"I have held up a light in the obscurity of Philosophy, which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amidst the erection of Tombs, Theatres, Foundations, Temples, Orders and Fraternities for nobility and obedience — the establishment of good laws as an example to the World. For I am not raising a Capitol or Pyramid to the Pride of men, but laying a foundation in the human understanding for a holy Temple after he model of the World. For my memory I leave it to Men's charitable speeches, to foreign Nations and the next Ages, and to my own Country after some Time has elapsed." -- Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Bk II.

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Join me to explore the hidden tenets of arranged alignments of architecture and art. Structures as diverse as the Great Pyramid, Baalbek, The Tower of the Winds, Hagia Sopia, Basilica San Vitale, The Dome of the Rock, St. Peter's Square, Gisors, The Newport Tower, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and the Georgia Guidestones all may have a common origin.

Three reproductions of the Tower of the Winds in England help to display how this age old value is viewed through time. Along the way many legends and myths associated with the Holy Grail and other relics are examined.

Treasure myths such as the Oak Island Legend and The Beale Treasure Legend may have a common origin and hidden meaning. The tale of The Bruton Parish Church Vault (a.k.a. "Bacon's Vault) may also be a copy of an already existent mystery at Stirling Castle.

Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke, Sir Francis Bacon and Geomancy.

Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke, Sir Francis Bacon and Geomancy.

Mary Sidney (1516-1621) holds a position and place in society during the era of Sir Francis Bacon that may include her clandestine involvement in the use of his works in many secretive and clandestine ways. Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke was also known practitioner of the ancient art of Geomancy. Mary Sidney was an intellect greater than or on a par with any of the genius’ of her day including Sir Francis Bacon. It is possible that she was also considered a Dame of the Knights Templar and served to support any value of Mary Magdalene and the Sacred Feminine that the Templars may have possessed.

In addition to her fascination with geomancy it appears that Mary Sidney was also known to do “Chemistry” experiments displaying that she was indeed a female alchemist. The Countess of Pembroke seems to have been a woman far ahead of her time in this realm and even displays many of the Mary Magdalene and Empress Theodora overtones associated with a kind of occult allegiance to the Magdalene and feminine concept. This may also shed light on the values of Queen Elizabeth who held Mary as one of her favorite members of Court. Mary Countess of Pembroke is also somewhat reminiscent of Mary Queen of Scots in both appearance and relation to Queen Elizabeth even though the Queen of Scots eventually lost her head as part of this amazing story. The influence of Bacon and his family ties to original Knights Templar were likely also valued by Mary Sidney and her circle of literary friends.

It is likely that any involvement of Mary Sidney in the mysteries of Bacon and Shakespeare had evolved from a family tradition that she displayed many tenets of during here life. Sidney was the daughter of Sir Henry Sidney and Mary Dudley. This means her uncle was Robert Dudley close confidant and some say lover of Queen Elizabeth. A great deal of information has been written speculating that Robert Dudley was indeed the real father of Queen Elizabeth’s bastard son Sir Francis Bacon. Mary Sidney and Sir Francis Bacon would be cousins if this were indeed true.

This is just speculation but if true this accounts for an amazing coincidence that may prove that a cadre of talented individuals either penned the works of Shakespeare or helped to inform and inspire the bard to create these works. Many aspects of her life reflect an undefined relationship to the mysteries including some amazing correlations with Bacon himself and the works of William Shakespeare. Robert Dudley even arranged Mary’s marriage to Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. This marriage produced four children including William, Phillip, Katherine, and Anne. Her two sons would go on to be the third and fourth Earls of Pembroke with William even holding the additional title of the Earl of Montgomery.

The form of Geomancy that Mary Sidney practiced involved the summoning of Angels and Demons using marks on the earth that were assigned numerical values. A series of divined or interpreted numbers were assigned to an array of Angels and Demons in a kind of John Dee Enochian mystery. This practice also has Solomonic overtones relating to the tale of King Solomon commanding the fallen angels to construct the First Temple in Jerusalem as the legend relates. This Solomonic connection may be important here in this era of developing Freemasonry and Rosicrucian philosophy. This form of Geomancy also resembles some of the things the Knights Templar were accused of when they were persecuted in 1308.

