Saturday, April 21, 2012

The spiral represents the never-ending cycles of growth, change and eternal life

 Petroglyphs found in a remote canyon near Abiquiu, NM.   Jean Stimmell 4/21/12
My last blog entry about White Buffalo raises a good question: how can Her return to earth be interpreted by two apparently opposite scenarios: ushering in ‘a new age or ushering in ‘the end of the world? 

How can rebirth and apocalypse be viewed as one and the same?

The answer lies in how Native Americans, at least in the west, view life as a spiral.  “The Spiral is known as an ancient symbol of evolution. One of the oldest symbols of human spirituality in existence, the spiral has been found carved into cave dwellings, rocks and tombs all over the world. It is said to symbolize the evolution of the universe, the never-ending cycles of growth, change and eternal life as well as the cycles of the seasons.”

The spiral petroglyphs that I photographed in a remote canyon on a private ranch near Abiquiu, NM were carved over 1000 years ago by the Anasazi, a Navajo word for ‘the ancient ones.”  The Anasazi were a highly evolved, prehistoric Indian civilization, ancestors of all the modern Pueblo peoples.
 Petroglyph found in a remote canyon near Abiquiu, NM.   Jean Stimmell 4/21/12
It has been said by some that the Anaszsi Indians saw a clockwise Spiral as the “correct or good path”, while the counter clockwise was seen as the “wrong or bad path”. But I think their beliefs were more nuanced than that. The clockwise spiral, it is true, is associated with power, independence water and life in ascendancy, while counter clockwise represented life descending, returning and homecoming.

But neither direction can be interpreted as negative or bad. 
Instead, “The spiral seems to tell a story about the labyrinthine journey of life and death and speaks of the possibility of rebirth. Each loop of the spiral progresses us to a higher level, yet always returns us to the same place. It demonstrates life renewal by returning to the source.”⁠1
In other words, to the Anasazi, even death brings new life.

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2 comments:

Tara White said...

I like to think these spirals are perhaps waves. The clockwise representative of the rising or forthcoming tide and the counterclockwise as the tide going outward or receding. Water on our planet is, after all, the greatest asset on Earth, and the absolute basic necessity for human beings to thrive. Why would this not be celebrated in ancient art as a rudamentary symbol used to decorate everything including clothing, rocks, caves, homes, vessels, animals, and everything else they loved to etch and represent it upon? After all, there is nothing more beautiful, useful,and powerful as the oceans, seas, and their tides, which had a direct correlation to the moon, stars and astronomy. I have been looking at this for a while now and do see some logic in it.

Unknown said...

Not to argue,how would that explain spiral sites in say western Colorado, Wyoming, nowrthrn New Mexico ect. Places whose indigenous peoples probably never saw an ocean?