Spiral Meaning and Symbolism

One of the oldest geometric shapes found throughout the ancient world are spirals. Petroglyphs of spirals date back to around the Neolithic period.

Yet, ancient cultures throughout the world carved the same symbol with little or no communication with each other.

The spiral is fundamental to nature, appearing on animals such as the snail, seashells, and occurs in natural phenomena such as whirlpools, hurricanes, tornadoes and spinning galaxies.

The spiral has become a powerful symbol for creation and growth, used by many ancient cultures and religious traditions.

Spiral Petroglyphs

The “Sun Dagger” Spiral – New Mexico

The Sun Dagger is a 1000 year-old celestial calendar made of three rock slabs leaning against a cliff face near the top of Fajada Butte. Behind the slabs, the Chaco people inscribed two spiral petroglyphs.

The Sun Calendar Spiral

Sunlight channeled through the openings between the slabs illuminates the spirals with one or more dagger-shaped patterns of light. These “sun daggers” align with the centers or edges of the spirals during the annual solstices and equinoxes.

The Tri-Spiral

One of the oldest and perhaps most famous Irish Megalithic symbol is the Tri-Spiral which found at Newgrange.

Tri-Spiral in Newgrange Ireland

Newgrange is a large prehistoric circular mound in Ireland with an inner stone passageway and chambers.

The tri-spiral, triple spiral, "Triskele" or as some refer to as the three-spiral stone, is a truly ancient symbol. It is believed that it was carved around 2500-3000 BC.

This of course pre-dates the Celts. Around 500 BC the Tri-Spiral gained popularity in its use within Celtic culture.

Spiral symbols have been found in many ancient cultures, although it should be noted that they have been found in a multitude of burial mounds.

Perhaps it is why it’s thought that the spiral, symbolized the concept of reincarnation and the immortality of the spirit.

The Celtic Spiral

In Celtic symbolism, the spiral also represents the evolution, motion, progress and continuous development of the human being physically and spiritually.

The spiral symbolized the passage of time and the movement of the stars and was used for the elaboration of primitive calendars surprisingly accurate for its time.

Taino Spirals

Some say the meaning of the Taino/pre-Taino spiral symbol represents cosmic energy and sweet water.

Spiral Petroglyphs on Piedra Escrita in Jayuya, PR

According to Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology said that the spiral is an archetypal symbol that represents cosmic force.

The Spiral is a sacred symbol that represents the journey and change of life as it unfolds; taking a labyrinth-like passage that leads to Source. The spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from its center expanding outwardly. Spirals have been linked to nature, the seasons, and the path of life: birth, growth, death and reincarnation.

Speculation over Norway's spiral of light

A mysterious spiral was witnessed over the Norwegian sky on the 9th of December 2009. The anomaly began when what appeared to be a blue light seemed to rise up from behind a mountain.

Within a short span of time the spiral had covered the entire night sky. The spiral could be seen in both Norway and Sweden which was captured by video and photos by surprised spectators.

There have since been sightings in the skies over Norway, Sweden, Russia, and China of strange spirals. The spiral over Norway was later reported to be a rouge missile malfunction; however the details do not match the location from where it was launched. There have been thousands of petroglyphs discovered around the globe all sharing a parallel tale.

Because of this phenomenal event, some have discarded the idea that petroglyph spirals have no connection to water. And due to these extraordinary events, the ancients must have found it important enough to document on stone what they witnessed in the skies.

Taino Art Prints

Free Taino Puzzles

The possible explanations (on this page) of spiral petroglyphs found not just in Puerto Rico but globally, are purely speculative.