Universal Shapes

Posted by Heart Niagara on

by Cindy VanDyke

Today, our topic of interest is the 5 universal shapes used in all cultures. These include the circle, square, triangle, cross and spiral. 

Through research and study of different cultures, it has been noted that similar meanings have been given to the shapes. 

  • The circle represents wholeness
  • The square represents stability
  • The triangle represents goals, dreams, and manifesting
  • The cross represents relationships and intersecting
  • The spiral represents growth

As you become more aware of the shapes, you will begin to see them everywhere. Doodles, art, buildings, business cards, logos, nature, religious symbols, and in mythology. It is the artist in us that communicates these symbols in their meanings in music, dance, paintings and feelings expressed through a visual way promoting non-verbal communication. 

Have you ever looked closely at a mandala (colourful geometric design), often in a stained window or piece of art? It has many shapes in one piece of art in all sizes creating absolute beauty. 

Lets look at each shape individually and creatively the way to see the way cultures have used them as symbols. 

The Circle: Wholeness
The earth is round, the sun is round, the moon is round. Birds make their nests in a circle and the life of man is circle from childhood to childhood. So the wholeness of a circle is in our journey of life. 

The Square: Foundation
This is a symbol of stability and security with strength. When we see or use the square, we recognize consistency, accountability, completion and congruity. We have 4 seasons, 4 elements, 4 directions, 4 noble truths in Buddhism, and 4 gospels. The square shoes equality. 

The Cross: Integration
This symbol represents relationships, integration, joining and balance. It can be like the religious symbol or like an X where 2 things join and share the same space.

The Spiral: Growth
The spiral moves and changes so the perspective from different points and different levels can be seen. We see spinning webs by spiders spiraling and weaving of stories and things can literally spin and spiral to a different way from their beginning. It is so natural for us to grow and change and evolve. 

The Triangle: Goals
The triangle represents goals, dreams, visions, and manifesting. Think of pyramids, arrow heads, and sacred mountains. These things bring direction, revelation and discovery into our view. When we reach for a goal, we tend to notice triangles. 

When you look around and notice these beautiful universal shapes that add meaning to your life, notice which ones you are attracted to, and which ones are your least favourite. 

There may be a universal message in it for you. 



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.

1 comment

  • Interesting post. I’d actually not heard a discussion of the meaning of the different shapes before __yet it makes perfect sense. Thank you. I’ll be looking for more shapes moving forward.

    Judy on

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