We warmly welcome Donald B. Caroll, author of The Spirit of Light Cubit and Sacred Geometry and Spiritual Symbolism, back as our featured author for August.

In this excerpt from The Spirit of Light Cubit, Donald provides us with an insight into a sacred unit of measurement he has uncovered. A unit of measurement that we find in multiple ancient cultures, across continents. With this fascinating discovery, Donald demonstrates how ancient societies united science and spirituality in the pursuit of a higher state of being. 

Books by Donald B. Carroll

Sacred Geometry and Spiritual Symbolism The Blueprint for Creation

The Spirit of Light Cubit The Measure of Humanity and Spirit

Note from the Author:

Warm greetings to all.

The book excerpt presented here should provide a clear overview of an archaeological journey of discovery for a lost global ancient civilization. Offered here is firm compelling evidence of this lost culture which also provides corroboration for one of the prime purposes of this lost civilization; to raise the consciousness of humankind.

The evidence is a unit of measurement that is shared across continents and an ocean in the creation of sacred sites thousands upon thousands of years ago. This is the only book that has discovered and correlated this unit of measurement archeologically to an ancient global lost civilization. This measure is an ultimate symbol of humankind’s journey of evolvement in ancient societal technology and higher consciousness.

I was going to write how this journey began with my reading about a neglected unit of measurement in Egypt, but that wouldn’t be true. This journey began much earlier for me, but even then, I was still asking the same questions: what does it all mean, what happened, what’s the message? Only then it was about my life, our journeys, and our purpose, the apparent separation of the physical and spiritual with our consciousness somewhere in between. As I wandered and searched along on that journey, the roads unexpectedly merged with this ancient unit of measurement. If this was a movie, the screenwriter would probably be suspected of creating a deus ex machina plot device to resolve my journey’s search. I assure you it is not.

My hope is that this discovery and research will provide a similar experience for the reader.

Chapter 2: The map from Egypt to around the world and through time

Part of the beginning, for me, was with ancient Egypt. Today Egyptologists estimate that about two-thirds of ancient Egypt is still hidden beneath the sands. In researching the work done over the ages by a large array of explorers and Egyptologists, I felt it was the same case in finding their results; there is so much to all that has been found already and written about. Rather than digging through the sands of time in Egypt, I was digging through the dusty archives on Egypt and ancient measurements, their importance, derivations, and symbolism. I will start with Sir Flinders Petrie, considered the father of modern Egyptology, who brought detailed scientific methods and recording into the field. Sir Petrie states: The study of ancient measures used in a country is a basis of discovering the movements of civilization between countries.i

As Sir Petrie lays out the importance of shared measurements as indicators of shared communications and connections between different cultures, Iain Morley and Colin Renfrew, both acknowledged experts in archeology and Fellows of the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research, write that measurement systems go further than communication and thought processes to include metaphysical belief systems.

Measurement systems have provided the structure for addressing key concerns of cosmological belief systems, as well as the means for articulating relationships between human form, human action, and the world—and new understanding of relationships between events in the terrestrial world and beyond.ii

Presented between these covers is the evidence of Sir Petrie’s statement; written here is the recognition and demonstration of an ancient unit of measurement from such a civilization with its sharing and movements among multiple peoples across the globe. A measurement whose possible origin symbolizes a multicultural shared spiritual philosophy for a universal journey of humanity toward unity and higher consciousness. Again, the length of this measurement, this “spirit/light” cubit, is 27.5 inches (70 cm).

What is explored in detail and compelling evidence is offered for is a unit of measurement that unites both science and spiritual philosophy, Heaven and Earth, space and time. Such a statement should give one reason to pause, for it is tantamount; it did me, from the ancient civilizations, to the modern physics search for the “Theory of Everything” (TOE). In ancient times spirit and science were not approached as separate avenues of the understanding of our existence, the world, and the cosmos, but one united and synergized in an encompassing unity of the physical and metaphysical. The unit of measurement presented meets all these requirements.

