Threesology Research Journal
Religion's Mythological Metaphysics
- page 3 -

(The Study of Threes)

3KH Egyptian Hieroglyph(1K)

3kh, the hieroglyphic character to the right can mean "be beneficial, advantageous," or, as a noun (3kht), "something advantageous, usefulness." It can also mean "blessed spirit," as in the name of the heretic Egyptian king Akhenaton. It can also be used to write the words for "horizon," "tomb," the royal uraeus cobra, or the "beneficent" eye of the sun god RĂȘ, all 3kht, or the word for "sunshine," 3khw. The causative, s3kh, can mean "beatify, render blessed" [Alan Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, Oxford, 1964, p. 550].

With respect to the Eye of the Sun God, here is a correlation made from a bit of history concerning the American dollar bill:

Great seal on the dollar bill

Before the adjournment of the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776, a committee was appointed to develop a seal for the United States. The committee was Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, three of the five men who had drafted the Declaration of Independence. They were merely the first committee, however. It took six years, the work of two additional committees and a total of 14 men before a final version of the Great Seal was approved. The final proposal, as accepted by Congress, was submitted on June 13, 1782, by Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. He brought together some of the recommendations of the three committees, their consultants, and artists.

If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. This pyramid was not a part of the proposals for the Great Seal until the third committee, and it was not suggested by Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. Although there is no "official" explanation for the shading, some interpret it as a reflection that our country was just beginning and had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.

The Pyramid is UN-capped, which may signify that our country was not yet finished. The unfinished state of the pyramid was intentional, and Charles Thompson, in his remarks to congress about the symbolism on the Great Seal, said the pyramid represented "Strength and Duration." Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity. Although Franklin's committee did not suggest a pyramid, it did originate the suggestion of the eye. However, the term "the all-seeing eye" was never officially used when describing it. The Franklin committee wanted the seal to include a reflection of divine providence and discussed a variety of themes including the Children of Israel in the Wilderness.

Some have suggested that the pyramid and the eye are the result of Masonic influence, but that is not supported by historical evidence. The claim that "the all seeing eye" is uniquely Masonic first appeared in 1797, nearly 15 years after the adoption of the symbolism by Congress. In addition, the only member of the original committee who was a Mason was Franklin; that committee's design was actually rejected by Congress, and none of the final designers of the seal were Masons. The eye as representing "the eye of providence" has a long history. It's more likely that both the designers of the Great Seal and the Masons drew from that history.

By folding the dollar bill in a certain way (and exhibiting it in a 3 to 1 ratio way,) we get an amusing correlation as to the placement of the eye in the pyramid as a representation of a third eye in George Washington:

Back of dollar bill folded once George Washingtion with a 3rd eye
--- That Mysterious $1 Bill ---
Front of dollar bill with one fold
Front of dollar bill with a second fold

"IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men with the help of God could do anything. The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, actually means "a new order for the ages." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776.

--- The Symbolism of the One Dollar Bill ---

3 z's (ZZZ), in antiquity, symbolized the Christian Holy one~ Triple Rays~ and the exclamation Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus! (Holy! Holy! Holy!)

3 S's (SSS): 3 knots or 3 Solomans... With a line (SSS), it meant The Holy One, (zigzag of effulgence)

The dollar sign of today (one S with (one or) two vertical lines), is believed to be the modern-day usage of the triple Z's or triple S's. (Does the phrase "All Mighty Dollar" come from this?)

3 S's (SSS) of modern military men refer to morning routine: Shit~ Shower~ Shave

Triad in Mesopotamian religion: Anu (An) ~ Bel (Enilil) ~ Ea (Sumerian Enki)

3 Taoist gods: Yu Ch'ing, Pearly Azure ~ Shang Ch'ing, Upper Azure ~ T'ai Ch'ing, Supreme Azure

3 patterned motto of ancient Persian religion: Good thoughts ~ Good words ~ Good deeds

3 ancient Egyptian gods for solar "phases": Horus (morning) ~ Ra (noon) ~ Atum (dusk)

3 Indian deities for solar "phases": Apollo (rising) ~ Hari/Vishnu (midday) ~ Indra (setting)

3 types of Jewish mysticism: The Ecstatic ~ The Contemplative ~ The Esoteric

3 Christian evangelical counsels: Holy obedience ~ Perpetual chastity ~ Voluntary poverty

3 Christian virtues: Faith, symbolized by a cross ~ Hope, symbolized by an anchor ~ Charity, symbolized by a chalice or light.

