Threesology Research Journal: Sunrays influenced Pyramid Design page 1
Sun Rays Influenced Pyramid design?
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(The Study of Threes)

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Picture of James Nasmyth

Let us start this discussion with a reference to the views of the Steam hammer developing Engineer --- James Nasmyth ---, though most internet sources fail to credit him with the following ideas:

Before I take my leave of the public, I wish to put on record my speculations as to the origin of two subjects of remote antiquity, viz.:

1. The Sun-ray origin of the Pyramids,

and the Origin of the

2. Arrow-head


3. Cuneiform Character

(See Sunrays page 2 at this website for the 2nd and 3rd references.)


First, with respect to the Sun-ray origin of the Egyptian Pyramids:

In pursuing a very favourite subject of inquiry, namely the origin of forms, no portion of it appears to me to be invested with so deep an interest as that of the Worship of the Sun, one of the most primitive and sacred foundations of adorative religion, -- affecting as it has done, architectural structures and numerous habits and customs which have come down to us from remote antiquity, and which owe their origin to its influence.

solar obelisk

On many occasions, while beholding the sublime effects of the Sun's rays streaming down on the earth through openings in the clouds near the horizon, i have been forcibly impressed with the analogy they appear to suggest as to the form of the pyramid, while the single vertical ray suggests that of the obelisk.

Solar Obelisk image: --- Star Watch ---

Let it also be noted that elongated impressions were quite frequently interpreted in terms of a phallic (penis) suggestion. Such interpretations are well within the bounds of historical research which describe the many rites and celebrations (religious and otherwise) involving a worship of the male (and female) genitila (penis and vagina) that caused the building and wearing of symbols representing such anatomical interests. (In other words, figures of the penis and/or vagina were worn around the neck, [priapus] worshipped in temples, or carried in procession during times of celebration.)

In following up this subject, I was fortunate enough to find what appears to me a strong confirmation of my views, namely, that the Pyramid, as such, was a sacred form. I met with many examples of this in the Egyptian Collection at the Louvre at Paris; especially in small pyramids, which were probably the objects of household worship. In one case I found a small pyramid, on the upper part of which appeared the disc of the Sun, with pyramidal rays descending from it on to figures in the Egyptian attitude of adoration. This consists in the hands held up before the eyes -- an attitude expressive of the brightness of the object adored. It is associated with the brightness of the Sun, and it still survives in the Salaam, which expresses profound reverence and respect among Eastern nations. It also survives in the disc of the Sun, which has for ages been placed like a halo behind the heads of sacred and exalted personages, as may be seen in Eastern and early paintings, as well as in church windows at the present day.

Note: A modern day reference to a primitive reverence of the Sun (as a god) is expressed in the act of facing east (where the Sun rises) while worshiping. The Trinity idea in Christianity is linked to the Sun by some observers who say the "Son of God" is a twist of the tongue to conceal an ancient worship of the powerful Sun and that a leader would identify themselves as being directly related to it due to the power of their position. The three phases of the Sun (dawn- noon- dusk) are said to be metaphorically referred to in the Father- Son- Holy Spirit trio. It is merely an updated formula of ancient solar worship embraced by those called pagans.

This is also intimately connected with lighted lamps and candles, which latter may often be met with in Continental churches, as well as in English Ritualist Churches at the present day. In Romish Continental churches they are stuck on to pyramidal stands, and placed before pictures and images of sacred personages. All such lighted lamps or candles are survivals of that most ancient form of worship, -- that of THE SUN!

The accompanying illustrations will serve in some degree to confirm the correctness of my views as to this very interesting subject.

Fig. 1 is from a "rubbing" of one of the many small or "Household" pyramids in the Louvre Collection at Paris (I cleaned it up a bit- H.O.B.):

Triangular shaped solar rays
--- James Nasmyth Autobiography --- (This link is no longer valid.)

