A Note on the Triple Spiral from Alan Culler

I chose the triple spiral as the logo of the Results-Alliance,
a fluid organization helping others navigate change.


I have doodled this symbol since I was eight years old. In my thirties I began to research it. Here are some things that I discovered.

Spirals are an old symbol for change, objects or events descending into chaos or ascending to higher order. Spirals have decorated pottery and structures for thousands of years. Now studies of chaos theory and fractals have shown that there is an underlying order to seemingly random data. Perhaps those spirals that we thought were just copies of sea shells and whirlpools are the physical representation of the way things change.

The triple spiral is ancient. In 500 BC, the triskelion shows up on Periclean Greek pottery, the triskele on Iron Age Celt metal work and triple tomoe in the glazes of Taoist porcelain in China, Shinto shrines in Japan, and as “Buddha’s navel” in India. But the oldest extant example of the triple spiral is at the door to the Neolithic tomb at Newgrange, Ireland.

This impressive structure was built in 3200 BC and is oriented such that a single beam of sunlight passes through a tiny slit in the wall and lights the altar inside at the Winter Solstice. How did they do that?

Archeologists have speculated on the meaning of this swirling intertwined symbol to ancient cultures: Sun-Moon-Earth, Past-Present-Future, Life-Death-Afterlife.

I have no idea what the triple spiral meant to those who carved it into the entrance curbstone at the Newgrange passage tomb, but I have always liked it. And now this picture of dynamic interconnectedness represents the Results-Alliance.