Trinity of the Celtic Brigantian Empire: Virgin ~ Mother ~ Crone

3 gates: The New Jerusalem

3 mockings of Christ:

  1. Struck by Malchus
  2. Before Herod
  3. Pilate's order to be scourged

3 maries (7K)

Three Marys of the Bible:

  1. Mary, Mother of Jesus

  2. Mary Magdalene

  3. Mary Salome

In Chinese belief, if the souls of the just were not sent back immediately to a new life on Earth they might go to the dwelling place of the Immortals. The Palace of Immortality contained three gods who were originally human beings but were deified as a result of merit or good fortune: Shou-Lao is the god of long life, Fu-Hsing is the god of happiness, Lu-Hsing is the god of salaries.

3 humans who went to Heaven to perform service, according to Tannaitic sources: Enoch ~ Elija h~ Moses

In Irish Folk Tales, the first three days of May were when great powers were given to demons, witches, and fairies by the Evil One. (Origin of our May-day! May-day! May-day! call for help?)

3 Greek gods: Zeus ~ Poseidon ~ Hades (Heaven ~ Earth ~ Underworld)

3 Roman gods: Jupiter ~ Neptune ~ Apollo (Heaven ~ Earth ~ Underworld)

3 sons of Zeus & Europa: Minos ~ Rhadamanthus ~ Sarpedon

3 sacred Hindu fires: Ahavaniya ~ Daksinagni ~ Garhapatya

Jainism: Right Knowledge ~ Right Faith ~ Right Conduct

Eschatology: Second Coming ~ Resurrection ~ Last Judgment

3 forms of Odin in Eddic Mythology: Har ~ Jafnhar ~ Thridi

3 mysterious figures amongst Norse gods: Hoenir ~ Lodurr ~ Mimir

Ancient Egypt Theban Triad: Amun ~ Mut ~ and their son Khans

3 ancient Egypt central religious figures: Horus ~ Isis ~ Osiris

3-pronged trident: Poseidon

3-forked lightning: Jupiter

3 items of manufacturer commonly attributed to Vulcan, God of fire and volcanoes: Art ~ Arms ~ Armor for gods and heroes.

The Maya believed 3 stars in the Orion Constellation (Alnitak ~ Saiph ~ Rigel) were arranged by the gods as a triangular hearth, enclosing the smoke of the fire creation - the nebula.

3 items connected with the story of Prometheus:

  • Stole Fire from the gods.
  • Chained to a rock by order of Zeus.
  • A great Eagle was sent to gnaw on his liver.

As a side note, I wrote a poem linking an analogy between the story of Prometheus and Native American alcoholism:


American Indian alcoholism that be
closely resembles European mythology
look only if you dare to see,
the distinct parallel in history.

Europeans were once viewed as gods---
by innocent indians in the wilderness
gods who carried thunder-sounding rods,
and whose white skin evoked a mysteriousness.

With these gods came Firewater
that was long denied to the indian
but the winter's chill did tend to bother,
so the fire of the gods was taken.

These white gods then got angry
and burdened indian lives with punishments
yet indian minds were stirred visually,
whereby the fire was taken into their tents.

Perhaps Greek mythology has provided us
with a means to understand the Alcoholic
for it portrays one named Prometheus
who may represent an archetypal trek.

Prometheus stole fire from heaven
then was punished by being chained to a rock
and just like a sufferer of alcoholism,
he too had liver problems a lot.
Prometheus chained to a rock
Prometheus had his liver eaten out each day by an eagle but was eventually rescued by Hercules.

3 moon spinners (7K)

3 Fates (Moirai, Moires) Clotho ~ Lachesis ~ Atropos (sometimes referred to as the 3 spinners):

  • Clotho - the Fate who spins the thread of life; identified with Roman Nona.

