Triskele: Creation in Motion

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Triskele: Tools for Finding Our Way

Triskele-Symbol-spiralThe triskele, or three-legged whirling cross, features prominently in the art of people around the world. It is an ancient tool for Finding Our Way in a dynamic universe. The word triskele comes from the Greek tri: “three” + skelos: “leg.” It is often presented with three legs or three spirals and reveals the Nature of Creation in Motion.

When we get stuck in a conflict or in a perspective that narrows our view of Life, we often look for an opposite perspective to balance ours. This opens our view of things along a binary gradient. It also has limitations based in the conflicting pull of only two tendencies. When we apply the wisdom of the triskele we look for and from a third perspective outside of the two sides of “my side vs. their side” or “how I see things and its opposite.”

We begin to notice movement, circularity, cycles, connections, relatedness, consequences and how one quality coming to bear the weight of “importance” in a phase of a cycle means other qualities now have a chance to grow and prepare themselves for soon coming to the fore.

Imagine two people pulling each in their own direction on a rope. If one more person ties another rope to the middle, the whole dynamic changes. When we do this ourselves, we go to the center of the polarity and begin discovering elements we hadn’t noticed. Now we discover our connection to multiple elements in the circle of what’s happening. The “sacred,” in ancient cultures, is not “purer” than the “profane;” it’s complete. It’s circular. It’s “the whole of it.”

In the manifestation of phenomenon, one might also consider that there are active forces, passive forces, and neutralizing forces, as well.  Consider this from living phenomenon.

The sacred is that which is whole. The Greek word is holos which gives rise to the English word “holy. A sacred knowing, traditionally, is one which begins to include all of the dynamics at play in a situation. It goes in pursuit of the whole dynamic, the complete ecology of relationship that generates the phenomenon actively, passively, and also neutralizing it.  Every phenomenon also has active, passive and neutralizing effects on other phenomenon.

Snake-Witch Stone from Gotland, Sweden. Notice that each animal head in the triskele is of a different Nature. Photo: Berig

We begin to reconnect, from the center, and observe things deeply, broadly, patiently and dynamically. That is why the triskele turns. We turn with it.  How we navigate cycles of phenomenon is something the triskele helps us to become more skillful at. We can also move dynamically.

Three is the number of Creating. When a man and a woman join their polarities in creation a child emerges. When the polarities of sun and rain unite the world flowers into Life. The triskele reveals the natures, the pulls, the movements of what we’re connected to. How do we tie that third rope into our conflict, perception, confusion or aspiration? With attention to the real we expand from only noticing “our side,” to noticing “the other side,” to observing things broadly and in Total Relationship.

Journey Out and Back
Journey Out and Back

If you recall the Journey Out and Back glyph and take a close look at the triskele, you’ll notice that it’s composed of three Journeys Out and Back. Our pre-conquest Ancestors used Living Language to communicate in Coherence with Aliveness; the glyphs are doing what their message is. To work with the triskele deeply involves taking three Journeys Out, and Back. We begin to discover the Nature of the Center, of the Perimeter and of the Whole that the Creative Intelligence expresses in its Aliveness.

The triskele is deep and simple… but not easy. It challenges us to take ourselves on three different Journeys Out to Bigger Dimensions of our experience while, at the same time, we come Back to our center, in open attention. We become the place where Life itself moves and is noticed. We find new responses beyond just “my response” and “their response.” We become wise (Germanic wijs- “way, trail, path”). We notice relationships. With our feet open and feeling all the way up to our bellies, our hearts, our heads, connected, we find a way for ourselves and our People, our generations, that takes in the whole panorama of our challenges, our histories, our experiences, and opportunities.

The Triskele IS showing us the Shaping Aliveness Does Aliveness In. Photo: United States Botanic Garden
Shapes of Aliveness
Photo: United States Botanic Garden

Whatever meaning we make of this is not the point of this writing. We can make sense of it, with our senses, by Journeying it, in reality. We discover something much more enriching than the mere idea of it. Every one of these “symbols” are complete teachings that only come alive when we walk them sense-ably. They are invitations to our adventure of Relatedness to What-Is.

They are realized through creative engagement with Life. They are generative. The symbol is doing what the teaching is. For a human to get the teaching we have to do what the teaching does, and bring our entire body and our Being into the adventure. How do we do that? If you Live the Question then your Living will show you a thousand lived answers. Yes, exactly, “How?”  Don’t just ask “How?” in your head, Live “How?” and the very Wisdom you are Woven of will show you.

Have a Good Journey!

Gather Seeds,  Of Wisdom.

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