The Persians were right, in their poetry, to compare women's hair to snakes.
Temples are replicas of the cosmic mountain and hence constitute the pre-eminent link between earth and heaven.
The "axis mundi", seen in the sky in the form of the Milky Way, appears in the ceremonial house in the form of a sacred pole.
The erection of a fire altar - which alone validates taking possesion of a new territory - is equivalent to a cosmogony.
The ritual by which man constructs a sacred space is efficacious in the measure in which it reproduces the work of the gods.
Every sacred space implies a hierophany, an irruption of the sacred that results in detaching a territory from the surrounding cosmic milieu and making it qualitatively different.
The threshold has its guardians - gods and spirits who forbid entrance both to human enemies and to demons and the powers of pestilence.
The outstanding reality is the sacred; for only the sacred is in an absolute fashion, acts effectively, creates things and makes them endure.
As "copy of the cosmos", the Byzantine church incarnates and at the same time sanctifies the world.
When the sacred manifests itself in any hierophany, there is not only a break in the homogeneity of space; there is also revelation of an absolute reality, oposed to the nonreality of the vast surrounding expanse.
It is by virtue of the temple that the world is resanctified in every part.
If the world is to be lived in, it must be founded - and no world can come to birth in the chaos of the homogenity and relativity of the profane space.
The house is not an object, "a machine to live in"; it is the universe that man constructs for himself by imitating the paradigmatic creation of the gods, the cosmogony.
For religious man every world is a sacred world.
Something of the religious conception of the world still persists in the behavior of profane man, although he is not always conscious of his immemorial heritage.
The sacred mountain is an "axis mundi" connecting earth with heaven.
The dragon is the paradigmatic figure of the marine monster, of the primordial snake, symbol of the cosmic waters, of darkness, night, and death - in short, of the amorphous and virtual, of everything that has not yet aquired a "form". The dragon must be conquered and cut to pieces by the gods so that the cosmos my come to birth.
The creation of the world becomes an archetype of every creative human gesture, whatever its plane of reference may be.
A universe comes to birth from its center; it spreads out from a central point that is, as it were, its navel.
A rock reveals itself to be sacred because its very existence is a hierophany: incompressible, invulnerable, it is that which man is not.
The religious man sought to live as near as possible to the "Center of the World".
Her beauty is not conventional, it does not meet the classic dictates. Her face is rebelliously expresive. She enchants in the magical sense of the world.
The mountain occurs among the images that express the connection between heaven and earth.
The work of the gods, the universe, is repeated and imitated by men on their own scale.
The sacred reveals absolute reality and at the same time makes orientation possible; hence it founds the world in the sense that it fixes the limits and establishes the order of the world.