What’s at the center of your circle?
In order to recreate the Solar System, we would first have to start with a Sun! It’s how it all started here for us some 4.5 billion of years ago.
Imagine, if you will, what it must take to create a Sun like ours. Along the Orion Spur of the Milky Way Galaxy, a star was born as a Solar Nebula, a cloud of dust and gas collapsed. In the center of that formation matter condensed into a burning ball of gas.
Being able to hold within itself all eight planets 600 times, the Sun is clearly the largest object in our Solar System. Along with a tremendous gravitational pull and extensive electromagnetic field the Sun, and it’s fiery nature, sit at the center of our great Cosmic Circle. Its size and mass give it the gravitational pull to not only hold itself together but also hold the entire Solar System intact because it contains 99.8% of our Solar Systems mass giving it a great pull on the fabric of space.
The Sun is the heart of our Solar System holding together a system of 8 planets, dozens of dwarf planets, approximately 170 moons, and countless comets and asteroids. That is one powerful and truly Sacred center. The Sun is the inspiration for the center of all my Sacred circles and shrines.
That being said, there is no limit as to what one can create to circumambulate, but for us Cosmic Shamans it is clear what Sacred object is at the center of our Sacred circle and the intention behind every center altar we create is to re-create the Sun.
Embracing the 3-D altar experience.
Circumambulation is the act of walking around something, usually Sacred. What does that mean? Simply put, the something that is walked around was created with a specific intention in mind and the act of circumambulation is a way of exchanging energy with that something or other that you created with intention and with intention cultivate and develop a relationship with it.
One of the sweetest things about circumambulation as a Spiritual practice for me is that what I get to create in the round. I have always admired people who can sculpt and create three dimensional art. That’s what we are doing here, like the Sun we are creating round altars.
It’s not easy walking around an altar that is set up against the wall. At that point the whole building becomes a Sacred shrine and hopefully there is room to walk around that. These are serious concerns for the Circumambulator if we keep in mind that one of our goals, or desired experiences is to observe the world from every perspective possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love walking around buildings, temples, and churches but often in those situations it’s not possible to have a 3-D dynamic experience with what’s inside.
I grew up Catholic going to church every Sunday; I often wonder what it would be like if I grew up circumambulating the crucifix rather than just sitting and kneeling while staring at it from afar. What sort of relationship with that symbol of the Sun would I have today had my experience been more active and experiential? I might just have to give that a try someday.
The Sun is a work in progress.
Our Sun that sits at the middle of our Cosmic Circle did not form overnight. It has taken 4.5 billion years just for it to get to this point in it’s evolution and development.
What is a representation of the Sun for one Circumambulator will not be the same for the other. These are extremely personal expressions and take time to develop. Some walk Sacred circles around Fire, some around water, and sometimes we walk circles around burnt out trees – Earth.
I have spent nearly a year walking circles in contemplation of creating a Sun for my workshops and classes. Sometimes it’s easy, we burn a fire. Other times not so easy to burn that Fire so I had to come up with something else just as powerful for me. So that when I walked around it I could see in it the Fire and most of all, the Sun.
Coming up next in Creating a Sun part 2, I will talk about the concepts and processes that I went through while creating the center altar for the Circle The Sun! workshops and Sacred Circumambulation classes. In part 3, I will share with you a step by step guide for creating your own Sun for your personal Scared Circumambulation practice.