  • Lachesis - the Fate who determines the length of the thread of life; identified with Roman Decuma.

  • Atropos - the Fate who cuts the thread of life; identified with Roman Morta.

Information from:

--- The Three Goddesses ---

Their Roman counterparts were:

  • Decima
  • Nona (goddesses of birth)
  • Morta (goddess of death)

3 moon spinners image URL:

--- Fiberarts Connection of Southern California (Myths and Legends 4) ---

The 3 graces (13K)

3 Graces: (in Greek mythology called the charities and according to the Spartans, Cleta was the third).

  • Aglaia
  • Euphrosyne
  • Thalia


3 parts to a Chimera: Head of a lion ~ Body of a goat ~ Tail of a snake

3 monstrous offspring by Loki and Angroboda: Fenrir ~ Hel ~ Jormungund

3 hags possessing immense power in Norse Myth: Urdr ~ Verdandi ~ Skuld

triple headed goddess plaque (5K)

3-faced goddess in Greek Mythology: Hecate

3-faced Hecate (6K)

Triple-headed Goddess image:

--- Stardust Designs ---

3 legged medusa (19K)

3 Gorgons: Stheno, Euryale, Medusa (snake-haired sisters in Greek mythology) are sometimes depicted as having wings of gold, brazen claws, and the tusks of boars. Medusa is the only one of the gorgons that is mortal.

gorgon (3K)
The mighty
gorgon (3K)
The far-springer
gorgon (3K)
The queen

(Euryale is also known as the Wide Flowing Sea.)

Three hypotheses as to how the three sisters were changed into Gorgons by Athena:

  1. Medusa claimed she was more beautiful than Athena.
  2. Medusa claimed to have more beautiful hair than Athena.
  3. Medusa and Poseidon laid together in Athena's temple (Poseidon either raped her or she lay with him willingly.)

The three Graiae sisters, themselves sisters of the Gorgons, always stay together because they have only one eye and one tooth to share among themselves.

3 celtic mothers (9K)

3 moms (Matronae) of ancient Celtic belief:

An elaboration of the Mediterranean nursing goddess Iono Lucine, this threefold image to the right shows the Mothers holding Baby, Diapers, and Bath sponge. Throughout Celtic Gaul, Spain, and Britain this Iono depiction was deeply revered by the peasantry. This image, dating from perhaps 100 AD, is from the Vertault region in France.

Three different beings made up the different qualities of death according to ancient Greek belief:

  1. Thantos (male)
  2. Ker (female)
  3. Gorgo (female)

The 3 furies (9K)

3 Roman Furies (female personifications of vengeance) that were called the Erinyes (the Angry Ones) or Eumenides by the Ancient Greeks (Orestes called them the Solemn Ones, or the Kindly Ones):

  1. Alecto ("unceasing")
  2. Megaera ("grudging")
  3. Tisiphone ("avenging murder")

(The image to the right represents Orestes tormented by the Erinnyes for killing his mother.)


3 varieties of the Egyptian sphinx:

  1. The Androsphinx has the head of a human.
  2. A Criosphinx has the head of a ram.
  3. The Hieracosphinx is the hawk-headed sphinx.

Androsphinx (3K)
Criosphinx (3K)
Hieracosphinx (1K)


3 headed dog cerebus (19K)

3-headed dog that guarded the gate to Hades in Greek Mythology: Cerberus

3 different quantities of heads have been attributed to Cerberus:

  1. 3 heads.
  2. Some poets have credited him with as many as a hundred.
  3. Professor Graybill has averaged all the estimates, and makes the number 27.

3 ancient Greek Harpies: Aello, Ocypete, and Celaeno

3 Harpies (26K)

3 daughters of the coach maker (13K)
3 daughters and coachmaker father by Marino Marini
3 witches and 1 devil of Eastwick (14K)
3 witches and the devil of Eastwick
3 witches and Macbeth (13K)
3 witches and Macbeth
3 women of Don Giovanni (14K)
3 women of Don Giovanni

typhon (19K)

Typhon: A greek monster with a tremendous voice who was the father of Cerberus, the Chimera, and the Sphinx.

