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The story behind "Unbroken Circle"

In the world of symbolism, perhaps no symbol has been more used than the "unbroken circle". It has come to represent almost anything that is reoccurring. All things in nature are cyclical - night becomes day, day becomes night, and night becomes day again. Death follows life and life follows death. There is spring, summer, autumn, winter, and then spring returns. A circle is the symbol of the Sun, and the Earth, and the Universe. It is also the symbol of love and life, that which has no beginning and no end. In the context of marriage, unbroken circles are also a symbol of faithfulness and undying love (wedding bands). Authors, poets, and songwriters have used the symbolism of the unbroken circle. Everyone is probably familiar with the phase, "Will the circle be unbroken". In the early ‘70’s, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a huge hit song by that title and one of my all-time personal favorite songs is Joni Mitchell’s, "The Circle Game".

So, here is an "Unbroken Circle". You can "see" what you want to see. Some people may only see a pretty assembly of little pieces of wood; others might see something more.

The number 13 is well represented; there are 13 sets of rings, the spiral makes thirteen revolutions before it joins back to itself, and the circle is 13 inches in diameter. The Egyptians were the first to develop a superstition for the number thirteen, but for them the number brought good luck. They believed that there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge and to take the thirteenth step meant going through death into everlasting life. Thirteen, for the Egyptians, was associated with immortality.


Malcolm Tibbetts, 738 Modesto Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 malcolm@tahoeturner.com ©2004