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Exterior shot of the Cour d' honneur Pyramid
outside the Louvre in Paris ... Click for virtual tour of the Louvre.
Recent discovery of Leonardo's secret study, where
this mural was painted on the wall, and a rock-hewn table hid in the corner... for the cadavers

Westminster Abbey: the wild-goose chase!
Site of Tombs, Coronations

I visited Westminster Abbey site of The Da Vinci  Code's wild-goose chase scene while on duty overseas with the State Department.  As we strolled through this gigantic labyrinth of history, I suddenly looked up and found that I'd become separated from my tour guide.  It was closing time. Dark shadows huddled in corners ready to leap out at me as I passed. I quickened my pace, finally breaking into a run as my footfalls slapped the cold floor, echoing at my heels.  Then up ahead, a dim light winked in the darkness. And a voice floated toward me through the must-filled air.


It was her voice, the voice of wisdom---Sophia


The light grew closer, brighter until it seemed to sear my eyes with its intensity. I closed them tight, gasping for air in ragged breaths.


A starburst exploded on the dark screen of my eyelids.


They found me two days later, eyes glassed over and disoriented, sitting on a bench in Hyde Park.  A thin white streak ran through my dark brown hair.


I kept repeating one word over and over like a demented fool:


She, She, She . . . .




Da Vinci: artist, inventor, scientist, or ... practioner of secret and ancient occult knowledge?   Who hid his knowledge in plain sight!


I'm an art lover ... the art of fine cuisine
A loaf of bread, a bottle of Chianti--and thou!

Crime and Punishment:  What do Dr.Hannibal Lecter and Da Vinci have in common?  Remember the murder scene from the movie Hannibal? Author Thomas Harris did his research, too!

  On April 24th 1478 Giuliano de' Medici was stabbed to death by Francesco de' Pazzi during high mass in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.  The main target of the assassination, however, was Giuliano's brother, Lorenzo, who was stabbed in the neck but saved from a mortal wound by a friend who threw himself in front of Lorenzo and was himself killed.

  Pazzi and his accomplices were caught and hanged but one man, Bernado di Bandino, escaped to Turkey.  On the request of the Signoria of Florence he was extradicted and he and his wife were hanged on December 29th 1479.

  Leonardo witnessed the hanging and made a pen and ink drawing with notes for the compostion of a painting:
"A tan-coloured small cap. A doublet of black serge. A black jerkin, lined, and the collar covered with black and red-stippled velvet. A blue coat lined with fur of foxes breasts. Black hose, Bernado di Bandino Baroncelli."



Sketches of Da Vinci's Robot

His brilliant inteventions of War!!

DR. WHO'S  Robot??

  It was not until the late 1950's that Carlo Pedretti of the Unversity of California proposed that the drawings on the left were for a robot.  Some forty years later the Florence-based Institute and Museum of the History of Science in collaboration with Mark Rosheim, a NASA contractor and expert in robotics, developed a "digital" version of the robot shown on the right.

  There is no evidence that the robot was actually built but it was designed to sit up, turn, bend both arms and legs and to open its mouth or visor, probably to make some kind of noise.  It was dressed in a suit of armour.


  Leonardo may have intended the robot for a festival or celebration of some kind.  At Il Paradiso - a celebration held on 13th January 1490 in Milan - Leonardo was said to have built a model of a mountain crowned by a giant egg which rotated while a fantastic series of automats representing the human race sang the praises of the Sforza family.  The egg finally opened to reveal the seven planets and figures of the Graces, the Virtues, Nymphs, Hermes, Jupiter and Apollo.


The Adding Machine (or Ratio Machine)

  In 1967 American researchers working at the National Library of Spain in Madrid found two unknown works of Leonardo which became known as the Codex Madrid.  It included the drawing on the right.  Leonardo expert Dr Roberto Guatelli saw the drawing and thought it similar to one in the Codex Atlanticus.

  In 1968 Dr Guatelli made a replica from the two drawings using "his own intuition and imagination..." in the process.  The replica was put on display at an IBM exhibition with the following text:

"Device for Calculation: An early version of today's complicated calculator, Leonardo's mechanism maintains a constant ratio of ten to one in each of its 13 digit-registering wheels. For each complete revolution of the first handle, the unit wheel is turned slightly to register a new digit ranging from zero to nine. Consistent with the ten to one ratio, the tenth revolution of the first handle causes the unit wheel to complete its first revolution and register zero, which in turn drives the decimal wheel from zero to one. Each additional wheel marking hundreds, thousands, etc., operates on the same ratio. Slight refinements were made on Leonardo's original sketch to give the viewer a clearer picture of how each of the 13 wheels can be independently operated and yet maintain the ten to one ratio. Leonardo's sketch shows weights to demonstrate the equability of the machine."

