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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Pyramid, The Great

The name by which the largest of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt is known. Egyptology assigns it to the Pharaoh Khufu (Gk. Cheops) who reigned c. 2590-67 B.C.E. It is the largest structure, in volume, ever built; it covers 13 acres (5.2 hectares) and contains in the region of 2,500,000 blocks of stone averaging 2.5 tons each. It has been estimated that it would have taken 100,000 men 20 years to build, assuming that the methods known to have been in use at the time were not supplemented by any unknown techniques.

Modern archaeologists believe that the pyramids of Giza, of which the Great Pyramid is a part, was constructed during the 4th dynasty period of ancient Egypt (c. 2575 – c. 2465 BCE). Attempts at radiocarbon dating of decaying of organic materials such as wood and bones, however, have not been very conclusive so far in establishing the date of construction of the pyramid itself. Helena P. BLAVATSKY wrote that the construction of the Pyramids were much earlier than the dates assigned by archaeologists. She points to a number of factors that suggest this. When the pyramid was built, the earth’s pole was said to have coincided with the pole of the ecliptic “as asserted by the Egyptian Priests to Herodotus . . . thus was it found and corroborated by Mackey” (SD II:431). This brings the aging of the Pyramids to fall either on 3350 BCE or three sidereal periods ago (i.e., precessions of the equinoxes which is about 25,800 years per cycle) when the same configuration prevailed, which brings it to about 78,000 years ago (SD II:432). In another article she wrote about the estimate of John Herschel that the Pyramids were built at the time it leveled with the polar star (2170 BCE), Blavatsky states that one ought to add a sidereal period to it, which brings it to 28,868 BCE (CW XIII:322). The seer Edgar Cayce, on the other hand, puts the building of the Pyramids around 10,500 BCE.

Blavatsky wrote that the Pyramids were built prior to the deluge so widely reported among the world’s myths and scriptures. This, she says, finds corroboration in the account of Ammianus Marcellinus (c. 330-395), the Roman historian, who wrote of the Pyramids that “there are also subterranean passages and winding retreats, which, it is said, men skillful in the ancient mysteries, by means of which they divined the coming of a flood, constructed in different places lest the memory of all their sacred ceremonies should be lost” (SD II:429). These were Atlanteans, she says, not Egyptians, since any such deluge would have been earlier than the recorded histories of Egypt.

The Great Pyramid is also called Pyramid of Cheops based on the assumption that it was Cheops who had it built. Blavatsky states that “Cheops never built it. It was built ages before him and he only desecrated it by giving it another use. In his day no more initiations took place in it and he consecrated it to Tet, or Seth-Typhon” (CW IV:287).

Egyptologist are of the opinion that the Great Pyramid was constructed as the tomb of the pharaoh and the elaborate methods used to seal off the inner chambers do lend credence to this theory. This was also the view of Herodotus who wrote that the Egyptian pharaohs made numerous pyramids in the valley of Nile to serve as the royal sepulcher. Blavatsky, however, states that Herodotus did not reveal all that he knew of the purpose of the pyramids, particularly about their use as the place for initiation into the MYSTERIES:

Internally, it was a majestic fane, in whose somber recesses were performed the Mysteries, and whose walls had often witnessed the initiation-scenes of members of the royal family. The porphyry sarcophagus, which Professor Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, degrades into a corn-bin, was the baptismal font, upon emerging from which, the neophyte was “born again,” and became an adept. (IU I:519)

P.S.H./V.H.C.

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