Welcome to Celestial Chessworks Inc.

Hello, my name is Stephen W. Dail, president of Celestial Chessworks, Inc., in case you came in through the back door and missed the intro to my celestialchessworks.com domain header page. I would like to introduce the reader to my ongoing project entitled, "The Celestial Arena" . This project involves a patented Chess design which I constructed during the early 1980's after extensive research into the nature of this popular yet enigmatic game since the mid 70's.

Chess, as one of the oldest games in the world, maintains a unique abiding interest to contemporary cultures. It is portrayed as a stock media cliche' comparison to life's circumstances in a variety of aspects, typically in social, political, and warfare dramatizations. Many attempts towards defining these metaphoric aspects in a cohesive format have been attempted in the past, but its ethereal nature resists most who try to resolve and define these attributes. A primary reason for this lies in the uncertainty of its origin, which has never been determined with a substantial proof, although its evolution and history is well known since its arrival into European cultures during the era of the Crusades in the 1100's. Two books published in the mid 80's entitled, "The Genius of China", by Robert K. Temple, and "The Oxford Companion to Chess", by David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld give references to the scholarly assertions made by the late Joseph Needham of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Cambridge UK, who claimed its original purpose was as a divination tool of an astro-geomantic system, devised in accordance with the tenets expounded in the I Ching. The structural basis for this assertion is obvious in the parallel found in the 64 squares of the board, and the same number of hexagrams found in the Book of Changes. However, very little information was given by Needham as to its functional operatives in this regard, except for some speculative references to its association to the numerical patterns found in magic squares. These are sequential ordered arrangements of numbers that form equal totals in their rows, columns and diagonals. They have been ascribed a planetary significance since before the Christian era. The earliest known reference to a square of this nature is found in the I Ching and is ascribed to a legendary emperor Yu in 2200 BC. This pattern of the square 3 forms the foundation principals of the I Ching divination system. In Western gnostic traditions, it is ascribed to the planet Saturn. The Chessboard itself is associated with the square of Mercury-8, or messenger of the ancient pantheon of Greek and later Roman Gods.

When I first began writing the interpretive aspects of this design back in the mid 80's, very little knowledge was conveniently available to describe this design properly. Throughout the years since then, a literal avalanche of information both published and provided on the internet has opened many perspectives for my personal awareness of this design's structural interpretation, which continues to unfold to this day. The major influence on the development of the design prior to its construction came from the early writings of the author John Michell entitled, "The View over Atlantis, and "City of Revelation". These still somewhat rare works were an eye opener for me back in the early 70's , and contained a wealth of previously hidden information on the constructive processes of ancient cultures based on geometric principals that were handed down through the ages in a somewhat obscure and secretive manner, collectively described as a "Canon" of ratios and proportions that literally governed many early cultural artistic expressions of divine themes. Michell's books also presented the systems of Gematria, or number languages used by the ancient Greek and Hebrew cultures that contained and preserved the encoded interpretations of their mythic lore and divinely inspired writings pertaining to religious themes based on the Canon. You can click on the magazine title, Atlantis Rising for a great interview of J. Michell published in 1997, which I found on the internet for a summary of his work. And also this link from another more recent project of his called, "The Hope".

The structural formula for the construction of this design, was inspired by the contemporary pioneer of modern psychology, Carl G. Jung, who wrote in his collective works, "A primordial image is determined as to its content only when it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience. Its form, however, might perhaps be compared to the axial system of a crystal, which as it were, preforms the crystalline structure in the mother liquid, although it has no material existence of its own. ." Another source of inspiration for this design was the metaphysical writings of the author Herman Hesse, who was a contemporary associate of Jung's on occasion. His fictional work, Magister Ludi, or The Glass Bead Game, provided a basis for the objective of this project, although Hesse never referred to the game of Chess specifically as its focal point. His work has inspired many others, seeking a coalition of multilateral concepts of the natural sciences condensed into a singularity of diverse perspectives. There are even attempts being made on the internet to play a version of his fictional game, as something of a Grand Unified Academic Theory, in accordance with the ancient principals of Plato's Academy. The first tenet of his school stated, "Let none ignorant of Geometry enter herein". Geo-metry or Earth measurement, was regarded as the foundation on which all other arts and sciences of civilization were based in the ancient world.

