The ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod was moved to Madrid, and is aligned with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


The Vatican axis continues eastward to Istanbul, which was once capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Back then Istanbul went by the name Constantinople. The city went by the name Byzantium even before that, from 660 BCE to 330 AD. There are many layers and chapters to history.

Kevin McMahon wondered if he measured a line all the way from the Temple of Debod in Madrid to the ancient Egyptian obelisk of Theodosius in Istanbul, where would it cross Rome, exactly?

He discovered that the answer is the Lateran Palace, ancient Roman palace which was also the residence of Popes for a thousand years. Immediately outside the Lateran Palace is the largest obelisk in Rome—originally from Karnak, Egypt.


Rome is almost perfectly (99.7%) at the midpoint of this alignment between Madrid and Istanbul. Madrid was also originally a Roman settlement. Isn’t it interesting how this alignment of three cities is both Roman on one layer and Egyptian on another?

While I was pondering this tri-city alignment I noticed that Tripoli is due south of Rome. That’s curious on multiple levels. Lines connecting Tripoli to the tri-polis form a trident shape. Tripoli’s Arabic name literally means Bride of the Sea, which is a perfect moniker for a city resonating with Neptune’s trident.


Madrid, Rome, Tripoli are all their respective nation’s capitals. Istanbul was the capital of four successive empires in the past, although Ankara is the current capital of Turkey. That’s nobody’s business but the Turks. :)

We get the word capital, from the Latin caput, meaning head. The Capitoline Hill’s Temple of Jupiter was the head-quarters of the ancient Roman empire. It’s also what we connect to when we CAPITALIZE. This has unusual repercussions in the Roman law we are still subject to today.

The Temple of Jupiter has been a long time gone. Now the statue of Marcus Aurelius adorns the top of the Capitoline Hill. The Italian Kilometer Zero is literally the statue of Marcus Aurelius. Kilometer Zero is the point from which all distances in a nation are measured. All roads lead not only to Rome but to this point.

The distance from the Statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome to the Arch of Marcus Aurelius in Tripoli is exactly 1000.0 km. It almost seems like it was surveyed to be that distance although we know that level of precision was impossible for the Romans, not to mention that the meter was invented two millennia later. And yet, there it is.

“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it is impossible for anyone to accomplish.” -Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is still revered as a literary monument to Stoic philosophy. Meditations takes the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs. US President Clinton said Meditations is his favorite book.

I’m reading wisdom encoded in the landscape, a little like augurs of ancient Rome interpreted the will of the gods. However, instead of studying the flights of birds, I use Google Earth to take the auspices from the ley of the land.

“Who does not know that this city [Rome] was founded only after taking the auspices, that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?” -Roman historian Livy

On the spine of the Hippodrome of Constantinople, a Serpentine Column stands immediately adjacent to the obelisk of Theodosius. Quite auspicious, don’t you think?

It’s funny but this obelisk’s twin was once erected on the spine of the Circus Maximus in Rome. In the Renaissance, Pope Sixtus V had it moved across Rome to the Lateran Palace (yes, it is the one in the Tri-polis alignment). Both obelisks were originally the same height and stood together in the Temple of Karnak in Egypt.

The Lateran obelisk replaced the statue of Marcus Aurelius that had been there since antiquity so Marcus and his bronze horse were moved to the top of the Capitoline Hill.

The Serpentine Column has an even more amazing history.


“The Serpentine Column has one of the longest literary histories of any object surviving from Greek and Roman antiquity — its provenance is not in doubt and it is at least 2,491 years old.” –Source

This broken column was one of three legs that together once formed the Delphic Tripod. It is located on the spine of the Hippodrome because Emperor Theodosius took it as a spoil when he closed the Oracle of Delphi in 395 CE and ordered all pagan temples to cease operation. Theodosius himself received the last oracle reading ever made at Delphi. I wonder what the priestess told him?

The Pythia, as every priestess of the Oracle of Delphi was known, sat on the Delphic Tripod. This was where the goddess speaking through the priestess voiced enigmatic answers to questions that so often proved prophetic.

Themistoclea, priestess of Delphi, was one of Pythagoras’ teachers. The name he chose for himself, Pythagoras, and Pythia are from the same branch of a linguistic tree. It is hard to overestimate the importance of the Oracle of Delphi in the ancient world.

Ancient Greek pottery c.330 BCE in British Museum - Delphic Tripod and the Pythia

Ancient Greek pottery c.330 BCE in British Museum – Delphic Tripod and the Pythia

For example, consider the Oedipus myth. It bears summarizing here.

