The Magdalene Response

The captivating ancient icon of the Three Mary’s Visiting the Empty Tomb after the Earthquake has Rolled Away the Stone and the Witness of the Angel – is a sublime image pregnant with meaning today. I have incorporated the Russian Byzantium original icon of this narrative (sometimes called ‘Angel of the Holy Sepulchre’)  with an image of the damaged ruins of the Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch.

“and lo, there came a great earthquake, for a messenger of the Lord, having come down out of heaven, having come, did roll away the stone from the door, and was sitting upon it,”  Matthew 28:2

"The Inbetween Time"
“The Time InBetween: When The Earthquake Rolls Away the Stone” [Egg Tempera and Gold. 60x45cm] © 2015 G.Barnes
The Body of Christ has gone. There is left only a shroud – a ghost, a breath of His essence, a memory, a half-thought. The Liven Logos has gone. The physical Presence has disappeared. Risen or otherwise? At this point in the narrative – it is unknown. This is a significant moment – it is certainly one filled with fear. It is the very moment  after complete dissolution / destruction, yet before any resurrection or rebirth. It is a moment pregnant with the possibility of mind-blowing realizations. In fact, you could say, that because of the fear and the unknown – it is a moment of perfect freedom. The rules of matter, life and death have been abandoned. Faith in physicality has proven false, hope in a Spiritual rebirth is still awaiting. There is only this moment, alive with incredible potential –  but only if courage can be mustered…

“…and his countenance was as lightning, and his clothing white as snow”
Matthew 28:5


Christchurch found herself in this position once upon a time not so long ago. In the midst of ruin and destruction there was potential and many possibilities of beautiful new beginnings. Freedom reigned for awhile, and humanity was indeed community. [See our film ‘The Art of Recovery‘]. But Fear caught hold and reigned supreme, and instead of waiting for the dawn of realisation and a new rebirth … we were handed out stricter (old) rules and we allowed others, outsiders, to take control. Courage failed, and now our ‘resurrection’ is very slow, boring and stifled by bureaucracy.

“…and having gone in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, while they are perplexed about this, that lo, two men stood by them in glittering apparel, and on their having become afraid, and having inclined the face to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do ye seek the living with the dead?” Luke 24:5


How do we allow this fear (remember it is just a ‘fear of the unknown’) to live and become reborn into New Life – as Christ has shown us. Lets look at the response of the Three Mary’s a little deeper and how they responded to death, destruction and loss. In the Icon they each appear to respond to the situation differently: Mother Mary grieves in complete abandon and fear for her physical loss, the mother of James comforts her whose need is much greater, with no thought for herself; while the Magdalene makes stern demands and enquiries of the angel/s.

“…”Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” John 20:15


This is the time now, we are the Three Mary’s. Which Mary are you? There are those of us, most of us in fact, who live in constant understated FEAR. We console ourselves with tradition and systems and rules, we fear the past and we fear the future. We promote and evoke apocalyptic thinking and beliefs – these dogmas are possibly the most detrimental of all, giving us permission to inflict mortal damage upon our environment and even to wreck havoc upon our own mortal beings, and the mortal beings of others. Is this the ‘sin’ of the world?  Then there are those who live outside of themselves, who are asleep to their own condition as they look always to the EXTERNAL.  Perhaps to serve others, thinking that this is the way of peace, in imitation of Christ’s service. Or they concentrate solely on material existence.

Then there are the Magdalene’s, those who SEEK answers, look for solutions, demand a better now, and therefore a better future. Magdalenes actively curate hope, vigourously search for realization. They harness their fear into freedom filled courage – await insight, hope for realization. They do not let their fear turn into anger or wrath, or try to simply forget or ignore it. Magdalene’s embrace fear!

Thus, FEAR directed into HOPE, resting upon a ground of FREEDOM, resurrects true REVELATION. This Mary says “You will TELL ME RIGHT NOW where you have taken him!!” Her question is pure, intense – it demands an answer. She is given one. The teacher is revealed to her first, to the Magdalene alone.

‘Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” ‘
John 20:15-16


Where the teacher’s revelations lead – I will follow.

Circling Squares and Pentads in a Finite World

Apparently when you
Square a Circle in a Pentagram

you get a woman over the moon.

The marriage of heaven and earth,
sometimes drawn by artists, geometers and conspiratorials
as a Circle Squared with Equal Circumference,
or Area – whichever you prefer.

And, with this same centre point,
set comfortably within the Pentagram… it leaves a gap
for the Moon… and the proportions
of a Woman Fivefold.

The Squared Circle and Proportional Woman
G. Barnes (2013) Squared Circle, Woman, and Moon in Pentagram [Pencil and tempera wash on paper]
I think. I am yet to confirm the perfect shape of woman.

And not only that, but a Moon that is in fact, in an exact ratio to the Earth.
As per in space – real space – as measured by students studying ASTRONOMY 101.

if Leonardo had have spent less time on war machines,
less time trying to fly and failing (flailing)
less time butchering,
and brotheling.
Less time positioning Man’s navel as the center of everything,
that strange herniac creature, that cadavar of ‘perfect proportion’.

He would have seen what is obvious to all cooks and cleaners and cheesemakers
– and artists with half a brain making vague scribbles in a fog of maths.