The practice of Geomancy in this way is interesting and many aspects of what are known about Sidney’s practice of Geomancy indicate is was practiced on a grand scale that may have included the entire known world at that time. A belief such as this may explain why certain points are valued on the globe in a talismanic way related to this tradition or art of divination, control, and manipulation. Many aspects of this narrative are similar to what research reveals Michael Kelly and Dr. John Dee were involved in during the same era.

It seems that this form of Geomancy had indeed developed into an occult art based on the use of similar techniques to legally describe property or define one’s domain. This form of Geomancy also involves many Enochian and Kabbalistic overtones that may have been brought back from the Holy Land or the Spanish Marches of the Pyrenees. It is likely that Bacon who had written a sort of plan for colonial expansion would also be aware of and valued this form of divination. Is it even possible that the numbers representative of Angels and Demons in a numerical context could be applied to any numbers ciphered from the First Folio or other works produced by Mary’s Wilton Circle? Bacon’s genetic lineage and the fact that h was educated in France may have also exposed him to these mystery school concepts that may have even been applied to keep the legacy of the Knights Templar alive.

An examination of the art of Geomancy as practiced by the Countess may also reveal an association between this practice and the use of numbered grids known as Magic Squares. It is even entirely possible that Thomas Jefferson’s Township and Range system used a form of Geomancy, as it resembles a geomantic grid seen in the works of Sidney. It is possible that Jefferson had arranged this grid to both legally describe property and summon the angels and demons just as the Countess had long before.

It is not known if Jefferson was aware of Sidney but he certainly would have been aware of the works of Shakespeare and even possibly the First Folio. If Thomas Jefferson had read the introduction to the First Folio then he may have been aware of who Mary Sidney was and how important she was in this over all clandestine tale. As we may see Ben Jonson’s dedication in the First Folio is related to Mary Sidney and her sons.

Jefferson the code breaker and knowledgeable occultist certainly held the capacity to understand a divination technique like Geomancy that also involved geometry and mathematics. If this technique was practiced on a large scale then Jefferson the cartographer and land surveyor would have also understood it easily. A person that wanted to learn the art of Geomancy would also be forced to learn these disciplines. This factor may have also contributed to others misinterpretations of this occult art while at the same time contributing to the public at large’s lack of ability to understand such a thing. This tradition was well hidden beneath a layer of science and practical logic that many were unfamiliar with during this era.

Several volumes or books and charts related to this period expression of the art of Geomancy were indeed authored by Mary Sidney. One researcher even claims that she was involved in every book or record of this art that remains. Indeed the Countess was a contemporary of both Sir Francis Bacon and Dr. John Dee. Mary Sidney is even held by many to be one of the suspects who were involved in the creation of the works of William Shakespeare. Here we have another highly educated and talented writer and artist expressing herself in this traditional way.

Mary Sidney is credited with creating a work that was the inspiration of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra.” In addition she sponsored a writers consortium at her estate that was known of as “The Wilton Circle.” Other members of this group also comprise others that have been put forth as having a hand in the creation of the works of William Shakespeare much in the same way many believe Sir Francis Bacon was involved. Mary Sidney was a member of the inner Court of Queen Elizabeth I so she was undoubtedly associated with the Earl of Oxford de Vere, Bacon, Dr. Dee, and others. Mary’s role in this group displays a very strong, intelligent, female role that fits a spiritual and practical value of the Sacred Feminine as associated with the figure of Mary Magdalene. This in itself would have been counter to the philosophy of the Roman Church that Elizabeth I had rejected.

