“Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.”
~Joseph M. Marshall Sherri

collage by Heather Hoeps

The Symbol of the Circle

‘God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere’ (Hermes Trismegistus)

I have recently found myself being powerfully drawn to create on a circular background and have found working in the round immensely rewarding and healing.  The round collage evokes a special energy of its own. What is it about the circle that feels so peaceful, so grounding, so nourishing, so perfect?

planet Earth

The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the idea of oneness and  wholeness, of infinite timeless eternity and all cyclic movement. We find the circular shape in countless manifestations in nature and ancient cultures throughout history.

The circle is cyclical, connecting with seasonal and lunar transitions. The planets, chakras, and even our breath cycle are circular.

Since the beginning of time has the symbol of the circle been used by ancient cultures all over the world to represent the power of the female, a symbol for the Goddess, the womb, the moon, and Mother Earth.

The circle has no end and no beginning,  it is a closed space where things can ripen in a safe and protected room. Yet it feels open, like a window into the soul,  an opening into the “Self”. As Sarah Wolfe remarks: “Symbols are brought into our lives to awaken our soul, to bring lessons, and to heal.”

Sacred Geometry

Ähnliches Foto

Yin and Yang Symbol

Circles are among the oldest of geometric symbols. Pythagoras called the circle “monad,” the most perfect of creative forms, without beginning or end, without sides or corners. He associated the circle with the number 1 and the practice of monotheism.In the Zen Buddhist philosophy, a circle stands for enlightenment and perfection in unity with the primal principles. Circles are sometimes symbols of the Judeo-Christian God and sanctity, appearing as haloes. In Chinese symbology, the circle represents the heavens.

Circles are also often seen as protective symbols. In occult practices, standing within a circle shields people from supernatural dangers or outside influences. Circles can also represent containing, keeping what is inside from been released.

The Mandala

Bildergebnis für gotisches kirchenfenster rosette

Gothic window rose

The mandala is a drawn symbol in a circle that is a powerful therapeutic tool. It can help art therapy clients process what is going on within themselves on a deeper level than traditional “talk therapy”.

Human beings like to look at curved lines more than straight lines. Circles are the easiest shape for the brain to process as it looks the same up or down.

In art therapy the mandala circle is also a representation of “wholeness” or integration of opposites.

The art therapy mandala is a mirror of the self and can help bring our personality parts as well as our wishes, dreams and fears into the field of view or “awareness”.

Intuitive art mandalas can help us become conscious of what is going on with the deepest parts of our“self” and integrate these parts into wholeness.

collage by Heather Hoeps

In my SoulCollage® Workshops we will work with both the square (rectangular) and the circular shape and explore their different effects. I will continue to incorporate the round collage cards in my personal SoulCollage® process, too – as a complementary component, so to speak. The circular collages bring an additional, balancing quality to my usual deck of the more rigid and structured rectangular shaped cards. This is “coming full circle”.

Here are some tips when it comes to creating in the round:
  • Instead of using cut images try paper tearing techniques to explore movement and organic shapes. One unique aspect of the circular collage is that you can turn the card as you create, like a wheel, and find multiple perspectives and directions.
  • Let your images run off the side of the card, so that you cut along the round edge when you are done gluing them down.
  • Once you have created your card, turn it over and use the edge of the circle to guide your scissors and trim the card edge.
  • Add words, crayons, embellishments as desired.
***Are you itching to create a collage mandala? To attend a workshop in Hamburg  visit the workshop page here

*** If you are interested in exploring your different personality parts and find answers to your current life situation through the mandala and SoulCollage® in a private “Art & Soul” session, I invite you to check out my offer here or contact me for more info and to book your session.


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