Early on I realized it is important to ask; from where units of ancient measurements were derived. The answer is straightforward: body proportions. Think of the ubiquitous term used in the study of ancient metrology, the cubit. The cubit is a catchall term used for multiple units of measurements from multiple civilizations. Cubit is Latin for elbow and is a term used, in umbrella fashion, to categorize measurements approximately the length from elbow to fingertip, though these lengths range from anywhere around fifteen inches to twenty-eight inches. It is believed that almost all ancient linear measurements resulted from body proportions. This concept is exampled in Da Vinci’s “The Vitruvian Man,” an ink and paper drawing.

DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man with units of measure (PD0)

This is DaVinci’s homage to the Roman engineer and architect Vitruvius, who wrote in volume III of his work on art and architecture:

The design of Temples depends on symmetry… Hence no building can be said to be well designed which wants symmetry and proportion. In truth they are as necessary to the beauty of a building as to that of a well-formed human figure…

If Nature, therefore, has made the human body so that the different members of it are measures of the whole, so the ancients have, with great propriety, determined that in all perfect works, each part should be some aliquot (Author note: aliquot means a portion of the larger whole: I had to look it up) part of the whole; and since they direct, that this be observed in all works, it must be most strictly attended to in temples of the gods…iii

Vitruvius is basically stating that sacred structures should use body proportions in their design and construction. Since the human body was divinely designed, these are the best proportions and measurements to design a sacred site, to create an axis mundi; a place where Heaven and Earth come together.

The linchpin at the heart of these sacred structures, these “cosmic engines” uniting Heaven and Earth, is the unit of measurement of 27.5 inches (70 cm). This unit of measurement seems to have its origins in ancient Egypt, yet there is compelling evidence that this unit of measurement or multiples of it was also used by other cultures on multiple continents, and so it presents itself as an ancient international unit of measurement commensurate to the modern international unit of measure, the meter.

Body proportions were codified into specific measures, such as the foot, the hand, or a yard. So from what proportions could 27.5 inches (70 cm) be codified from? Posited here is that this measurement comes from the length of the spine, with initial evidence from research in the medical textbook Gray’s Anatomy (1918) that shows the average length of the human spine (male) is 27.9 inches (71 cm)—statistically valid to a measurement unit of 27.5 inches. In answer to the reader’s thought, yes, there were many people of such height through ancient times. Some will debate that 27½ inches is close to the average step length and hence then where this measurement came from. What will be shared as we continue is clear and compelling evidence that this is not the case for multiple reasons. For now, let it suffice, using Vitruvius’ recommendations of using body proportions since the body was divinely created, that a step length is not a body proportion. Further, there is an intrinsic elegance in representing the spine in sacred sites as the physical avenue of consciousness.

An Egyptian measuring rod of 27.5 inches (70 cm) was discovered at the pyramids of Lisht and is on display in the Metropolitan Museum of New York; Egyptologists link the pyramids of Lisht to the pyramids on the Giza Plateau through portions of the Giza complex being incorporated into Lisht to infuse them with the spiritual energy of the Giza complex. The Giza Plateau was dedicated to the Egyptian deity Osiris, whose symbol was the “Djed” hieroglyph, meaning “Osiris’s spine.” The ancient Egyptians even had a specific ceremony rite of “Raising the Djed.”

The recognition of the importance of the spine both physically and spiritually was not confined to the ancient philosophies of the Far East and Egypt. Its significance was acknowledged in the cultures of the New World also. Unambiguously this can be seen in the Hopi, Native American traditions. The Hopis are the descendants of the Ancient Puebloans, whose culture is considered to have spanned the Southwest area of what is now the United States: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. One of the major beautiful and significant centers of the Ancient Puebloans is in Chaco Canyon located in northern New Mexico. Archeology research has confirmed that the Ancient Puebloans had trade and communications with Mesoamerica with the discovery of macaw feathers and remains of cacao traced back to Mexico.

The Hopi, descendants of the Ancient Puebloans, in their customs understood the importance of the spine both for their physical world and spiritual journey. This is recounted by Frank Waters:

The First People then understood the mystery of their parenthood. In their pristine wisdom they also understood their own structure and functions—the nature of man himself.

