Symbology 101: The Circle

Ever flowing, ever spinning, with no beginning and never ending. The circle as a symbol is used throughout the Tarot and, as with most symbols, it has layers of meaning. 

The Circle as a number: 0 is the Fool’s number. A number of pure potential. No course is set, no plans are laid. All are quantified by 0 yet on its own it is nothing. 

The Circle as the wheel: The wheel has a rim, eight spokes, and a hub. These represent different ways to experience the chaos of change. When we travel the rim we suffer the constant chaos that comes from inevitable change. The eight spokes can be easily associated to the year’s cycle through the seasons and the eight celestial celebrations. On a deeper level we can associate the spokes to the buddhist noble eight fold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right union.  These are all the things we can do to help mitigate the uncertainty of inevitable change. The Hub is the unmovable centre around which the chaos and change flows. Find your centre and you will remain unmoved. 

The Circle as an animal: The Ouroboros, the world snake that represents the chaos that surrounds our world and is involved in its ultimate renewal.

The Circle as vegetation: The Laurel is a symbol of achievement denoting the end of a cycle thus becoming the doorway to the next cycle. 

The Circle in its celestial nature is the symbol of spirit. That which shines forth from us as an expression of self. 

The Circle as an object: The globus cruciger (the cross bearing orb) is part of most royal regalia and is a symbol of man’s dominion over the world. Here we see a combined symbol: The cross (the body/the man) on top of the circle (chaos/ change/ ever evolving spirit). An interesting 3 dimensional rendition of the original symbol for the planet Mars. ~The arrow on today’s symbol for Mars is a modern interpretation of the original design: the equilateral cross.~

A spiral is a circle stretched through time for as we travel the circle it may seem like we have returned to the beginning but we are never truly in the same place we left. 

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