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The Spiral — A New Symbol Added to Symbols Gallery

spiral patterns in nature

Ammonite fossil showing the spiral pattern as found in nature. Photo by Jonathunder, [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The spiral is a symbol of the Religion of the Sun that can be found throughout the ancient world in various forms: in temple architecture, artwork, pottery, petroglyphs, clothing and jewelry. It has been especially prolific throughout the pre-Columbian Americas, Europe, and Asia. Spirals are also commonly found in nature in various forms.

Spiral depictions are sometimes misunderstood as a “primitive” worship symbol of the ancients, yet this symbol actually represents the remarkable connection between the movement of the sun and the earth in the cosmos.

In The Path of the Spiritual Sun this spiral cosmic connection is explained as follows:

“โ€จWhile we often think of our earthโ€™s rotational movement around the sun as being in an ellipse on a flat plane, it is really rotating in a spiral around the sun as the sun itself moves at great speed throughout space (at around 450,000 miles per hour) in its own rotation around a greater sun, in an even greater rotation around the center of the galaxyโ€”dragging the planets of the solar system with it in a great whirling spiral. Recent evidence from NASA shows our solar system actually has a tail much like a comet because of its movement through space.โ€จ The spin of our earth, rotating around the sun, which is rotating around the galactic center, is a small spiral within larger and larger spirals, almost like the spinning hands of a clock, counting seconds, minutes, and hours of cosmological time.”

~ The Path of the Spiritual Sun 1 2

A visual example of this cosmic spiral movement can be seen in the video below:

The spiral symbol has now been added to the symbols of the sun gallery, and its full explanation and lots of pictures of its use from around the world can be found here:

Note: this gallery has been updated with more examples of the this symbol. Last updated on August 12, 2017.


  1. Belsebuub and Angela Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun: Celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, revised second edition, July 2017), 35. 

  2. Note: information from NASA about the tail of our solar system can be found here: NASA. Accessed August 11, 2017. https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/10jul_ibex

36 Comments

  • Very interesting video. Puts things into perspective. Just thinking that we are travelling in such a speed and in these patterns, being close to so many other celestial bodies without colliding is amazing. Observing the universe and nature makes me admire the incredible divine intelligence behind it all. These things can’t happen mechanically.

    I had wondered what the origins of the ionic order in architecture could be as it is prevalent in many Greek ancient sites, still standing today. Sometimes the pattern is squared rather than cyclical. It makes sense that it is symbolizing something so universal.

  • Wow this video really puts into perspective not only how vast this universe is, but also how syncronostic it moves. I really enjoyed watching how graceful the planets revolve around our sun.
    There is so much to understand about our universe, and I hope that here on the spiritual sun it may continue to be brought to light.

  • Very nice video and input for the spiral symbol. Watching this pattern they form the sun with planets, the straight movement of the sun and spiral of the patterns gives food for reflection of how the universe works and how that may reflect inside of us. When at the same time sun has it’s own spiral movement through out the universe around the Milky Way galaxy.

    It’s also interesting that this movement is clockwise, something that in my mind means that they move deeper(?) Some of the spirals of the gallery are going the opposite and some have two spirals one from each direction, like the Yin Yang which are quite nice. Great gallery by the way!! A world wide collection which combined with the spirals can be found in nature, makes it so unique and universal.
    Thank you for putting them all together and make those connections with the religion of the sun. Looks like another piece of the puzzle of life.

  • It’s really so amazing to imagine our planet moving around the sun like that along with the other planets, and the way they all move together through space. The animation helps to visualize it somewhat.

    There is something about the spiral shape that has always interested me, I guess because of how it occurs prolifically in nature and is really beautiful and flowing. Seeing just how many different cultures around the world have it represented in their artwork / petroglyphs is pretty astounding — I didn’t realize that it was that widespread.

    Thanks for putting together this collection.

  • Thank you Jenny for adding the amazing and ever-present symbol of the spiral to this resource.

    As other pointed out, I was also totally mesmerized by the video, and maybe even more than that, by the quote from The Path of the Spiritual Sun. How it beautifully describes that not only our planets spiral around the Sun, but the Sun is also spiralling around a greater Sun (I wonder which one is that), which in turn revolves around the Galactic center. And this may still be simplified explanation, as that “greater Sun” may even revolve around even greater Sun, etc… until the last one revolves (with all the “stuff” around it, forming its gigantic tail) around the galactic center.

