The Math and Magic of Muqarnas

A style of architectural ornamentation that dates back to the middle of the 10th century, originating in Iran and North Africa, Muqarnas compositions are 3D manifestations of 2D Islamic geometric designs, meaning these insanely complex designs were made using nothing more than a humble compass and ruler.

In our world of digital manufacturing, it’s hard to imagine these intricate, perfect geometries were made by hand, one unit at a time, hundreds of years ago.


In this picture, you can see the wood scaffolding and cement used to piece one style of Muqarnas together:


And what the finished product would look like:



Each Muqarnas composition has five common qualities:

1. A three-dimensional shape that can readily be flattened into a two-dimensional geometric outline (and begins as such)

2. The depth of design is variable and determined entirely by the maker

3. Simultaneously architectural and ornamental by nature

4. No intrinsic logical or mathematical boundaries so can be scaled ad infinitum

5. Consists of stacked tiers made up of cells, each of which has a facet and a roof of sorts

UK-based author, educator, and artist Eric Broug is a renowned scholar on Islamic geometrics who has made it his mission to spread the knowledge and joy of muqarnas through his workshops, lectures, books, and tutorials, all housed under the School of Islamic Geometric Design.  Be sure to check out the Resources page, which features tutorials as well as a teacher guide. 


Broug has also created a fascinating TED-Ed video on the complex geometry of Islamic design that’s definitely worth a watch.

His “Practical Introduction to Muqarnas” gives a great, illustrative overview:

It’s all about carefully arranging the pieces of the composition.

Watch three minutes of Nhari assembling a Muqarnas composition and realize how incredibly painstaking the process would be for a large-scale area:

How to hand-carve each of the pieces, as artisans have done for centuries:

The 2D Behind the 3D

For example, here’s the Iwan (the large, arched entrance) of the Jameh Mosque in Yazd, Iran:


And Takahashi’s line drawing:


And a closeup of the Iwan ceiling:


Infinite Material Possibilities

The beauty of such intricate designs based on classic geometries is that they’re infinitely scalable in a vast array of materials.  No picture can capture how amazing it is to physically be standing under a giant muqarnas composition.  Each material inspires a different effect.  The most surreal, perhaps, are the mirror-encrusted muqarnas, most often found in mosques and shrines.  Even though you’re surrounded by mirrors, the angles and small size of the individual pieces make it so you never see a reflection, only brightness, and light.


Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:


Water Museum in Yazd:



Hand-painted, in one of the luxury suites at the Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan:



The Shah Mosque in Isfahan:


Be sure to take a look at Nevit Dilman’s super-high-resolution image on Wikipedia, where you can really zoom in and see all the glorious details.

The Jameh Mosque in Yazd:


Poet Hafiz’s Shrine in Shiraz:




Jameh Mosque in Yazd:



Fatimah Masoumeh Shrine in Qom:



Chehel Sotun Palace in Isfahan:


Shah-e Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz:




The Music Room of the Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan (photographed by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji):



A great assembly shot from a style of wooden Muqarnas on this site:



Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:


Modern Rendition: Gadeken’s Roshanai

Great things happen when makers incorporate ancient designs into modern works.

Bay Area artist Charles Gadeken recently incorporated metal Muqarnas compositions in the entryways of his latest large-scale piece, entitled Roshanai (meaning illuminate), a 108-ft long tunnel of light and sound.


Here’s the 3D rendering of the entryway:


The flattened Geometry:


A section of the metal Muqarnas:


And the finished product at night:


We’ll wrap up with one more Muqarnas just for the sake of eye candy.

I’d love to see the Alhambra, particularly the Muqarnas, in the Hall of the Two Sisters.





Check out one of our Secret Energy courses to learn about how classic geometries relate to the building blocks of life.

Go on a Mandelbulb / Mandelbox Trip here!


The Meru Blueprint

We all remember that they were planning to build a Mosque 2 blocks from the World Trade Center.  Well, they pushed those plans to be completed in 2017, or did they?

I had read William Henry’s book last year “The Illuminator,”  where he had a picture of the Meru rod from a 2nd-century Chinese manuscript.  He had worked with digital artist Jack Andrews, who rendered the Meru drawing in 3-D by computer.  A detail of the base of the Meru pillar rendered in 3-D appears to create a vortex.

William Henry writes, “Relaxing after a presentation on this subject in Florida a few years ago, a scientist approached me.  He told me he was asleep through most of my presentation… until I put up that blueprint”.

“Blueprint?  What blueprint?”  I asked.

He fished through my slides until he came to a 2nd-century drawing of the Meru pillar or tower.  In my talk I had presented it as an example of a possible “Grail tuner” and a candidate for the rod shown in Jesus’s hand in early Christian art.

“That blueprint,”  he responded.