The living of man and the living body of earth were constructed in same way. Through each ran an axis, man’s axis being the backbone, the vertebral column… Along this axis were several vibratory centers which echoed the primordial sound of life throughout the universe…iv

Palongawhoya (sacred twin), traveling throughout the earth, sounded out his call as he was bidden. All the vibratory centers along the earth’s axis from pole to pole responded to his call; the whole earth trembled: the universe quivered in tune.v

It is abundantly evident the descendants of the Ancient Puebloan understood the symbolism of the human spine for uniting Heaven and Earth along with time and space.

The use and representation of the spine in the design construction and reason of sacred sites bespeaks of the elegance of purpose; to connect and commune with the Divine with the assistance of temple-structures designed for just such a consciousness-raising purpose. The Eastern traditions present this in a more straightforward fashion in attaining such a goal; through meditation and raising the Kundalini (coiled serpent), the spiritual cosmic energy, toward an awakening and spiritual transformation into higher consciousness. This occurs by raising this energy through the physical avenue from the base of the spine through the spinal canal to the brain. This concept and purpose of meditations is not the venue of the Eastern traditions alone; they were only the most straightforward in describing it. This purpose and the act of meditation is also in Western traditions, called by many appellations: contemplative prayer, Lectio Divina, and studying under the fig tree, to cite some examples. (See Cistercian monks, St. Bernard, St. Malachi, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, mystic Judaism, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Keating, Aldous Huxley.) Meditation is being used today by businesses and corporations to assist their employees, only the practice has had stripped away any metaphysical connotations and is labeled “mindfulness,” In any case its original purpose was to commune with the Divine and bring Heaven and Earth together within oneself.

What is written above has outlined the designs in constructing sacred sites to focus and assist people in connecting to the divine in consciousness, and it should be implicit such sites’ designers and builders understood the totality of the journey, not just in spiritual consciousness, but also in physicality and in time and space. Many such ancient sites are known to be heavenly timepiece engines measuring seasons, solstices, equinoxes, moon phases, and more to great accuracy. Further, ancient time was measured by more than just seasons. Ancient Egypt is credited with creating the 24-hour day and the world’s oldest hourly water clock was discovered in Egypt. These ancient architects and scientists had a clear grasp of time at many levels and linked Heaven and Earth through these sacred sites not only in consciousness but, in this manner, through physical space and time. What the following chapters will show is that ancient civilizations had an even more incredible grasp of time than previously thought. A grasp they incorporated into a much greater sense of cosmic unity.

Prior to continuing further in this journey, allow me to briefly provide some examples of this ancient unit of measurement (27½ inches/70 cm) from ancient cultures that will be detailed later on:

Egyptian unit: Nebiu (NB) – 27.5 inches (70 cm)… Possibly linked to aakhu meh unit and Great Pyramid; note the aakhu meh (transliterated as Spirit/Light cubit) is recorded in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, but this research has yet to reveal any further information on it, other than its name.

Paquime (Mogollon: Ancestral Puebloans) culture (Mexico-Arizona-New Mexico) – 27.5 inches (70 cm) = 1 nebiu

Mayan Cubit: Zapal – 55 inches (142 cm)… Kukulkan Pyramid = 2 nebiu

-Stonehenge: megalithic rod: (100 megalithic inches, 2.5 MY = 81.6 inches {207.3 cm}) = 3 nebiu 82.5 inches (210 cm)

Author research at Aztec Ruins National Monument great kiva. Great kivas at Chaco Canyon and Salmon Ruins kiva and rooms in New Mexico provide significant results using 55 inches (140 cm) = 2 nebiu or a zapal

To return to Sir Petrie’s method of examination of communication and sharing between civilizations: In On Metrology and Geometry in Ancient Remains, Petrie contends that measurement systems are an important proxy for divining the capacities of the ancient mind. The more complex the measurement system, he argued, the more complex the mind behind it. Additionally, Petrie established that measurement systems could be used as a method to evaluate connections between ancient cultures in a manner similar to the study of languages.vi

Cultures sharing similar measurement systems likely had some form of contact. Should such a measurement be located in architectural remains, and appear in halves or doubles, then the probability that this measure reflects a real historical unit of measure increases.vii

Sir Petrie in his later writings leaves no doubt of how important and substantial a unit of measurement shared by different cultures is in providing important evidence of an advanced mental capacity and either shared ancestors or strong trading links between such cultures.

