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help with triquetra and mobius symbols

To: alt.magick,alt.pagan
From: (Tim Maroney)
Subject: Re: help with triquetra and mobius symbols
Date: 1 Jan 95 19:44:08 GMT writes:
>I'm doing some research on the triquetra and the mobius.
>Both are very similiar. The triquetra is an ancient symbol that is
>supposed to represent the trinity. Some say it forms 666. It is
>found on the cover of the New King James Bible. A very similar
>symbol (with a circle) is found on some Led Zeppelins albums. I
>suspect these are from Aleister Crowley because of Jimmy Page's
>deep involvement with Crowley.
I assume you are referring to the symbol also known as the triskelion,
the internal divisions of which resemble the number six.  Here's what
I find in Hans Biedermann's _Dictionary_of_Symbolism_ (New York:
Meridian, 1994; tr. by James Hulbert).

triskelion.  A design dividing a circle into three parts, not unlike
its division into four by the bent arms of a swastika.  Triskelions
appear, for example, on prehistoric earthenware vessels of the late
Bronze Age, and triadic structures of spirals adorn the walls of
Irish megaliths -- surely with symbolic intent and not as mere
decoration.  There are also triskelions formed from three human legs
bent at the knee, e.g. on Pamphylian coins or in the arms of the
city of Agrigento (Sicily).  Armored legs in this configuration
appear in the arms of the Isle of Man, with the motto "Stabia
quocunque ieceris" ("It will stand erect, wherever it is thrown").
The arms of the city of Fussen (Bavaria) also contain three legs.
As in the case of the swastika, the triskelion is associated with
rotation.  The form of three overlapping circles, frequently found
in the windows of Gothic churches, is associated with the Holy
Trinity.  Medieval stained-glass windows often portray three
rabbits or hares chasing one another, with their ears meeting
at the center to form a triangle.

The text (page 356) is accompanied by a line illustration entitled
"Trikelion in Celtic art; triadic structure".

As for Jimmy Page, I can't check the source because I don't have
any Led Zeppelin albums.  However, no cases where Crowley used the
symbol come to mind.  In the Book of Thoth, which seems the most
likely canmdidate, a different triple circle emblem is used where
one might expect a triskelion.  If it did appear in Crowley's work,
it would most likely have referred to the wheel of the Gunas, which
he correlated with the alchemical principles of Sulphur, Mercury,
and Salt.

>The mobius is found on the cover of the Aquarian Conspiracy by
>Marlyn Furgeson. It is supposedly popular in the New Age Movement.

I haven't seen it much in that context, though it would be a natural
symbol of unity.  A normal strip of paper joined into a circle has two
sides, but due to the half-twist, a moebius band has only one surface,
which leads to a number of odd and fascinating effects.  For instance,
if you draw a line down the middle and cut along that line, it does
=not= do what you would expect.  Try it!  I discovered the moebius
through the old "Mathematical Games" columns by Martin Gardner in
_Scientific_American_.  These have been collected into a number of
trade paperback volumes which you may be able to find in a good
library.  His popular writings would probably be more useful to you
than a topology textbook would be...

>If you have some info on these symbols (or associated) please e-
>mail me at (I'm not in Usenet much).

Done, but I thought it might also be of public interest, so I've
posted it as well.  Keep us posted on anything interesting you
find in your researches!
Tim Maroney.  Please CC all public responses to

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