Spiritual Symbolism of a Circle (+ 30 Spiritual Circular Symbols)

Circular light

Circles are so commonplace that most of us fail to recognize how special they truly are. They surround us, from our coffee cups and camera lenses, to the sun, the moon, and the stars. In fact, circles are universal; thus, countless philosophers and spiritual masters have pointed out their simple magnificence.

What makes circles so meaningful? The fact that in and of themselves, they symbolize the Universe and all of existence.

What does a circle symbolize?

The following are the various spiritual ideas that a circle symbolizes:

1. Circle symbolizes the cyclic nature of the universe

To understand the spiritual significance of circles, it helps to first think of birth and death as a circle. Indeed, every living thing on Earth (and even the stars and planets) goes through what we call a “life cycle”. In a cyclical fashion, we are born, we age, and we die; it’s universal.

We can then look even deeper at the atoms that comprise all matter in the universe; particles revolve around an atom’s nucleus circularly. We see this reflected in our solar system and our galaxy. Planets revolve around stars in a circular motion, and in addition, galaxies swirl in a cyclical way.

2. Circle symbolizes potential or creative energy

Following from that point, we can look on a microscopic level and recognize that we’re literally created from a circle. Think of the egg that we came from, and the embryo that first symbolized the creation of our life; both are circular. In this sense, we are made out of a circle.

3. Circle symbolizes self realization

On the other hand, we can see circular symbolism in the non-physical. For example, anyone who has experienced a spiritual awakening or embarked on a personal growth journey eventually realizes that this journey doesn’t occur in a linear fashion. We learn the same lesson many times over, only experiencing deeper levels of truth and unlearning with each re-learning. In this way, self-realization looks not like a line, but like a circle, or a spiral.

4. Circle symbolizes oneness, equality & connection

Every point on the circumference of the circle is equidistance from the center of the circle. Also, the circle has no divisions or sides. Similarly, irrespective of the size of a circle, the ratio of its circumference to its diameter is always 3.14 (also known as Pi). This is why, you can easily find the circumference of any circle, simply by knowing its diameter. This is why a circle symbolizes oneness and equality.

If you progress far enough along this spiritual awakening journey, you’ll start to glimpse a realization of oneness; this means that you’ll come to an understanding that you are not separate from God, from love, or from any other person, place, or thing in this universe, living or otherwise.

You’ll understand that you are all of it; you are God, and you are love. As such, all things are part of you; when you harm something, you harm yourself, and when you love something, you love yourself.

This is the definition of totality, as well: it means that you are whole and complete, because you are the entire universe (and the love of God/Source) in form.

5. Circle symbolizes the infinite nature of existence

Since the circle has no beginning or ending, we could say that the circle represents our souls’ immortality, as well. Indeed, both birth and death are merely transitions; they are not final or “total” in essence. We move through life cycles of birth and death, but death is not an ending. Like the circle, our existence can never come to an end.

6. Circle represents the power of simplicity

The circle is so simple yet it holds within it a multitude of complex meanings and interpretations. A circle is the best example of the fact that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

7. Circle represents totality and completeness

A circle does not have a beginning or ending. It also does not have any corners or sides. Thus a circle is a complete unit on its own. Nothing further can be added to make the circle complete. This is why circles are symbols of wholeness, completeness, perfection, totality and divine symmetry/balance.

8. Circle represents Source Energy

The circle is essentially an expansion of a dot and represents the concept of the cosmos arising from a single point or source. Also, since ancient times, the center of a circle has been used to represent spirit, consciousness, source energy, and God.

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere – Hermes Trismegistus

30 Spiritual Circular Symbols & Their Meanings

Spiritual circular symbols

Humans have recognized, since ancient times, the spiritual significance of the circle; it is, as many philosophers stated, the most perfect shape. Again, it has no corners, no beginning nor ending.

You’ll notice the circle appearing, therefore, in countless spiritual traditions; below are just a few examples.

1. Yin and Yang

Yin yang symbol

Most people recognize the yin-yang symbol when they see it; this symbol, traditionally a Taoist symbol, represents the weaving together of opposite forces. This circular symbol blends black and white, and contains the exact same amount of each of the opposing colors, which exemplifies the co-existence of both unity and duality.

2. Enso

Enso symbol

A traditional Japanese symbol, the Enso is essentially an open circle; in fact, Enso, in Japanese, actually means “circle”. Associated with Zen Buddhism, Enso is often used to describe both mandalas and circular spaces. This sacred Japanese calligraphy symbol signifies enlightenment, which is, in essence, a returning to Source consciousness, and almost the same as the death of the physical body.

