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The Celtic Art Coracle volume 1 issue 12
Symbolism of the Centre
It is said that the inspiration for this pattern came from a numerical pattern recorded as the scroll of the river Loh, or Loh-shou (fig.102).
Fig 102: Loh-shou

Loh Shu

This pattern is a series of numbers from one to nine so old they are drawn as beads strung on a thread, like an abacus, each number a dot, even numbers black and odd numbers white, arranged around a square in a particular order.  The order of the numbers is known the magic square of three (fig. 103).


Fig. 103: Magic Square of Three

magic square of three    

The magic square of three is a well known "mathematical amusement",  and was known to the Jains of ancient India as well as ancient China. It is a number acrostic in which the three numbers of each side, as well as those of each diagonal, sum 15.

 

Fig. 104: 4x4 dot grid

Fig. 104: 4x4 dot grid

The perimeter of the 3x3 square grid is divided by twelve points, creating twelve divisions, three on each side (fig. 104), connoting the zodiacal cycle, and figuratively alluding to the mystical squaring of the circle. The square relates to the four corners of the earth, the four cardinal points, the four seasons, the cross of terrestrial space and time. The circle relates to heaven, which is eternal, but circumscribed by the Absolute.

The middle cell, in relation to this zodiacal circle, is the centre of the earth, the world, and as the fifth in the series one to nine, it is also the centre of the entire material universe, and all the worlds; the Sun around which all suns revolve; the seat of the king of kings at the centre of the "round table".

Artwork Copyright Aidan Meehan 1983
 

The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved
10.02.01edition
coracle@thecoracle.tripod.com

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