Among the various tests of the mental capacity of man one of the most important, ranking in modern life on an equality of with language is the appreciation of quantity, or notions of measurement and geometry. …Thus the possession of the same unit of measurement by different people implies either that it belonged to their common ancestors or else that a very powerful commercial intercourse has existed between them.viii

What follows is a detailed examination of this evidence of a shared unit of measurement perhaps not only more important than language and more complex minds in that it also points toward a common effort to unite Heaven and Earth and time and space, with a unitive spiritual philosophy aimed toward higher consciousness among cultures strewn far and wide and the premise that ancient civilizations on at least three different continents had communication with each other farther back in time than is presently considered possible—all of this “hidden” in plain sight.

Scholars Iain Morley and Colin Renfrew understood and expounded on the universal seeking to unite and interact with the physical and the spiritual, the material and immaterial.

From the stones of Stonehenge to the alignments and calendars of Mesoamerica, measurement stands at the dawn of cosmology. The term “cosmology” is used here not just in the sense of explanation of the celestial, but in the sense of conception of the universe—the set of beliefs about the world, material and immaterial, and the rules through which interaction can occur.ix

I consider this measure, called by some Egyptologists nb or nebiu, is also identified in ancient Egyptian texts as the “aakhu meh,” which translates as spirit or light measure and that it was communicated to multiple cultures. For the purposes here, I will call it the spirit/light cubit.

I hope this study does for you what it did for me in my searching, delving out into the physical world of sacred sites and in to the spiritual world of higher consciousness, bringing a peace and hope and flow into my life. It is like being cured of color blindness and beginning to see the vibrant hues of the universe.

Books by Donald B. Carroll

Sacred Geometry and Spiritual Symbolism The Blueprint for Creation

The Spirit of Light Cubit The Measure of Humanity and Spirit


i Flinders Petrie. Measures and Weights. London: Methuen & Company Ltd. 1934, p.1.

ii The Archeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies. Cambridge University Press. 2010. Edited by Iain Morley and Colin Renfrew. p.1.

iii Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. de Architectura, Book III, Ch.1.

iv Frank Waters. Book of the Hopi. Penguin Books (June 30, 1977) p.9-10.

v Frank Waters. Book of the Hopi. Penguin Books (June 30, 1977) p.4.

vi Flinders Petrie. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume VIII. London 1879: p.107.

vii Flinders Petrie. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume VIII. London 1879: p.107.

viii Flinders Petrie. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume VIII. London 1879.

ix Measure: Towards the construction of our world. The Archeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies. Cambridge University Press 2010. Edited by Iain Morley and Colin Renfrew. p.3.

Donald B. Carroll spent his career working in Fire & Rescue, as a firefighter/paramedic, company officer, district chief, and an academy instructor. During those 30+ years, he raised a family and pursued the meaning of life through extended study into scientific, spiritual, and philosophical materials. He has been a regular speaker and writer of metaphysical topics, ancient culture symbolism, and a tour leader to many of the ancient sites he has written about. Much of his research includes spiritual symbolism and how it is shared across cultures and incorporated in sacred sites for the same perennial purpose.

7 thoughts on “The Spirit of Light Cubit: The Measure of Humanity and Spirit”

  1. Betsy York says:

    Who ever knew that a
    MEASUREMENT reflected upon by Edgar Cayce would open the door to discovery of a direct connection to our own creation. Donald B. CARROLL’S ability to pull the information together and identify three major civilizations that shared the common denominator is truly amazing. This book is a terrific read. THANK YOU DONALD CARROLL FOR YOUR RESEARCH AND FABULOUS WRITTEN WORK.