3. Ouroboros

Ouroboros symbol

Traditionally an ancient Egyptian and Greek symbol, the Ouroboros depicts a snake eating its own tail in a perfect circle. Just like so many other circular symbols, this depiction shows us the meaning of immortality; the snake is born from itself just as it devours itself. It means that existence is an eternal transition between living and dying.

4. Vesica Piscis

Vesica Piscis
Vesica Piscis – Vertical Lens

The Vesica Piscis is one of the first sacred geometry symbols. Vesica Piscis is the lens-like pattern that is formed by the intersection of two circles of equal radius. The intersection happens in such a way that the circumference (boundary) of each circle passes through the center of the other.

In general, the Vesica Piscis symbolizes the union of dualities which is the basis of all existence like the union of male/female, spiritual/material, heaven/earth, yin/yang, etc.

Also, when the intersecting circles are lying side by side to each other they form a vertical lens shape (as shown in the image above) which is said to represent the Cosmic Womb that is formed by the merging of spiritual and material worlds.

Even from a scientific perspective, it is interesting to note that the shape of the Vesica Piscis bears a striking resemblance to the form of the first embryonic division that occurs after fertilization (as illustrated in the image below). This division is just the first step in the process of forming a complete human being.

Mytosis and Vesica Piscis
Mytosis and Vesica Piscis

Thus the Vesica Piscis is a potent symbol of creation.

When the circles are lying on top of each other (as shown in the image below), the horizontal lens is said to represent the cosmic eye or the Third Eye.

Vesica Piscis - Cosmic Eye
Horizontal Vesica Piscis – Cosmic Eye

The Vesica Piscis also contains within it many important sacred geometry symbols including the Equilateral Triangle, Rhombus, Hexagon, Six-Pointed Star, Triquetra, Seed of Life, Lotus of Life, Torus, and Flower of Life, to name a few.

5. Triquetra (Trinity Knot)

Triquetra with circles

The Triquetra (meaning 3 cornered) is a Norse symbol that looks like a triangle made of interlaced arcs. Not many are aware of this but the Triquetra is in reality a circular symbol as it has been derived by adding an additional circle to the Vesica Piscis.

Creating the Triquetra from the Vesica Piscis
Creating the Triquetra from the Vesica Piscis

The Triquetra represents creation, the interconnectedness of life, and natural life cycles. It also represents the Trinity and all important aspects of life that appear in sets of three which include – Mind, Body, and Spirit, Creation, Preservation and Destruction, and so on. The central dot in the Triquetra represents oneness of all things.

6. Seed of Life

Seed of life
Seed of life

The Seed of Life is another sacred circular symbol that has been derived from the Vesica Piscis. The Seed of Life is formed when you add 5 additional circles to the Vesica Piscis (or 4 additional circles to the Triquetra) as shown in the image below.

Seed of life development
Seed of life creation from the Vesica Piscis

The Seed of Life is a powerful and ancient symbol that is believed to contain the blueprint for the universe.

It has six intersecting circles along with one circle in the center and an outer circle that encapsulates all other circles. This makes it a total of seven circles within, encapsulated by one circle. The seven circles are said to represent the Biblical seven days of creation. Also, each circle is interconnected, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all things and the unity of the universe.

The Seed of Life is also believed to represent a single source of creation from which all things in the universe emerged.

The Seed of Life is the base pattern that gives rise to the Flower of Life pattern and other patterns like the Fruit of Life, Metatron’s Cube, and the Platonic Solids (that are considered to be the building blocks of the universe).

7. Lotus of Life

Lotus of life
Lotus of life

When you superimpose two Seed of Life Patterns and rotate one pattern by 30 degrees, you get the beautiful Lotus of Life Pattern. This pattern represents purity, strength, balance, unity, and spiritual enlightenment.

8. Torus

Torus symbol
Torus symbol

The Torus is another powerful circular symbol that can be derived from the Seed of Life symbol. When you stack eight Seeds of Life on top of each other and rotate each by a small degree, they come together to create the Torus energy field, as shown in the video below:

The Torus is a powerful and versatile symbol that encompasses various concepts such as wholeness, interconnectedness, the cycle of life, and infinity. It represents the intricate balance and the cyclic flow of energy that exists between the spiritual world (represented by the vortex) and the material world.