Often times, discriminating observers will notice similarities of patterns in different pictures because they make the psychic connections and are not distracted by accompanying images within the same picture. In the above image I extract a small portion of the picture and place it to the side with the note that it becomes transformed into various types of representative ideas. While I could place several large pictures illustrating several different variations in different contexts, I have taken the liberty to remove some of the variations and place them in a single "listing," in order to assist those who have a difficult time with metaphorical representations. However, please note that this is a very simplified analogy and there are some readers who will overlap other ideas with these images, such that not only do they see a reference to the Sun, they musefully consider that in some instances it is the Moon that is being expressed such as in the case of the shape of the boat, which looks like a quarter Moon. Such a shape is also sometimes referred to as a curved fingernail. It is also the curved image of the quarter Moon that some observers consider to be that which influenced the shape of the Arab scimitar sword.

Arab scimitar sword
--- Index of Swords --- (This page is no longer available, but armory site is.)
Various ideas from the solar image

Quarter moon looks like a finger
--- Eye of God --- (Link no longer valid.)

Fig. 2 is an attempt to illustrate in a graphic manner the derivation of the form of the Pyramid and Obelisk from the Sun's Rays (I added the bright colors- H.O.B.):

Figure 2 is the Sun's rays coming through the clouds

Note:In modern terminology, rays coming through an object (such as a cloud) like those shown in the above illustration, are called crepuscular rays.

In connection with the worship of the Sun and other heavenly bodies, as practiced in ancient times by Eastern nations, it may be mentioned that their want of knowledge of the vast distances that separate them from the earth led them to the belief that these bodies were so near as to exert a direct influence upon man and his affairs. Hence the origin of Astrology, with all its accompanying mystifications; this was practiced under the impression that the Sun, Moon, and planets were near to the earth. The summits of mountains and "High Places" thus became "sacred," and were for this reason resorted to for the performance of the most important religious ceremonies.

Fir cone atop a staff

As the "High Places" could not be transported to the Temples, the (triangular-shaped) cone-bearing trees, which were naturally associated with these elevated places, in a manner partook of their sacred character, and the fruit of the trees became in a like manner sacred. Hence the Fir Cone became a portable emblem of their sacredness; and, accordingly in the Assyrian Worship, so clearly represented to us in the Assyrian Sculptures in our Museums, we find the Fir Cone being presented by the priests towards the head of their kings as a high function of Beatification. So sacred was the Fir Cone, as the fruit of the sacred tree, that the priest who presents it has a reticule-shaped bag in which, no doubt, the sacred emblem was reverently deposited when not in use for the performance of these high religious ceremonies.

The same emblem "survived" in the Greek worship. I annex a tracing from a wood engraving in Fellows's Researches in Asia Minor, 1852 (p. 175), showing the Fir Cone as the finial to the staff of office of the Wine-god Bacchus.

To this day it is employed to stir the juice of the grape previous to fermentation, and so sanctifying it by contact with the fruit of the Sacred Tree. This is still practiced by the Greeks in Asia Minor and in Greece, though introduced in times of remote antiquity. The Fir Cone communicates to most of the Greek wines that peculiar turpentine or resinous flavour which is found in them. Although the sanctification motive has departed, the resinous flavour is all that survives of a once most sacred ceremony, as having so close a relation to the worship of the Sun and the heavenly bodies.

In like manner, it appears to me highly probable that "The Christmas Tree," with its lighted tapers, which is introduced at that sacred season for the entertainment of our young people, is "a survival" of the worship of the sacred tree and of the Sun. The toys which are hung on the twigs of the tree may also be "survivals" of the offerings which were usually made to the Sun and the heavenly bodies. If I am correct in my conjecture on this subject, it throws a very interesting light on what is considered as a mere agent for the amusement of children.

Initial source for information:

Alternate sources:

While I found the article by James Nasmyth of research interest, it is an idea I had independently come across years ago and spent some moments thinking about.