Oedipus learned from the Pythia, like his father had before him, that he was destined to murder the King and marry his mother. In response to the prophesy his father, King Laius, left Oedipus to die of exposure as an infant and believed he had perished. However, Oedipus was rescued and raised by a poor shepherd.

After growing up Oedipus went to have his auspices foretold by the Pythia. Learning his terrible destiny Oedipus chose not to return home from Delphi but to travel all the way to Thebes, Greece instead and start a new life for himself.

En route he had an altercation with an old man at an intersection where three roads crossed each other. The old man wanted to go first and tried to run Oedipus down. In self-defense, Oedipus killed him. Unbeknownced to Oedipus, the old man of course turned out to be his father, the King of Thebes.

Later on the road outside the city, Oedipus encountered a Sphinx that had been terrorizing the locals with deadly riddles. He ended up answering the famous riddle (answer: a Man) and the Sphinx inexplicably but conveniently killed herself (she is traditionally depicted with two exposed breasts as shown here). When he arrived at his destination he was told the happy news that he had been made King because anyone who killed the Sphinx would be given the throne and have the recently widowed Queen’s hand in marriage. He didn’t find out until much later that the Queen was indeed his mother.

You can apparently choose your fate but not your destiny. Destiny is the gods’ business.

Oedipus and the Sphinx by Francois Xavier Fabre (1808)

Oedipus and the Sphinx by Francois Xavier Fabre (1808)

According to William Broad in The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind its Lost Secrets, “The Pythia of Delphi was arguably the most powerful woman of the ancient world.”

The Pythia was the last vestige of the ancient Goddess tradition. Here is a snake goddess from Crete more than a thousand years earlier. See any similarities to the Pythia or the Sphinx? They were holders of Serpent Wisdom.

Photo credit Chris 73 CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo credit Chris 73 CC BY-SA 3.0

The distance from the actual location where Pythia sat on the Delphic Tripod to the Sphinx of Egypt is 666 nautical miles. Note the uraeus on the Sphinx’s third eye chakra. Mark of the beast?


Snakes and 6’s have long gone together. Consider the Star of Life symbol. The snake climbing the pole is at an intersection where three roads cross each other. Sound familiar?

The Star of Life is the symbol of medicine

The Star of Life is the symbol of emergency medicine

The King’s Son/Sun got together with his Mother/Moon and it ended in tragedy. Oedipus put out his own eyes in despair. When the Moon eclipses the Sun there is darkness.

Total solar eclipse, photo by Luc Viatour CC BY-SA 3.0

Total solar eclipse, photo by Luc Viatour CC BY-SA 3.0

Apollo killed the Python and stashed its body in a crevasse under Delphi. Its rotting corpse was said to release the vapors which gave the priestesses of Delphi their visions.

Apollo slaying the Python

Apollo slaying the Python

The scientific explanation is that these vapors were naturally occurring ethylene gas.

“Anesthesiologist Isabella Herb found that a dose of 20% ethylene gas administered to a subject was a threshold. A dosage higher than 20% caused unconsciousness. With less than 20% a trance was induced where the subject could sit up, hear questions and answer them logically, although the tone of their voice might be altered, their speech pattern could be changed, and they may have lost some awareness of their hands and feet, (with some it was possible to have poked a pin or pricked them with a knife and they would not feel it). When patients were removed from the area where the gas accumulated they had no recollection of what had happened, or what they had said. With a dosage of more than 20% the patient lost control over the movement of their limbs and may thrash wildly, groaning in strange voices, losing balance and frequently repeatedly falling. All of these symptoms match the experience of the Pythia in action, as related by Plutarch, who witnessed many prophecies.” –Source

There is nothing new under the Sun. In ancient Egypt, the Sun god Ra killed the serpent Apophis, personification of all that was evil.

“It was even thought that sometimes Apophis actually managed to swallow Ra during the day, causing a solar eclipse, but since Ra’s defenders quickly cut him free, the eclipse always ended within a few minutes. On the occasions when Apophis was said to have been killed, he was able to return each night (since he lived in the world of the dead already). However, in other myths, it was the cat goddess Bast, daughter of Ra, who slew Aphophis in her cat form one night, hunting him down with her all seeing eye.” –Source

The sun god Ra, in the form of a Great Cat, slays the snake Apophis

The sun god Ra, in the form of a Great Cat, slays the snake Apophis

These myths were echoed most recently in the medieval story of St. George and the Dragon.

Saint George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau 1889

Saint George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau 1889

The distance from the Church of St. George, in Lalibela Ethiopia to Temple Bar in Paternoster Square in the City of London is 3033.33 nautical miles.

