The Spiral

Do you doodle? Recently I’d had an epiphany when reflecting on my scratches of spirals, eight-pointed stars, and flower images that are constantly drawn together in a chaotic pattern while taking mental notes about other things. I realized this pattern could have a code within it, an intuitive message from within. 

Spirals are the oldest symbol, found in cave paintings and etched into rocks at ancient Celtic sites found to be thousands of years old. These are patterns within nature, from spiral galaxies in the vastness of space to the design within the tiniest seashell to the unfurling of a fiddle leaf fern on the forest floor. The symbol for the ongoing seasons to whirlpools in both sky and water is energy, a force that we can feel when grounded to the earth. It may represent life itself in the spiral shape of our DNA. 

Making every angle of the eight pointed star recognizable isn’t easy, but it’s in the meditative process that intrigues my mind the most. The eight points represent two sets of four. In astronomy, it’s the four directions with a combination of the two equinoxes and two solstices, the rose set into the middle of the compass. Representing the bright shining energy of Venus to the opposing point of two overlapping squares of yin and yang, bringing balance to the whole. The octagram is a symbol of new beginnings and regeneration. This chaos of opposites can lead us to our path, used as a compass to our purpose. Author Toko-pa Turner states that contradictions are a part of the growth process allowing the “capacity to create and receive that bigger dream.”

I always begin with the petals, the stem, and then the leaves to draw the flower. It may have had its origins in the daisy chains made in my backyard. The line is drawn underneath the flower, perhaps helping me to ground. Drawn to the healing energy of plants and bringing their gifts to light brightens my spirit with the playful, joyful, creative force of nature.   

If the spiral represents the journey, the star the compass, and the flower a pathway to creative healing, then I am where I need to be. Working with the plants, giving them expression through the dye and ink process, is like a personal meditation. I’m grateful for their beauty and healing qualities, drawn through the deep imprint of DNA that holds us all.

What symbols come up in your life, time and again? Could the patterns and objects we create lead us to pathways of healing? Connecting with nature even in the simplest of ways can lead us to joy and connection to the places we live. 

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