The torus is also the basic shape of all magnetic fields. It is believed that the electromagnetic field emitted by the heart, and the aura field surrounding the human body look similar to the torus. It is even suggested that the Earth may be located at the center of a toroidal electromagnetic field.

9. Flower of Life

Flower of Life without outer circle
Flower of Life symbol

When you add 12 additional circles to the Seed of Life, you get the Flower of Life pattern.

This symbol dates back to prehistoric times, when early humans drew the pattern onto granite with ochre. Similar to the Seed of Life, the Flower of Life symbolizes creation, interconnectivity, balance, and unity. Many claim that meditating upon the flower of life promotes healing and inner peace.

10. Fruit of Life

Fruit within Flower of Life
Fruit within Flower of Life

Yet another sacred geometry symbol, the Fruit of Life is actually contained within the Flower of Life. Think back to the Flower’s overlapping circles; the Fruit of Life contains 13 of the Flower’s circles, arranged in a star-like shape. However, none of the Fruit of Life’s circles overlap each other; they only touch on the circles’ edges.

Fruit of Life
Fruit of Life

The Fruit of Life, said to be the blueprint of molecular structure in the physical world, is also the basis of our next circular symbol: Metatron’s Cube.

11. Metatron’s Cube

Fruit of Life Metatron's Cube
Fruit of Life & Metatron’s Cube

Beginning with the Fruit of Life, if you draw a straight line from the center of one circle extending to the center of each of the other 12 circles, repeating that step with every circle in the Fruit, you’ll have created Metatron’s Cube. This shape signifies Archangel Metatron, who is said to watch over the ebb and flow of the entire Universe.

The Metatron’s Cube is also a powerful symbol of creation. The circles in the Fruit of Life denote divine feminine energy and the straight lines represent masculine energy. When these energies come together, they represent creation.

The Metatron’s Cube contains within it all 5 platonic solids that are said to be the building blocks of the universe. These include the Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Icosahedron, Hexahedron, and Dodecahedron.

5 Platonic solids within Metatron's Cube
5 Platonic solids within Metatron’s Cube

12. Squared circle

Squared circle - spiritual & material-realms

The squared circle features a square and a circle that overlap.

Squared circle with area calculation

What’s unique about this symbol is that the area of the square and the circle are the same and they share the same center. The square symbolizes the material realm and the divine masculine energy whereas the circle (which has no beginning or end) represents the spiritual realm and the divine feminine energy. The merging of these two energies is the basis of all existence.

Thus the squared circle is a powerful symbol of creation, unity, duality, oneness, and interconnectedness.

13. Witch’s Knot

Witch's knot featured
Witch’s knot

The Witch’s Knot is an ancient symbol that features four interlocking knots centered around a circle. What’s interesting is that this symbol arises out of the Squared Circle that we discussed earlier. The following image illustrates how the Witch’s Knot is created using the Squared Circle.

Witch's knot - how to draw

The witch’s knot is a powerful symbol that represents the important quadruplicities of life which include the four elements, the four directions, and the four seasons to name a few. The circle at the center symbolizes the cyclic, interconnected, and everlasting nature of these events. It also symbolizes spirit energy that is present within everything that exists.

Witch's knot - 4 solar events

Historically, various cultures have used this symbol as an emblem of good fortune and protection.

14. Five Fold knot

Five fold symbol and 5 elements
The Five Fold knot is a powerful ancient symbol that primarily symbolizes the five elements of nature. It’s composed of five interconnected circles, with four on the outside denoting Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, while the central circle signifies the fifth element of Ether or Spirit.

Interestingly, as shown in the image above, the perimeter of the central circle intersects the centers of the exterior circles, indicating the omnipresence of the spirit within every element. Thus this symbol represents the strong interconnection and interdependence that exists between the four elements. The symbol also represents balance and harmony and the eternal cycle of life.

This symbol is also known as the Five-Fold knot and the Borromean cross.

15. Solar cross

Solar cross
Solar cross

The Solar Cross, also known as the Sun Cross or Wheel Cross, is an ancient symbol that consists of an equilateral cross inside a circle.

It primarily represents the sun with the cross’s arms representing the four phases of the day which are – dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight. The cross’s arms also represent the four important solar events that occur in a given year which include the 2 equinoxes and the 2 solstices. In addition, the cross’s arms can also signify the four cardinal directions – North, South, East, and West and other quadruplicities of life like the four seasons and the four lunar phases.

