The Labyrinth of Chartres


The meaning of the numbers


After the book of Benita von Schröder: Das Mysterium von Chartres, published at Verlag Urachhaus, Stuttgart, 1992.

In ancient times the numbers were thought as spiritual qualities, in the early Egypt even as divine essences, which were part of the laws of the universe and brought order to it.

Each number is a closed essence, which is differentiated through its nominal value, which shows its quality by the different methods of calculation or makes it visible in surface and space or audible in music. The cipher is only the outside.


Most of us will know Pythagoras since their school time. Above all probably his theorem: a²+b²=c².

In Chartres he is sitting under the Musica together with the seven liberal arts in the right west portal.



The number One represents unity, the origin, the elementary, eternity and is part of all numbers. It doesn't create neither solid nor space. Its symbols are the sphere and the circle.



The Pythagoreans called the Two the quarrel, from which grows out action, which is shown in polarity, but also in coexistence. As the polarity of life and death belongs to the quality of the two, one called it also the number of the revelation of the world.



The Three is shown most clearly in the triangle, the first earthly limited surface. The triangle anew is the symbol of the divine Trinity, which can be found behind all revelations of the three, e.g. in the eternally flowing time (past - present - future).



The Four produces the first earthly limited spatial solid, the tetrahedron, formed by four triangles. The four was called the world by the Pythagoreans, because it is the number of the today's earth: It consists of four elements, is enclosed by four directions, and animated by four seasons.



The Five is the number of individuality and crisis: The number of man. The first genuine figure of a star is formed by the five: The pentagram, into which the human form can be inscribed.



The Six is the number of the perfection. Its geometrical form is the hexagon, which can be formed by the radius of each circle, which fits itself six times in the circumference. The star figure of the six is the hexagram.



The Seven is the second perfect number, but in an other way. The seven is as a prime number indivisible, it is not to be shown as surface and spacial solid. It is the number of the time in the space, it is composed by the three and the four.



The Eight stands for vitality, healing power. In Christianity the eight became the number of the new life after baptism. The octagon is therefore the favoured form for many baptismal fonts.



It is not easy to look through the Nine, like the seven. It is the number of migration on earth, which contains a crisis and its possible overcoming.



The Ten is the number of earthly perfection. It is the sum of the first four numbers (1+2+3+4=10). Its checksum is the one, which represents unity. Ten forms the basis of the decimal system which makes it possible to seize optimally all terrestrial things.



The Eleven is a number between 10 and 12. It is a number of the inner fight and a number of transition and change.



The Twelve is the number of cosmic perfection. Its surface form, the dodecagon, is nearly a circle. Its spatial solid, the dodecahedron, is nearly a sphere.



The Thirteen is again a prime number. And a number of death, because it trespasses the twelve. New life is born from death. Therefore it has always been just so a number of the Christ. The thirteen is also called the ruler of the twelve.



The 276 plays a role as to be the sum of the white stones on the way to the center of the labyrinth. The ethnologist and publisher Wolfgang Creyaufmüller of Stuttgart is making very interesting considerations about it ... Link > (partial in German).


John James on his website about the numerology of the labyrinth ... Link >

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