  After a year of the machine being on display controversy concerning the reliability of the replica had grown and an academic trial was held at Massachusetts University in an attempt to settle the matter.

  Objectors claimed that the device was a ratio machine - one revolution of the first shaft would give rise to 10 revolutions of the second and so on.  Such a machine would not work due to the amount of friction involved.

  The vote was a tie but IBM removed the replica from the exhibition.

Continue to learn of his strange religious beliefs!! 





Headquarters of the Opus Dei in New York City ...
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The Lady with the enigmatic smile ...


A very old method used for encoding the additional, intentional messages into artistic compositions is kabbalistic exegesis called gematria, often confused with numerology. Gematria is useful because it deals with words that have numeric values (read measures), and relates similar values to similar meanings. If we use simple Latin code of values of letters and calculate the famous title of the painting a value of 84 is obtained:

MONA LISA = (13+15+14+1) + (12+9+19+1) = 84.

Another name for the painting is also La Gioconda, or as a variant LA GIOCCONDA, which has the same gematric value:

LA GIOCCONDA = (12+1) + (7+9+15+3+3+15+14+4+1) = 84.

'La Giocconda' can be translated as a 'playful woman', which is perhaps one of the reason of her peculiar smile. But her mysterious smile conceals also another enigma, of her identity ...

circumference of the rectangle is
2 x (18+24) =

The above gematric calculations are also amplified by the composition of circles that rule the proportions of the portrayed. If the width of the painting is considered as 1 Venetian cubit, then three circles and four circles in height equal 18 and 24 oncia respectively. The circumference of this rectangle 18 : 24, enclosing the figure is again concealing the number 84:

circumference = 2 x (18+24) = 84.

This number really seems to be of extraordinary importance for this painting, no wonder since it is also a number that unveils the master himself:

LEONARDO = 12+5+15+14+1+18+4+15 = 84.







Analysis of the composition shows that it is based on the circle that is visible on the painting as the perfectly circular shape of the top of figure's head.

width = 1 Venetian cubit

The diameter of described circle fits into the width of the panel exactly 3 times, and 4 times in the height of the figure, thus forming a basic Pythagorean triangle 3-4-5. The height of the board does not fit into the grid of circles, but they are important only for the figure of portrayed.

Next thing to do is to find the system of measures that Leonardo used for the composition. The width of the painting is according to different sources ranging from 52.4 to 53 cm. This is very close to the length of exactly 1 Venetian cubit measuring 52.2 cm.









Pertica grande






Pertica Piccola

































Venetian system of measures

A circle, that is the compositional module, is therefore 1 palm in radius. Every metrical system is 'modular', meaning that smaller units are always a simple fractions of the larger, as an example: 1 cubit equals 1.5 ft, 6 palm, or 12 oncia. The width of the painting measuring three circles is 1 cubit =
6 palm = 18 oncia, while the height of the figure is 8 palm or 24 oncia. These numbers defining the composition are conveying an important message.


This painting seems to represent a compound - hieroglyphic image in alchemistic manner, that is none else but hermaphroditic Leonardo himself. Another surprise is concealed in the title of the painting, which is a rebus:


This title is a rebis of fundamental alchemical antimony of Sun (Sol) and Moon (Anima, soul), two basic symbols for opposing forces that are united in alchemic genderless hermaphrodite. There are many alchemic texts concerning this subject that obsessed a lot of artists during with philosophy inspired Renaissance.

Sun & Moon

... Sol and Lune, the male and female, two sperms, heaven and earth, and two, as I may say, Argent vives, and out of which alone the philosophers say their stone is made; which pitiful fellows mistake for crude mercury. But that mercury is all metals, male and female, and an hermaphrodite monster in the very marriage of the soul and the body, which I call solution; and the putrefaction of the philosophers. The earth of gold is dissolved by its own spirit, which you shall discover in these proportions.

