Have you ever noticed how we keep learning the lessons of life in spiralling motion?
“The human mind always makes progress, but it is a progress in spirals.” – Madame de Stael
You can find these stunning patterns abundantly in nature, from tornadoes and hurricanes to budding tips of ferns, seeds of a sunflower, curved horn of the ram, shell of a snail, our DNA structure, earth’s magnetic field and even galaxies in space.
Believed to be the earliest symbol known to us, spirals are an integral part of our spiritual growth, our life experiences and lessons of life.
It is our connection with the mysteries of the cosmos. The spiral of life is a source of spiritual energy that allows us to evolve and transform throughout our lives.
Life is a spiral, not a cycle
“Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.” – Julia Margaret Cameron
Ancient philosophies from different cultures believed that our life is more like a spiral as every lesson we learn in life comes back to us until we learn the deeper meaning. And most likely it will be even more challenging each time. Anything that we have failed to learn from our lessons of life will lead to bitter consequences, while everything we have learned will lead to infinite possibilities.
Life always gives us second chances.
If you haven’t succeeded in something in your life until now, then it’s a reflection of your inability to accommodate the various aspects of your being. You will attract failure and lack of acceptance unless you accept yourself wholly. You will keep repeating the same mistakes and going through the same lessons in life till you learn what the spiral wants you to. But once you understand the true meaning of each lesson, you will be able to rewrite the script of your life.
What is the spiral of life?
“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” – Hermann Hesse
The Spiral of Life is a celtic symbol that depicts the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It is also believed that this profoundly mystical symbol epitomizes the male, female, and child moving ahead on the path of life. The spiral of life symbol for trinity (the tri-spiral) is prevalent in ancient Irish cultures and can be found in stone carvings. It is also believed that the triple spiral of life depicts the Eternal Truth which states that the meaning of our lives is to practice harmony among the 3 dimensions of our being.
Some of the oldest and most popular spirals can be found in Newgrange, County Meath in Ireland. Dating back to 2500 BC, these ancient spirals were discovered in a huge man-made mound constructed with stone & earth, which might have served as a tomb. The Newgrange spirals are believed to represent the cycle of rebirth as well as a symbol of a mother goddess.
Symbolism of the spiral
“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.” – Frances E. Willard
A representation of the interplay of birth, growth, death, and rebirth, the majestic spiral of life depicts the progression of the universe from the oneness of God or the supreme being. Hence, it is regarded as a symbol of energy which finds divine order out of chaos.
Spirals can be found in scores of ancient Celtic artefacts. In spirituality, the spiral is a symbol of the path that takes us from the outer consciousness to the inner soul. It is the evolution of our consciousness from external awareness and ego to enlightenment and cosmic awareness. The flow between the outer manifested world and the inner intuitive world is marked by the winding spiral rings. This portrays our evolution on a collective and individual level. According to mystics, when it comes to rebirth the spiral of life exemplifies the consciousness of nature and is believed to be the way everything works as it starts from the center and expands outwards.
In ancient Celtic art, both single spiral and triple spiral (Triskelion) can be found.
1. Single Spiral
This clockwise spiral is believed to be a representation of the birth, growth, expansion of consciousness and cosmic energy. Whereas, the anticlockwise spiral is a symbol of the sun. Ancient cultures believed that both spiritual and physical energy flowed in nature in a spiral way. The spiral is a symbol of both feminine and masculine energies.
2. Triple Spiral
The triple spiral or Triskelion is believed to be created by the ancient Celts and it represents their 3 worlds – the spiritual world, the celestial world and the present world. According to the Celts, all activities in life & death occurred in 3 different stages which are crucial for keeping nature’s balance. It is also believed that the 3 spirals represents the mind, body and soul; the past, present and future; creation, preservation and destruction; and mother, father and child. It is the symbol of actions, evolution, progress, cycles and completion.