Return to site

My history with the Spiral

Beginning to Unfurl

My history with the Spiral

I have been dancing with the Spiral in my own life for as long as I have memory. Sometimes it took the form of a deep seeded sense of UNSAFE and dangerous chaos and sometimes it took the form of the season changing from Fall to Winter.

The spiral for me has always represented polarities. Right vs Wrong, Dark vs light, awake vs asleep, primal vs ethereal, good vs bad, me vs you, nature vs human, victim vs perpetrator….. the list goes on and on and on. What I have discovered for myself is that these apparent opposites are indeed just opposite sides of the same coin. Where one exists, so does the other, ALWAYS!

I must know light to know dark, I must experience right in order to feel wrong, I feel like a victim and remember those times where I was the perpetrator. Separation has been an illusion for me. I would venture to offer that the story of separation has been a long held human story and that it is now collapsing in on itself and is proving to be NOT true moving forward.

A spiral represents movement for me and I often, cannot tell where it starts and where it begins. It occurred to me recently that the direction of the spiral in my own world has ceased to be collapsing in on itself and has started in the lush still space of ME, and now moves outward. From the center or still point, the spiral UNFURLS outward into infinite space. As the spiral of my life expands outward, possibility and potential grows exponentially. The spiral begins to amplify all of my intentions, truths, desires, goals, wishes, wants and visions for a New World. As I step into the chaos, intensity and fire of my own life, the spiral amplifies and beefs up the vibration.

I am fascinated with the spiral; the shape, texture, meaning and metaphor of all that it holds in my world. The spiral is a concentric circle of sorts and operates at all dimensions. It moves in all directions, moving in and out, left and right, up and down. A spiral is sustainable from the perspective that it thrives and relies on diversity. The diversity of polarities, the emotions and feelings triggered by the spiral are varied. The dimensions of a spiral weave through all logical levels. It moves and flows with ease wherever it needs, not getting hung up or stuck on any one point. It is fluid by nature and as such, invites an unstable environment with open arms. This can be difficult for anyone who craves and needs structure, sameness, schedules, finite answers etc….

The spiral is an integral thread in our human history. The spiral is seen in numerous texts, writings, art, language and cultural meaning throughout history. Regardless of religion or belief systems, countries or cultures, the spiral is found woven thru the story of time. It is a fundamental shape, vibration and sound of being human. I wonder if it goes beyond the human part and speaks to the higher realm of consciousness itself?

RE-Reading all of this BLOG I am aware of the abstractness of my words. I am aware that it may feel a little intangible for some. Which brings me to the real connection of the SPIRAL in my own world. The day-to-day application and where I feel myself drawn to spend time. In the SOIL!

Yes, I am here again…. Inside the magnificence of mother earth; Rolling around in the SOIL, fungus, worms, protozoa, mites, centipedes, nitrogen, potassium, and bacteria of our planets largest organ. THE sustaining living element for human life. What does this have to do with a spiral? Well, SOIL is the living example or metaphor for LIFE itself. It is in the SOIL that we see the web of LIFE. All that moves and plays and eats and dies and grows, expands and contracts in LIFE, does so, in the SOIL. The spiral is the SOIL.

I can feel in this moment, my life spinning. Spinning with the uncertainty of whether or not you hear me. Spinning with the fear that you won’t hear me. Spinning with the deep love and respect for myself because I am sharing despite this uncertainty. Spinning with the excitement that you will hear me and be inspired. All of these “feelings” seem to be different and yet they aren’t. They represent the possibility for life and growth when I stand firmly in who I AM and allow that to pulse without control or management. When I allow myself to unravel and be witnessed without taming it down or making it “audience appropriate”, I hold open space for unlimited and sustainable growth. I allow a new story to weave itself in the real time real moment of “feeling”.

My history has always played out with me reaching an uncomfortable or uncertain place and my reaction is to collapse in on myself. As you can imagine, this is a very tight and restricted place to be. If I do not look outward and stretch and move and grow, I am doomed to relive all that I have already played out in my history. No new information or habit equals SAME. Same story and same outcome…… over and over and over again. When I stay with myself during this process, I can stay in movement (breath) and in a relative still point as I stretch out and expand my experience and evolution. I can unfurl as I am designed to. You can think of unfurling as change or transformation. As I stay present to myself, even during periods of immense intensity and chaos, I offer myself the experience of ease in transformation. I am BECOMING or BLOSSOMING. I can feel myself relax into the moment and the experience of it all.

The key for me to this process has been staying present to my body as a Quantum Biological Device. As I breathe and relax my body into all of the sensations, it can digest, metabolize and breakdown all that is presented. On the other side of this process, is massive transformation and change in the form of new ideas, insights, and the “ Ah Ha” moments. I am newly informed and find myself making new choices, which allows for a different outcome.

I have an “insanely” and devout commitment to myself and my own evolution. Along side of this commitment to SELF, I find a deeper commitment to my Ohana and my community both locally and globally.

I have come to know myself as Gaia or mother earth. I have a deep and ancient connection with her. I know myself as not separate from the trees, plants, birds, fungus, SOIL, animals, rain, wind, snow and bees. The greater expression of ME is activated when I engage with these Natural and organic inner and outer parts of my world. I have experienced the building of several Herb Spirals in the past two years and my world has SHIFTED each and every time I gathered with intention to create the spiral.