To begin an analysis of this design, a first look at the principles imbedded in the actual Chess board are required. The ancient Greek myth of Prometheus, stealing fire from the Gods for the benefit of humanity is a central theme in this analogy. In this story, the fire was concealed in the hollow of a reed. The nature of this particular form of fire becomes apparent in the Greek phrase, "To Entexnon Pyr-The Artificer's Fire" which has the value of 1-64=2080, that relates it to the 64sq. Chessboard pattern. The root stem of the Greek word Entechnon is "Tech" as in tech-nology, tech-nique, etc. This value is referenced by the author William Stirling in his book, "The Canon" originally published in 1897, as being the average mean measure of the side of a square called the "Holy Oblation" , described by the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament. It is figuratively, meant to be the diameter of a sphere of the Zodiac contained within this square measured in "Reeds". The parallel between the two personages of Ezekiel and Prometheus' use of a "reed", an ancient instrument of measurement is significant in this analogy. In fact the word Canon is based on the variant term of a Reed or literally Cane.

That many ancient cultures concealed their knowledge of the Heavens in numerical words and metaphoric descriptions is fast gaining a renewed awareness in the world today due in part to the rapid spread of information on the internet. This is sometimes disconcerting to many with previously held notions that are still being taught , that ancient cultures were less sophisticated, ignorant and superstitious children regarding their beliefs and cosmological depictions of the world around them. To paraphrase John Michell's forward address found in W. Stirling's, "The Canon", recently republished in 1999, he mentions Stirling's remarks that those who are still unaware of the somewhat startling discoveries being made in this domain of study and research, are more likely the ignorant children. As an aside note to the reader, I have had the pleasure of discussing the Celestial Arena project with John Michell personally since 1998 , and have a review of his preliminary assessment of it's interpretation, as well as a few thoughtful corrections to my rather limited knowledge of Greek vocabulary. (Humorously interjected!) Review of Celestial Arena letter by John Michell in 1998

Coincidental to this current theme is the sum of the Greek word for Truth-Aletheia, which has the numeric value of 64 as found in the Chessboard. And so the Chessboard could be regarded as a Table of Truth, in which to present the six crystalline figures of the "Celestial Arena". These figures are representations of certain gematric concepts in a new format. The structure of the figures are self-referential topographical depictions of their own movements across the board. They have facet structure totals that equate to gematric names and phrases for each individual figure as well, to literally describe themselves in this context. For those who are still unfamiliar with the gematric notational systems of the Greek and Hebrew cultures, a demonstration of this system is provided below in order to get an idea of how it works.

An example of this system which I have found useful concerns the Greek word, "Pentagram", which is a compound word with the separate meanings, five and write. The gematric value of these two separate components, "Pente"-440 + "Gram"-144 totals 584, which is the number of days in the planet Venus's synodic orbital extreme from the Sun, when viewed from the Earth, as it literally traces a pentagram in the Zodiac circle, marking five points every eight years. The ratio of this Earth/Venus orbital cycle, or 365/584 days is 1:1.6 , so that when this cycle is converted into a spatial circumference of ,360 degrees, the ratio renders the total 576, which equates to the Greek word, "Pneuma-Spirit . Constructing words and phrases based on natural phenomena such as this formed the foundational basis for many ancient culture's religious tenets, and the early science of astronomy was intrinsically bound to these beliefs.

The primary source of Life on our planet is of course the Sun, and so it would be a paramount tendency to ascribe many words and phrases relevant to religious tenets, based on the geometry and numerical patterns of the Sun square, 1-36=666. The smallest multiple unit of the Solar square is the number 37, or 18 x 37 = 666. This unit value is a key figurate number with various geometrical counter arrangements, forming both a triangle and hexagon. One of the most significant uses of this number would have to be found in the Christian holy name, "Jesus Christ ", which in its Greek form, "IHSOUS XPISTOS*" totals, 64 x 37 = 2368.

