Sacred Geometry of the Nautilus Shell

The Chambered Nautilus

The Chambered Nautilus is a living fossil that has survived in earth's oceans for the last 500 million years. Existing before there were fish, dinosaurs, or mammals, the Nautilus could grow up to six meters long and was a predator in the ancient seas.

Nautilus Shell Today the Chambered Nautilus can be found on the slopes of deep reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans, at depths of 180 to 360 meters. The Nautilus hatch from eggs after twelve months with it's shell already consisting of four chambers. These mollusks mature slowly and live for up to at least sixteen years.

The main feature of the Nautilus is the large snail-like shell that is coiled upwards and lined with mother-of-pearl. The shell is subdivided into as many as 30 chambers. As the shell grows, its body moves forward into the new larger chamber and produces a wall to seal off the older chambers. The empty chambers are used to regulate buoyancy. A cross-section of the shell of the Nautilus will show the cycles of its growth as a series of chambers arranged in a precise Golden Mean spiral.

The Golden Mean is represented by the Greek letter phi, (with the decimal representation of 1.6180...) is one of those mysterious natural numbers that seems to arise out of the basic structure of our cosmos. Phi appears regularly in the realm of things that grow and unfold in steps just as the Nautilus shell grows larger on each spiral by phi.

With each revolution completing a cycle of evolution, the Golden Mean Spiral is symbolic of life’s unfolding mysteries. The continuous curves of the spirals, which are feminine in nature, and the ratios between each of the chambers reveal the intimate relationship between the harmonics of nature and Sacred Geometry.

Sacred Geometry

Sacred Geometry is a term used to describe the basic building blocks of the universe. This ancient science explores and explains the physical and energy patterns that create and unify all things and reveals the way that the Universe of creation organizes itself. Every natural pattern of growth or movement conforms inevitably to one or more geometric shapes. From the molecules of our DNA to the galaxy we spiral within, life and it's forms emerge out of geometric codes.

The earliest known proprietors of Sacred Geometry were the Egyptians who embedded its secrets in the ground plans of their temples, their frescoes and in the Giza pyramid. Although these enlightened people used geometry for terrestrial applications, hence the word 'geo-metry' or 'measure of the earth', the aim was metaphysical in nature.

Sacred Geometry reflects the universe, its pure forms and the dynamic relationship of our selves to nature -- the inseparable relationship of the part to the whole. By studying the Sacred Geometry of one thing we give meaning and structural insight into the workings of the inner self. As the renowned geometer Robert Lawlor observes, "The implicit goal of this education was to enable the mind to become a channel through which the 'earth' (the level of manifested form) could receive the abstract, cosmic life of the heavens. The practice of geometry was an approach to the way in which the universe is ordered and sustained. Geometric diagrams can be contemplated as still moments revealing a continuous, timeless, universal action generally hidden from our sensory perception. Thus a seemingly common mathematical activity can become a discipline for intellectual and spiritual insight."

Sacred Geometry of the Nautilus

The spiral is a common element of Sacred Geometry as well as to all natural development. Spirals in nature tend to follow the Golden Ratio (Phi) or Fibonacci Sequence in their rates of expansion. The key to Sacred Geometry is the relationship between the progression of growth and proportion. Harmonic proportion and progression are the essence of the created universe and is consistent with nature around us. The natural progression follows a series that is popularized in the West as the "Fibonacci Series" where the first two numbers in the series are added to create the third number for a series of number that begins 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987...and goes on ad infinitum. The ratio of the numbers gains great importance as the series continues. By dividing one number by the previous number, the answers result in or come closer to phi: 3/5 = 1.6666, 13/8 = 1.6250, 233/144 = 1.6180.

These numbers can be demonstrated with the spiral of the Nautilus. Beginning with a small single square, (one unit per side), continue adding larger and larger squares in a counterclockwise direction using the following number sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13... as illustrated.

Fibonacci Numbers  Nautilus spiral
Draw diagonals through every square in a counterclockwise direction. Using the diagonals as guides draw a smooth spiraling curve from the smallest, one-unit square, outward through your largest square. The proportional relationship of the squares quickly begins to approach the Golden Proportion of 1:1.618... phi.

The Golden Ratio (phi) is the unique ratio such that the ratio of the whole to the larger portion is the same as the ratio of the larger portion to the smaller portion. The ratio links each chamber of the nautilus to the new growth and symbolically, each new generation to its ancestors, preserving the continuity of relationship as the means for retracing its lineage.

This geometry of the Nautilus can be found in the spiral patterns of cauliflower, the placement of the leaves on most plants, the arrangement of pattern on a pine cone. The ratios can be retrieved from the shape of our DNA and the measurement of distant galaxies as the Sacred Geometry demonstrates the blueprint of the sacred foundation of all things and the interconnectedness of all the various parts of the whole.

Meditation on the Spirals of the Nautilus

If you are fortunate enough to have a cross section of a Nautilus shell, hold it in your hands. If you don't have the actual shell, a picture of a cross-section of the shell will be an acceptable substitute. Quiet your thoughts and for a moment, just concentrate on the beginning point of the spiral deep within the shell. With your eyes open, follow the spiral around and around as it climbs higher and higher, like a staircase, opening into larger and larger chambers.

Close your eyes and visualize that central point again and imagine yourself, very small, at the beginning of the spiral. Just as you followed the spiral around and around like a staircase, imagine yourself climbing those stairs, spiraling around and around, climbing higher and higher and moving up and out through the chambers, each chamber being a larger replica of the one before. Go slowly and allow yourself to experience the turns of the spiral and how it gets wider and wider at each turn. In your mind's eye look down into the spiral and view the center once again to see how far you have gone.

The spiral staircase can go anywhere you want it to go, or you can stop in any one of the chambers to receive the knowledge and wisdom of that chamber. Remember that the Nautilus has been replicating itself for 500 million years and carries in it's chambers the memories and knowledge of times past.

When you feel that you have experienced the upward turning of the spiral, look back once again to the center to see how far you have climbed. Then relax your mind and rest for a time within the spiral's energy.

Open your eyes and be sure to write down any experiences or any knowledge you have received from the Nautilus.