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Sacred Number

9 QuaTerniTy two pairs Beyond three we enter the realm of manifestation. Four is the first born thing, the first product of procreation, two twos. The Tetrad is thus the first square number other than one, and a symbol of the Earth and the natural world. Four is the basis of threedimensional space. The simple solid known as the tetrahedron, or four facer, is made of four triangles, or four points or spheres and is as fundamental to the structure of space as the triangle is to the plane. Four is often associated with the material modes of mani festation, Fire, Air, Earth and Water, and a square around a circle defines a heavenly ring whose area is equal to the enclosed circle opposite, top right. The solstices and equinoxes quarter the year, horses walk on four legs, and other earthly fours abound. Four as static square is echoed by the dynamic cross. The interplay of cross and square is encoded within the traditional rite of orientation for a new building, where the sunrise and sunset shadows from a central pillar give the symbolic eastwest axis. The principle of quadrature is universal, appearing in ancient Chinese texts and the writings of Vitruvius. It survives today in the term quarters, referring to the districts of a city. All everyday matter is appropriately made of just four particles protons, neutrons, electrons, and electron neutrinos. Four appears in music as the third overtone, four to one, which is two octaves, and also as the ratio four to three, known as the fourth, which is the complement of the fifth inside the octave. 8
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