The Sphinx

The Sphinx has mystified travellers since the dawn of time.

Although this monument has suffered over the centuries the archetype itself is perennial. Today the Red Lion remains the most enigmatic sculpture on Earth and has influenced many cultures around the world—versions can be seen in Greece, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand.

Above: a winged sphinx from an Attic grave monument

There is much disagreement over the age of the Sphinx but the water erosion around his enclosure would suggest that it radically predates dynastic Egypt. By studying the weathering, geologists have concluded that construction was started sometime during the archaic Zep Tepi.

The head of the Sphinx is based on the triquetra. This coherence is felt when the three fields of our consciousness are in balance—our brain, heart and gut awareness. At its most fundamental it consists of three intersecting vesica pisces. The white lens in the middle is referred to as a Reuleaux triangle where all points on a side are equidistant from the opposite vertex.

The architecture of consciousness therefore, has THREE distinct neurological systems that handle different tasks. So ideas that spring from the triquetra are processed by the body in various ways by neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin. The ideal, of course, is to ensure that they work together—only then can there be illumination.

The colours blue, green and red from the visible light spectrum symbolise WISDOM, LOVE and POWER from the chakra system. Today we know that any colour can be achieved by the superimposition of blue, green and red light. This fact indicates that in the eye there are only three types of receptors. These can be excited in proportions that correspond to any colour of the visible light spectrum. If all receptors are excited equally then the result is white light.

This pattern is also embodied in the Möbius strip, which is an indicator of balance. Like a headband with three twists in it, this surface has only one side and one boundary. It also has the mathematical property of being unorientable. Harmony then, hints at the key to the Riddle of the Sphinx as a major chord in music.

The triquetra is a symbol that represents the masculine number three. This was embodied famously by Hermes Trismegistus or “Thrice Greatest Hermes”. In other words, the Sphinx is a monument to this Lion King who once seeded Egypt. As a griffin, Hermes was portrayed in the “lion couchant” position—indicating restrained power. So the eternal riddle remains:

Beware of those whose sabres
Flash behind their smiles
For they shall rule the Earth

As king of the jungle, the lion is not only a symbol of sovereignty—Sekhem or the “power of powers” was an ancient healing modality closely tied to heka or magic. As a symbol of this alchemy a lion was often portrayed above Heka’s head. The god who personified the power of heka more than any other male deity was Thoth.

The highest version of yourself then, lies at the convergence of wisdom, love and power. Like Thoth’s progeny, use your fervent powers judiciously and rule the world.