Triple headed god in Gallic Mythology: Cernunnos

3 precious possessions of Thor: Girdle of strength ~ Iron gloves ~ Magic hammer (compare to today's Back-brace ~ Leather gloves ~ 16 ounce hammer used by some home construction workers)

"Thrice-great Hermes" (The Gnostic savior Hermes Trismegistus), was the legendary founder of alchemy in the West.

Observed by the fiery river, the Tartaruchian angels have iron rods with 3 hooks with which they pierce the bowels of sinners.

Themis (Right/Divine Justice) and Dike (Human Justice) sat next to Zeus in Olympus.

Amma is a supreme god of the Dogon tribe of Mali who mated with the Earth 3 times.

Nzame is the name of the Fan people of the Congo who lived on Earth with 3 sons: White man ~ Black man ~ Gorilla. Nzame is a shadowy god, impossible to represent in Clay~ Wood~ or Stone.

In the Caribbean region of the Americas, the great strength of pre-Columbian art from this region is in stone. Small, Tri-pointed carvings that were often human or Zoomorphic in form, represented the spirits (Zemi) of the land. The Taino culture is famous for these Zemi carvings, which are found in many of the islands, notably Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

There is said to be three different groups of Easter Island statues:

  1. Those that circle the outer rim of the island and face inward
  2. Those that face south
  3. Those at the quarry in the middle of the island.

3 gods of Northern Europe at Upsala in Sweden had 3 images:

  1. Odin (or Wodan) as a warrior in mail
  2. Thor with his scepter holding, as greatest god, the middle place
  3. Freyr with his customary phallic symbols of fecundity and peace.

Chian-Lan is a tutelary of Chinese mythological gods or protectors with 3 eyes, the third being in the middle of the forehead.

3 items commonly represented in statuary of Minerva (Roman goddess of wisdom):

  1. Spindle
  2. Spool
  3. Needle

3 divinities solely worshiped in the Roman Capital: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.

Teiresias's testimony: If the parts of love-pleasure be counted as ten, thrice three go to women, one only to men. (This can be viewed as a 3:1 ratio)

Manfred Barthel, describes Martin Luther's theology as "By grace alone, By faith alone, by Holy writ alone."

3 things necessary for salvation prescribed by John Calvin:

  1. Loyalty to his church
  2. Observance of the sacraments of the Lord's supper and baptism
  3. Obedience to the rule of the civil government.

During the highest development of Druidism, the Bards were the seers and prophets with a spiritual knowledge greater than that of the Druid priests. The later Bards expressed all truth through the operations of Triads. In every sphere of experience, they traced the 3 and regarded it as the way to the understanding of the creation of the physical Earth.

Druid near Stonehenge (4K)

3 orders of Druidism were excluded from warfare:

  1. Vatis or Ovates are assistants to the sacrificial ceremonies, study natural philosophies & sciences, and dress in green robes.

  2. Bards study liberal arts such as music, poetry and literature. They commonly wear brown attire, though their ceremonial robes are blue to symbolize genuineness and harmony.

  3. Druids are the highest order of Druidism. They preside over festivals and ceremonies and in the past were skilled in divination and magic. They wear white robes.

--- Druids ---

St. Bernadette Soubirous was said to have been entrusted with 3 secrets given to her by the Immaculate Conception between February 11th and March 25th, 1858. (As a sort of general correlation, within the same monthly time period (but different centuries), Romans celebrated the worship of Minerva from the 19th to the 23rd of March.)

3 angels during 1 visit have been seen, or 3 visitations by 1 angel appearing to 1 or 3 individuals (frequently children or illiterate adults), who say they received a message(s) from an angel, dead family member, Virgin Mary, Jesus, etc...

From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, translated by F. Max Muller: Then Vidagdha Saklaya asked him: "How many gods are there, 0 Yajnavalkya?" He replied with this very Nivid (Sanskrit: "saying"): "As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the hymn of praise addressed to the Visvedevas,... 3 and 3 hundred, 3 and 3 thousand. (The same question is asked five more times and the following quantity of gods is given, separately: thirty-three, six, three, two, one.)

Initially created: Saturday, January 01, 2011
First Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated posting: Friday, April 4, 2014

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland