Sacred geometry can become a tool for reflection and understanding—of yourself, others, and how we delineate one another in a relationship.
As someone who does parent coaching and inner child healing work, I often turn to visual metaphors in the form of sacred geometry.
Humans learn best through making their own meaning. Visual metaphors allow people to interpret relational patterns in sacred, universal shapes.
We find ourselves in a cultural and historical moment marked by sickness, violence, and polarization; stress and sadness are, understandably, high. This means it is more important than ever to care for ourselves and our relationships. Sacred geometry can become a tool for reflection and understanding—of yourself, others, and how we delineate one another in a relationship.
What Is Sacred Geometry?
Sacred geometry is a practice that gives spiritually symbolic meanings to geometric shapes. Beyond circles, squares, or triangles, the shapes of sacred geometry are often ornate and can be read in ways that reveal patterns in our realities. Part of that reality: Our interpersonal relationships.
Many cultures and religions have explored the power of sacred geometry, including Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, among others. This may be due, in part, to these cultures interacting with each other, but it is also likely inspired by the shapes and patterns that exist all around us.
Think of the elegant spiral of the chambered nautilus shell, the perfect geometric patterning of crystals, or the Fibonacci sequence of a pinecone. Even our DNA spirals in a geometrical pattern found throughout nature.
In some sacred geometry traditions, shapes and patterns are considered beings, similar to angels or protectors. There are many, so I’ll just explore a favorite of mine that I often reference when working with families: the Vesica Pisces.
Vesica Pisces: The Mother of Geometry
The Vesica Pisces teaches us lessons about how we carry our family dynamics with us as individuals. But how so?
The Vesica Pisces is formed by the intersection of two discs with equal radii. The two discs intersect, and the center of each disc lies on the perimeter of the other. The shape created betwixt the two is the Vesica Pisces.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
We can think of the Vesica Pisces as something created by two other things. Just as two parents create a child, or two different people come together to form a new family, the Vesica Pisces is defined by the relationships of other shapes.
Finding the Shape of Your Family
Family relationships challenge us on many levels. Knowing where you end and your family begins is some of the hardest learning we can do, but it is necessary if you want to live well and be close to people without drowning in resentment and confusion.
Establishing this threshold frees those you love, too. After all, people worth having in your life will want to know if or when they cross a line with you! So, we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to know where we end and where they begin. This knowledge makes us more secure as individuals and creates a sacred structure around the relationships that shape us.
So, how do we learn how to take care of ourselves in this way? Boundaries are an excellent place to start. We must know what we want to say yes and no to. The momentary fear of saying no to those we love ultimately allows us to say yes to keeping those relationships in our lives. It is also saying yes to each of us existing as individuals. In these ways, our boundaries allow us to care for ourselves while still being part of a family.
Boundaries between geometric shapes can help explain and inspire this differentiation. A circle can’t be a circle if it says yes to 90-degree angles or flattens itself into an oval. Life naturally asks us to stretch and squash ourselves as we grow, but if we always bend into uncomfortable shapes to let others expand, we’ll start to notice we’re no longer who we were.
What does this mean about our relationships? I had a client who was constantly shrinking herself—her desires, her plans, even her speaking volume—to keep someone she loved in her life. Eventually, she had to choose between being in integrity (letting her values and actions match) and keeping that person in her life. In comparison, when our thoughts, needs, and feelings match our actions and words, our relationships are sacred and sacredly shaped.
Let’s look at the Vesica Pisces again. The circles form the Vesica Pisces and must remain relatively close for this new shape to remain. However, many of us come from pairings of people that eventually become imbalanced and separate. That’s okay: To become autonomous adults we just have to know ourselves as independent from—and not dependent upon—our origins.
Our relationships of origin form us and inform who we are, even if it is only in the context of our childhoods. If you can get to a place where you’re confident and boundaried, then the movement dynamics of your family will not define your present. You can remain the football-shaped Vesica Pisces even long after the two circles (representing your two parents) have shifted in their relationship dynamics.
This is the paradox of being made up of other people, which we all are. If we come from homes with a lot of distancing, crossing of boundaries, cycles of engagement and dismissal, it can be hard to know who we are. But even if we come from dysfunction, our boundaries help us hold our shape by prioritizing our own needs and our relationship with ourselves and let us return again and again to our no’s and our yes’s.
You may have to care for yourself more in times that challenge your relationships with those you love. Sometimes this looks like tending to your boundaries instead of trying to push them into a shape others tell you it should be. Sometimes we must decide what is our responsibility and what isn’t, where we begin and where we end. This is something we must return to again and again as adults who have the power of yes and no. This is the sacred power of my shape and yours.