Circles and ceremony

Circles and ceremony

circles in ceremony celebrant Claire BradfordCircles. They drip with meaning and symbolism given to them by mankind through the ages.

Maybe it’s because early man looked up and saw the circular moon and the sun or looked in their companions’ eyes that we started our fascination with the shape. Whatever its beginning, over the years the circle has stood for wholeness, completion and has been a symbol for our very life cycle.

The Chinese say that the circle is the shape of heaven. Native American Indians used the circle symbol in many things – the seasons, the medicine wheel, song cycles and ceremonies. In Christian philosophy, the circle represents an infinite God, “whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”*

When it comes to weddings, of course the most obvious circle is the wedding rings. These can symbolise your love for each other having no beginning and no end. As circles, your rings speak of eternity, and therefore your total commitment to each other.

In baby naming ceremonies, the circle is often used too. There are many ways of doing this, but making the sign of a circle on the child’s forehead with water or oil brings to mind the circle of life.

I love it when ceremonies take place in a circle. When you are surrounded – literally – by the love and support of your friends and family, it creates a magical space like no other. When you combine the circle of your loved ones and the circle of the wedding rings with a ring blessing ritual, it’s even more symbolic.

Why all this musing on circles? I spotted this beautiful plant in the garden and it really impressed me. I admired its perfect geometry in some awe of the universe, and thought I’d share my ruminations with you!

Want to include circles in your ceremony somehow? Get in touch and let’s find a creative way to make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*this quotation is attributed to many people from St Augustine to Voltaire to Nicholas of Cusa. I don’t know who came up with it originally – let me know if you know and I’ll give them the proper credit!