Ritual: Find Peace in the Significance of CirclesBy:
“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”—Hermes Trismegistus, mythical mystic teacher
On November 2nd, we may be served to celebrate the little-known “holiday” known as Look for Circles Day. The mandate is clear: Simply look for circles wherever you are. We can take notice of circles on a number of levels and with each form of investigation we are bound to discover another aspect of the wonder of circles.
The circle is a profound, transcendent symbol. It is said to represent wholeness, completion, inclusion, the life cycle, heaven, eternity, and the universe. Yet circles are not just symbolic. They are a natural, physical phenomena. When scientists look at the building blocks of humankind—our DNA—they find spirals or stacked interlocking circles. Indeed, in the whorls of our fingertips, the irises of our eyes, our cells and the egg that gave each of us life, we are made of circles. And we live on a circular planet that receives the light of our circular life-giving sun—our survival depends on circles.
On a material level, circles make our lives easier. Where would we be without the invention of the wheel or the gears that keep the engines of the world running? In commemoration of Look for Circles Day, the invitation is to notice the ways in which circles impact our lives. They are almost everywhere: invoking the sacred, the profound, and the mundane. The essence of life can be glimpsed in this thought-provoking shape.
We can also use circles to notice more about ourselves on a spiritual and psychological level. For example, walking a labyrinth or drawing a mandala are two ancient ways to notice circles and experience peace and spiritual growth. A labyrinth is also known as “circling to the center.” Unlike a maze, there is only one way to get to the center of a labyrinth and by traversing this path people tend to find clarity, insight, and peace.
Similarly, many find that creating a mandala relieves stress and clears the mind. A mandala is a circular drawing. The word mandala in Sanskrit means “magic circle” or “from the essence.” The distinguished psychologist Carl Jung found that mandala drawings non-verbally express the intuitive movement toward wholeness. Although we can look for it, one need not search for meaning in the mandala. There is intrinsic meaning and value in the practice itself.
Ritual for Looking for Circles
In honor of Look for Circles Day, find three circles to examine. First, find a circle that appears in nature and embrace the marvel of its use and beauty. Second, notice a human-made circle and reflect upon the service it provides. Finally, choose to experience the circle as a spiritual practice: walk or trace a labyrinth, or create your own mandala. In this experience, consider the depth, completion, and peace that circles convey. Share this experience with your partner or children and discuss the wonderful ways that circles enhance our lives.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started