The idea that the triangular shape of the pyramids had its origin in the rays of the Sun as they peered through a cloud seems quite plausible, but it leaves unanswered as to why this same shape had been adopted by the "higher" termites in the building of their mounds, the "V or Vee"-shaped flight formation of migrating birds, as well as the Native Americans in the design of their Tepee. Surely the "higher" termites did not see the image of the Sun peering through a cloud and were thus influenced to copy the design. Thus, it is necessary for us to look for something more fundamental then this image... Something that was prevalent in many places and that could affect different life forms.

We can still accept that the Sun did play a part in the influence of such a triangle shape, but we must look at the Sun (or Moon) from a slightly different perspective of influence in order to appreciate how ("higher" mound building) termites and other life forms may have also been influenced by the Sun. This entails that we visualize a time-elapsed film being taken of the ascent (rising) and descent (setting) of the Sun (or Moon). The image we would see is that of a triangle:

rising and setting of sun rising and setting of moon

The first image is that of the rising and setting Sun, and the second image is that of the rising and setting Moon. While we know that the building of the large pyramids took many years, the process of a pyramid's progress is highly accelerated in the two images while the rates of the Sun and Moon's triangular treks are highly slowed, in a time-elapsed accelerated motion. If I had kept the Sun and Moon's treks at a 'drawn-to-scale' approximation with respect to a fast spinning Earth, you would probably only see a solid-looking yellow line in a triangular/inverted V-shaped form. In any respect, it is likely that it is the triangular image/effects of these planetary events over billions of years of biological development which became impressed upon the psyche (biology) of humanity in order for it to later recognize the correlation of the triangular-shaped solar rays peering through a cloud and the shape of a pyramid, instead of the other way around. (Additionally, as I watch the Sun or Moon along its triangular course, the comment from Einstein about God not playing dice with the Universe comes to mind. It is clear from these images that God didn't place dice, he played billiards or pool. However, God's banked shot keeps missing the "hole" called Earth. However, as the Sun expands, it will one day engulf Mercury, Venus and the Earth, thus "hitting the mark.")

Imagine if you will, that you are standing on the Earth some billions of years ago during and after the primordial soup era, to witness the accelerated rotation rate of the Earth. Thus, the triangular image of the Sun (and Moon) would have been impressed upon various biological organisms during their individualized developmental treks over the millennia with respect to the species' biological makeup. Like a branding iron, the triangle image was impressed upon various life forms characteristic of their biological functioning, and expressed accordingly, sometimes in overt acts such as mound or pyramid building, in body structure such as triangle-shaped fins of aquatic life forms, or in the flight formations of migrating birds. The triangular image of the solar and lunar path "on," "across," "over" the sky may have been the impression made on the psyche of humanity from early times and provided the "silent, mysterious [and often enigmatic] word of God" to Egyptian builders of pyramids. In other words, the triangular pathway etched itself on the designers of pyramids. In modern times, this same impression found its way into the design of V-shaped engine blocks, the American USDA Food pyramid, and other forms that may be seen on a daily bases in different settings.

In likewise fashion of suggesting that the triangular solar ray images (as well as the Sun itself) are the early impressions from which is derived our present day usage of a triangle-shaped (Christmas) tree with lights on it topped with a flashing bulb or spire, the usage of a winged "glowing" angel for the top of the tree may have a similar origin if we take a look at the following images and keeping in perspective the metaphorical mindset of ancient peoples:

Christmas Tree and solar lights Solar rays look like outstretched wings Winged sun becomes a winged angel
Light view of solar eclipse Eye of the Sun
Human eye
Dark view of solar eclipse
A winged disk A winged sun Solar eclipse

It doesn't take too much imagination to see that the star and spire placed atop Christmas trees are variations of the same theme, though the star is also attributed to the star which is supposed to have shown brightly at the birth of Jesus, who is also known as the son of god, and it is also said that Lao-Tse was born when his mother saw an unusual shooting star. Additionally, the "bird" solar figure can be linked to the Christian white dove (embodying the Holy Spirit). No less, when we think of (Christmas) presents beneath the triangular-shaped tree prior to the new year in reference to the King/Son-of-God/Jesus, it may bring to mind the "presents" buried "beneath" the triangular-shaped pyramids for the King/Sun-God/Pharaoh to be used in the "after-life". The "after-life" meaning a "New (or next) Life", which is symbolically represented by the present-day concept of a "New Year".

