Jul 16, 2012

Full Circle

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I've written before about my near obsession with this basic form. First it possessed my inner vision, so that I seriously considered doing a giant, and I mean giant, canvas... except that I don't paint. Then I began to recognize it in a variety of contexts, penultimately in the giant obsessional painting of Battlestar Galactica character Kara Thrace. And it slowly dawned on me that it appears in a great deal of spiritual iconography. Now it's taken to stalking me.

Rightly or wrongly, Dan Brown calls the stripped down version of this symbol a circumpunct.

Brown has this to say in his novel [The Lost Symbol]: "In the idiom of symbology, there was one symbol that reigned supreme above all others. The oldest and most universal, this symbol fused all the ancient traditions in a single solitary image that represented the illumination of the Egyptian sun god, the triumph of alchemical gold, the wisdom of the Philosopher's Stone, the purity of the Rosicrucian Rose, the moment of Creation, the All, the dominance of the astrological sun, and even the ominscient all-seeing eye that hovered atop the unfinished pyramid. The circumpunct. The symbol of the Source. The origin of all things."

. . .

It is true that the circumpunct symbol has been around for millennia, albeit more often known as "the circle with the dot in the middle". It can symbolise everything from gold in alchemy to a European road sign for city centre. It is commonly used as a solar symbol and reputable sources date this to ancient Egypt, where the symbol has its origins in Ra (or Re), god of the midday sun. In fact, the circle with a midpoint, plus a vertical line is the hieroglyph meaning "sun".

So how did an Egyptian symbol rise to shine again as a token of the ancient mysteries among 21st-century Freemasons in Brown's novel? Langdon's exposition is as follows: "The pyramid builders of Egypt are the forerunners of the modern stonemasons, and the pyramid, along with Egyptian themes, is very common in Masonic symbolism." Very neat. Well done, Brown.

Brown is frustrating to read. I keep expecting there to be more of the depth hinted at by the subject matter but it's never forthcoming. And even in this case, the assigning of lineage and intrigue does nothing to address the pull this symbol has on the imagination or its underpinnings in sacred geometry. But it does flesh out a little context.

The symbol is also immediately recognizable as a human eye... or the Eye of Jupiter if you're a Battlestar Galactica fan. I was reminded the other day of that solid bit of conventional wisdom: The eyes are the windows of the soul. Eyes tell you everything you really need to know about a person. They are what many people report recognizing during past life regressions as belonging to people they currently know. Creepy eyes warn of malice and even psycopathy. I've learned through hard experience that if I don't like someone's eyes, I don't like them. Note that both Robert D. Hare's Without Conscious and Martha Stout's Sociopath Next Door feature eyes on the front cover.

Eyes are made up of vesicae piscis and circles. And that geometrical interplay between the sphere and the vesica piscis is, as I said here, the gateway in and out of manifestation. So it stands to reason that it is associated with the soul's migration. But it also seems to represent various levels of spiritual expansion and possibly even ascension.

My point is this. We are not drawn to that form because it looks like an eye, as when Eye of God mania swept the web. The eye is shaped like that because the eye is a significant portal in the body and one associated directly with light.

"In our circles, in our circles, in our circles, in our circles..." ~ Madeline Kahn, The Carol Burnett Show

For over a week, I've been awash in synchronicity, and much of it has revolved around this repeated geometry. I've been reading William Henry's Secret of Sion and it's just brought one epiphany after another. Like much of his work, it has me pulling out journals that date back over a decade, because it clarifies and validates things I've been seeing in my head for years. Henry, of course, associates various iterations of concentric circles with the opening of stargates. And I realized at a certain point that as I moved through the concluding chapters of the book, I began seeing the symbol everywhere.

The issue moved into sharp relief on Thursday when I noticed this amusing juxtaposition on my Facebook homepage. The photo is by my old friend Andy Cohen who is a simply exquisite photographer. The geometrical synchronicity is by universe.

It does not escape my notice that the photo is of a sunflower and the circumpunct is, among other things, the symbol for the sun... and gold.

Later that day, I went to Target. Nothing to do with the power of suggestion. My daughter needed something and it's close. But having discovered the night before, while sitting by the pool, that it was definitely time to retire my very old iPod nano, I did something a little impulsive. I bought myself a new iPod. It's a purchase I've been planning but I could have gotten it a little cheaper elsewhere. It was, to put it oh so gently, not a good day, so I went straight for the instant gratification. I don't regret it... at all. And it was only later that I realized how truly flawless the timing was.

And, of course it came home in a Target bag because I bought it at Target.

Much later in the evening, I kept finding myself brought up short by my husband's viewing choices. I'd glance up at the TV just in time to see things like Alton Brown on the Food Network talking about the perfect form of the donut.

And then by these electric blue crested worm-things that were supposed to represent yeast... or something.

A little later, I noticed he was watching the Keanu Reeves remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. I looked up just in time to see this stellar scene.

And, of course, the reticulated python moving towards the sphere.

Sitting by the pool Friday night, listening to Hildegard von Bingen on my new iPod, I finished reading Secret of Sion. The concluding chapters of this book contain too many ah-ha moments to recount. But you really could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw his concluding image. The White Rose by Gustave Doré is a plate from Dante's Divine Comedy: Paradiso.

"In fashion then as of a snow-white rose displayed itself to me the saintly host..."

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