Saturday, January 1, 2011


How Gothic Cathedral Layouts Depict the Energy Chakras of the Human Body 

Fulcanelli's La Mystere des Cathedrales is an important work that details the alchemical meanings of the many curious carvings that appear in cathedrals, such as Notre Dame, Paris. The work is very learned, citing many references and thinkers, but it amazes me that it fails to interpret the very meaning of Gothic Cathedrals themselves – with their vaulted ceilings - and focuses instead only upon engravings and statuettes that decorate these great architectural works of art. To eleviate this discrepancy, I give you these thoughts on the matter.

In the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the human body is described as a psycho-physical system consisting of a network of subtle channels and energy centres;

There are 72, 000 subtle energy channels in the body, but three principal ones; the central channel, running parallel to the spine, and the right and left channel, which run either side of it. The right and left channels coil around the central one at a number of points to form a series of "knots." Along the central channel are situated a number of "channel wheels," the chakras or energy-centres, from which the channels break off like the ribs of an umbrella.

Take a look at this view from inside the Chapter House, from inside the Lincoln Cathedral. It visually reflects, in stone and mortar, the description of the chakras given above.

Now take a look at this view of the vaulted ceiling of Notre Dame Cathedral. Does it not also bare a similarity to the description of the central channel with its many energy-centres and branching side channels? Indeed it does.

With this in mind, I decided to create a series of diagrams to show how the layout of many gothic cathedrals accurately conform to the placement of chakra points within the human body.

Diagrams of Amien and Pote Cathedrals with chakra overlays.

      By placing the symbol for the Heart Chakra (Green) at the centre, or crossing, of gothic cathedrals, some interesting correspondences occur. For instance, the yellow Solar Plexus Chakra, which is situated just above the navel in the human body, appears adjacent to that area known as the nave in gothic cathedrals. We can also see that the Throat Chakra, which is commonly connected to powers of communication and relaxation appears in the region where the choir sits. The acoustics of both the human body and the great cathedrals obviously account for this common situation of type.

Finally, I draw your attention to this diagram, which completes the set. It shows the correspondence between the right and left channels to the aisles running down either side of the central aisle/channel.

Chartres Cathedral with chakras overlaid.

This is proof, if any were needed, that the body is a temple.


  1. This is awesome. Also, the front of Chartres Cathedral.

  2. The mandorla type chakra-thingy there... Yes well observed. I always wondered about those radial designs on churches, never thought to connect them back to mandalas. Beautiful though when you think about it.

  3. good info ! thanx a lot
    we v just been measuring in poblet monastery in spain (near barcelona)
    all leylines corresponding with the main 7 chakras are present !!
    never seen that before !!
    go out en check it out
    greetings, Maarten (belgium)

    1. Thank you so very much. I am planning my visit to Chartres and this is absolutely fascinating.

      D from Surrey,UK

    2. Thanks. I had never heard of Poblet monastery before it looks interesting, parts of it remind me of the castle in Polanski's Ninth Gate movie. I have never heard of leylines corresponding to chakras before either, so that will be one to look up. If you have any more info on this I would appreciate it.

  4. This is the most rhetorical thing EVER. The cross was a torture/punishment device. The body went on the cross. The head went where the head chakra goes and the heart was where the heart chakra goes. Of COURSE the floor plan lines up with the chakras. Gothic churches were designed to have cruciform floor plan ._.


    1. Symbolically speaking buildings and, more importantly, temples have always represented the human body. The point this article is trying to make, somewhat feebly perhaps, is that the Cathedral builders were aware of the concept of Chakras and incorporated these concepts into their building process.

      Here is an article that discusses the idea that cathedrals represent the body and the Temple of the Mount.

      Schwaller de Lubics wrote a book called The Temple In Man that details how the Temple of Amun at Karnak is similarly constructed using the body as a template. This goes to show just how far back the practice goes.

      The Cathedral builders incorporated arch designs from Sufism so it is not a stretch to imagine that they might also incorporate concepts like chakras from India. I think that this is an exciting prospect, because it shows how enlightened these builders were in the beliefs systems of the world.

      Attempting to unify these different beliefs systems is an important step for anyone on the spiritual path. The concept that we might be stepping the footprints of great people like the Cathedral builders and alchemists of old is a comforting and exhilarating notion.

  5. So interesting!

    I saw the connection between chakras and chapels, but the throat and navel point is very insightful.

    Could you share with me any other articles, sources or points you read?

    I'm eager to further your research this week and I'd really appreciate some leads or feedback.

    Thank you!


    1. Thank you Paulina. Sorry for the late reply on my part, I have been conducting myself elsewhere recently.

      Unfortunately, I don't really have very much more information on this subject. I will repost the links that I gave to Stosphia in the above comment, along with some others. I hope this helps;

      Schwaller de Lubicz The Temple of Man:

      I am glad you enjoyed the article.

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