Part 2 of the Series Titled: 5 Cross Cultural Symbols for Integration Across Space & Time
The square is the symbol of Earth – it is stable, solid, secure. The 4 corners translate into the foundational supports of a table, chair, house…) and as Earth – is symbolic of matter – the body, substantive, physicality itself. That’s the little joke… why it matters…. It is matter – and you likely wouldn’t quite feel whole on this Earth without a body – that part of you that is matter… (small chuckle here). Our body needs protection; a native attribute within the square structure is protection. We protect our body from the elements and outside invaders through a house/home, the blueprint of which is a square (or a variant thereof, the rectangle), with walls that shift into a 3 dimensional structure, called a cube. If we go microscopic, some (epithelial) cells are cuboid in shape (square in cross section), and they too, provide protection, so that neighboring cells can do their jobs well.
Although the square is dominant as a human constructed form, we may not actually perceive many squares in nature itself, and yet it is a foundational form within a plethora of organic shapes we easily witness in the environment. Take the spiral form we see in a nautilus shell. The golden square is repeated within this form numerous times, revealing a mathematical formula and numerological sequence called the Fibonacci series. These relationships may not be in our conscious awareness, but the profound energetic holding pattern is a foundation for beauty, equanimity and can be experienced through the visual field of awareness. Look at the relationship between nature, the symbolic square shape, and mathematical, numerological underpinnings, the later of which are essential in creating designs and forms for a huge variety of materials and structures (think engineering and architecture).
Photo of Nautilus; Proportions of golden square; squares within of differing sizes; Fibonacci numbering Series on Nautilus.
The square is the foundational shape for sacred ancient structures intended to house divine energies: pyramids, temples, mosques etc. The latter primarily serve the function as places for divine worship, and the square platform implies stability through space and time. There is still much speculation as to the true purposes of the pyramids of ancient Egypt; most archeologists interpret them as burial mounds, but others postulate that these structures were really electrical generators, and/or energetic antennae to heavenly divine energies. However you interpret them, they are protective, solid structures that have stood the test of time against the elements.
Images: Mayan Temple in Yucatan; Egyptian Pyramid
Humans are master planners and engineers of structures based upon combining 4 straight lines, expanding into cubes (or 3 dimensional rectangles) to create solid structures, whose essential purpose is security and protection.
So essentially, the square is a foundational structure within nature that provides structure, stability, protection, and has a mathematical coherence that resonates with our deeper psychological needs for the same qualities. Visual permutations of the square create energetic nuances that speak to our inner needs for these same qualities. Feel into the variants of the squares below:
Basic Square: when in vertical and horizontal orientation, we tap into the basic platform of structure, stability.
2 squares rotated – are a bit more dynamic in their resonance.
Mystical traditions have tapped into these esoteric properties to create a visual images composed of geometrical forms, often with radial symmetry, filled with symbolic color (and sometimes images), meant to resonate specific desirable energies. The basic form is called a mandala. Look at the basic structures in this one, and notice how the presence of squares, creates an experience of containment. Square containing the central circles and star.
Even more evident within the sacred tradition of mandala creation (Yantra in Tantra yoga; Tanka in Tibetan traditions), is the placement of the square to contain the more complex pattern of geometric shapes within. Look at the grey square shape ‘holding’ the circular form within; each side has an additional rectangular shape, symbolizing an entry point, or gateway into the visual field.
Gated square holding the internal energy in Sri Yantra.
I’ve painted a few Yantra images myself; Here is Matangi; this energy resonates the qualities of pure, clear and wise communication through speech, music and writing. Like any visual tool used for meditation, I sometimes gaze into this colorful image, bring the energy inside to center myself in this beautiful energy.
These basic geometric shapes have the potential power to connect the mundane and sacred; to remind us that we are all energy, and form, color and pattern can have a great deal of influence upon our overall well being.
When using a mandala as a meditation tool, it is helpful to also repeat some harmonic mantras, words to nourish the soul so it resonates with the eternal mind, beyond the idiosyncratic ego personality. A meta meditation that can help with the Earth Grounding energy is:
I am Safe; I am Physically Happy; I am Mentally Happy; I am at Ease.
If sending it our to someone or all humans within the world:
May you be Safe; May you be Physical Happy; May you be Mentally Happy; May you be At Ease.
I wish this for you – tap into the essential wisdom of sacred geometry, it permeates everything and has the power to restore you to full awareness of your place within the Divine Matrix.