That the Squaring of a Circle, when in perfect alignment around a perfect center.
And, when within that fated shape of Platonic perfection.
The Pentad Polyhedra
Ridiculed since the Renaissance and forced into the service
of fantasy for demons
and devils of fiction
with witches and warlocks,
for fear,
that it maybe the key,
to her and she,
together beyond patriarchy.

This final and mysterious shape /a perfect solid –
Could it be the shape of a universe emasculated?
(I mean encapsulated)

Beyond and before, this icon of misguided Humanism.

With legs astride, in extension; the universe embraced in limbs.
Centered in pleasure. Squared in pain.
Engaged to the Moon in Birth and Death.
Married to Earth.
Transfigured with Heaven.

In constant Expansion and Contraction through the Universe.

G. Barnes. November, 2013

G. Barnes (2013) God Measures 1 Micron of Gesso [Photoshop Study]

The Platonic Solids.
Wenzel Jamnitzer (1958) Perspectiva Corporum Regularium. Pentad polyhedra: The Platonic regular Dodecahedron is the first one.


Seen most obviously as the five-pointed star (pentagram) or a polygon of five sides (pentagon). In a regular pentagon, all sides are equal in length and each interior angle is 108°. A regular pentagon has five lines of reflectional symmetry, (five fold symmetry) and rotational symmetry also in order of 5 (through 72°, 144°, 216° and 288°). The diagonals of a regular pentagon are also, beautifully, in golden ratio to its sides. These diagonals can be calculated based upon the golden ratio φ and the known side T:

frac {D}{T} = varphi = frac {1+ sqrt {5} }{2} ,

When mapped into three dimensions the pentad creates the dodecahedron – which is Plato’s last and final perfect solid. [There are only 5 regular solids in the world that can be constructed with regular faces.]  It is composed of 12 regular pentagonal faces, with three meeting at each vertex, and has 20 vertices, 30 edges and 160 diagonals.

The dodecahedron was the last of the Platonic solids to be discovered. In Plato’s dialogue Timaeus (c. 360 B.C.) he associates the other four platonic solids with the four classical elements, adding that there is a fifth figure – the dodecahedron which “God used in the delineation of the universe” – to shape the universe – and which is associated with the element ‘aether’ – ie cosmic dust?

Recently, various models have been proposed for the global geometry of the universe. In addition to the primitive geometries, these proposals include the Poincaré dodecahedral space, a positively curved space consisting of a dodecahedron whose opposite faces correspond (with a small twist). This was proposed by Jean-Pierre Luminet and colleagues in 2003. (Physics World) They predict a model in which space consists of 12 curved pentagons joined together in a sphere. Their ‘small’, closed universe should be about 30 billion light years across.

“Our work really addresses this ancient question of whether the universe is finite or infinite, the exciting point is that this is no longer pure speculation – we now have real data.” (Jeff Weeks, Physics World)

The pentad was revered by many early societies: it is found throughout nature – from flowers, to apple cores, to the very shape of the universe. It is a symbol of life and regeneration. It is the five wounds of Christ, it is a symbol for truth.


Earth | Moon. Ratio
Earth | Moon. Ratio

Circle Circumference Formula: CC = πd
Squared Circle Circumference CC/4=W
Circle Area Formula: AC = πr2
Squared Circle Area: √AC = w

The smaller circle (moon) is a circle with the radius of the gap between the squared circle and the square. It also has the diameter of the gap between the polygram and the square/circle.
The Moon is 3,476 km wide, the Earth is 12,742 km wide.
12742/3476 = 3.665 ratio
My picture: 1258 /297 = 4.11 ratio
NB. My pentagram was not perfect to start with! Therefore the squaring was a bit rough… The transcendence of pi implies the impossibility of exactly “circling” the square, as well as of squaring the circle. It is at best an approximation of the ‘truth’, as is all art and life!


Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci “The Viturvian Man” 1564 [watercolour]
Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man is NOT an accurate squared circle. Many commentators have tried to apply this geometric concept to it, but it is not a squared circle by area or circumference. I measured it! His circle was merely inscribed within the square from the navel – although it is close.

This image does provide an example of Leonardo’s interest in the proportion of ‘man’. In addition, this picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo’s attempts to relate Fivefold Man to Nature. He conceived of the human body as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm), to be an analogy for the workings of the universe.

It is called the Vitrivius Man because Leonardo applied Vitrivius’ proportions of man from his architectural treatise. Man = temple. I wonder what a temple designed around a woman’s body would look like?

“Similarly, in the members of a temple there ought to be the greatest harmony in the symmetrical relations of the different parts to the general magnitude of the whole. Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centred at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height, as in the case of plane surfaces which are perfectly square. [Vitruvius, pg.73.]


Dumé, Belle. (2003) PhysicsWorld. Retrieved from

Critchlow, Keith.(1999)  Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. Inner Traditions, rochester, Vermont.

Hemerway, Priya. (2008) The Secret Code. The Mysterious Formula that rules art, nature and science. Springwood; Lugano, Switzerland.

Lundy, Miranda. (1998) Sacred Geometry. Walker & Company; New York.

Pastorello, Tom. Leonardo Squared the Circle! — Da Vinci’s Secret Solution in the Vitruvian Man Decoded. Retrieved from:

Vitruvius. The Ten Books on Architecture. Translated by Morris Hicky Morgan, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1914). Retrieved from: