Borghese and Bernini - The Heart of the Matter
of the main parks in the centre of Rome is known as Villa Borghese. It
is a beautiful park and well worth a good stroll around or better
still, hire an electric bike.
Borghese can be approached on George Washington avenue (viale) which
leads into the park from Santa Maria del Popolo. This is one of the
main access points to what is a beautiful park not too dissimilar in
style to those found in the United Kingdom. Within a very short walking
distance the road splits and leads to a statue of Victor Hugo before
leading to a statue of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who also has the
following road named after him.
off this road an usual sculpture features a tug of war between what
appears to be the goat god Pan (of Arcadian mythology) and a woman with
a half human half goat child at the centre of the contest. I understand
that the name of this piece is Fonte Gaia. Roughly translated this
means fountain of mother nature. Follow the white rabbit (see the lower part of the image)?
This route leads directly to the Museo and Galleria Borghese, a large house formerly called Villa Borghese Pinciana.
collection of art works there began in the late 16th century through
the Italian Cardinal Scipione Borghese who was patron of the painter of
Caravaggio and the artist Bernini. Both of these were masters at their
work and both were somewhat controversial at times. The Borghese coat of
arms features an eagle and a dragon. Much of the art work including the
surrounding area to the gallery features many dragons and eagles and is quite beautiful.
statues can be found around the park including that of Lord Byron (1788
to 1824) who was famous, or perhaps infamous, for his written works and
most well known work is Don Juan. Byron was a non-conformist and a
revolutionary. He assisted in the Greek War of Independence fighting for
the Ottoman Empire. Intringuingly, it is believed that he was a freemason
and joined a southern Italian masonic lodge. He was also a member of
the Carbonari, a secretive separatist movement in southern Italy, as
discussed in my book.
More on Byron can be found here.
then this is purely a coincidence but George Washington, first
president and founding father of the USA was a freemason, Von Goethe
was the author of the story, the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
described in my book and a work of some significance in the story and
to an order of freemasonry, and Byron was a freemason with involvement
in Greek and southern Italian separatist movements and secret societies
(e.g. the Carbonari).
So what about Victor Hugo? Hugo (1802 to
1885) was a poet and novelist with one of his most famous works being
Les Miserables. But he was also an alleged member of the so called
Priory of Sion. Whether the Priory of Sion existed at all is debatable
as we discussed in my book but what is particularly interesting is the
attention Hugo received from the Catholic church. Hugo was publicly
attacked some several hundred times by the church for his work on Les
Miserables and other controversial subjects he was keen to promote.
Hugo did not help with Catholic church relationship building by
suggesting that he was going to form his own version of Christianity
(as it was originally intended) rather than what we have today.
were all revolutionary figures with relationships to freemasonry or
other esoteric mystery bodies over the centuries so why were they all
located in close proximity in this park in Rome? Why did they seem to
point towards the Museo and Galleria Borghese? What was inside there
that was of importance?
Before we enter the Museo and Galleria
Borghese it is important to discuss the famous artist Bernini. Gian
Lorenzo Bernini lived between 1598 and 1680 and during this time his
works and influence can be found across Rome including within the
Vatican. Bernini featured heavily in Dan Brown's book Angels &
Demons, a tale about the Illuminati. These being an organisation of
enlightened individuals and scientists with a grudge against the
Catholic church for their persecution across the millennia including
that of Galileo. Bernini was an alleged grand master of the Illuminati
and although he worked for the vatican (including Cardinal
Scipione Borghese) on numerous projects his work was sometimes
controversial and contained esoteric symbology. Whether the Illuminati
is or was real or not doesn't really matter here. It is his work that
is intriguing. Popular examples of Bernini's work include David, Apollo
and Daphne, and of course the centre piece in St Peter's in the
Vatican, the four pillared Baldacchino. But his works also include the
ecstasy of St Teresa contained within the church, Santa Maria della
Vittoria. This was controversial because St Teresa has been described
as being in an orgasmic state whilst in an intimate pose with an angel.
This featured in Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons as well as the
There is however another piece at Chigi Chapel
(literally only just outside of the Borghese park) and located just a
few hundred yards from George Washington avenue. The chapel is a part
of the Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo. The chapel
featured in Dan Brown's Angels & Demons book. Both Bernini and
Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino - the renaissance artist and
architect whose work includes the School of Athens in the Raphael rooms
of the Vatican and as described in my book) had a hand in the design
and build of the complex mentioned. I did however notice an
unusual relief which was quite probably Bernini's work in Chigi Chapel.
the relief there is an 'all seeing eye' within a pyramid (the eye of
providence) and a book with an arrow on the page, pointing to something
off the page, as though written by a fountain pen, which is also in the
relief. There is what appears to be a heart on the page of the open
book with the arrow below it. What is the arrow pointing to? Is it a
direction? Somewhere to go or to follow? Oddly the heart seems to have
two holes in it which would clearly make it defective. What did the
holes signify? That the heart was broken or faulty or that the love
symbolised by the heart was faulty in some sense? What might plug the
gaps or what might explain why the heart, the love, is faulty in the
Coming back to the Roman park of Villa Borghese, I
wondered if there was a connection to this unusual relief. This was
clearly a park of significance or contained things of significance to
those with an interest in the esoteric or Gnosis (as described in my
book) given the homage paid to Washington, Hugo, Goethe, Byron and
I realised the connection when I looked at the map of
the park. It was a heart. A heart not unlike that on the book in the
relief at Chigi Chapel. The heart in the relief was a map and the two
holes making it defective must correlate to features in the park.