With respect to the connection between the Christmas Tree and Pyramid, the origin of the Christmas tree supposedly began in Germany. One story has it that there was a small Fir tree that was being overshadowed by other Evergreens so God sent stars down to alight the tree in order that it might be more easily seen. A tradition practiced in Germany is to construct the once popular "Pyramid Trees" that also have been described as the poor man's Christmas tree, of which there are variations.

German Pyramid tree (11K) German Pyramid tree (22K)

Let us also take a look at some imaginatively formed "Christmas Trees" that were part of a

--- Freaking News PhotoShop contest ---

in which historical landmarks were decorated festively. In the examples provided, there is a distinct triangular shape, though other images do not clearly show this distinction:

Pyramidtree3 (10K) EiffelTowertree (12K)
Golden Gate tree (12K) Alamo tree (19K)

Pagan Religions Egyptian Religions Modern Religions
Sun/Moon, etc. worship Solar worship Solar benefits acknowledged
Sun/Moon, etc. Gods Sun/Moon God Son (Sun) of God (Jesus)
Tree Worship, evergreen is one of them Tree Worship, evergreen is one of them Tree conservation, evergreen as Christmas tree
night/day superstitions night/day (upper/underworld) gods night/day observation
Divisions of year develop Solstice/Equinox celebrated Solstice/Equinox rarely celebrated

(Include shiny/glittering surface of Pyramids, of stars, of Christmas trees, Triangle shapes, stroboscopic effect of Sun and German Christmas pyramids with triangle-shaped blades that spun and created strobe-light effects when candles are lit.)

It should also be mentioned that an ancient reference to the "Sun" of God as-an-object-owned-by-God gets altered over the centuries, through misinterpretation and usage, into the "Son" of God as a description of someone whose views and or actions were seen as "lighting the way" out of the "darkness" (dark period of human ignorance due to undeveloped brain growth that has nothing whatsoever to do with the contents of any religious text.) Disbelieving in the contents of a religious text is a far cry from disbelieving in God, though those who follow religions typically have difficulty in separating a concept of God from their socially influenced religious experiences and influences. God and religion are very different phenomena. Some people reject the idea of a God because of the foolishness they witness being exhibited by religions. They allow religions to define the concept of God "in their image" and then reject the belief instead of permitting themselves the intellectual freedom to develop their own perspective without the typical religion-based eccentricities. Like most people, they have difficulty in making a distinction between God as a separate entity from that of religion. Some people are even taken aback by the notion that such a possibility even exists!

As an aside allusion, let me present a series of images depicting the design of a pyramid and the design of a windmill. And it should be said that the 3 types of energy used to propel the large stones of Mills, are Wind-(mill), Water-(mill), and Animal-(mill), though it is not too far-fetched to think that people (as slaves) were considered no better than animals.

top view of pyramid (2K) pyramid with sides folded down (3K)
pyramid with sides folded up (3K) pyramid with sides tilted downward towards one side (2K)
the pyramid as a windmill (9K) Pyramid tree mill (20K)

While some people refuse (and deny others) to see the connections between ancient Egyptian practices and Christianity, some observers (particularly the young, who are quick to recognize that the Emperor has no clothes on) are quick to make the psychic connections, as well as realize that Christianity (and all religions) represents a conglomeration of antiquated views and practices, much in the same manner as someone making a stew out of their favorite vegetables, meats, etc., (or the Earth influencing the development of a primordial broth). Some observers also note that the reference of taking the blood and flesh of Jesus is a symbolic reference to ancient practices of cannibalism used in hunting and religious ceremonies as a type of rite-of-passage.


