First, the research, beginning with the most basic, technical definition:
A circle is a simple closed curve which divides the plane into two regions: an interior and an exterior. In everyday use, the term "circle" may be used interchangeably to refer to either the boundary of the figure, or to the whole figure including its interior.
There are many meanings to the circle. Having neither beginning nor end, the circle has long been a symbol - across time and cultures - of eternity, wholeness, protection, and unity. I found this thought from a native American medicine man, and it seemed to capture the sentiments of many:
From this example we can discern that the circle's symbolism has mostly been derived from the circles that can be found in nature, and therefore, may be totally subject to the interpretations of the individual who is doing the observing!
However, I want to begin with exploring what might be discerned about the circle from the Scripture:
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. Isaiah 40:22 NASB
Clouds veil Him so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky. Job 20:22:14 HCSB
He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness. Job 26:10 NASB
These scriptures reference the creation itself, whether it is the heavens or the earth; their spherical shape giving the discernible edge of a circle. The circle became a symbol for God Himself because it was so evident in the largest objects of creation (earth, sky, moon, stars and planets) and perhaps even more so because of the idea that a circle has no beginning and no end, a reference to infinity, or even more specifically, it represents eternity; each concept reflects the everlasting nature of God:
He is inifinite
He is eternal
and He desires to share that eternity with us:
You might guess that I tend towards the "scholarly" (because of the teacher gifting), and to spare you the work if you are not bent that way, but to offer the resource; click here for a wonderful treatise on God, Time, and Eternity.
The circle as the perfect representation of God probably was cemented during the Renaissance, as it conformed to their thoughts about God. Renaissance thinkers considered the circle and sphere as "perfect" shapes; and God took the form of the sphere to create the earth, and therefore everything pertaining to man; spirit, mind and matter - which in turn was represented by three descending concentric circles
I wanted the cover of my book to hold a simple circle - I haven't added a title yet - I am unsure if I want to! I will probably cover over this with clear drying gel medium to give it added protection and strength:
I wanted to form the circle in one motion, without lifting the paintbrush. I did twist the brush as I went around. I wanted to use purple paint, because purple is the color of royalty in Christian liturgical symbolism - I even mixed my own purple, hoping for blues and reds to show up in the finished circle...it did take me a while to decide on this (!), but next week's post will explain some of why I went in this direction...
I used some rice paper I had on hand - it took the acrylic paint quite well I think! I have to apologize here for not being more progressed on my own book, but I have been painting in Sweet Tweener's room; turning it from young girl to young lady...pictures will be coming soon!
This symbol is called the "Trefoil" and is a representation of the trinity, showing each is eternal in nature and equal to the other members of the Godhead - the trefoil has been used since the 1300s to represent the Trinity (the early beginnings of the Renaissance)...
You can download this pattern here.
I will be placing one of these on the second page of my book...
This is the "Triumphant Cross" - the cross placed over the world. It symbolizes Jesus as triumphant over anything we face in the world.
The "Triquerta" is the interlocking parts of the three intertwined circles...they form a stylized triangle, whose three sides also have been used to represent the Trinity for hundreds of years.
Your prompt: Choose one of these circular forms for your own book or journal. Include some of the scriptures I have included today, or find your own...make this exploration so very much yours! I promise I will be back with more of these before next week, to show some different techniques...
More scriptures to use that reflect the Trinity: Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Revelation 1:4-5