Sacred geometry in the Osirian temple at Egypt’s Abydos is depicted in its famous Flower of Life pattern. Read our guide for more facts and information…
The Osirian temple is located on the western bank of the River Nile, to the north of Luxor, in the proximity of the village called El’ Araba el Madfuna. Dating back to nearly 3150 BC, it is considered sacred by people who regard the next world. The Pharaoh Seti I, while digging the foundation to construct his temple, discovered the Ancient Osirian temple and built his temple to the left. Thus the middle temple, which houses the Flower of Life, is lower in elevation.
The myth behind the Osirian temple
Ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris was killed by Seth, his brother, and his body was scattered in pieces throughout Egypt. However, his wife put them together, and restored his life, and Abydos was the location where the last piece, the head was found. Having come back to life, Osiris became the lord of the underworld and judge of the dead. According to ancient Egyptians, at sunset, the temple appeared like a golden stairway to the afterlife.
Sacred geometry at the Osirian temple
The architecture of the Osirian temple is unique, comprising huge granite blocks constructed with amazing precision. The Djed, the Pillar of Osiris is considered the supreme symbol that unifies all polarities, connecting human life to the transcendent reality of creation. It is considered as the light column that links the Earth and the pole star. The Flower of Life symbol found on the granite walls of the temple depicts incredible accuracy, and it seems to have been burned into the stone or drawn with red ochre, without any sign of carving. Though the earliest discovery of this symbol has been in the Osiris temple, it has also been found in statues, walls, and floors of temples and monuments in several other countries such as China, Japan, Spain and India.
The significance of the Flower of Life
The Flower of Life is a geometrical figure made of overlapping circles, which form a floral six-fold symmetry, resembling a hexagon. The mid-point of each circle lies on the circumference of six circles surrounding it. The entire symbol comprises nineteen circles of the same size, with a central circle surrounded by eighteen circles. Leonardo da Vinci analyzed the mathematical aspects of the Flower of Life and derived the platonic solids, sphere, torus and the golden ratio, namely phi. The Tree of Life symbol is also believed to have come from the Flower of Life symbol.
Also recognized as the Language of Light or the Language of Silence, the Flower of Life is said to initiate a symbolic pattern, enabling one to focus on some state of mind or experience, for meditation on unity and interrelationships. The simple pattern can be formed easily, by overlapping two similar circles such that the edge of each touches the centre of the other. The intersecting circles form the ‘Vesica Pisces’, symbolizing life, creation, birth and vision. The third circle is included by positioning its centre on the point of intersection of the first two.
The circle is believed to be the ideal form, representing completeness, as it has neither beginning nor end, but exhibits a definite shape. Today, the Flower of Life, which was discovered at the Osirian temple, has provided a deep insight into spirituality, enlightening those who have a good knowledge of sacred geometry.