If one third of the circle, that outlines the composition, is taken for a module ( = two oncia), the ratio of rectangle that defines the figure is 9 : 12. Both numbers are symbols for previously mentioned antinomies, for number 9 symbolizes Moon, and 12 stands for Sun. This number is also the number of '12 compositional circles' that could parallel 12 zodiacal signs through which Sun traverses. This traditional symbolism is also recorded by Agrippa in De Occulta Philosophia, a dictionary of magick from 1510:

... The number nine belongs to the Moon, the utmost receptacle of all Celestiall influences, and vertues, as also it is dedicated to the nine Muses, as also to Mars, from whom is the end of all things. The number ten is Circular, and belongs to the Sun, after the same manner as unity; also it is attributed to Janus, because it is the end of the first order, and from whence begins the second unity; it is also ascribed to the world. In like manner the number twelve, because the Sun going round twelve signes, distributes the yeer [year] into twelve moneths, is attributed to the world, the Heaven, and the Sun ...



Templar's symbolism in Durer's engraving
Knight, Death, and Devil

(see photo below)

Albrecht Durer's engravings are enigmas, a multi layered artworks pulsating different contents, offering several possible interpretations at the same time. Some express a deeply gnostic apprehension of the world known to Durer, some convey important historical facts, others reveal Durer's specifically brilliant mind that could be offensive and even politically dangerous at the time. The first engraving, in the context of three 'Meisterstiche', Knight, Death, and Devil was created in 1513 according to the tablet in the lower left corner of the engraving. Durer's 'tablets' always look suspiciously, since they are always bearing a hint to the content initially concealed by the artist. The date on the tablet is precisely 200 years after the official dissolution of the Templars in tragic year 1313. Before the number 1513 on the tablet stands a mysterious 'S' whose meaning is for Panofsky obscure1. But the secret is hidden in a Greek equivalent of Latin letter S - S, Sigma with gematrical value 200, the number which alludes to the 200th anniversary of Templar's official end.

the tablet from the engraving
bearing the inscription S 1513 AD

The most important date in the history of the persecution of Knights Templar is Friday, 13th of October 1307, when most of French Knights of the Order were simultaneously arrested at dawn. The memory of 13. 10. is preserved in the ratio of the main dimensions of the engraving. The dimensions of the engraving are 25 x 19.2 cm which is almost exactly the ratio of 13:102 commemorating the 13th of October 1307. The width of the engraving - 19.2 cm - is exactly 8 inches from Frankfurt, a measure that Durer used many times for the basic dimensions of his artworks. If the height is calculated according to the ratio 13 : 10, a diagonal of 13 inches is obtained, which is again emphasizing a symbolism of number 13.

The main protagonists in the destruction of the order were French king Philip IV, also known as Philip le Bel (surely an expression of his vanity not mercifulness), and pope Clement V, the first in the line of 'Avignon popes', vassals under French royal influence. The goal was political and religious, since Templars represented an important political force mostly because of vast financial resources at disposal and land ownership. Practically, they functioned as a system within a system, which is obviously irritating from the ruling position. Religiously they posed a threat to official dogma, since the nature of their endeavors enabled them to gain a contact with various sources of knowledge, and their belief is closer to a gnostic perception of Christianity than official dogma sustained by some questionable popes ...

Three main characters of the engraving metaphorically represent the three players in the historic drama: Templars are represented by the Knight, the king Philip Le Bel is disguised as Death wearing a regal crown, and Pope Clement V is concealed in the shape of Devil.

An allusion to Le Bel's vanity is his head wreathed in snakes, which invokes the myth of Medusa, the most famous and the only mortal of the three Gorgones. A beautiful maiden made a mistake comparing herself to the goddess Athena who jealously turned Medusa's beautiful curls into hissing snakes. No living being could look at her without being turned into stone. Finally, Perseus cut her head while sleeping and brought it to Athena.

In year, 1314, the Grand Master Jacques (Jacob) de Molay was burnt at the stake in Paris thus making an apparent end to the most prominent chivalric and initiatic order in the history of Europe. A myth claims, that before his death, Jacob de Molay prophesied the soon end of both opponents - Philip and Clement both died the same year. Strangely, they all share the 'letter of Death'3:










Number 106 is also a gematrical value of the name of Hebrew letter N, Nun, which is also the attribute of Trump XIII, Death.

