Magic Circles : Weaving conversations across cultures
Circles are symbols in all cultures; circles are images in all civilizations. Whether we look at a Mayan sun mask or a Nepalese Vishnu chakra or a sun disc from New Guinea or a Tibetan meditation mandala or a Tingari ceremonial bark painting, they are all in circles. Minoans, especially the women, had a passion for dancing. They always danced in a circle for ritual, or for healing in meadows and groves before their goddesses (whose life stories were woven around a circle). Circles are the most primordial images.
A wise one once said "When the eagle builds a nest, the nest is in a circle.
The Oglala believe that the circle is sacred because the great spirit caused everything in nature to be round. It is the symbol of the circle that makes the edge of the world and the four winds that travel there. The Oglala make their tipis circular. They sit in a circle at all ceremonies.
It is the symbol of all time. It is the symbol of the world. Circles speak of wholeness; in time or in space. Circles have no beginning; circles have no end. The moon cycle, the day and night cycle, the cycle of time; cyclical time so different from linear time digital time. We are losing our sense of the circle in relation to time. We must refuse to seek meaning only in linear time and look to the recurring cycles of life and of myth. Of metaphor, of magic circular time. To cultures and civilizations that were connected and in harmony with nature, time was a sacred, circular dance.
The circle is a mandala that holds the meaning of the cosmic order. Each season is so different; yet each linked to the other. Personal circles connected with the Universal circle.
We are all connected, we say. It was the midnight until the dawn of the day that the Earth Summit opened in Rio in 1992. There was an all night vigil on Leme Beach called by the Planeta Femea to protest the state of the world but also to re-affirm this strange and obstinate belief in life. It invited people to dance and sing and tell stories until the sun rises in Rio.
Then with pieces of glass, with mirrors we tried to the water’s edge. Decorated with flowers, we symbolically lay the light of our hopes there so that Yemanje, the Goddess of the Wind would carry our hopes to the shores of different lands.
There were flowers, everywhere. There were women, everywhere. People sang and danced with the spirit and grace typical of the Cariocas; Bahian women dressed in traditional white. Danced while they sang. Listen to the women.
A silver trumpet sounded the alvorado announcing the dawn.
In a circle we danced. Everything is connected. We say look how the water flows from this place and returns as rainfall everything returns. We say we are all part of this, we say. And the way of the waters is sacred and the way of the waters is sacred and the grove of trees is sacred and we ourselves we tell you. We are sacred....
Look at this circle see us come from every direction, see us come from every direction. See the lines that stretch to the horizon, the procession. The gifts borne, see us fuel the fire. Feel the earth’s life renewed. And the medicine wheel is formed anew and the knowledge within each one of us made whole. The circles turn. Each going into each. Into all only music keeps us here. And we dance the dance of the circling stars to music of the spheres to the song of the wind. And so, a time will come when women all over the world will bring their gifts to the fire and look into each others faces. Unafraid.
Women traversing the world entering a sacred space. A sacred time to spin the wheel, to weave the razai, to bring a healing, to care, to create to celebrate, to reclaim the earth for us all.