The Sirius Project

The Sirius Project
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's discussion on symbolism

Symbolism under discussion

The Sirius Project was created to document, analyse and discuss ancient symbolism and how it has developed, transformed and been reused throughout the centuries, including also modern times. Those of you who follow our work on Facebook and other social platforms know that we are eager to discuss the white painted symbols located up in the Theban Mountains, Egypt. These marks, as mentioned in a previous blog post here, are made by a modern hand, with great care and effort, following the natural formations of the rock they are placed upon, and always in precise locations. Primarily, these marks do not interfere with any ancient remains, although there is at least one exception as we documented a morphed form of the ancient was-sign painted on top of ancient Gnostic graffiti.

Based on photographs that we have posted on Facebook lately, these symbols have increased interest among friends and international colleagues. We would like to share similar discussions with our readers here, and therefore ask you all to have a look at the images we will be posting over the coming days, and to get back to us, publically here or in a private email, with thoughts, ideas, associations, etc. We are open to all suggestions, and our goal here is first and foremost to study the continuation of symbolism, how we, as the children of a modern society, reach out and (re-) interpret ancient symbolism. Again, it is important to emphasise that these marks are made by a modern hand, thus belonging to our contemporary society. However, it is difficult to estimate a precise date as some symbols have gathered several layers of dust, seemingly over a series of years, while some remain rather clear (naturally, this can be due to their placement, direct and indirect contact with wind and rain).
So please have a look at the symbols, consider the various cultural connections that are embedded in them, and let us know what thoughts and ideas might appear! Leave comments here, or reach us via email: and

Symbols of discussion today:

Thank you for your interest and support!
Dr. John Ward & Dr. Maria Nilsson


  1. hi john and maria thanks for sharing these images and for the invitation for a discussion ....are these the only images ? or you will upload some more .... i will discuss it soon but the instant thing i've noticed is the head of the number " 3 " i visualize snake head in it :) ...well i will wait for more images thn will discuss it again ... Amir Taj

  2. Dear Amir, thank you for your comment and thoughts. Yes, these are just 3 individual symbols out of a much larger amount, spread all over the western wadis. I like your idea about the head of the 3 could be a snake head, any further thoughts and ideas? Please feel free to answer either here or privately by email. you can reach us on:


    1. Hi, I have been working on ancient symbols. I don't know the date of your images, but the School of Pythagoras (c. 500 BCE I think) envisioned a snake in the shape of our number 3 as a symbol of time, Past, Present and Future. In my own work, time, for many cultures starts with the third symbol.

  3. 399 one off fourhundred !!!

    where are the other 398 numbers located ?

    looks like something i would paint on my wheelie bin

  4. Hi Maria and John

    I was just going to comment on the other white symbols you have found in the Theban Hills, and thought I would just pass a comment here that the 399 symbol is a common trait used in Thelemic magical practices. But I'm sure you already knew that! regards Lorraine

  5. Dear Lorraine, you will get a good oportunity of having a first hand look once arriving! Another topic worthy of lenghty discussions!!! For now, the Thelemic connection is indeed the strongest one, and fits well in with the time frame given the state of "preservation". However, that time frame, for us, is still rather difuse, and cannot be limited down any further than post Carter's expo in 1916 and pre 2006, which is the "earliest" ante quem we have found so far. The silence out there regarding these symbols, however, is rather interesting and makes it all even more worth it! We'll return to that discussion asap I hope!
    much love for now