NVN = 50 + 6 + 50 = 106

In accordance with Tarot correspondences is the year when the engraving was printed, 1513, a direct signature of Devil and Death, since Devil in Tarot is XV, and Death is XIII.










Nun, fish





Ayin, eye


A table of traditional Tarot correspondences4

The signature on the table in the lower left corner of the engraving consists of the letter S, date 1513 and monogram AD. If we substitute the numbers from the date with corresponding letters: 15 into O, and 13 into N, a word SONAD is obtained. Backwardly, it is the Greek word DANOS (Danos), meaning 'burnt', an epitaph in remembrance of the death on the stake of the Grand Master, Jacob de Molay.

Another allusion to Templars is almost 'obviously visible' underlying geometry of the inverted pentagram as described in Path of the Adepti. One of the main accusations of the inquisition versus Templars was also 'Devil-worship' in the image of the egregore Baphometh. The inverted pentagram is vulgarly associated as the supreme signifier of evil and works of Devil5. The last allusion to the Order of the Temple is the skull6 placed above the tablet with the date and monogram, a symbol marking an event, a memory of life and the expression of Gnostic tradition of Templars.

Another concealed symbol of Templars is hidden in the underlaying composition. It seems that the famous inverted pentagram is a true symbol of Templars after all.



It seems that Albrecht Durer was fond of commemorating his masterpieces to some important historical event, mostly from his perspective of a Renaissance man. A remembrance of the events that happened in 1313, particularly the end of the Order of the Temple and the murder of the grand master of Templars Jacques de Molay, is preserved in the engraving Knight Death, and Devil (SEE PHOTO BELOW) executed by Durer, exactly two hundred years later. Another such case of memento is The Fall of Man from 1504. The engraving represents Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden standing before the Tree of Life entwined with the serpent. 1504 is the year that celebrates a hundredth anniversary of the birth of the famous Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 1472). Alberti is one of the most intriguing figures of the Renaissance, a perfect combination of art and science seems to be the topic that interested him most. According to Panofsky1, Durer learned, imitated, and elaborated the theory of perspective from Alberti. He wrote many books on art (like De statua or De pictura) and science. His masterpiece is also a treatise Ten Books on Architecture. With a bit of energized enthusiasm, ALberti could be considered as the father of Renaissance. A very lucid analysis of one of the strangest books, mysteriously called Hypnerotomachia Poliphili done by Liane Lefaivre2 suggests that Alberti was also guilty for this book that famous Aldus printed. A truly gnostic, he was also capable of such wonders like Canis (The Dog) or Musca (The Fly), and a cryptographic system that was used until WW2. However, we will try to show that Durer loved him a lot.

The whole scenario is encoded on the small cartollino that Durer used as a signature plate on many engravings. The most curious is the first line: ALBERT9. This is the only time that Durer used this variant of his name, Albrecht. Art dictionaries and various catalogue entries read this as ALBERTUS, equating 9 with 'US' without explaining why. Furtheremore, this proposition is also inconsistent with the second line where DVRER should be spelt as DVRER9 (in case of lack of space on the tablet) or DVRERVS. The third line, NORICVS, is the first that bears the ending 'VS', furthermore confusing this inscription. None of the three lines is consistently writting the ending 'VS', so it is possible that something special is encoded, and the basic text is manipulated in order to get the intended values of the words. According to the simple values of Latin letters 9 corresponds to I. Thus the inscription says ALBERTI not ALBERTUS. It is probably not a coincidence that ALBERTI and DVRER have the same gematric values:

ALBERTI = 1+12+2+5+18+20+9 = DVRER = 4+22+18+5+18 = 67

see photo below

After both names, ALBERTI and DVRER, comes NORICVS = 100, which is also encoding the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Alberti. Both names, ALBERTI and DVRER, together are 67+67 = 134, the number that also manifests itself in the geometric composition. Figuratively, this number represents a circle, a triangle, and a square, or the so called Seal of Hermes, which was during Renaissance widely used for the sacral compositions. Durer 'squared the circle' in such manner that they both have the same area. The two interweaving triangles (Solomon's Seal) represent a similar concept as expressed in Sri-Yantra, where the female and male principle gradually inter-penetrate, copulate. Two Greek words relevant for the context are KOITOS, coitus and O KOSMOS, cosmos, both having the gematric value 670, which is a synonym of 67. Like in case of Poliphilo, an anti-hero of supposed Alberti's work Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Durer is by Alberti erotically aroused. This is perhaps even more obvious if we consider the image of Adam in the likeness of Alberti, whereas Eve is Durer in disguise. Such a travesty is not an exception in Durer's opus, for he transformed himself into woman also in Melencolia.