“The Church of St. George has been referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, sought to recreate Jerusalem, and structured the churches’ landscape and religious sites in such a way as to achieve such a feat.” –Source

The built landscape encodes uncanny messages, secrets in plain sight. Pater Noster means “our father.” The flaming golden “pineapple” atop Paternoster Square Column is quite solar. Thanks to Urban Asplund for inspiring this discovery.


Sir Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar provides pedestrian access between St. Paul’s Cathedral (also designed by Wren) and Paternoster Square. However, Temple Bar was relocated from its original position outside Temple Church. A dragon has marked that spot since 1880 in the form of the Charles Bell Birch’s sculpture.

Photo by Tony Hisgett CC BY 2.0

Temple Bar Marker Dragon – Photo by Tony Hisgett CC BY 2.0

I think these myths are all about the Sun triumphing over the Moon, a telling his-tory of men’s domination of women. We are killing ourselves with this tragic meme. We need a new outlook.

The alchemists saw the Sun and the Moon differently—as equal partners.


After all, the Sun and Moon discs share the same size, between 32 and 33 minutes of arc, in our skies. This is truly miraculous!


The opposition between man and woman, day and night, up and down, in and out, need not be externalized into a literal battle. The real battle is internal in all of us and exists within all forms of duality.

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” -Marcus Aurelius

I would like to rephrase that: “Whoever lives in harmony within themself lives in harmony with the universe.”

The sages of India understood all of this long ago. Lord Shiva’s attributes include a snake around his neck (Serpent Wisdom), a crescent Moon, and a trident called a Trisul.

Photo by Arjuna Filips CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Arjuna Filips CC BY-SA 3.0

Shiva’s Trisul represents a variety of trinities including past, present, and future or creation, destruction and preservation. In the human body, the Trishul represents the three main nadis, or subtle energy channels. Pingala is solar, Ida is lunar and the central Shusumna channel circulates kundalini energy up the spine when awakened by balancing your Ida and Pingala energies.

The landscape seems to be echoing the Trisul in the alignments connecting to Tripoli. It is 55555 arc seconds from Tripoli to Madrid, and 1666.66 km from the Arch of Marcus Aurelius in Tripoli to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia means Holy Wisdom and Sophia is honored as a goddess of wisdom by Gnostics, as well as by some Neopagan, New Age, and feminist-inspired Goddess spirituality groups. In Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity, Sophia, or rather Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), is an expression of understanding for the second person of the Holy Trinity. –Source

The distance from Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, which is also Spain’s Kilometer Zero, to the Hagia Sophia is 3003333 yards. There is a crescent moon at the top of the spire on the dome of the Hagia Sophia. The Muslim calendar is lunar after all. Threes all the way between Moon and Sun.


All that is without is also within. Your body is the true temple, a hologram of the whole. Three subtle channels of energy twist within and around your physical spine, from the first chakra at its base up 33 bones to the head-quarters between your temples.

Screen capture from The Fountain (film) - superimposed graphics my own

Screen capture from The Fountain (film) – superimposed graphics my own

Speaking of your head, a third element is needed to transcend and integrate shiva (masculine energy) and shakti (feminine energy). The three nadis join back together in the 6th chakra (third eye). Trinity is always required to transcend duality.

Elemental charge is triple by nature. The third rail is electrified.

Elementary, my dear Watson

Elementary, my dear Watson

Thanks to Clive Hetherington who sent me the link to Peter Stanbury’s discovery of the proton to electron mass ratio and the fine structure constant’s relationships to π. I deduced the other symmetries.

The electron has a charge of one e (not to be confused with Euler’s constant e). The neutron has one up quark and two down quarks, whose charges cancel out making it electrically neutral. The proton has two up quarks and one down quark, netting a charge of one e, polarized oppositely compared with the electron. The fine structure constant is a measure of the strength of the interaction between charged particles.

I think it is vital to understand that there are trinities in the substructure of every thing (i.e. quarks) and that all is number, ratio, proportion, symmetry, geometry, beauty, and harmony. Everything is made of love. Admittedly, it usually looks upside down and bass ackwards, but that dualistic tension is exactly what generates the great mystery. Romae (Latin for Rome) is the first chakra, survival. Where we go from there is up to us. That’s amore (Italian for love)! Let us get the balance right this time.


Bonus: Thanks to Jordi’s comments on this post I measured the distances for another tri-polis, this time all within Spain.


The visual style of this illustration reminded me—back in April, I found another set of correspondences between three ancient cities in Mexico, and only now recognize it as a “tri-polis.” I am continually amazed at how these things come together in my own personal life but even more so about what it reveals about the impersonal world out there. They are connected as any microcosm is to the macrocosm.