The Cosmic Spiral

Why is the spiral such a compelling shape? Why does it have a positive meaning for every culture that ascribes a meaning to it? Could it be because we, on this tiny planet whirling around one of 100 billion suns, can call a spiral galaxy home?

The spiral has found its way into the art of almost all cultures, from ancient primitive rock carvings on all continents to today's corporate logos. They show up in celtic art, native American petroglyphs, Nazca earthworks,  Arabic architecture, Japanese rock gardens, Hindu spiritual texts, Australian aboriginal paintings and African art. Surprisingly, no religious or political group has claimed exclusive rights to the spiral. It remains non-sectarian, or maybe pan-sectarian. The spiral belongs to everyone and excludes no one.

In various mythologies the spiral is a globally positive symbol. Here are some of the meanings that have been attributed to the spiral.

Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist, said that the spiral is an archetypal symbol that represents cosmic force.

In ancient Britain, the spiral seems to have been associated with the feminine as the doorway to life.

It has been associated with the cycles of time, the seasons, the cycle of birth, growth, death, and then rebirth. The cycles of time and nature are the cycles of life.

Some consider the spiral a symbol of the spiritual journey. It is also considered to represent the evolutionary process of learning and growing. It seems that life doesn't proceed in a straight line. The path of life more closely resemble a spiral. We seem to pass the same point over and over again but from a different perspective each time. To walk and then stand in the center of a spiral or labyrinth has been a psycho-spiritual exercise for centering the consciousness.

The spiral stands for coming into being.

The spiral shows up often in nature - in hurricanes and tornados, in the pattern of seeds in a sunflower, in the growing tips of ferns, in the pattern that leaves grow on a stem, in the shape of a nautilus shell, and, as a helix, the shape of the DNA molecule.

 

The spiral is the journey of life


Hurricane from space