Superimpose the two and the holes, the defects, correlate with Villa
Medici and the Museo and Galleria Borghese.
ancient times the site of Villa Medici was a part of the fabled gardens
of Lucullus. It was ultimately to become the property of Cardinal
Ferdinando de'Medici, the son of Cosimo I de'Medici who was mentioned
in my book. Cosimo was inspired by Good King Rene d'Anjou to collect
manuscripts from around the world pertaining to knowledge that was both
exoteric and esoteric but especially the latter. Good King Rene was
Duke of Calabria and he is believed to have democratised thought,
taking it away from being the sole preserve of the church. He was also
a descendent of King Charles I of Naples (Charles d'Anjou) who the
Colosimo knight(s) served and likely aided in the discovery of Mary
Magdalene's remains at St Maximin in the south of France. Is it likely
that the Cardinal de'Medici inherited the secrets from his father, Cosimo,
and stored them at Villa Medici? I think it is possible.
Upon entry to the Museo and
Galleria Borghese sub‐floor ticket office there is a most unusual
feature. It is a feature which most will not notice and quite probably
walk over. It is an 'eye' of several metres across drawn into the
floor. It is however, upon close inspection, a lift down to the cellars
or some further, deeper, basement level. It is incredibly subtle and is
quite probably a spectacular descent and all round spectacle when in
action. And yet no one (not even the staff) seemed to notice it nor
know anything about it. None of the other tourists seemed to spot it
either. I wished I had photographed it. I did however inspect it and
through a tiny gap was able to discern a large screw thread upon which
this disk shaped lift was perched upon. What rests in this basement I
do not know but it did intrigue me. Why have such a spectacular descent
mechanism if there wasn't anything of importance or anything of a wow factor below?
At this point however I had not quite made the connection to Bernini's
map of the heart so I underestimated the significance.
the gallery main hall one of the first pieces is a Bernini sculpture of
Hades' abduction of Persephone. As described in my book, this was an
abduction that would lead to the underworld where they would rule
together. An underworld that is Calabria, southern Italy for the
reasons I explained. An underworld protected by wolves, werewolves, or
supernatural dogs of some kind. Just like the one in the sculpture.
in the gallery there are several other pieces by Bernini including
David (as in David and Goliath, and father of King Solomon - revered
amongst freemasons), two children playing with a goat, Apollo and
Daphne, and Pauline Bonaparte (as in Napoleon). There are many other
interesting esoteric and pagan god sculptures, as well as frescoes
which include multiple depictions of the Arcadian deity Pan.
elsewhere in the building, and what was the main dining hall for the
cardinal of the time, it contains a ceiling fresco that our tour guide
described as the council of the Pagan gods. This features all of the
usual suspects including Apollo, Hades and Persephone.
fresco features what our tour guide described as the god of time and
next to him was a woman with the 'light of truth'. Our guide explained
that this was a message to say that the truth will be revealed in time
and that time cannot hold the truth back.
are many paintings and at least one statue of St John the Baptist
within the gallery which made me wonder about the alternative messiah
theory suggested by Picknett and Prince in their intriguing book The
Templar Revelation. Perhaps most importantly is a work by the great
artist Caravaggio, called Madonna, Child and Serpent. It was originally
commissioned by the Vatican but they refused it when they saw it. Their
argument was that the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, was showing too much
upper body flesh. Not only that but her face was said to have been
based upon a well-known Roman prostitute of the time. Clearly
Caravaggio had issues but these did not stop with Mary or the haggard
portrayal of St Anne (grandmother of Christ) also in the painting. They
extended to the young Jesus who unlike Mary and St Anne was displayed
without a halo above his head. Jesus is crushing the head of a writhing
snake in the painting and which may symbolise something more than a
triumph over evil or the original sin. Supressing something perhaps? For more context on what the
snake may have symbolised please refer to my book. After refusal by the
Vatican, Cardinal Scipione Borghese bought it.
is much more to add and say here about the Museo and Galleria Borghese
but I'll perhaps leave this for another time. What I find more
intriguing is that the content couldn't be further at odds with
Christianity. And whilst there is much art contained within the gallery
that even the most determined conspiracy theorist would be struggling
to point out for attention, it is still overwhelmingly pagan and
esoteric in nature. Why a cardinal would choose to dine with his guests
under a ceiling of pagan deities is anyone's guess but perhaps he liked
to provoke or to remind his guests of the old enemy? Except his enemy
filled the villa from top to toe and the examples of Christian art were
not exactly pure. The simple answer may be that Borghese, Bernini,
Caravaggio, and some others were in the same club. They shared the same
secret knowledge and beliefs.
So here are my reflections and caveats. I do
not know for sure if the park had always been heart shaped other than
some anecdotal evidence I have found or whether this was more recent
enterprising marketing. If it transpires to be a recent thing then the
correlations I've made between the relief and the map of the park are
probably purely coincidence. Nonetheless, this is still an intriguing
coincidence don't you think? The relief is quite probably Bernini. It
features an all seeing eye. It is located on the edge of the park. It
has arrow pointing off the page as though to follow it. It has a faulty
heart. And the holes seem to correlate with Villa Medici (owned by the
son of esoteric manuscript collector Cosimo Medici) and the borderline
occult Galleria and Museo Borghese. Both buildings are architecturally
similar by the way.