The symbology of circles

Symbols are a universal language. Seeing certain shapes, marks or images conjures up similar understanding in people, regardless of whether they speak the same language or not. This communal meaning can be seen in cultures throughout human history. One image in particular speaks to all of us: the circle.

Throughout history, circles have formed our beliefs about the cycles of nature. Ancient humans had only to look up to the sky to see a canvas filled with circles: the life-giving sun, the mysterious moon and faraway celestial orbs. It makes sense for them to see this shape as a natural representative of happenings in the world around them.

Circles convey the idea that seasons return again and again, that natural occurrences are all part of an ongoing pattern and life itself continues to follow an eternal path. Circles also represent wholeness, a sense of completion and continual movement at the same time. People both modern and ancient found comfort in the belief that life would continue, that they were a part of something bigger than their own moment in the sun.

One idea circles symbolize continues today. Circles are believed to represent inclusion. What is encompassed by this shape becomes part of the sacred space within. Becoming a part of the circle, being drawn into its continuity and included within its boundaries, is to be part of the energy it holds. Circles reminds us of those we are connected with, of family, the friends we’ve gathered around us, of our communities.

The symbolism of this ancient image is likely part of the reason the circle is such a popular shape for jewelry. Necklaces are essentially circles created from items we consider beautiful. Rings symbolize the the ongoing union created through love and the bonds of our feelings. Even bracelets bring a sense of continuity and connection to those who wear them. All these pieces are reminders of the beauty found in life. We each create our own unique circle as we engage with those around us. Jewelry is an excellent way to celebrate that which means so much to us.