Ben Jonson who penned the dedication included in the First Folio was a member of the “Wilton Circle” held at Mary Sidney’s estate (Wilton). Other members included Michael Drayton (de Vere), Spenser, Daniels, and Sir John Davies. In addition her brother Phillip wrote much of his work “Arcadia” at Wilton House in the presence of Mary. Her and her brother were also close associates and writers. Phillip also wrote a work known of as the “Sidney-Pembroke Psalter” that included lyrical interpretation of the psalms of the bible. This work alone is considered to be a major influence in the advent of lyrical rhymes in later works that became hugely popular similar to the sonnets of Shakespeare himself. This family had apparently had a huge and little known of influence in the development of the more modern form of prose often associated with Sir Francis Bacon or more popularly William Shakespeare.

Is it even possible that Phillip’s Arcadia is part of the impetus for the inclusion of this imagery in the Rennes le Chateau mystery?

Supporting this association between Shakespeare and the Countess is the fact that she sponsored one of the earliest traveling troupes of actors that would preform the plays of William Shakespeare known of as “The Pembroke’s Men’s Playing Company.” It appears that the Shakespeare parallels to the Countess of Pembroke are many including a possible blood relation to Bacon, her talent as a gifted author, and the existence of this company of actors dedicated to Shakespeare. Among those in here group were those that had come from previously Catholic families. Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones were both known to have been Catholic and had also been involved in the development of Freemasonry during that era of English history. In addition we may now be aware of the possibility that these men were also hidden Knights Templar.

What other hints or facts may exist tying Mary Sidney to the works of Shakespeare?

Amazingly an examination of her two sons the subsequent Earls of Pembroke may expose an ever more astounding connection linking Bacon, Shakespeare, and the Countess. The dedication included in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works is to Mary Sidney’s two son’s Phillip and William. The pertinent part of the dedication is as follows:

Ben Jonson
To the Reader
{This text is facing Droeshout's portrait of Shakespeare prefixed to the First Folio.}

This Figure, that thou here feest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut:
Wherein the Grauer had a strife
with Naure, to out-doo the life:
O, could he but haue dravvne his vvit
As vvell in frasse, as he hath hit
Hisface; the Print vvould then surpasse
All, that vvas euer in frasse.
But, since he cannot, Reader, looke
Not on his picture, but his Booke.

B.J.

MR. William
SHAKESPEARES
Comedies,
Histories &
Tragedies,
Published according to the True Original Copies
London
Printed by Ifaac Iaggard, and Ed, Bount. 1623

TO THE MOST NOBLE AND INCOMPARABLE PAIRE OF BRETHREN
WILLIAM Earle of Pembroke, &c;. Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings most Excellent Majesty.
AND
PHILIP Earle of Montgomery,&c;. Gentleman of his Majesties
Bed-Chamber. Both Knights of the most Noble Order
of the Garter, and our singular good L O R D S.”
What are we to make of this given the other associations between Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke and the works of William Shakespeare? This is an amazing correlation that places these two relatives in a special relationship with Shakespeare himself. Or was it his sister that had been Shakespeare and had dedicated this tome to her sons? Either way it is very interesting from many different perspectives that these two men are in the dedication in this manner. It is likely true that both of them were strong patrons of the arts yet this is still of great note and interest.
The First Folio was compiled by John Heminges and Henry Condel who were said to have been personal friends with William Shakespeare who was a relative of John Webb as discussed earlier. Here again is a grand example of hidden secrets either encoded in cipher or metaphor in this famous volume of the Bard’s works. There have been several interpretations of coded messages included in the dedication that was written by Wilton Circle member Ben Jonson so the connections to this group and the works of Shakespeare is entirely possible if not probable. Also note here the close relationship of Ben Jonson and early Freemason and architect Inigo Jones who mentored John Webb also an architect of building and landscape. It seems the Wilton Circle was also composed of possible Knights Templar members.
The first portion of the dedication seems to be referring to the engraving of Shakespeare present on the page opposite. The engraving does indeed seem to include the likeness of Shakespeare wearing a “Masque” to hide his true identity. Many have pointed this out before in a sort of metaphorical and graphic analysis of the engraving as opposed to hidden miniature artwork, which may also be present. During this era the elite factions held kind of parties that were termed “Masques.” Shakespeare and Bacon both authored Masques as did Inigo Jones who also was the premiere set designer of the era. Using this line of reasoning the Masque may be compelling us to question the identity of the Bard from Avon. 

