Freeman College in Sheffield continued to celebrate the festive season with their Advent Spiral, giving staff and students the opportunity to come together to light lanterns, lay out the spiral and adorn the college courtyard with decorations.
About the Spiral
The spiral has found its way into the art of almost all cultures, from ancient primitive rock carvings on all continents to today’s corporate logos. They show up in Celtic, native American, Arabic, African art, alongside Japanese rock gardens, Hindu spiritual texts. The spiral belongs to everyone and excludes no one. It has been associated with the cycles of time, the seasons, the cycle of birth, growth, death, and then rebirth, these are all part of the cycle of life.
Some consider the spiral a symbol of the spiritual journey. It is also considered to represent the evolutionary process of learning and growing. It seems that life doesn’t proceed in a straight line. The path of life more closely resembles a spiral. We seem to pass the same point over and over again but from a different perspective each time. The spiral stands for coming into being.
The spiral shows up often in nature – in hurricanes and tornados, in the pattern of seeds in a sunflower, in the growing tips of ferns, in the pattern that leaves grow on a stem, in the shape of a nautilus shell, and, as a helix, the shape of the DNA molecule.
The spiral is the journey of life
This special festival is an opportunity in our busy lives to put aside some time to pause, to appreciate the stillness and rest that is the gift of midwinter, to reflect on the old year that is coming to a close as we approach the darkest time of year and to look forward with hope for the new year about to begin. It is a time of coming together, of sharing, and appreciation of all we have, it is also a celebration of our connectedness to the Earth and her cycles
We can connect it to Christmas – coming of the Christ child, also Hanukkah and Diwali In fact most religions celebrate light over darkness in some form or another and a powerful way of doing this is by lighting a candle and consciously placing it
By taking our candle, walking the spiral, standing quietly in the centre lighting our candle walking out and placing it on our journey outwards and at the same time voicing an intention can be a powerful step in our life’s journey.