Circumambulation ~ The Poetic Walk

We are not going to take the journey in a straightforward fashion. Few lines from here to there are to be found in this mythopoetic life. Instead, the way meanders, wanders, wavers, pauses, and loops back around. Haven't we been this way before?

Haven't we been here - in this mess, this drama, this story - before?

It all looks familiar and yet somehow brand new.

Living a mythopoetic life invites circumambulation.

Ponder the word.  From the Latin prefix circum meaning "around" and ambulātus meaning "to walk" - to circumambulate is more than the aimless movement of walking around. Circumambulation is deceptively rich with intention, awareness, and the scared. It is the simple act of moving around, and not necessarily towards, a sacred object or idol.

The sanctity of the altar. The sacred Kaaba. The dark center of the labyrinth. The Holy Mystery of the Tabernacle. The Earth's reverent orbit around the Sun. The circling inward toward the Self.

“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self.

There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self. Uniform development exists, at most, at the beginning; later, everything points toward the centre.

This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned.”  ~ C. G. Jung, "Memories Dreams Reflections"

Consider the spiral ~ where beauty is form and function ~


and the labyrinth ~ where the path moves toward and away from the Center, the Place of Mystery ~


and poetry ~ where words circle meaning rather than proclaim it ~

And know there is more That you can’t see, can’t hear Can’t know except in moments Steadily growing, and in languages That aren’t always sound but other Circles of motion. Like eagle that Sunday morning Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky In wind, swept our hearts clean With sacred wings.

~ Joy Harjo, from "Eagle Poem"

When we circumambulate, we enter a different experience of time. And it is there where we are met, where we dance, sing, reflect, prepare, awaken, where we become intimate with patterns and beauty, where we pray, breathe, move neither slow nor fast but as we are called to move, become the story, heed a call, where we hear the resonant poem that is our life . . . .

When we engage mythopoetically with our lives, we trust that the fastest way is not always the most effective, that the straightforward path is not necessarily going to get us where we want to go, that the paved highway is not the road to riches.

There are other ways . . . . and we do not have to be sure of where they go. Nothing must be left out or denied.

If we follow the path of Mystery we follow a path of meaning, even if the meaning is simply in the walking.