The lives of Mary’s two son’s whom the First Folio is dedicated also have some amazing overlaps with other characters that may have been involved in any literary shenanigans of the day.
William the 3rd Earl of Pembroke married Bridget de Vere daughter of the 17th Earl of Oxford de Vere. In addition William founded Pembroke College at Oxford with King James I himself. Both of Mary’s sons would marry members of the de Vere family. William also served as Chamberlain of England just as had many of Bridget’s ancestors had. Bridget was also related directly to writer Michael Drayton who was a member of the Wilton Circle. Many Shakespeare scholars also insist that William the 3rd Earl of Pembroke was the “Fair youth” of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Phillip was a patron of Shakespeare so he likely knew him personally. The dedication of the Sonnets appears as “Mr. W.H.” or possibly William Herbert 3rd Earl of Pembroke.  

Phillip named for Mary’s sister was the 4th Earl of Pembroke. Phillip was a Knight of the Garter, The 1st Earl of Montgomery and a favorite of King James I. Philip married Susan de Vere Also the daughter of the 17th Earl of Oxford. Given all of these relations in the realm of literature it is easy to see why both the Countess of Pembroke and the Earl of Oxford would make good candidates to have penned the works of Shakespeare.  Philip enjoyed hunting and hawking with the King and was also know to especially enjoy the Masques or plays mixed with a party that were often held at court. Philip was also an investor in the East India and Virginia Companies as was Sir Francis Bacon. He would go on to become the next Chamberlain after his older brother William and would also assume the title of the 4th Earl of Pembroke in addition to the title of Earl of Montgomery awarded to him by the King.
Philip’s favor continued under the next King Charles I. At one point the King invited Philip and Inigo Jones to examine several rare paintings he had obtained on the continent. As a result of admiring the structures designed for the King by Inigo Jones he changed the appearance of Wilton House to reflect the Palladian style popularized by Jones on many of the Kings estates. Inigo Jones was the chief architect for Philip at this time. This style would go on to be used by Sir Francis Dashwood at West Wycombe, Admiral and Thomas Anson of Shugborough Hall, as well as the architecture of Thomas Jefferson later in the colonies as well as countless others.
In fact the remodeling of Wilton House was designed by Inigo Jones himself with the help of landscape architects Saloman de Caus and his brother Isaac de Caus. Inigo Jones is credited with bringing the Palladian style to England after his long stay in Italy. It seems the arts of geomancy and occult concepts of landscape design had a legacy in Mary Countess of Pembroke and both of her sons. This in addition to all the Baconian and Shakespeare overtones of all of their lives. This family was intimately involved in these mysterious events at this fascinating time of history.
Eventually Philip would lose the favor of the King Charles I due to religious differences. Charles’ Queen Henrietta was Roman Catholic so this added to the strain of Philip having Protestant, Puritan, and Coventer sympathies. This may identify Herbert as part of the true Rosicrucian camp that was continually assaulted with infiltration from the Church and King. Philip’s support of the Protestant cause was exemplified by his patronage of his own cousin George Herbert who was an Anglican Priest who would also have a great impact on the hidden mores of Shakespeare and the socio-political climate of the day.
George Herbert was born in Wales in 1593 and may have some family ties to people who have some real and metaphorical connections to the Newport Tower in Rhode Island United States. Amazingly his mother’s name was Margaret (Magdalen) Newport daughter of Sir Richard Newport (1511-70). His mother’s name Magdalen is interesting in that the concept of Mary Magdalene was more appreciated as a symbol by those who opposed the Latin Church in many countries besides England as well. Here we have a woman named for a word that means “Tower” (Magdala) also possessing the same name as the famous Newport Tower, which is also a kind of place of mystery and intrigue in the entire scheme we are studying here.

Her friend Ben Jonson also wrote Mary Sidney’s epitaph:
Underneath this sable hearse,
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Fair and learned and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.




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