In year 1504, hundred years after Alberti's birth, another masterpiece was completed - Michelangelo's David. This is a strange coincidence, since Michelangelo's David andDurer's Adam share much resemblance in appearance, both venerating Vitruvian perfection of proportions, and we can be sure that the artists were much more connected than art historians can trace. Perhaps, they both wanted to embody the spirit of Grand Master Leon Battista Alberti for his hundredth birthday.

The main dimensions of the engraving does not fit well into any metrical system of that time. Durer was a master of composition and in such cases a module that 'rules' this composition needs to be discovered. Main ideas and the signature of the magician are often encoded in such underlying layer of the artwork. These are variously described by different sources3 - ranging from 194-196 mm for the width, and 251-253 mm for the height. The difference of the measurements seems to occur, since the smaller ones measure the engraved rectangle, while the others measure the printing block, and the difference is about 1 mm on all sides. The diagonal of the engraving is around 32 cm, which seems to be exactly one foot4. Both relations, 253x196 and 251x194 mm are very close to ratio 22:17, which seems to represent the base projection grid. Both numbers come from Pell's Series and/or Fibonacci Numbers.





















Pell's series are approximating a geometry of octagram






















Fibonacci Numbers are approximating a geometry of pentagram

A diagonal of rectangle 22:17 equals 28 modules by approximation, which coincides also with a string of numbers from the fifth of Fibonacci progressions: 1-5-6-11-17-28-45 ... These three numbers - 17, 22, and 28 - combined give the same idea as proposed by the interpretation of the tablet bearing inscriptions. All three together equal 17+22+28 = 67, or a gematric signature of a magician DVRER, and dedication to master ALBERTI. The seventh number from the Pell's progression, 45, or the sum of the width and the diagonal of the engraving, 17+28 = 45, is describing the title of the engraving:

ADAM UND EVE = 90 = 2 x 45
Hebrew transcription of Adam = ADM = 1+4+40 = 45.

Leonardo's Religious Beliefs


The Pointing Finger

  The pointing finger is seen in many of Leonardo's paintings.  We have already seen it in the Angel in the Flesh .  We also see it in John the Baptist, The Virgin of the Rocks, and in The Last Supper.  Strangely, the finger also makes a less obvious appearance in the Adoration of the Magi where it sprouts from behind a carob tree.

The question is - what does it mean?  The usual explanation is that the finger is pointing upwards to God/heaven/transendence.  In fact, the pointing finger was a gesture used in many other art works of the time.  In John the Baptist the way in which he indicates himself with one hand and points upwards with the other is said to mean "I fortell the coming of the one from above."

  There is an alternative view that Leonardo was a Johannite and a believer in the Great Heresy.


The Johannites

  In the Bible we are told that when St Paul visited Ephesus and Corinth as the first missionary in the area he found already in existence a flourishing Church of John - John the Baptist - but the followers of John had not even heard of Jesus.  Today the Mandaeans of modern Iran and Iraq have held John in special reverence for 2000 years calling him the "High King of Light." Jesus is referred to as a "usurper" who "perverted all the cults and turned light into darkness."

  In Luke 7:18 - 23 John (who, we are told, has earlier met Jesus and fallen at his feet) sends a message to Jesus saying "Art thou he that should come or do we wait for another?" Shortly after this John is killed apparently to appease the whim of Salome.

  Johannites believe that Christ and/or his followers killed John and took over the church that he had created.  This belief is called the Great Heresy and some say that Leonardo held this belief.


Leonardo and the Great Heresy

  The idea that Leonardo was a Johannite can be taken from certain apparent anomalies in some of his paintings:

  The Last Supper
- Pointing to the belly of the third man from the left is a dagger held in a hand which cannot belong to anyone in the picture.
- "St John" - arching away to the left of Jesus has small hands, a gold necklace and a cleavage.

- Leonardo is in the picture as "St Jude" -second from the right and turned away from Jesus.
- To the right of Jesus a man sticks his finger in the air almost in His face. This pointing finger has been called the "John Gesture."

  The Virgin of the Rocks
  Some of the rock formations can be seen as highly phallic.  The Christ Child is making the John Gesture.