    I also found out that the second video of the author of the mentioned video displays this movement a bit better, as there can be seen not only the planets revolving around the moving Sun, but the Sun in this video is also shown making a spiralling movement around something (that is not displayed) and revolving around the galactic center (from 3:00 to 3:35 of the video) with all its “tail”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4V-ooITrws

    And at last, I also wanted to say that I was a little bit unsure how this movement of the planets would be called a spiral, when in fact, it looks more like a helix (it immediately reminded me of the DNA helix). So I looked up the exact definitions for a helix and a spiral, and found out that a helix is defined as a spiral in 3D spac. So I learned something new… ๐Ÿ™‚
    For those who have also been wondering, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral):

    Spiral: A curve on a plane that winds around a fixed center point at a continuously increasing or decreasing distance from the point.
    Helix: A three-dimensional curve that turns around an axis at a constant or continuously varying distance while moving parallel to the axis.

  • Amazing info about the sun, the speed it travels and the planets’ perfect movements around it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Yes, that video was amazing to watch. To think that we have been taught to look and view our universe and our world in such a flat and linear way. We actually have very little idea of what we are immersed in – One great big epic, universal Dance, flowing gracefully (mind you at great speed!) throughout the ages and universe.

    This is a very beautiful symbol and as you say Jenny, it has reached pretty much all corners of this globe.

    I really enjoyed looking at the different examples of this symbol through the different cultures and times as well.

    Thank for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Interesting to refer to it like a dance, which is definitely an apt analogy when you see this animation. Reminds me of the concept of “Harmony of the Spheres” (or Music of the Spheres) – the ancient Pythagorean concept of the Sun, Moon, and planets as being in harmonic proportional relationships, related to the musical scale.

      From Platoโ€™s Republic: “As the eyes, said I, seem formed for studying astronomy, so do the ears seem formed for harmonious motions: and these seem to be twin sciences to one another, as also the Pythagoreans say”. (Davis, Henry, 1901.)

  • Thanks for sharing your research Jenny. Christos and I weren’t sure what kind of Sun symbol to choose for him as a pendant, but seeing the spiral in ancient Greek architecture, perhaps this is a good choice.

  • Wow thats fascinating I never realised thats how the planets interact around the sun, quite incredible really how all these different symbols are all related, thanks for the info guys

  • Everything about our Sun, our galaxy and who we truly are is so complex yet so perfect in every sense. It’s so sad that humanity causes so much harm to our beautiful system and to ourselves.
    It would be so beautiful to be in complete harmony with all that is provided for us.

    Thanks Jenny, I really enjoyed the information you’ve brought forward. Brilliant video.

    • Yes John, you are right. If only we could live in harmony with everything around us.

      What a different world and culture we would have.

  • It’s a very nice collection Jenny. I really love those spirals on the entrance stone at Newgrange. They are so old, but somehow so alive. I also like the feel of the spirals at Malta, and at Knowth and Dowth.

    It is interesting that Viracocha would have worn the spiral pattern on his clothers – it must have had an important function and a meaning to be his choice to do it (he probably didn’t do things like that for nothing). Amazing that we can do the same now today, incorporate this symbol onto our clothing or jewelry every day.

    It made me think of these picture stones I found from Scandinavia recently, though they are much less old, from the 7th and 8th centuries AD respectively. And while researching just now I also came across these petroglyphs on Wrangell Island, Alaska, that are said to be 8000 years old.

    The spiral really can be found almost everywhere on our planet it seems; so it starts to feel strange how we have totally lost touch with its beauty and significance.

    • Hi Laura — I love all three examples you brought up — I’ve seen these before and am saving them for the upcoming swastika gallery ๐Ÿ˜‰ . The Scandinavian one you pointed out from the 8th century (also on bottom left from 7th century) is an interesting one — I first found it as a symbol found in Greece from 2700-2500 BC, so was really surprised to see it frequently come up in Scandinavia later (p.s. it’s titled a “frying pan” but it’s not actually a frying pan or a cooking utensil ๐Ÿ™‚ — apparently nobody knows what function these objects served, but they are named frying pans because of their look. They all (or ones I’ve seen) feature solar symbols). Interesting to see a connection between these two regions.

      The Alaska petroglyph is really interesting — I had no idea these are 8000 years old! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I’ve actually seen this photo before, but it was mislabeled as a petroglyph somewhere in Scotland and I wasn’t able to find a picture of it to include in the gallery as a result. Will look to see if I can find it again now that I know where it’s actually from ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

      • Ha ha, that’s an awesome “frying pan” indeed! Would not mind to have one in my kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        On a serious note, I lreally love this combination of spiral and swastika together on those images you girls mentioned – its like even more swirling than in a regular swastika! The spiral is moving, and the swastika as well; it would be amazing if somebody made an animation.

