Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Spiral

Symbols are a fascinating topic. Representing a way to communicate ideas and beliefs about our place in the cosmos, they may be a personal talisman or public statement. Although they have been appropriated, labelled, relabelled and venerated, feared, or reviled according to political and religious expediency over history, their meaning remains personal to the wearer. The spiral is one of the most fundamental and universal of symbols, likely in large part because of its ubiquity in the natural world. It is an ancient goddess symbol, representing the womb, fertility, perpetual cyclical change, and the creative energy of the universe. There are conflicting reports of the meaning of clockwise vs. counterclockwise spirals, however, they generally represent dualities such as summer and winter. Personally, the meaning I attach to the spiral is loosely associated with the spiritual tradition of the labyrinth. It reminds me of the cyclical nature of my body, and of the universe - the seasons, the ceaseless turning of the planet. Traced outward, it represents the growth and learning that occurs with each cycle - coming back to the same place again and again, yet seeing it anew. Traced inward, it reminds me of the process of meditation - moving ever closer to that point of perfect stillness at the Centre from which all things originate.

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