Understanding the dodecahedron - sacred geometry
Updated: Apr 14
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." -- Leonardo da Vinci
The Dodecahedron has been a source of metaphysical interest for at least 2000 years. Like a crystal or gem, its facets and symmetries compel our eyes and hearts to observe life more deeply. Some have believed that the Dodecahedron represents an idealized form of Divine thought, will, or idea. To contemplate this symbol was to engage in meditation upon the Divine. Today many people believe there is a lost knowledge residing in the past, slowly being rediscovered. It is known that figures like Pythagoras, Kepler, and Leonardo, among many, were educated in these Sacred Geometries, and held many beliefs about them and their role in the Universe.
This polyhedron is one of an order of five regular polyhedra, that is, they each represent the regular division of 3-dimensional space, equilaterally and equiangularly. These are the Tetrahedron, Cube, Octahedron, Dodecahedron, and Icosahedron, respectively:
A dodecahedron has 12 equal pentagonal faces. It is symbolic of ether, which is unknown and unseen. Plato saw it as a model for the twelvefold division of the zodiac. Aristotle felt it was the element of the heavens or ether that represented divine thought or will, as the archetype of life. Combining a dodecahedron (ether) with an icosahedron (water) creates a truncated icosahedron representing the sub atomic structure of carbon. This is known as a fullerene or Bucky Ball named after Buckminster Fuller. Fullerenes are now considered the galactic seeds of life. The dodecahedron is aligned with the concept of imagination. The paradox is that without imagination, we would have no knowledge. Without knowledge, imagination cannot be developed. The truth is we need both. The third eye encourages both knowledge and imagination as we dance between the worlds of divine thought and earthly will.
The Tetrahedron represents the concept of system. When four radiating points interact, they will form the Tetrahedron. It has four triangular faces, and is the structural basis for geodesic architecture. Buckminster Fuller is the best resource for a deeper understanding of this shape. It has been associated with the element Fire.The Hexahedron or Cube represents the three-dimensional, physical, manifest world, with its four directions (expressed by squares), right angles, and polarities. It has six faces. It has been associated with the element Earth.The Octahedron has a dual relationship to the Cube. Whereas the Cube has six faces and eight vertices, the Octahedron has eight faces and six vertices. It has been associated with the element Air.
Here, removed from the grid, is the Dodecahedron. Historically it has symbolized the concept of a fifth element, Ether (Aether) or Universe. It represents the perfect mediation of the infinite and the finite, the sphere and the cube, analogous to the circle and the square. It is reciprocal with the Icosahedron; whereas the Icosahedron has 20 faces and 12 vertices, the Dodecahedron has 12 faces and 20 vertices. Each shape can easily be transformed into the other by truncation or stellation.
This is an image of a rotating dodecahedron, from wikipedia. This unique platonic solid incorporates the golden ratio, which is often denoted by the Greek letter phi, usually lower case: φ. When you stack a number of dodecahedra together, interesting things happen with the way the different faces and vertices rotate: they can be seen to enfold one into another, and the resulting hints of rotating helix shapes, fractals, and the spirals found in nature link not just to the broad field of sacred geometry, but to cosmological theories about the structure of our universe.
Humanity is represented by the Dodecahedron and the Pentagon: