“The word “circle” derives from the Greek, kirkos “a circle,” from the base ker- which means to turn or bend.
The circle has been known since before the beginning of recorded history. Natural circles would have been observed, such as the Moon, Sun, and a short plant stalk blowing in the wind on sand, which forms a circle shape in the sand. The circle is the basis for the wheel, which, with related inventions such as gears, makes much of modern civilization possible. In mathematics, the study of the circle has helped inspire the development of geometry, astronomy, and calculus.
Early science, particularly geometry and astrology and astronomy, was connected to the divine for most medieval scholars, and many believed that there was something intrinsically “divine” or “perfect” that could be found in circles.”
The Divine. Perfection. Don’t we all feel that when we truly turn our attention to the circle? There is something about its completeness which sings to our souls. No matter what other symbols we may consider sacred (mine happens to be the triquetra), there is no denying the power of the circle.
From our earliest memories, circles play a huge role in our lives. Many of us had circle-hung mobiles or even dream catchers over our cribs. The first thing we truly recognize as infants are the eyes of those we love. The symbol is engrained in us representing comfort, safety and love.
As we get older, we play with balls, spin freely in circles, and understand the sun and planets. Later we understand geometry, we find ourselves sitting naturally with friends in circles, we understand the binding ties of the wedding or promise ring… and if we are lucky enough to find a coven home, we perform rituals in the same circle.
We understand the pattern – the way the symbol pulls at the core of us, pulling us into its orbit as part of the whole of existence. Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust. We often think about the phrase, but sometimes forget what it’s really saying. Circles are sacred, and with that one shape we encompass all that is.
The Mandala is a perfect example of the power and purity in the circle. They are brilliant tools for meditation and extremely beautiful in their execution. Mandalas are also the inspiration for Mandala Custom Homes, a company who builds their entire business on the circle. Having a living space (or meditation/ learning space) based on the circle is a concept which has more & more followers every year, and will likely only continue to grow.
For this ‘straight line’ girl who loves her order & organization, it was a surprising moment when I finally understood what the circle truly is. If nothing else, it gives me the chance to set aside my angles, corners & ‘everything in line’ life & just relax into the comfort of this sacred symbol.
Final Note: Special Thank You to Mandala Custom Homes for use of their inspiring images. Please visit their website.