Studying the drawing, the scientist told me that he designed particle beam weapons for a living.  Laser Cannons.  Lightsabers. “You know, Stars Wars-type weapons,” he said.

“Your Meru drawing is a blueprint for a particle accelerator,”  he said knowingly.  Squeezing his thumb and forefinger together to mimic a pincer, he said “the weapon is designed to rotate on the circular platform, the “horns” modulate the pulse emanating from the weapon”.



Presented here is a comparison of the base of the Meru drawing with a plan for a cyclotron; an early 20th-century particle accelerator designed by Ernest O. Livermore in 1929 and developed in the early 1930s (coincident with America’s shift to a technologically based society).

The cyclotron was a necessary technology used in the splitting of the atom and the development of the A-bomb.  One can see that the Meru drawing is an axis that resembles an antenna (or a microwave weapon from Star Wars).  There’s a reason for this. 

One well-known scholar of Buddhism quoted by Victoria LePage, Lama Anagarika Govinda, says Meru is, “the seat of cosmic powers, the axis which connects the earth with the universe, the super-antenna for the inflow and outflow of the spiritual energies of our planet.”  “Today, scientists call these spiritual energies‘ high energy cosmic rays.”  – William Henry

When I read and saw the very likely explanations and diagrams of the ancient Meru rod by William Henry and the 3-D digital drawing by Jack Andrews, it occurred to me that I had seen this antenna before on top of the Freedom Tower.  Which not only resembles the Meru rod/particle accelerator but also resembles a Muslim Minaret.

A minaret is a feature of Islamic architecture and is the place from where the call to prayer is sent out.  They are also known as a manār or manāra in Arabic, meaning place of fire or light (nar or our).  Minarets have been described as the “gate from heaven and earth”.


Mount Meru is a sacred mountain (same as Mount Olympus) with five peaks in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes.

Meru (Sanskrit: मेरु), also called Sumeru (Sanskrit) or Sineru (Pāli) (Tibetan: ཪི་རྒྱལ་པོ་རི་རབ་), to which can be added the approbatory prefix su-, resulting in the meaning “excellent Meru” or “wonderful Meru” and Mahameru i.e. “Great Meru” (Chinese: 須彌山 Xumi Shan;Pāli Neru; Burmese: Myinmo).

Many famous Hindu and similar Jain, as well as Buddhist temples, have been built as symbolic representations of this mountain.  The highest point (the finial bud) on the pyatthat, a Burmese-style multi-tiered roof, represents Mount Meru.



Today, an evolutionary leap is unfolding.  Scientists imagine using giant, advanced space-based particle accelerators that resemble the Meru drawings to open gateways in space called wormholes; in order to allow travel to galaxies billions of miles away, such as Cern.

Coincidentally, these wormholes are symbolized by the Meru symbol.  Is this also merely coincidence?  Are we on the brink of rebuilding a bridge to the heavens; a new gate?  Or are we being subject to mind control via vaporized metals in chem-trails using the frequencies being emitted from these high tech antennas; or both? 

Either way, I believe we are living on the “New Atlantis”.

Source: Maggie’s Holistic


How to Lucid Dream Tonight Using the Best Sacred Herbs

Many dreamers I know are able to navigate their dream world with an impeccable awareness that they are dreaming.  One can even ask dream characters helpful questions about their life and actively seek out information in the dreamscape.  This can be a profound life-changing experience!  My friends and I are capable of flying at will, gaining insightful information along the way.  

Do you want to dream more at night? 

Or do you want to experience lucid dreaming, but can’t seem to get anywhere no matter how hard you try? 

In this article, I will show you how to lucid dream tonight.

Here are 4 Sacred Herbs that have been used throughout history to help master lucid dreaming:

how to lucid dream


Wild Asparagus Root ~ Asparagus cochinchinensis

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) wild asparagus root is called “Tian Men Dong”, which translates to “Lush Winter Aerial Plant”.  It is also called Heavenly Spirit Root.  For thousands of years, this special root has been revered by Qi-gong masters, Shamans, and Tibetan Monks for its life increasing, dream-inducing and heart opening effects.

Often called “The Flying Herb”, it is said the root helps one to fly through the cosmos at night, achieving marvelous dreams.

This is also a metaphor for how prolonged use of the herb brings one’s body a lightness and buoyancy.  Ancient Chinese teachings emphasized the value of deep dream work, especially lucid dreaming.  According to traditional Chinese folk medicine, prolonged use of this special root has a particularly positive effect on opening the heart, making one more jovial and empathetic.  It is also said that the root helps dissolve or remove the contradictions that come with being human.  Mundane states are often cast away and harmony is attainedthe good, bad, yin, yang, inside and out.  