*Please note that throughout this presentation, certain English equivalent letters substitutes for the Greek letters such as Eta-H, Rho-P, Upsilon-U, Chi-X, Pi-II,Theta-Q, etc. will be utilized to circumvent their lack of support in HTML web page processing.

The I Ching reserves an especially relevant hexagram to the 37th. place called Chia Jen-The Family. The text of the Wilhem/Baynes translation of the I Ching alludes to this cryptic number's importance with the following remarks, "All societies, cultures, and nations originate from families. It is the nuclear order, like the Sun, which generates its influence from within to extend outward into the world. " In most ancient religious cultural beliefs, their deities are arranged into a family structure. The less anthropomorphic structure of the Primary Trigrams that compose the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching's system are arranged accordingly, with a Father, Mother and three each sons and daughters, differentiated by the 8 possible arrangements of three solid and broken lines called Yin and Yang. With these concepts in mind, I would like to introduce the reader to another look at these principals and ideas that are imbedded in the structure of the figures of Celestial Chessworks, which I hope you will find,,Facet-nating.

Facet Totals of the Celestial Arena Figures
Front Total (apparent mode) Side Total (apparent mode) Ratio (reduced)
King: 26 14 7:13
Queen: 9 8 8:9
Bishop:14 10 5:7
Knight: 13 /alt. 14 7 7:13, alt. 1:2
Rook: 13 5 5:13
Pawn: 5 5 5:5 or 1
Total: 80 alt.81 49

These totals and ratios are found in the "Apparent Mode" of viewing the figures in their separate front and side perspectives. They create interactive gematric values, individually and collectively through addition, multiplication and square root equations. The foundational principal of a "Holographic" work of art is that a fragment of the picture should contain the informational content of the whole image. This rule applies to the figures of Celestial Chessworks as well. Looking at the figure totals in their "apparent" structural mode, the total of the front is 81 in the alt. sum which equates to the Moon-9 sq., denoting the reflective aspect of Light. The side total of 49 is the square of Venus-7, which coincides well with the refractive aspect of Light or diffraction ratio of the traditional spectrum of 7 distinctive color bands or frequencies. The design's front set of facets in their reduced ratio mode, act as multiples which equate to the square of 64 as its common denominator in the equation, "13 x 9 x 7 x 5= 4095+1" = 4096 or 64². This represents the full permutation spectrum of the I Ching system of 4096 lines denoted by the changing values of Yin and Yang positions in the 64 hexagrams. Since the principal theme being described is still "Light", a gematric phrase equivalent in the Greek system would be, "IHSOUS XPISTOS PHOS ALHQINON", Jesus Christ, the True Light-4096.

The figure of the Knight in Celestial Chessworks, is rather unique in that it has two apparent frontal values denoting its dualistic state, which is somewhat intrinsic to its enigmatic movement across the board in two directions as well. This distinction is emphasized by the following equation which uses the facet ratios as multiples in the remaining figure's front/side perspectives as follows, King: (14 x 26=364) + Queen: (8 x 9=72) + Bishop: (10 x 14=140) + Rook: (13 x 5=65) + Pawn: (5 x 5=25), for a total of 666, which is the Sun square total of numbers 1-36 already presented. The Knight adds an interesting principal to the design as depth perception, or the inner/outer vision functions of the Eye and Mind. When the dual multiples of the Knight figure, are re-added to the rest of the set's total of 666 separately as; {13 x 7=91+666) + (14 x 7=98+666) =1521, the principal theme of numerical square values is preserved. This total is a double set of either 39²., or (13².=169 x 3².=9) to total 1521 . The relevant Greek word phrase that this square value corresponds to is appropriately enough, "Nous"-Mind- 720 + Peristera-Dove-801 or, Alpha-1+ Omega-800, both metaphors for "The Holy Spirit" in the Christian gnostic lexicon. Another phrase that conveys this concept is found in the total of the words, "Nous"-Mind-720 + "Ops"-Eye-1500, or "Phos"-Light-1500, which sum of 2220 equates to "Ego Alpha Kai Omega"- "I am Alpha and Omega", as another epithet of Christ. This value is 37 x 60. In the separate sections on the King, Knight, and Rook, additional information regarding theses phrases will be presented.