        I also found an interesting spiral-related symbol yesterday when looking into ancient Dacian symbols, which can be seen here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/552887291735953736/

        • Haha. That is very nice! I’ve seen a very similar one on a “frying pan” as well, and I just realized I completely forgot to add a few more images (including this one) to the image gallery! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Will add them now, but this is the one I’m thinking of. If you’re curious, look up “Cycladic frying pans” and you’ll see quite a lot of them and many of the designs are very beautiful. I’m heading over to the gallery now to toss in a few more spiral images ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Hi again Lucia — just wanted to let you know I updated the image gallery with lots more examples (including some of these beautiful “frying pans” ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Turns out I had a whole stash of them I forgot to include the first time around :o. Some Dacian examples are now in there too, just for you ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Yes, I saw them, and actually thought “wow, these Cycladic pans remind me of that Dacian symbol”, before I came here to read your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hi Jenny,

        Wow! That ‘frying pan’ looks exactly like the symbol on the picture stones. I really like the graceful sun in the middle of it, and those fish swimming around it (and yes even though it isn’t a real frying pan, how fantastic would it be to even cook with utensils inscribed with sacred symbols – it would probably affect the food in a positive way ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

        I really like the spiral jewelry examples you’ve included in the gallery. It seems like it was a very popular symbol to incorporate into jewelry and would probably have been recognized anywhere in the ancient world. I’m quite inspired about those double spiral brooches/fibulae especially… Here is a double spiral pin I came across when looking around a bit, from Eastern Europe, 5000 BCE.

        Yay! Really looking forward to the swastika gallery ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Hi Laura, that’s a beautiful pin.

          I liked seeing the jewelry as well. Actually, I was thinking of using a few buttons that I’ve seen at a shop with the double spiral symbol for a dress I’m sewing. When I was adding a few more images to the gallery yesterday I accidentally stumbled on a few new Bronze Age pieces that were of the exact same design as the buttons.

          I found a similar button online just now (here) so you can see what I mean (although the one I’m using is a bit different and is made of brass). It was a nice surprise to see that these are based in these ancient designs.

  • Thanks Jenny.

    Very intriguing symbol actually when I was thinking about it a bit more now. It sort of also has this ‘infiniteness’ to it where the outer circle could go on forever, same when heading towards the centre where one can also go on to smaller and smaller circulations.

    It is a pretty simple symbol/pattern. Something you might draw in the sand as a kid when you don’t know what to draw. Also this simplicity of it makes it suitable for ornamental use. However in my opinion the fact that it can be used in an ornamental way, and was and is probably used quite a bit without people being aware of a deeper side to it, that doesn’t take away of its real deeper/higher power and meaning. And I believe, especially at Newgrange and Knowth for example, that it certainly wasn’t a simple random nice looking choice of pattern to decorate things with by simple people, but rather a very deliberate and knowledgable use of sacred solar symbols.

    I’m personally not entirely sure if the ‘growing spiral’ symbol, like the ammonites, is the same symbol as the spiral formed by the planet’s movement through space. Though that video is very interesting to make you contemplate and rethink the way we move through space, where it became apparent to me that’s not so simple as I thought.

    I don’t know much about the spiral pattern yet. To me the spiral pattern seems to show the process and energy of growth and expansion. And can possibly have this same effect energetically when used? What do other people think?

    • Hi Karim,

      The ammonite forms a “logarithmic spiral” (aka a spiral that increases in size as it goes outwards while maintaining the same shape) which is found in many visible phenomena in nature (like weather pressure systems, ammonites / nautilus shells, the galaxy, the tail of a chameleon, etc.). The other kind of spiral is called an arithmetic spiral (or an Archimedian spiral, with a constant angular velocity as the spiral moves outwards away from the center). My understanding is that these are two different expressions of the spiral (and there are other spiral forms as well). The logarithmic one is just the one that is more visually observable in nature, and therefore easily captured on camera. But both can be encountered in nature though (for example, if you look at a coiled millipede or snake, you can see an arithmetic spiral form since their body shape is more or less even throughout).

      As for the video, it looks to me like the way that the sun and stars are moving in the video is more like the arithmetic spiral form to me (though I don’t personally know how it moves, of course — so just commenting on what I observed the video depiction).

  • It’s easy to just click through and take for granted seeing all those different examples around the world, but it’s yet another clue/indicator of how the lost civilization of the sun managed to spread far and wide. Amazing really. Thanks for putting this together.

  • I recall seeing this video some time ago. It really changes your perspective and it is absolutely fascinating to watch it unfold. It is strange to think we are on this tiny dot hurtling through space at that speed!

    The spiral symbol also takes on a much greater meaning when you have that process in mind. Amazing how that symbol pops up in so many places around the world.

    • I’ve actually only seen this video for the first time while putting this spiral gallery together after noticing a mention of it in The Path of the Spiritual Sun. It really is an amazing visual depiction and definitely helps to see things from a different perspective.

    • That video is epic. Kudos to the guy who made it. It really does help to give a much broader perspective to the spiral symbol. Then you can visually grasp its significance better, and it becomes more understandable why this symbol why so widely used around the world.

    • I know what you mean ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s definitely something mesmerizing about watching the cosmos at work. Gives a bit of a different perspective on life in some ways…

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