Why Spirals for Advent

The spiral is an image commonly associated with this time of year. If you are part of a Waldorf community, you probably even have the opportunity to participate in the creation of a spiral for your children. But why? What is the significance of the spiral?

At each of the solstices, summer and winter, daylight begins a new journey. In the fall, the days grow shorter and shorter, like the chambers in a nautilus shell get smaller and smaller as you come toward the center. We feel this inward journey as the hustle and bustle of summer gets hemmed in by shorter and shorter days. Even in our well-lighted modern era, the shorter days make an impact. Whether the shorter days leave you a little low, a little irritable, or even a little relieved, you notice the way they effect your life.

What can be easy to forget is what happens after the holidays, what it is about this season that has resulted in so many cultures having festivals of lights around this time. The light begins to return.

If you pay close attention, around the 12th day of Christmas, the days are suddenly visibly longer. It’s time to head back out from our grounded center into the light of the world outside. The coldest temperatures of winter also happen to mark the ever brightening days that lead us back out into the wonder of spring.