Now that the "Apparent Structural Mode", of the figures has been defined, the next process is to outline the "Actual Structural Mode" of the set. This is the 3-dimensional facet total of each figure, as opposed to its two separate 2-dimensional views previously presented in their front/side perspectives.

Celestial Chess Figure's 3-Dimensional Facet Sums and Total
KNIGHT: 41 ROOK: 44 PAWN: 16

TOTAL: 219 or 216?

In a previous website version of this presentation, I made an error in the Queen facet total sum which was stated as being 34 facets. This version gives the corrected total of 30 facets for the figure, and also corrects the deficit of those additional 4 facets which actually belong to the Rook. At first glance, I realized that the overall total number of the corrected set was curiously related to the cube of 6, or (6 x 6 x 6 = 216). The value 216 is a foundational number in Earth geometry especially in terms of a minute of latitude or 360 degrees x 60 minutes = 21600 minutes . This is designated as being one Nautical Mile currently established at 6076 ft. This relationship is brought out by the ratio of 360:365, which is the same as 216:219, which in its reduced fractional mode is 72:73. Another connotation which I discovered a few years ago is found in Frederick Bligh Bond and Thomas Simcox Lea's classic work, "Gematria" compliments of Peter Wakefield Sault's website called "Odeion" : Investigation of the Cabala.


In Six days the Universe was created. Mystically, Six is the formative principle of the Cosmos and Geometry gives her warrant to this.

In the Gematria this Sixfold nature is constantly expressed. In the APORROIA 432 or 6 × 72, the name for that quality by which objects become visibly manifest; in the PROBOLH or Spatial projection which is 360, in the TOPOS which is 720 or 6 × 120, and in the KOSMOS itself, whose number is 600, we find always this guiding principle. But the Parent, whose immanence in his work gives Life, is the One, and hence the Unity must be added to give the Numbers of Perfection. So 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, the first seven formative numbers, become by this addition 7, 13, 19, 25, 31, 37, and 43.

And the last, raised by the power of Ten, is the number of NOMOS - the Law, and of Number itself - ARIQMOS. And why this number is chosen for the purpose of symbolizing the controlling factor is, on geometric grounds, quite clear, and capable of satisfactory proof, but all that can here be said is, that it controls, unites, and harmonizes the measures of circles and rectilinear figures in a manner that no other simple number could do."

This 7th. number value in the series of 43 relates to the 219 total facets of my design in the next passage:

"Now one of the Key Words in the Gnostic Gematria is MUSTHRION, and TO MUSTHRION is 1548, which is 36 × 43, implying the Law operating in all Creation. And this number is also the number of the Incommensurable Line, the GRAMMH ASUMMETROS which in its generic sense is the parent of Rational Form and Whole Things - the Manifestations of the Aeons.

The value 43 is brought out as a circumference multiple of a diameter 219 x PI = 688 / 16 = 43. Looking at the cube in the diagram, this would be equivalent to a single cube face of 16 x 43. The phrase "To Musterion"-1548 has properties that relate to a ratio connecting the Sun square value,37 to the circumference value of the radian in that 37 x 1.548 = 57.29577 x Pi =179.93 degrees as a close approximation. That may just be a part or beginning of the mystery however. It also divides to a closer value of the radian by the cube of 3 or, 1548 / 27 = 57.333 x Pi = 180.118 degrees, which added together give a total of 360.048 degrees. How these two components of 37 and 27 integrate, can be found in the form of a cube of 4 or 64. In this greater cube, 37 lesser cubes are visible, while the remainder 27 is hidden from view as can be seen in the diagram. The product of the cube as 64 x 43 = 2752. This can be divided by PI to give a diameter of 875.9888etc. or 876 This can then be divided by the face number of 37 to give a quotient of 23.6756etc.,which by now, you may be able to connect as a close variant value of 2368-Ihsous Xpistos.

