The wheel is a symbol in many beliefs of the cycle of life. The Celtic and Pagan traditions use the wheel to represent the earth’s seasons. In those traditions, the wheel is partitioned off into eight sections, each representing a stage in the year such as the solstice’s, the equinox’s as well as the beginning of the growing season, first harvest, end of the growing year and nature’s new year, or the celebration of the earth coming alive again after a cold winter.
I love this wheel tradition because it gives humans a way to honour the earth cycles while reminding us of our connection to the earth and her seasons.
Wheels are circles and the circle is a prominent shape in our lives and that of nature. The earth itself is a 3 dimensional circle, or sphere, but you will find the circle in nature in other ways too; the rings of ripples created when a pebble is dropped into a body of water, the circle or rings created in the trunk of a tree to mark a year of growth, even the half circle of a rainbow after a rain.
A circle has no end and no beginning and so humans give rings of precious metals and jewels to symbolise their endless love and commitment for another when they marry.
Life also is a series of circles. A couple of days ago, I celebrated my birthday. In astrology, one might call it my solar year, the day that the sun has circled around to come back to the same place it was the day that I was born. It is a personal new year and as such, a new cycle or circle around the sun begins.
If you are attuned to your own personal energy you might sense the cycle of the current year winding down the month before your birthday. A sense that whatever intentions you made for the year are almost finished and a feeling that you are going to have a fresh start once again just like the earth renews itself with the beginning of spring and a new season of growth for her begins. If you have never considered this concept, pay a little more attention in the weeks before your own birthday.
And so a new cycle of the wheel of my life begins again. It’s one of the reason why I loved heading back to school as a child; a new year of learning, new school clothes and fresh supplies. Perfect additions to my own personal new year. To this day, I still enjoy finding something new to learn in September decades later.
But life is not one dimensional and there are many cycles to life. Every new chapter is a new cycle on a wheel dedicated to whatever part of your life is effected. A new job – a new turn of the wheel, a new relationship – another turn, and this summer for me saw the end of a major cycle of loss.
In the last 18 months, I have lost 5 family members. This summer I lost my last two parents – my stepmother and my father. That in itself sees a wheel in my life cease to turn as not only is that the end of a chapter in my life but the end of an era in my ancestry.
Now this my sounds strange and perhaps a little insensitive to some as everyone grieves differently but I’ve been wondering why, at this particular time in my life, I would loose so many people that were close in my life? Yes I know their deaths were not about me, I’m not that self centred but I can’t help but be curious as to what lesson, other than to understand the pain of loss, this cycle was holding for me.
It’s natural as we age to experience loss. We can’t live forever – well we can, just not in human form but to have so many pass in a short span of time is unusual – at least to me.
So the start of my new person year this year feels somewhat more important. The knowledge is fresh in my mind that life is short and fraught with twists and turns, even in the continual circles of life. I’ve been offered another year to experience life in this body. What wondrous things will I do?
Wheels are designed to turn but we humans are but spokes of the universal rotations of a grander cycle, one full of mystery and intertwining cogs, all cycling at their own pace and time. Are we just meant to hold on and go with the turns, or do we play an intricial part by holding the inner hub and outer rim of our life and the life’s of people around us in place.
Something to ponder for sure. All I know, is that in my life the wheel has made a major turn and I must adjust my spoke to accommodate a temporary wobble until, I can once again, find the balance of rotation to roll along once again.
This post is dedicated to: