Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sacred Circles

Sacred Circles
mixed media, 4.5 x 6 inches

"The circle symbol meaning is universal, sacred and divine. It represents the infinite nature of energy, and the inclusivity of the universe.
 Our ancient kin observed a circular aspect to the cycles of time, specifically in the movements of the seasons. In waltzing rhythms of time, and with the revolutions of the earth 'round the sun, we can feel the same kind of evolution in annual time and seasons - just as our forefathers and mothers did."
~ Avia Venefica, What'

The symbolism of the circle is as endless as the circle itself, and is considered, as far as I can tell, to be a sacred symbol by almost every known culture on Earth: "The circle is the most common and universal sign, found in all cultures. It is the symbol of the sun in its limitless or boundless aspect. It has no beginning and no end, and no divisions, making it the perfect symbol of completeness, eternity, and the soul. The circle is also the symbol of boundary and enclosure, of completion, and returning cycles."   (

"The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement, God ('God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere." (Hermes Trismegistus)).(University of Michigan Symbolism Project)

I found this quote from Black Elk on a wonderful post about circles by Margaret Bremner on her blog, Enthusiastic Artist:
          Black Elk,
a medicine man and visionary
of the Oglala Sioux, said, “Everything the
Power of the World does, is done in a circle.  The sky 
is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball,
and so are all the stars.  The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as
ours.   The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.   The
moon does the same, and both are round.  Even the seasons form
a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to
where they were.  The life of a man is a circle from childhood to
childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves
Our tipis were round like the nests of birds, and these
were always set in a circle; the nation’s hoop, a
nest of many nests where the Great Spirit
meant for us to hatch our

Because of the circle's profound spiritual symbolism, humans throughout history
have built the circle's sacred form into not only religious rituals, but also physical constructions. From the spiral on an ancient Norman church in Cornwall... Strasbourg Cathedral's Rose Window... Stonehenge, where the circles line up with the sun and stars... a women's circle dance in bronze age rock art from Zerovschan Tajikistan... the beautiful tile mosaic in a mosque...

...sacred circles are everywhere,

...even in the creatures that inhabit this planet and the structures which form it...

electrical discharge on photographic film by kyorei on Flickr

unicellular green alga Micrasterias by Rogelio Moreno Gill

spider web photo by Smithsonian

Solar eclipse from the Moon by Hannah Gartstein, NASA

I've had so much fun learning about circles, and of course had to choose only a few to share with you here, so I have decided to post a circle every day on facebook. Follow my art business page if you want to learn along with me.



  1. Wow - I always paint circles and now I know there's a reason for it! Thanks for sharing this wonderful info Sharmon!

  2. Beautiful. I went through about 10 years of being obsessed with circles, hated squares :-), now I am obsessed with grids. I still love circles though. xoxo

  3. Fantastic to the max! I love circles too. Just a couple weeks ago I walked through and around the perimeter of our own little stone henge in our neighbouring village of Stanton Harcourt. It's called The Devil's Coits and it's a fabulously magical place. Like electricity...but different. Now I want to post circles every day too! :D

    1. Oh, I would love to see the Devil's Coits in person; I understand what you mean about the electricity, but different. Those places are receptacles for energy, from the earth, and all those who have gathered there before through the ages.... (I hope you don't think I'm crazy when I say that!)

    2. Nope. Perfectly sane. I stand there in the middle of that circle and reach my arms out and feel the enormity of it all. Then I go stand above the grave of the priestess found buried on the west side and whisper to her about her hair pin. Wanna compare weird? LOL Big hugs.

  4. Thanks for all the circle information and images - I have always loved circles and they show up often in both my creations and my world. Loved the post!

    1. Kim, I had a lot of fun and learned some new things in my exploration of circles. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. such a wonderful post on circles and cycles.
    Your art is beautiful.

    1. Thanks so much Tammie; I'm glad you enjoyed the post! xox

  6. Great new piece and a thoughtful post on the circle!

  7. centreing the energy to begin a session of Sumi-e painting after making the ink the first mark is always a circle


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