledge stretching back to ancient Egypt.

Speaker: Tom Bree is a geometer-artist, teacher and writer living in Wells in south-west England. He teaches practical geometry classes and gives talks in the UK and abroad but primarily for the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts in London where he also studied under the renowned Master-Geometer Professor Keith Critchlow. For the past decade Tom has been slowly studying the use of geometry, cosmology and musical ratios in Gothic Cathedral design with a particular emphasis upon the first English Gothic cathedral in his hometown of Wells. He is about to publish a large and fully illustrated book on the subject called The Cosmos in Stone. Tom has also recently instigated an educational project in Wells called ‘The Wells Institute for Sophia in Education (‘WISE’), which fuses practical arts with philosophy in the light of sacred tradition.
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