Sunday, July 10, 2011

Circles Upon Circles Within Circles

“Everything the power of the world does, is done in a circle. The sky is round, the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls... the sun comes forth and goes down in a circle. The moon does the same… even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were before. The life of a man is a circle… and it is in everything where power moves.
                                                              ~(from Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neibardt, Univ. of Nebraska Press)

Folk Singer Harry Chapin had it right: all our life is a circle. We gather and circle 'round the campfire or the ritual place. Our timepieces count the hours in a circle. We often  make the loop going somewhere and back, and circle the block looking for a parking space. We live in a Circle of Life, and when we die, the circle is broken.  Hugs are mostly circular and enveloping; kisses are delivered with lips puckered up into an 'O' shape. We pledge our troth with a circle of gold on our ring fingers and hang necklaces around our necks which encircle them ( Bracelets and anklets, too!) Our crowns are circles, our clothing circle our waists and legs. Our eyeballs are round: technically, so are are our internal organs of procreation. Not all circles are round: some are ovals. The earth travels in an elliptical circle.

Alpha and Omega... the beginning and the end... Our lives are cyclical in that we are born as helpless infants, and if fortunate enough to survive to a ripe old age, we may then return to that infantile state before we die.
Circles contain things: they are vesicles. They hold water and beverages ( and most importantly to me-coffee), many of our dinner plates are designed in circles, we have bowls for soup. Many Celtic and Buddhist designs have circles incorporated into them. When we depict our holy persons, it is with a nimbus of light around their head; angels have halos, too. We contain our energies during ritual in a sacred circle, and we move about and dance them. We spiral out and spiral down and spiral inward. The energy vortex is a spinning circle of energy, as are chakras. Energy of nearly every type roils in a circle. The Choku Rei, the first sacred symbol of Reiki, integrates a circle or spiral into it. The Peace Symbol is contained in a circle, as is the Yin/Yang. The most popular shape for decorative patches is circular: heraldry, religious emblems and Scout badges are circular. Most notebook binders are held together by rings.

We are surrounded-encircled- by circles. It is no wonder that the circle is the most popular of symbols.

.We move and have our being in circles of the seasons. I have a heightened awareness of this as we return to seasons we seem to have just left, particularly when it is cold. Our hope, as we sit shivering in the darkness at Winter Solstice, is that the warmth and light will come. The ewe's belly grows round with it's pregnancy just as Imbolc returns. The Vernal Equinox brings the quickening light. Beltaine brings Maypoles; Lughnassadh  round loaves of bread. The God is born, lives and dies in a cycle to ensure the fertility of the Earth. The moon moves through phases of waxing, fullness, waning and darkness. We are born and die to be born yet again. We are formed from the dust of the stars and return through Eternity.

Circles upon circles, within circles, through circles: we are the center of our own personal Universe. Feel Life around you. May You Blessed Be.


  1. Wonderful post :) And I've never quite looked at it this way but its so true.

  2. Wow, powerful post! The picture you show with the spiral and the line through it is one I saw in a book I read recently about connecting with the Fae. Interesting that you have something similar here :) This is definitely a post to ponder upon. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautifully presented! You've mirrored my own thoughts much more precisely than I could have...I often tell my kids "there are worlds within worlds" and within each the circular patterns prevail.

  4. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful reflection. When I first skimmed your post last night, I'd just finished a meditation that had led me to reflect on cycles of thought and action and I thought 'Yay! Synchronicity!' And, in a way, it was another circle leading me back to my reflections, creating a new depth of understanding that circles and spirals are all around us. Bells were ringing. :)

    Today, when thinking about my post on giving, I wanted to think of a visual metaphor for "give," something other than hands, and a vessel came to mind. Now, reading your post tonight, I make the connection between my thoughts on giving and cycles; the nature of a vessel that both gives and receives.

    Blessed Be,

  5. Thank you, everyone!

    I should have labeled the photos: the spiral with the line is the Choku Rei of Reiki; the over-lapping circles with the arrow is the lid of the Chalice Well.


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