The Shape of Life


As I brought my bird feeder outside this morning, I noticed a wreath on each of my neighbor's front doors. I too have a wreath hanging on my door that I never take down. Mine has butterflies on it. Over the year, the wreath's decor changes in color and ornamentation depending on the season. We celebrate the autumn harvest, Christmas, and the blooming of spring. Even summer gets a wreath with seashells, starfish, or patriotic flair. But why do we do this?


The origin of the door decor is connected to the sacred symbol of the circle and the meaning of life. Ancient civilizations saw the circle as a symbol of unity and eternity. The sun and the moon both share this shape, and they symbolize the cycle of life, the changing of time and seasons. As each celestial body rose and set, humans understood there is no beginning and no end. The shape is reflected in the human eye, and so we also understood we are a part of this shape.


The word wreath means 'that which is wound around.' Ancient Greeks awarded athletes in the first Olympic games with laurel wreaths symbolizing victory during their religious festival celebrating Zeus. Pagan Romans celebrated the agricultural god Saturn during the Saturnalia Festival in mid-December. They decorated their doors with evergreen wreaths. The word wreath also means band, as in ring, another circular symbol uniting couples in holy matrimony.


Unity is the shape of life. The circle is a symbol demonstrating how we are all connected. So when you decorate your door this season, think about how you are participating in a sacred ritual celebrating life, abundance, good fortune, and unity. You are the sun and the moon and the eye of the Universe. You are as sacred and divine as the laurel tree. Celebrate yourself in every season. In doing so, you honor all those who have come before you, and all those who will come after. Decorate your door with love.