Also, the vertical line in the cross represents the spiritual world and the divine feminine energy, whereas the horizontal line represents the material world or divine masculine energy. Their point of intersection (which is also the center of the circle) represents the source of all creation. The circle surrounding the cross represents eternity and the cyclic nature of life.

Overall, the solar cross is a powerful circular symbol that represents creation, interconnection, and the eternal and cyclic nature of life.

It’s worth noting that while the Christian cross and the Solar Cross can appear somewhat similar, they have different origins and meanings. The Solar Cross is much older and has been used in many diverse cultures and religions throughout history.

16. Triple Goddess

Triple Goddess symbol
Triple Goddess symbol

The Triple Goddess symbol is a prominent pagan symbol that depicts a waxing crescent moon on the left, a full moon in the center, and a waning crescent moon on the right. The symbol primarily represents the three phases of a woman’s life which are are as follows:

Maiden: Represented by the waxing crescent moon. This phase symbolizes purity, youth, new beginnings, growth, and rejuvenation.

Mother: Represented by the full moon. This phase signifies maturity, fertility, sexuality, care, and provides sustenance and life.

Crone: Represented by the waning crescent moon. This phase stands for wisdom, ending, death, and mystical insight.

The Triple Goddess symbol also corresponds to the three main phases of the lunar cycle: waxing, full, and waning. These phases resonate with the cyclical nature of life and the various stages of existence.

17. Zia Sun Symbol

Zia sun Symbolism
Zia sun Symbolism

The Zia Sun symbol is composed of a central circle with groups of four straight rays extending outward in four directions. It is an ancient representation that has been used by the indigenous Zia people of New Mexico.

The circle at the center symbolizes oneness, one God, or source energy that binds everything together. It also symbolizes the sun as the giver of life. The four straight rays from each side of the circle represent the various quadruplicities of life which are as follows:

  • The four directions – North, West, East, South
  • The four phases of life – Childhood, Youth, Middle Years, Old Age
  • The four phases in a day – Sunrise, Noon, Evening, and Night
  • The four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

The four sets of rays can also signify the interconnectedness of the earth, humans, and other living beings, all under the sun. This symbol serves as a reminder of the sacredness of number four, the importance of nature, and the interconnectedness of life’s various cycles.

18. Wiccan Wheel

Wiccan wheel of the year
Wiccan wheel of the year

The Wiccan Wheel is a pagan symbol that is composed of a circle segmented into eight equal parts, using lines that radiate out from the center. It primarily represents the 4 major solar events (2 Equinoxes and 2 Solstices) and the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter) that happen in a given year. It also represents the important pagan festivals associated with these events as shown in the image above.

Thus, the Wiccan Wheel signifies the cyclical nature of life, highlighting the interconnectedness of birth, death, and rebirth and the eternal ebb and flow of the seasons and natural energies.

19. Hexafoil

Hexafoil symbol
Also known as the ‘Daisy wheel’, a hexafoil is a flower-like symbol created by seven overlapping circles. Throughout history the hexafoil has been used across various cultures as a powerful solar symbol and as a symbol of protection. When expanded so that there are 19 interlocking hexafoils you get the pattern of the ‘Flower of Life’ which is the symbol we will be discussing next.

20. Tree of Life

Celtic tree of life
Via DepositPhotos

The Tree of Life is another sacred geometry symbol which actually originates from the Flower of Life defined above. As opposed to the Flower of Life, though, the Tree of Life contains not overlapping circles, but separate circles connected to each other with lines. Each of the ten Tree of Life circles signifies a spiritual symbol; in Judaism, these are called the Ten Sephiroth.

21. Hecate’s Circle

Hecate’s Circle

Hecate’s wheel is a powerful circular symbol that is associated with the Greek goddess Hecate – the goddess of magic, witchcraft, moon, and the night.

Resembling a circular labyrinth, this symbol features a central spiral with three symmetrical loops radiating outwards. The three loops symbolize the three realms of existence – the heaven, earth and the underworld, and the interconnection between them.

The wheel is also said to represent the concept of triple goddess – which denotes the three phases of the feminine life cycle – Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

In addition the wheel, is used to represent the various cycles of existence that happen in sets of three, some of which are as follows:

  • The three phases of existence – creation, preservation and destruction
  • The three phases of the moon – full moon, half moon, and no moon
  • Three phases of life – life, death, and rebirth
  • Three epochs of time – past, present, and future
  • And so on..

