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18 Apr 2024

Circles, Spheres & Spirals


Signs & Symbols

For centuries, symbols and shapes have been used to illustrate and communicate meaning. Today, we explore circles, spheres, and spirals. You might be surprised by how many of them are instantly recognisable to you, but are you aware of their symbolic importance?


To many, the humble circle represents eternity as it has no beginning or end. To some, it represents God; to others, Earth and even the cycle of life. One example of the circle in daily life is, of course, the wedding ring, symbolising a pledge of love, protection, and infinity.

Concentric Circles

Concentric circles often signify the order of creation. Sometimes, they represent water. In Zen Buddhist interpretation, the circles symbolise steps on a journey towards inner perfection. However, for the Italian poet Dante, he described the nine layers of categories of sinners.


The Taoist religion has a symbol called Shou, which represents longevity. In China, there are several symbols based on the circle that signify different things: Good Fortune, Prosperity, and Happiness.

T’ai Chi

One of the most instantly recognisable symbols is, of course, Tai Chi, widely associated with the balance of Yin and Yang – the symbol of life and the resolution of opposites.


Many people believe that the sphere symbolises heaven or a spiritual universe. Referring to the thoughts of poet Dante, concentric spheres represent the universe with Earth at the centre.


The predominant sentiment associated with the spiral appears to be one of energy and life’s rhythm. However, for some, this perception varies. For instance, Polynesians view it as a symbol of immortality, while for the Mayans, it signifies the start of a new cycle (Winter Solstice). However, a Double Spiral can be similar in meaning to yin and yang, representing opposites such as death and birth, male and female.

Triple Spiral

You may think that a triple spiral is related to the sentiments behind a single spiral and double spiral. However, it is more commonly associated with a Celtic solar symbol – the Triskele, which essentially represents the Holy Trinity. For many neo-pagans, it symbolises the Triple Goddess.

Mother Earth

Since the Stone Age, the spiral has been a fertility icon. The Mother Earth fertility symbol is typically depicted as a female with a spiral stomach and often includes cycles of the moon or other fertility symbols like the helical horn.

It’s difficult to talk about circles without mentioning Stonehenge. While it is not a drawing, it is clear that the circle was important to prehistoric Britain. Of course, to this day, it is unclear whether Stonehenge was meant as a place of worship and whether the circle represented an astronomical clock, Earth Mother, or Sun God.

Written by: I4C_Blog_Admin