Friday, July 2, 2010

Spirals - Portals To The Spirit World

Spirals are very interesting. The way they start from a point and proliferate to eternity... they have a beginning, but no end. In some beliefs spirals are believed to be portals to the spirit world. Our eye travels either from the outside in, or the inside out drawing a kind of focus.

{Petroglyph - Chuckwalla Springs, Panamint Mountains, Death Valley}


Wikipedia describes a spiral as a curve which emantes from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point. They occur frequently in Nature, from snail shells to the shape of approaching hurricanes, flower centers, galaxies and more.

{Milky Way Galaxy}

The center of the spiral seems peaceful, like the eye of the storm. As the arms swirl out, it picks up more speed and moves very fast.

{Hurricane Isabel}

{Drop of Water - James whose photography can be found HERE.}

In this picture, a drop of water creates the center and it's force acts upon the water to create a large spiral plus several smaller spirals.

{The Wheel - Osho Zen Tarot Deck}

{Text from Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1 Chapter 7}

The symbol in this card is an enormous wheel representing time, fate, karma. Galaxies spin around this constantly moving circle, and the twelve signs of the zodiac appear on its circumference. Just inside the circumference are the eight trigrams of the I Ching, and even closer to the center are the four directions, each illuminated by the energy of lightning. The spinning triangle is at this moment pointed upward, toward the divine, and the Chinese symbol of yin and yang, male and female, creative and receptive, lies at the center.

It has often been said that the only unchanging thing in the world is change itself. Life is continuously changing, evolving, dying and being reborn. All opposites play a part in this vast circular pattern. If you cling to the edge of the wheel you can get dizzy! Move toward the center of the cyclone and relax, knowing that this too will pass.

Ever hear the words, "spiraling out of control" or maybe the "whirling dervishes", Turkish Sufi dancers who spin around and around in an attempt to get ever closer to God. The Sema, or dance, represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfect". Turning towards the truth, the follower grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives at the "Perfect". He then returns from this spiritual journey as a man who has reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation.

Spirals are an expression of where we begin, our path, and where we will end up, only there really is no ending because at every ending, there is a new beginning. Some prehistoric spiral symbols reflect this by showing one spiral that spirals into another or several others. The spiral shape figures prominently into Celtic artifacts.

I like to think of myself beginning my spiral at the center. As I learn and grow, I move outward along the path, having experiences, making decisions, learning from mistakes, carrying on towards the end. My spiral can be really big and all one or I can come to the end of a particular journey or path and begin on the next one. I like that it feels "contained" not fractured or crazy and just random, but a smooth circular path. Each ring has about the same size in between them as the ring grows. Orderly, smooth, focused, measured, meditative, on and on.....and on......

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Momma Used To Say....

My momma used to say, "Karen, things in this world go full circle. If you live long enough, you will see things from their beginning to their end." Then she would tell me about a child she knew that was mean and vicious to their parents who grew up wild, married the "wrong guy", had children of their own and, BOOM, their child was "just like them at that age." Those people had come full circle. They finally get to experience just what it was like to be the parents of themselves.

Full circle doesn't always mean a bad outcome. There are those kids whose parents didn't spend a lick of time raising them. Parents who were so self focused their children learned to cook when they were 5 so they didn't starve. Kids who were organized, smart and did their homework and made a lot of really good choices on their way. Kids who grew up and worked their way through college and were so driven to "become" something they would sell blood to have the money just to make it where they wanted to be. And then one day, all that hard work pays off and they ARE somebody. They are focused parents to their kids and are actually able to give back to their communities.

You may think from these two examples that "Full Circle" takes a lifetime but it doesn't. Sometime it only takes a matter of minutes from the time some one gossips about another's husband or wife having an affair with someone else until they find out themselves that their own spouse is unfaithful. Or maybe someone has opened their door into your car really hard and left a dent only to find out as they come out of the store that someone has rear ended them and left the scene. (No, not the same person... what are you thinking??)

I like to think of things in this big circular pattern of life. Of being born, growing up, marrying, having kids and the cycle repeats. It makes me feel like I'm a part of something larger than myself. Each year we go though seasons, moon cycles, tidal patterns, birth, growth, harvest and dormancy. Around and around. And I'd like to think that as I am on this "ride" that I am constantly thinking of new ideas, growing them up, enjoying them and as they come to rest, finding something new to take their place.

And, as my momma would say, "there is usually time along the way to change the outcome of these circles if we put our minds to it.........."