Suggested Use- This herb is best made into a tea from the freshly dried root.  Take 1-2 inches of root and simmer it in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.  Add cream and honey for taste!  Alternatively, the freshly dried root has a gummy consistency and can be eaten raw.


Mugwort~ Artemisia vulgaris

Mugwort is a common herb found throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe.  It has a deep history whether it be medicinal, shamanic or folkloric.  For hundreds of years, especially in the middle ages, this herb was held in high esteem to protect and ward off evil.  In Celtic and Norse mythology this plant was considered a magical boon from the gods that could be hung above doorways, burnt as an incense to prevent illness or worn on the body to protect from evil spirits.

“Even to this day, this sacred plant is used in modern Pagan, Celtic and Wiccan ceremonies.”

The Chumash Indians of California and the surrounding areas called Mugwort “Molush”, which literally translates to “Dream Plant”.  It was traditionally smoked in intricate ceremonies and hailed as a powerful ward to fend off evil, bad spirits, and disease.  This herb has a reputation of being the most well-known herb for dreaming.  Many people who use this herb report increased lucidity and prolonged dreams (that seem to last for hours).  

Mugwort can sometimes bring up darker or let’s say uncomfortable dreams.  This aspect of Mugwort is very useful as it can help people get through recurring nightmares, fears and gain confidence to face the unknown.  As these darker dreams come up, Mugwort shows us how we can face them head-on. 

This herb eventually bring us to a balanced dreamscape where we reign supreme, regaining a foothold in our own special bedtime world!

Suggested Use: Mugwort can be used in several ways.  The most common would be a nice steaming cup of tea.  Steep 1/2 tsp of herb in 2 cups of hot water for 5-7 minutes.  Add cream and honey to taste!  Mugwort tea is quite flavorful!  You can also powder the herb and put it in capsules or take it as a tincture (liquid alcohol extract).


Xhosa Dream Root~ Silene capensis

This sacred herb has been used in African folk medicine for centuries for shamanic initiation, dream divination, to promote cognition and memory.  The plant is highly regarded as a sacred teacher plant, traditionally used with respect, intention, and devotion.  The root of the plant is specially prepared to induce very vivid, prophetic lucid dreams.  This root is utilized as a catalyst during the initiation ceremonies of shamans, people finding their life’s purpose and for those that wish to be healers.

The Xhosa people have a healing modality system they call Ubulawu, which roughly translates to white ways/paths.  Many herbs are used in Ubulawu shamanic practices to enhance the dream state and improve dream memory.  In turn, this helps create a link to one’s ancestors.  Imagine an herb that not only promotes vivid dreams but also increases cognition and memory.  Well, Xhosa dream root may be just that.

Many people report that Xhosa Root greatly improves their ability to remember their dreams. 

Caution: If you already experience intense dream states, you may want to consider not using Xhosa Root, since it can intensify your nocturnal adventures quite a bit.  It can be a wonderful experience for avid dreamers, but not so much for people who are prone to having nightmares.

Suggested use: Xhosa root can be prepared by powdering the root and brewing a tea either hot or cold.  For hot tea put 1/4-1/2 tsp of root powder in 2 cups of water for 5-7 minutes.  For cold brew tea put 1/4-1/2 tsp in 2 cups of water and let sit for 24 hours before drinking.  You can also use it in tincture form (liquid alcohol extract) or put the powdered root in capsules.


Blue Lotus~ Nymphaea caerulea

Blue Lotus is a flower revered by many cultures across the globe as a sacred and holy symbol.  Not only does this special flower hold high regards due to its beauty and meaning, but its medicinal properties as well.  The Hindus consider the lotus blossom to hold the highest sacred energy and is deeply ingrained in their spiritual mythology.

This highly valued herb symbolizes non-attachment to our physical and mental worlds.  Out of the darkest places in our souls, the mud, the lotus arises, bestowing its magical blossoms for all to see.  Lotus awakens us to the potential of our highest selves. It’s the metaphor of our reunion back into oneness.  Blue Lotus has a relaxing hypnotic effect on one’s consciousness, making it great for increasing third eye activity. 

Things like meditation, visionary experiences, mystical awakenings, yogic practices, creativity, and even lucid dreaming can be cultivated using this special flower.

Suggested Use: Steep 1-2 tsp of dried blossoms in 2 cups of hot water.  Add honey and milk to taste!  Quite a lovely experience!  Alternatively, you can take a tincture of the herb if available.  Tinctures are easy to use and can be brought wherever you go.

Remember not all herbs are for everyone, so please do your research and be safe.  I suggest trying out one of these herbs at a time.  If you don’t see results, don’t knock it.  Dream herbs can be used as tonics for 5-7 days at a time, so be sure to experiment with which ones work best for you.  I wish you all the most vivid and exciting, information-packed, healing dream journeys that you could possibly have!

Aaron Weiss, Certified Herbalist – Source



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