  The Adoration of the Magi
  In this unfinished work the John Gesture appears disembodied from behind a carob - which tree is a symbol for John the Baptist.


Other Signs of Heresy

  There are a few other scraps of evidence that point to Leonardo holding unconventional religious beliefs.  In the Codex Atlanticus he recals an unpleasant incident in connection with a representation of the Infant Christ: "When I made a Christ Child you put me in prison.  Now if I represent him grown up you will treat me worse."  Also some of his jokes seem to at the expense of the priesthood.  There is also one of his "prophesies" (not predictions of future events but a series of enigmatic or riddle-like pronouncements) entitled "Of Christians" which reads "Many who hold the faith of the son only build temples in the name of the mother



Leonardo's Sexuality


Jacopo Saltarelli

  In 1476 Leonardo and three others were twice denounced to the police for having "committed sodomy" with a young man of seventeen, a person who modelled in the studio of Verrochio (Leonardo's master) called Jacopo Saltarelli.  The accusation was made anonymously by means of a note deposited in a special letterbox outside the Palazzo Vecchio.  The note said that Saltarelli "...consents to please those persons who request such wickedness of him" and that he had "served several dozen people" so it seems reasonable to suppose that he was a prostitute.  The case came before the courts twice and was dismissed on each occasion due to a lack of witnesses or evidence.



  In 1494 Leonardo was walking in the countryside around Milan when he saw a boy dressed in rags sketching the goats he was tending.  The boy's father, being poor, agreed to let Leonardo take the boy into his care.  His name was Gian Giacomo Copotti da Oreno. Because he was badly behaved Leonardo nicknamed him Salai being short for Salaino meaning "little devil."

  No one can be certain as to Leonardo's sexuality.  Some say that the Allegory of Pleasure and Pain may depict Salai as Pleasure and Leonardo as Pain joined back to back. In the Codex Atlanticus an assistant has drawn two-legged penises moving towards a small round hole labeled "Salai."  We have already seen the Angel in the Flesh in the Art section of this site and noted the drawings of effeminate young men with curly hair as seen above.

  Leonardo may not have practiced sex at all.  His writings about the penis (the famous "della verga" passage from one of his notebooks), his Coitus drawing and comments on the Allegory of Pleasure and Pain show amusement and disdain for sexual practices and perhaps an unconscious realisation that sexual activity for him would be a wasteful discharging of his energies as it is thought that genius sublimates the libido to some extent channelling it into creativity.  For evidence of this note the comments accompanying the Allegory of Pleasure and Pain in which Leonardo makes an oblique reference to masturbation as "those pleasures which are often the cause of the failing of life."


Leonardo the Trickster

  Vasari records various stories about Leonardo's desire to shock and astonish.

  While in Rome he transformed a lizard into a dragonlike creature by attaching wings, horns and a beard which he kept in a box.  He would open the box in front of friends to frighten them.

  He would show guests a sheeps intestines which could fit in the palm of his hand.  He then inflated the entrails with a bellows until it filled the room forcing the guests into corners of the room.

  The most famous of these stories, and probably the most apocryphal, is a tale from Leonardo's childhood.  A farmer of Ser Piero brought to him a wooden shield he had made and asked him to have it painted in Florence.  Ser Piero gave the shield to his son who improved it's shape and surface.  He then collected lizards, snakes, butterflies, grasshoppers and bats.  Using these as inspiration he painted a fearsome monster, a composite of various features of the animals he had collected.  The monster was depicted as emerging from a dark opening in a rock, belching fumes and fire.  When Ser Piero came to collect the shield he arranged it such that the light fell on it with the rest of the room in darkness.  When Ser Piero entered the room he recoiled in horror at the image on the shield but Leonardo said "This work has served its purpose; take it away, then, as it has produced the effect intended."