An entire cosmology of gematric associations develop from this structure which will be described in the presentation elsewhere. But for now, the previous cryptic statement of F.Bligh Bond;" but all that can here be said is, that it controls, unites, and harmonizes the measures of circles and rectilinear figures in a manner that no other simple number could do.", becomes a little clearer. An aside item of interest is the connection of the phrase "TO MUSTERION-1548" , as the side of a square whose diagonal is 2189, yields another phrase variant to those already mentioned as, "EGO ALPHA-OMEGA-2189". This is also the quotient of the Moon sq. value 81 divided by the Sun sq. multiple 37, or 81/37 = 2.189189189ect .

The Colel

In the gematric system of the Greeks, as a rule to make irrational values or fractions of numerical values correspond to whole integer words and phrases, a single unit called a colel could be added or subtracted from an equation or concept without altering its intent. In the Wilhelm/Baynes edition of the I Ching, in the section entitled "Ta Chuan-The Great Treatise", is a reference to the descriptive method of the yarrow stalk oracle procedure that generates the first hexagram of "The Creative-1" which totals 216 stalks. Consequently, the second hexagram of "The Receptive", generates 144 stalks, making it an obvious reference to a cycle of 360 total, divided by the proportional fifths ratio. This ratio was presented in my beginning example of the Venus/Earth cycle, so it is interesting to note that the number of yarrow stalks utilized in the process should be 50-1 or the Venus-7 square number 49. Converting the yearly time cycle into the spatial circumference of 360 degrees, as was done in the Earth/Venus example yields, 216 x 365/360 = 219.

This is an interesting number value, as it is the product of the square of 14.80 or 14.80².=219.04. In this case the value 14.80 represents a fractional decimal unit of 1480, the total of the Greek Word " Xpistos -Christos", which has the meaning "Anointed". This is a Sun square multiple as 37 x 40 =1480. If the 14.80 value is multiplied by the square of Jupiter- 4, or 16 x 14.80 , the total 236.8, forms another decimal fractional unit of the aforementioned holy name, "IHSOUS XPISTOS-2368". This value of 219 is unique in that the sum of this name can be found another way by the equation, 219/37= 5.92 x 4 = 23.68 , creating yet another fractional decimal form of its whole integer value. The value 592 equates to another Greek holy name, "QEOTHS-592". The value of 4.3 x 14.80 = 63.64, which is a close appx. of 64 , and suggests an ancient Egyptian puzzle concerning fractional multiples of 64 relating to the "Eye of Horus" and thus the pyramids.

Fractional multiples of divine given names such as these can be found in many of the holy writings of ancient cultures. Some are fractal in their structure, thereby perpetuating an infinite series of ever expanding geometric forms. One of the most interesting applications I have discovered in this context, is the value 219 divided by the Moon-9 sq.product of 81, (the apparent front reflective aspect of the design's total facets) = 2.703703703. Once again, the significant digits of 27 and 37 are repeated. This can be viewed as a recursive fractal value of 2701, overlapping its first and last digits endlessly into infinity. The 2701 value is another figurate number as the 73rd. triangle series, and the 37th. hexagon series, so that 37 x 73=2701. It is highly significant as the sum of the Hebraic system's beginning verse in Genesis 1.1 that states, "In the beginning, Elohim created the Heavens and the Earth."

To complete this rather circular presentation, it should be noted that the perimeter counter total of this unique phrase number 2701 is also 216. There appears to be no end to all of the speculation currently being formulated as to the true meaning and significance of all of these Gematria "Code" topics currently being debated in recent literature publications and on the internet. All I can add to the subject is that it definitely appears that the originators of these language codes knew a great deal more about geometric forms than they are given credit for. It is highly unlikely that the Greek philosopher Plato developed the first five solids geometric forms attributed to his name, but all one has to go on in this situation is what is available from remaining few texts and fragments thereof from that remote era. My interest in these notations systems, is that they provide interesting and unique descriptions to the design of the Celestial Chessworks figures which coincide with the original intent of its constructional theme, and that these descriptions form a recognizable pattern conducive to the era that Chess likely originated from. My educated guess in this case is that Chess has been around since Adam or the 6th day of Creation. LOL!

To continue the presentation of the individual Chess figure's interpretation, just click on it's icon graphic below.

3nd. Update: 2/06 Celestial Chessworks, Inc. ©

Celestial Chessworks Graphics created on POV-Ray software: 1-15-01

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