    1. DONALD B. CARROLL says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Thank you for your kind words, they are appreciated. I am glad you enjoyed the book.
      warm regards, don

  2. Carl Johan Calleman says:

    It is a very interesting and I would say very valid suggestion that the cubit unit originates in the length of the human spine. After all the spine, at least in the Mayan tradition and I would assume several others as well is the Tree of Life on the human level and as such it is entangled with the other levels of the Tree of Life, planetary, heliospheric, galactic and cosmic. The spine thus provides the line for the basic dualities of reality on all of these levels (left-right, east-west) and is not just symbolic or metaphorical and has a real power. However, it seems to me that there is a contradiction between this and your suggestion that it was spread through communication between different cultures. If the power of the spine is real and provides a real connection with the cosmic center, it seems to me at least that it is much more reasonable to assume that ancient peoples everywhere in their particular state of consciousness would download the same knowledge and independently come to use the spine as a standard for measurements of buildings etc. Hence even if it may occasionally happen that this unit would spread through direct contact the only reason this would be the case is that there is a reality to the spine being the axis of the human tree of life. Unless, you have some concrete evidence it seems most likely that people in the Old and New World independently came to use the cubit unit.

  3. Hayden says:

    one degree of precession movement is 71 or 70.6 years, does this also correspond with symmetry of the human body?, as above so below.
    Or have they taken astronomical units and used this to imprint over human body, universe being the blueprint template.

  4. Donald Carroll says:

    Hello Carl, Thank you for your interest. Yes, in the Maya traditions, and the Hopi, and of course in the Eastern traditions to note a few. Even in ancient Egypt where the Plateau of Rostau of the Great Pyramid is dedicated to Osiris. Osiris’s symbol is the Djed; transliterating as Osiris’s spine. The Egyptian even had a Pre-Dynastic ceremony call; “Raising the Djed”. Your other suggestion is a possibility along the lines of Teilhard de Chardin’s “Noosphere”. As to the actually measurement unit of 27.5” found being used in multiple cultures and continents at their sacred sites I used the evidentiary guidelines and standards of archeologists that state a common unit or system found in different cultures is evidence of common ancestry and/or trade and communication. Along the lines of the archeological “Solutrean Hypothesis” that presents the evidence of similar links between the European Solutrean culture and North America.

  5. Donald Carroll says:

    Hello Hayden, thank you for your interest. I don’t have an answer for your question and my book did not explore that area of measurement and symbolism. I have noted elsewhere that the symbolism of the number 70 is significant. In Gematria and Hebrew (and Phoenician and Arabic) the number 70 is represented in the Hebrew alphabet as “Ayin” and symbolizes the spiritual eye. In the Kabbalist tradition “Ayin” can be an eddy/vortex and represent the “Divine Nothingness”. I have noted that the height of the Great Pyramid (in 27.5’ units) is 210 units. Sir Isaac Newton believed that whatever the unit of measure used in its height should be divisible by 7; so with this your get 7×30 or 70×3. (Full disclosure royal cubits provide a result of 280 units also divisible by 7 [7×40 or 70×4]). The interesting curiosity for me is not only the symbolism of the number 70 but also of the number 3, which would be Gimal and symbolizes a staff. I remember Moses going into the desert and learning how to turn his staff into a serpent which the Egyptian priests could do also. So I see staff/serpent/spine symbolism in this and in the G.P. raising the staff/serpent/spine (Djed) up to the Ayin-spiritual eye (Uraeus). Just few other examples are Moses taking “70” elders up the sacred mountain or “70” priests into the tabernacle or Jesus sending out 70 disciples. There is also evidence in the G.P. of geodesy but to your specific questions. I don’t know. I do agree with the Hermetic concept of “as above; so below” and its representing oneness, as to the numerology of it I am not sure; I lean towards the geometry of triangles in this matter. Regards, don

  6. Rihai Whaikawa says:

    I have enjoyed my own findings into metrology also! And have rediscovered
    The original unit measure,? and it’s function = unity ,360 pi Phi metres,/feet music weights and volume
    All Come from this unit,,

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