The great and universal symbol of God, Christ or the Higher Self made aware in the soul by Their Great Light of Their Living Reality.

--- Dictionary of Sacred Templar Symbols ---

  • Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)
  • God's law is a light unto the paths of individuals (Psalm 119: 105)
  • We should also make note that psychologists and psychoanalysts have noticed that:
    • 'ascension is linked to images of brightness accompanied by feelings of euphoria,
    • while falling is linked to images of darkness, accompanied by feelings of fear.'

Such an observation would seem to confirm the view that light symbolizes the maturing of the personality in harmony with the higher levels of being to which it rises, while darkness, blackness, dimming light, would symbolize a state of anxiety and depression. With such views, it is not difficult to see why some observers think that the reason a few black people seek to have relations with whites is to reach a "higher" state of being, though the obverse suggests some whites have a "lesser than bright" self-image and want to inter-mingle with the "dark side," be it a dark skinned person, black magic, dark spaces, etc... However, this is not to suggest that dark-skinned people are bad, evil, or otherwise less than a lighter skinned person. It is metaphor that sometimes takes on human dimensions of interaction with animate beings.

The Koran (24:35) states:

God is the light of th Heavens and of the Earth. His light is like a niche in which is a lamp - the lamp encased in glass - the glass, as it were, a glistening star. From a blessed tree is it lighted, the olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would well nigh shine out, even though fire touched it not! It is light upon light. God guideth whom He will to His light, and God setteth forth parables to men, for God knoweth all things. The God of ancient peoples was the sun as is revealed by the numerous sun gods of the past:

To indicate the universality of the Sun-god myth it is only necessary to enumerate some thirty of the chief figures known as Sun-gods amongst the nations about the Eastern Mediterranean, before the advent of Jesus. There were in Egypt, Osiris, Horus, Serapis, Hermes or Taht (Thoth), Khunsu, Atum (Aten, Adon, the Adonis or Phrygia), Iusa, Iu-sa, Iu-em-hetep; in Syria, Atis, Sabazius, Zagreus, Kybele (femine); in Assyria Tammuz; in Babylonia, Marduk and Sargon; in Persia, Mithra, Ahura-Mazda and the Zoroasters; in Greece, Orpheus, Bacchus (Dionysus), Achilles, Hercules, Theseus, Perseus, Jason, Prometheus; in India, Vyasa, Krishna, Buddha; in Tibet the Boddhisattvas; besides many others elsewhere.

Likewise in the ancient Mystery dramas the central character was ever the Sun-god the role being enacted by the candidate for initiation in person. He went through the several initiations as himself the type and representative of the solar divinity in the field of human experience. Moreover, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Priests and Kings of Biblical lore are no less Sun-god figures. For in their several characteristics they are seen to be typical of the Christos.

--- The Great Myth of the Sun Gods ---

...the image of the sunbeam is one of the widespread traditional metaphorical means for a shaman's soul to leave the body and ascend heavenward... (Portraits of Joseph Smith, of the Mormon religion often depict him in some wooded area beneath a "shower" of sunlight. Such superstitious representations continue to be perpetuated.) Page 175, The Long Trip (A prehistory of psychedelia) by Paul Devereux ©1997; ISBN 01401.95408 (paperback)

Let us take a look at a few other ancient Egyptian views of the Sun and notice that the rays become hands and also become the ankh, which is highly reminiscent of the Christian cross. And with a specific reference to the ankh, it has been suggested that its design may have been influenced by the pattern of strapping used on Egyptian sandals, but by comparing it to the picture of an actual sandal that is said to have been recovered from an archeological site, it can be clearly seen that the 3 points of attachment for securing the sandal to the foot are different from the 3 "points" of the ankh's "arms and foot," we must wonder whether the sandal strap had any influence on the design of the ankh, or was it the other way around. Or, were both of independent origin and the connection of similarity was not recognized by ancient Egyptians, it is a product of modern day human perception imposed on considerations about ancient Egyptians?