There is immense power in gathering together in community to build an Herb Spiral. A beautiful gift of RECIPROCITY reveals itself. My gateway for expansion and evolution in my life has been in the Raw, Wild, Vulnerable, and innocent moments of my life, REVEALED! How I feel when I engage with my natural environment, is Raw, Wild, Vulnerable, and innocent. There is a disarming and gentle relaxation for me when I have my hands in the SOIL. It allows me to experience my real time, real body and be completely present. When this is in full flow, I am on “receive” to the ancient pulse and teachings that Gaia has to offer me. I am in contact and connection with all those who have come before me and who will come after. The ancient exists with the future all in real time when I play in the SOIL.

I am so lit up in the presence of Gaia and those who want to explore themselves more in the prescence of her. When I consider the elements required to create an Herb Spiral, I see the diversity required of our communities in order to be sustainable and regenerative. An Herb Spiral requires simply rocks, mulch, seeds and SOIL. At first glance this may seem super simple and one-dimensional but if you “dig” a little deeper, you will find that the sustainability of the Spiral depends solely on the amount of connections or relationships in the spiral.

You cannot just have one size rock for the spiral, it requires many different sizes and shapes or else it will not be stable. You cannot just find dirt but rather require a rich, alive and diverse SOIL. It must be teeming with a good balance of all creatures: worms, bacteria, protozoa, sugars, minerals, carbon, nitrogen etc… otherwise it will not support the life of the plants. You require a mulch in order to retain moisture and protect the creatures in the SOIL. The seeds need to be healthy and vital, otherwise they will not germinate. If one of these elements is not in alignment, the Herb Spiral dies. If all of these elements are in reciprocity or connection with one another, then the Herb Spiral is sustainable and will feed itself for many many years to come.

An Herb Spiral represents community for me. There are certain micro climates that are created within an Herb spiral that make it possible to grow some plants where they might not otherwise survive. An Herb Spiral allows for all types of Herbs to grow regardless of their needs. For example, there are drought tolerant Herbs that are planted at the top of the Spiral and they get full sun exposure and stay dry because of the slope that is created away from these plants. The water loving plants are planted at the moist bottom of the spiral to accommodate their need for more water. The shade loving plants are planted to the side of the spiral where the rocks are higher creating shade or are planted next to the taller growing herbs. The herbs that require pollination from the pollinators are planted next to the plants that attract these pollinators. The list goes on and on and on. BUT, the metaphor of it all for me is that no one plant goes without, EVER. Every single plant is provided for in the most abundant way because the spiral holds infinite space for all to flourish.

One of the most beautiful aspects of an Herb spiral for me is that it is a living gift. After the Herb spiral is built, it continues to grow and thrive more and more each year. It is planted with Herbs that are perennial and that means they continue the cycle of life and death each year; Always morphing, changing and helping as it does so. An Herb spiral is as unique as the people who gather to build it. NO two spirals ever look the same and are a unique expression of the intentions and people who build them. The community that builds the spiral will dictate the longevity and impact of the spiral. They will leave their own unique impression on those others who come into contact with the spiral. Herb Spirals are very pleasing on the eyes. Most everyone is stopped in their own tracks when they see one. Sometimes they appear messy and chaotic and sometimes they appear clean and organized. Regardless of their appearance, they are a magnifier for the energy and intentions that went into the building of it. As with the SOIL, each Herb spiral has a very ALIVE and unique presence.

Coming into the Renaissance Women Retreat soon, I have experienced so much recognition of the undercurrents in my own life. As they begin to weave into my days, I have stopped, acknowledged them and allowed for all of the messiness that follows to gently drop away. I have experienced a plethora of contractions and expansions lately and instead of collapsing in on myself, collapsing my own potential, I have stayed present to the contraction and don’t fight it. By trusting and using this strategy, I have held space for the MORE of my life. I have not gotten swept up in the spiralling and swirling action that my life has taken. I have not run away and cocooned myself and in doing so, have began to unfurled or RISE. This may not sound like much in this moment but I assure you that coming to the EDGE of who I have been and jumping off with new ways of being is indeed a life and world changing choice. I feel as though I can fly and through this trust, have gained even more safety.

I know that creating Herb spiral’s can be just that…building a physical Herb Spiral for someone to harvest Herbs from OR it can be the MORE that I know is possible when I step into community to know myself as Raw, Wild, Vulnerable, and innocent. To know and discover how I am diversity and that when I am in the full measure of who I AM, there is complete safety there. That I can grow, thrive, flourish, blossom and RISE! Dancing with the spiral allows me to know myself as the connected, fully alive, BOLD, Edge worker that I AM. Living as the spiral allows me to magnify or amplify my vibration into my world to be heard by those people who hear too. Engaging the spiral connects me to the ancient wisdom, support and knowledge that my ancestors had and help me carry it forward for the next 7 generations. I have “come here with a KNOWING, a purpose, a chord to play that IS vital in the world’s orchestra of change and in playing my music I come alive.” The spiral is one of my tools to share this KNOWING!


Mandy Sandbach