Circles and Spirals

Today I am reflecting on pathworking, passages and practical life issues. I am interested in the flow of the inner world and the outer world. Pathworking is an excellent word describing both the “being led” aspect to life, and the necessity for  hard, focused forward movement generated from within. Despite my feminine spirituality when its time to get my takkies on the tar and take a few forward steps my psyche paints a very masculine picture. The path suddenly takes on a linear appearance, loses visual magick for me and becomes beset with overgrowth.

And yet a few years ago while struggling with the Bigger Picture that I wasn’t able to perceive, I was inspired by the mental image of myself, my life, as a spiral from the centre. I imagined being born into the intimacy and safety of the inside centre. I realised that the spiral and I were perfectly fitted for each other. While little and vulnerable it would nestle me in its inner heart, but as I grew and became more mobile and active I could begin to walk outwards with arms touching the sides and growing infinitely larger within its beautiful spaciousness.

It was a turning point in feeling safe again in the universe despite deep loss and trauma.

And then there is the cautionary tale told from many a pulpit: The Israelites wandered in the desert for years and years, going round in circles. The lesson, we are told, is to deal with your issues on faithlessness and disbelief or circle the same challenges endlessly until you change. A scary prospect indeed- and one which flickers in my mind whenever I face life challenges that seem in any way similar to any I have faced before. I would hate to think I create stuckness because I am too stubborn to see. How do I block my own seeing…

“Upon this first, and in one sense this sole, rule of reason, that in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not be satisfied with what you already incline to think, there follows one corollary which itself deserves to be inscribed upon every wall of the city of philosophy: Do not block the way of inquiry. ”
—Charles Saunders Peirce, “First Rule of Logic

I have one of those minds that loves to find patterns, to see patterns, to enjoy and understand their symmetry and form. Life is a difficult, subtle pattern to see!!! A few months ago I pondered the fact that I wasn’t all that familiar with Nature’s patterns and forms. I started looking at beautiful nature pics and collecting ferns and spiral plant pictures. I have always loved ferns.

Now as I think about my own pathworking and helping others along theirs, I am considering circles and spirals, a welcome relief from trying to peer down a linear path which disappears over the horizon.

I found this beautiful site by Avia Venifica:

Here is a little of what she has to say about circles:

“Some circle symbol meaning keywords to contemplate: Inclusion, Wholeness, Focus, Unity, Nurturing, Cycles, Initiation, Everything, Perfection, Womb, Centering, Revolution, Infinity, Mobility, Completion…

The circle symbol meaning is universal, sacred and divine. It represents the infinite nature of energy, and the inclusivity of the universe. Jung  viewed the circle as an geometric archetype of the psyche. When combined with a square (archetypal of the body) it explains the relationship or balance between psyche and body.”

And here she talks about some of the spiral symbolism; I have only included the bits that I felt were relevant right now:

Spiral Symbols:

A few spiral meaning keywords to start our spin around spiral symbolism will include attributes such as: Balance, Progress, Direction, Initiation, Centering, Expanding, Awareness, Connection, Journeying, Development.

In terms of spirituality, the spiral symbol can represent the path leading from outer consciousness (materialism, external awareness, ego, outward perception) to the inner soul (enlightenment, unseen essence, nirvana, cosmic awareness). Movements between the inner (intuitive, intangible) world and the outer (matter, manifested) world are mapped by the spiraling of archetypal rings; marking the evolution of humankind on both an individual and collective scale.

Moreover, in terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. This is the way of all things, as recognized by most mystics. ”


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