The following is an excerpt from Cosmic Navigator by Gahl Sasson:
We’ve all heard the old postulate that humankind’s greatest invention is the wheel. I have always questioned that assumption. I guess it really depends on what wheel you’re talking about. If you mean the ox-cart, wheelbarrow wheel, I have to point out that the Maya, Inca, and many other cultures in the Americas prospered just fine without it. Master architects and astronomers, they built complex and sophisticated civilizations without that particular bit of human ingenuity. However, these cultures were cognizant of the importance of the philosophical or symbolic wheel. They used advanced astronomy and math to chart space and time (the Mayan and Aztec calen- dar is written on a circular stone tablet) and investigated deeply the intricacies of astronomy and math (the Mayans invented the numerical zero).
In spirituality, the wheel represents completion, perfection, and equality (as proven by King Arthur’s Round Table, which even the king could not sit at the head of). It also suggests the eternally repeating concept of reincarnation—life followed by death followed by life. In Kabbalah, the Tree of Life is composed of ten wheels or spheres. The Sanskrit word chakra, the fundamental building block of the Hindu tra- dition, translates as “wheel.” In Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, the whirling dervishes worship God by spinning round and round in imitation of the wheel of life. Astrology uses the wheel of the zodiac as the symbol of life on earth, and it empha- sizes degrees rather than sharp cliffs of yes-no, good-bad, wrong-right.
While it is true that year after year we travel in circles around the astrological cycle, when we work with astrology and
Kabbalah, we nonetheless end up not in the same spot, but in a higher, more conscious place. Just think how much a baby learns and grows before the age of one and then between the ages of one to two, even though she finishes up each year in the same place on the zodiac circle. When we work with the wheel, we liberate ourselves from the repetitive cycles of the sea- sons. We mutate (in a good way) and elevate via the lessons and Tikkun (rectification) that we encounter on a daily basis. This work trans- forms the wheel into a spiral, the sacred symbol of the Crown, the loftiest sphere in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (see chapter 5). A spiral is basically a three-dimensional wheel. Every time we return to the place of origin, we find ourselves in a slightly elevated spot. With every lesson we master, with every astrological sign we assimilate, we soar higher and higher, turning the monotonous circle into an enchanted spiral reaching for the heavens. It’s like the rings of a tree, the central totem of Kabbalah. As it matures each year, the tree adds another ring to its core. Each year these rings grow larger and larger, a symbolic confirmation for us of the escalating vitality of the experiences gained, the lessons learned, and the growth invested in our own karmic bank.
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