Ignatius Donnelly

The Pyramid, the cross and the Garden of Eden

The Sign of the Cross in Antiquity

The reverence for the Cross predates Christianity by millennia, as documented in various cultures across the globe. The July 1870 issue of the Edinburgh Review details the ubiquity and sanctity of the Cross in ancient societies:

Universality of the Cross

The Cross was a sacred symbol across disparate civilizations, often associated with fundamental doctrines or mysteries. It appeared on temples, palaces, natural rocks, sepulchral galleries, coins, medals, vases, and both subterranean and superterranean structures.

Symbolism and Forms

Varieties of the Cross include the crux ansata or “the key of the Nile,” a T-shaped cross with a loop or oval above it. This symbol was prevalent in Egyptian, Chaldean, Phoenician, Mexican, and Peruvian cultures, representing life and eternity.

Cultural Integration

The Cross was integrated into various cultural practices and religious rites, symbolizing creative power, heaven, immortality, rejuvenescence, and divine unity. It was often associated with water, exuberant vegetation, and mountainous regions, signifying a land of beauty and joy.

    The Garden of Eden

    The biblical Garden of Eden is depicted as a paradisiacal abode, with a river flowing out to water the garden, dividing into four heads (Genesis 2:8-15). This portrayal aligns with numerous myths from different cultures that describe a primordial, blissful garden with a central mountain and four rivers flowing in cardinal directions:

    Mythological Connections

    Various cultures, including the Greeks, Hindus, Buddhists, and Scandinavians, have myths of a central, sacred mountain surrounded by paradise-like gardens and four rivers. These myths often symbolize a lost Golden Age of peace and prosperity.

    Atlantis and Eden

    Plato’s description of Atlantis features a mountain in the center of an island, surrounded by concentric zones of land and water, echoing the Garden of Eden. The Aztecs also have legends of a paradisiacal island with a central mountain and radiating rivers.

      The Pyramid

      Pyramids are another architectural marvel found in diverse ancient civilizations, often linked to religious and cultural significance:

      Global Presence

      Pyramids exist in Egypt, Central America, and other regions, often constructed with remarkable similarity in orientation and purpose. They were used as tombs, temples, and observatories, symbolizing sacred mountains or the axis mundi (world axis).

      Architectural Significance

      Pyramids, with their square bases and four sides, align with the cardinal points, potentially representing the four rivers of Eden or the four directions of the world. This architectural form underscores a shared cultural heritage and religious symbolism.

      Cultural Parallels

      The presence of pyramids in different parts of the world suggests a common origin or shared knowledge. In Mexico, for example, pyramids were dedicated to the sun and moon, mirroring the astronomical alignments found in Egyptian pyramids.


        The pervasive reverence for the Cross, the myth of the Garden of Eden, and the construction of pyramids across ancient civilizations point to a shared cultural memory and religious symbolism.

        These commonalities suggest a profound and interconnected heritage that spans continents and millennia, possibly originating from a primordial civilization like Atlantis. The parallels in religious symbols, myths, and architectural forms across diverse cultures indicate a shared origin or significant cultural exchange, emphasizing the unity and continuity of human civilization.

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