Thus the Hecate’s wheel is a potent symbol that represents eternity, feminine energy, interconnection, and the cyclic nature of existence.

22. Shree Chakra (or Shree Yantra)

Sri Yantra
Via DepositPhotos

The Sree, Sri, or Shri Chakra, a form of sacred geometry consisting of interlocking triangles inside of (you guessed it) a circle, symbolizes Universal energy. Practitioners have used this symbol in methods quite similar to mandalas: one can meditate upon the Sree Chakra to gain deeper insight, awareness, and spiritual expansion.

The Sri Chakra has a total of nine triangles with four facing upward that represent the divine masculine and five facing downward that represent the divine feminine. The center of the Shree Yantra created by the merging of these triangles is the source of all creation. It is said that focusing on this point during meditation can help one gain powerful spiritual insights.

23. Kongo Cosmogram

Kongo cosmogram
The Kongo cosmogram is an ancient cosmic symbol that explains the nature of reality based on the movement of the sun. This circular cosmogram is divided into 4 segments each representing a phase of life/existence. These include – birth, maturity, old age/death, and rebirth. The cosmogram also depicts the connection that exists between the spirit and material world and how one can access ancestral wisdom by getting in touch with the spiritual world.

24. African American Medicine Wheel

Native American sacred hoop
Similar to the Kongo cosmogram is another circular symbol – The African American Medicine Wheel. Also known as the – Sacred Hoop, this circular symbol is divided into four quadrants each representing a phase of life/existence. These include the four directions (East, West, North, South), the four elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water), the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), the four elements of wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional), the four stages of life (birth, youth, adult, death) and the four times of the day (Morning, Noon, Evening, Night).

25. Chakras

Heart chakra symbol
Heart chakra symbol

If you’ve studied spirituality, you probably already know that the human body contains seven chakras– which are spinning wheels, or circles, of energy. Yet another way in which the circle appears in spiritual tradition. Each of the seven chakras aligns with both a part of the body and a segment of our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. As such, these spinning circles of energy are vital to reaching our highest potential in this life on Earth.

26. Mandalas

Circle mandala
Circle mandala

Similar to the Japanese symbol Enso, Mandala in Sanskrit literally translates to “circle”. These intricately-drawn designs actually carry a similar significance to the Japanese Enso; they symbolize the Universe, oneness, and the individual spiritual path. In fact, the act of creating or focusing on a mandala is known to center one’s energy and promote mindfulness and peace.

27. Fu Lu Shou

Fu Lu Shou symbol

Fu, Lu, and Shou originate from Chinese mythology; they are deities known as the “three stars”, and they represent happiness/blessings, status/prosperity, and longevity. We can see the circle symbolism yet again in the traditional characters for Fu Lu Shou; they are sometimes seen artistically represented with circular characters, exemplifying once again the universal human recognition of the circle’s spiritual nature.

28. Dharma chakra

Dharma chakra

The Dharma Chakra, is a significant symbol in Buddhism, that is composed of a wheel with 8 or sometimes 24 spokes. The wheel primarily represents the Noble Eightfold Path laid out by the Buddha as the means to achieve enlightenment. These are Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

It is also used to represent time, the cyclic nature of life, enlightenment, universal laws of existence, and the order and harmony of the universe.

29. Satkona or Star of David

Satkona fruit of life

The Satkona (meaning six cornered in Sanskrit) is a sacred Hindu symbol that depicts two intersecting equilateral triangles, one facing upward and one facing downward. The upward-facing triangle represents the divine masculine (material) whereas the downward-facing triangle represents the divine feminine (spirit). Their intersection is the basis of all creation. The Satkona even though it looks like a triangular symbol is, in reality, a circular symbol as it has been derived from the Fruit of Life as shown in the image above.

30. Labyrinth

Labyrinth

Unlike a simple maze, a labyrinth can only be solved in one way. When you think of mazes, you may picture many dead ends and winding paths; the same is not true within a labyrinth. The labyrinth only contains one winding road, which twists and turns but eventually leads you to an exit without any dead ends. This contains powerful symbolism for the soul’s spiritual journey. These ancient “mazes” are traditionally drawn with winding lines contained inside a circle.

Summing it Up

Now that you know how spiritually powerful the circle can be, challenge yourself to look for circles wherever you go, especially in nature. As you observe something so simple, yet so magnificent, allow it to remind you of oneness: we may perceive ourselves as separate people, and yet, we are one with all things.


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