The Path of Illumination and The Altars of Science

by Catherine Chiu

According to Dan Brown’s book Angels & Demons, the Illuminati had a Path of Illumination to guide the hopeful members of the brotherhood that will lead them to their secret lair, the Church of Illumination. The Path of Illumination is designed by Galileo. The path had markers to show where the hopefuls should go next. These markers were statues that were also called The Altars of Science. They were scattered inconspicuously in Rome so that the Vatican will never suspect that they are the Illuminati’s. These markers were a subtle tribute to one of the four elements of science (believed in 1600s): earth, air, fire, and water. These statues were carved by an unknown sculptor but as it turns out it this sculptor was the great Gianlorenzo Bernini.

1st Altar of Science:

The first altar of science is a tribute to earth and it is in the Chigi Chapel. It used to be called Capella della Terra — Chapel of the Earth. This was designed by Raphel Santi. The first marker is in that chapel. And it is Bernini’s Habakkuk and the Angel. Habakkuk was the prophet who predicted the annihilation of the earth. The sculpture had both Habakkuk and the angel pointing into the distance but in opposite directions. According to the poem in Galilieo’s Diagramma (see the last line said ‘Let angels guide you on your lofty quest.’ And so the angel here points to the next marker.

2nd Altar of Science:

Following the angel’s pointing finger, a line is traced from Chigi Chapel across Rome and through St. Peter’s Square. The second marker is attribute to air. There is a marble elliptical block at the base of the monolith in St. Peter’s Square. And on that block is a relief, a two-dimensional sculpture, of an angel with a blowing gust of wind. This is called the West Ponente — the West Wind. It is also known as Respiro de Dio — Breath of God. Although Michelangelo designed St. Peter’s Basilica, Bernini designed the Square. The wind points to the third marker.

3rd Altar of Science:

This altar of science is so well-known that it could not possibly be an Illuminati marker. But Dan Brown got us thinking again. The third marker was The Ecstasy of St. Teresa. How can this be related to the third element of science, fire? St. Theresa had said so herself:

… his golden spear … filled with fire …
plunged into me several times … penetrated to my
entrails … a sweetness so extreme that one could not
possibly wish it to stop.

The angel that Bernini selected in this sculpture was also significant and is related to fire. The angel is a seraphim. And seraphim literally means fiery one. The angel’s fiery spear pointed the way.

4th Altar of Science:

Along the line from the seraphim is the fourth and last marker. And this is the Fountain of the Four Rivers. This is one of the most celebrated works of Bernini. It glorifies the four major rivers of the Old World — The Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio Plata. Somewhere pointed to the Church of Illumination. It wasn’t among these figures. It was on the inconspicuously tiny object atop the obelisk — a single bronze dove. This dove points the way to the goal — the Church of Illumination itseld. It is not literally an angel but a lone dove is the pagan symbol for the Angel of Peace.

All of these markers had accompanying obelisks. When laid out on a map, these four markers could be connected to form a cross. As Dan Brown said in his book, the cruciform on the map was the ultimate Illuminati duality. It was a religious symbol formed by elements of science. Galileo’s path of Illumination was a tribute to both science and God.

Church of Illumination

Finally, the Church of Illumination is the Castel Sant’ Angelo — Castle of the Angel.

It stood on the banks of the Tiber River diagonally adjacent to the Vatican. The building’s geometry was stark — a circular castle, within a square fortress, and the, outside its walls, surrounding the entire structure, a park in the shape of a pentagram.

High atop the castle stood the mammoth bronze angel. The angel pointed his sword downward at the exact center of the castle. And if that were not enough, leading solely and directly to the castle’s entrance stood the famous Bridge of Angels. . . a dramatic approachway adorned by twelve towering angels carved by none other than Bernini himself.

In a final breathtaking revelation, Langdon realized Bernini’s city-wide cross of obelisks marked the fortress in perfect Illuminati fashion; the cross’s central arm passed directly through the center of the castle’s bridge, dividing it into two equal halves.


We have now seen the ingenious placements of these works of art but we will never be sure if they really served its purpose for the Illuminati or if all of this was just a coincidence.