Pleasure and Pain

   The gruesome figures resemble those seen in alchemical illustrations and on tarot cards. Leonardo may have been influenced by Socrates' remarks in Phaedo that pleasure and pain "are like two bodies attached to the same head."
   Youthful Pleasure and elderly Pain are shown back to back.
Pleasure holds a reed in his right hand and lets gold coins fall from his left.  Pain drops caltrops (a device of iron spikes used to impede the progress of troops and horses) from his left hand and holds a branch with rose thorns in his right.
   The drawing is accompanied by a moralizing inscription:
   "If you choose pleasure, know that he has one behind him who will deal you tribulation and repentance."
   "This is pleasure together with pain and they are represented as twins because one is never apart from the other.  They are made with their backs turned to each other because they are contrary to one another; they exist in one and the same foundation, for the origin of pleasure is labour without pain, and the origins of pain are vain and wanton pleasures.  And therefore it is represented here with a reed in his right hand, which is useless and without strength, and the wounds made with it are poisoned."
   "In Tuscany reeds are placed to support beds, to signify that here vain dreams come and here a great part of life is consumed, here much useful time is wasted, namely that of the morning, when the mind is composed and rested and the body is therefore fitted to resume new labours."
   "Here also many vain pleasures are taken, both with the mind imagining impossible things, and with the body taking those pleasures which are often the cause of the failing of life."




   This hemisection of a copulating couple is perhaps Leonardo's most unusual anatomical drawing.  It shows a tube by which semen was thought to pass from the brain through a channel in the spine - one of the ideas current at the time and accepted by Leonardo.

"The penis does not obey the order of its master," wrote Leonardo, "and must be said to have its own mind."

Recent MRI scans taken by Dutch scientists of couples engaging in intercourse show the bend of the penis to be different to that envisaged by Leonardo.


Female Anatomy

   Again the influence of the anatomical knowledge of the time is seen in this drawing of a disected woman.  The heart is shown as having two chambers instead of four and the vagina has the form of an inverted penis.






   Leonardo made several remarkable anatomical discoveries during his examination of some thirty corpses.  He was the first to draw correct representations of the curves of the spine, the tilt of the sacrum, the arches of the ribcage and the exact position of the pelvis.

Leonardo explored the bones of the face and skull in detail and explored cavities such as the maxillary cavity.  The drawing shows Leonardo's use of different types of shading to give the impression of layers in three dimensions.




Study the cloaked pentagram

Albrecht Durer's Knight Death Devil
Look for the hidden keys!

Stare Fixedly ... let your mind wonder through
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Last month, while in Florence, Professor Langdon uncovered an ancient parchment that historians now believe may be the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The encoded parchmentbearing the name La Profezia (The Prophecy)raised eyebrows when scholars discovered it was signed "LSPDV." (Leonardo's full name was Leonardo Ser Pieri Da Vincio).

More intriguing still is the legend that the visionary Leonardo, in the days before his death, made a powerful prophecy about the future. Could this be Da Vinci's long lost prediction? Historians remain eager to learn what this parchment says. The code has yet to reveal its mystery, but Robert Langdon is very close to finding the key to deciphering the message.
Leonardo's encoded message consists of 24 symbols. Robert Langdon is certain there exists a key, and he is working very hard to find it.

The "Sacred Geometry" of the Masonic layout of streets in Washington, D.C., will most likely lead Brown's Professor Langdon to discover that Fort Marcy Park lies along the same line as that made by the National Mall, which lies between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and that extending that line almost all the way across the United States would pass directly through the Mormon Tabernacle Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Oddly, the Mormon Tabernacle is closed to the public throughout 2006.) Even more eerie, a line drawn from the Washington Monument to Rock Creek Park, where the body of Chandra Levy, a attractive Jewish woman who was a federal Bureau of Prisons intern and the secret lover of a Congressman, was found in 2002, would, if extended, pass through the Scottish Rite Freemasonic Center in D.C., as well as through Freemason's Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Above Levy's name is handwritten the words "Shari Eli." Perhaps a character name? Chandra is Sanskrit for "light," that which Masons claim to seek.

One of the strangest pages may be this list of statues and monuments in the Washington, D.C. area, with perplexing phrases after them:

  • D.C. Masonic Temple — Irish ale
  • Jeff Memorial — A fenced in miser
  • Albert Pike statue — Fresh cad onto a monk
  • Persephone statue on Capitol — Hi, Israel
  • Geo. Washington Masonic Memorial — Print a rug, Ben
  • Washington Obelisk — Accords femmes

Notes: The last one may refer to the Washington Monument. "Accords femmes" translates from French into "women's agreements."

George Washington and Albert Pike were both Freemasons, as was Ben Franklin, who may be the "Ben" referenced in one of the phrases. "Ben" may also refer to the character Ben Gates in the film National Treasure.

The message of the Georgia Guidestones, written in English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, and Swahili is:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.


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