Solar rays as hands
Solar ray hands
Solar rays as ankhs
Solar ray ankhs
Solar hands with ankhs
Solar ray hands with ankhs
Ancient Egyptian sandal
Do you think this tie-strap form influenced the origin of the ankh, or the other way around? (This image also gives the impression of a tongue.)
Ancient Egyptian Ankh
Ankh Cross
Solar disk in cresent moon
Solar disk within crescent moon

Tie strap for the sandal The tie-strap of the sandal, whether or not it influenced the design of the ankh (or the other way around), is similar to the biology symbol used to describe the female gender, just as the arrow is used to illustrate the male gender. By looking at different symbols of ancient astronomy, we must wonder whether or not they are variations of the same theme. No less, the hangman's noose gives another impression of the ankh.

123 Information regarding last image seen to the right:

The symbol of Veles, a god closely involved with fertility and fecundity. Veles represents the third societal function in the Indo-European tripartite ideology, namely producers, farmers and craftsmen securing plenty and wealth. A ray coming out of the eye is a solar symbol.


--- Slavic Mythology Gallery ---

Here is an argument against the idea that the Sunrays influenced the design of the pyramid:

...Unfortunately there seem to be far too many "experts" who are star-blind and who wouldn't recognize Sirius if it jumped up and bit them on the nose! This ignorance, coupled with a shyness in getting involved with the Hermetic Tradition, is the reason why so many of these carping critics refuse to take The Orion Mystery seriously. Instead they cling to the preposterous theory that the pyramid shape represents rays of sunlight coming through the clouds. They believe that the pharaohs were daft enough to believe that by building smooth-sided pyramids they could somehow defy gravity and slide upwards to the sun. Perhaps they also think there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! This solar theory, poetic as it may seem, is not supported by the alignment of shafts or by the layout of the pyramids on the ground. The sooner it is abandoned and a new consensus formed around the stellar theory, the sooner real progress in pyramid research will be made...

--- Solos News: Concerning "The Orion Mystery" ---
a defense by its co-author, Adrian G. Gilbert

Note: I've never met anyone (nor read anything by anyone) who believed in the preposterous idea "that the pharaohs were daft enough to believe that by building smooth-sided pyramids they could somehow defy gravity and slide upwards to the sun." Such a remark is utter nonsense particularly when the idea of a solar influence for the shape of a pyramid is read in the words of James Nasmyth. The idea that the pyramids are a staircase to the gods is purely metaphor and not to be taken literally.

Some people will agree (to some degree) with James Nasmyth while others will not. If you are defending your own views by attempting to cite falsehoods in the ideas of another, you could very easily discredit your own eyes if another's ideas have some measure of plausibility for at least a moment of thoughtful consideration.

Another consideration concerning solar worship and future derivations is to be found by comparing the name of the Ancient Egyptian Sun god "Amon Ra". Whereas future uses of the tern "Ra" appear to be limited to Jr. High and High School cheers (Ra Ra, Shish Boom Ba) or by adding a "w" we have "raw", the term "Amon" had been changed over the centuries to produce "Amen" used at the end of prayers, as well as "AUM" or "OM", which is said to be the greatest religious mediation chant of all India.

Internet Resources other than those already listed:

Look at the quantity of links that are not longer available since the time I first placed this page online. All that information is lost to time. I do not have time at this moment to research alternative sites.

Date of Origination: Before 2017 (Older files not available at the moment to get a fixed date.)
Updated Posting for both pages: Monday, 27th September 2021... 7:44 AM

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