Twelve-Tribe Nations

Sacred Number and the Golden Age

Twelve-Tribe Nations

The symbolism and use of the number twelve in organizing ancient societies

• Connects the zodiac, the twelve months of the year, and the political divisions of ancient nations

• Explores the sacred geography of ancient landscapes in Europe and Israel

Throughout the world--in countries as far apart as China, Ireland, Iceland, and Madagascar--there survive records and traditions of whole nations being divided into twelve tribes and twelve regions, each corresponding to one of the twelve signs of the zodiac and to one of the twelve months of the year. Best known are the twelve tribes of Israel under King Solomon, but there have been many others. Wherever they occur, they are associated with an ideal social order and a golden age of humanity.

Exploring examples of these twelve-tribe societies, John Michell and Christine Rhone explain the blueprint for this organizational structure and look at the musical, mythological, and astronomical enchantments that kept these societies in harmony with the cosmos. They also examine the astrological landscapes of classical Greece, the aligned St. Michael sanctuaries of Europe, and the true site and function of the Temple in Jerusalem. They show that the sacred geography of these sites was part of an ancient code of knowledge that produced harmony between nature and humanity and is as relevant to our present and future as it was to our past.
  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594772375 | 
  • October 2008

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About the Authors

John Michell

John Michell (1933-2009), educated at Eton and Cambridge, was the pioneer researcher and specialist in the field of ancient, traditional science. Author of more than twenty-five books, his work has profoundly influenced modern thinking, including The Sacred Center, The Dimensions of Paradise, The New View Over Atlantis, Secrets of the Stones, and The Temple of Jerusalem: A Revelation.

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Christine Rhone

Christine Rhone is an artist and writer with a special interest in landscape symbolism. The translator of several important works, including Jacques Le Goff’s Saint Francis of Assisi, Antoine Faivre’s Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition, and Jean Richer’s Sacred Geography of the Ancient Greeks, she lives in ­­­London.

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