Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spiral Dynamics: the Conch & the Earth's Rotation

After writing the three previous post about spiral dynamics and rotational movement [see links below], I became curious about how the Vedic civilization conceptualized 'clockwise' and 'counterclockwise'. I imagined that the ancient Sanskrit words for these movements would cast some light on the subject. I found that dakshinavarta means turning from the left to the right; i.e. what our civilization calls clockwise. Dakshina means 'south' or 'southern' but it also describes 'right' as in the right hand or right side of something. Avarta as an adjective means 'turning, winding, turning round, revolving'; as a noun it means whirl or whirlpool. The opposite of dakshinavarta is vamavarta -- turning to the left. A Dakshinavarti Shankha is a conch shell (shankha) that turns from left to right (spirals clockwise) as does the conch seen above to the left. On the right, the shell's spiral is vamavarta -- from right to left (counterclockwise).

Readers having trouble seeing the direction of the conch's spire or spiral should imagine that they are looking down on a swirling hurricane or galaxy.

Considering that the Earth rotates left to right or clockwise when viewed from the Southern 'heavens', and that dakshinavarta indicates both clockwise movement and a southern path or southern rotation it seems likely that the architects of the Sanskrit language were well aware of the spiral dynamics of the Earth and had knowledge of what was UP and what was DOWN when it came to the Earth's axis. Considering that the Hindu god Vishnu -- the Lord of the Cosmos -- is commonly depicted with a spiraling conch in one of his hands, it is not too much of a leap to say that the ancient Vedic sages were well aware of the spiral dynamics of the entire Cosmos.

In Sanskrit a principle word for north or upwards is uttara. Uttaravithi describes 'the northern orbit'. Dakshina-uttara is a word that means 'right and left, southern and northern.' [1]. The connection seen here between 'right' and 'southern', and 'left' and 'northern' again seems to indicate that the Vedic civilization was well aware of the counterclockwise (leftward) rotation of the Earth from the view of the northern 'heavens' and the clockwise (rightward) rotation of the Earth from the view of the southern 'heavens'.

In my research into these matters I found much information on how important the conch shell was in India as a sacred object used in rituals and celebrations and war. When blown, the air spirals, vibrates within the shell and sounds OM. The sound of the conch represents 'the truth behind illusion'. [2] I came across a few observations that the shape of India, at least its central body, actually looks like a conch shell. I photoshopped an image [on the left] that shows the similarity. This similarity in its own right is interesting considering the importance of the conch in India. It is extra-interesting that the body of the conch -- the symbol of Vishnu-the Preserver (Sattva in terms of the three gunas) -- is visually equivalent to the portion of India that is considered to embody the sattvic or 'preservation' guna. [3]

Endnote Links: [1] [2] [3]

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  1. It is truly interesting and revolutionary that in these geographical maps, on which universal symbols are superimposed (such as the Capricorn symbol and the conch), one can see in one sweep the connection between the Veda (e.g. role of Vishnu), astrology (i.e. the Tropical Zodiac and the gunas) with the landmass of India.

  2. I tink a true point of view could be if we consider the movement of the solar system around Milky way looking from behind the solar system.
    I dont know from were you take the foto with the conch seen above to the left (wich is anticlockwise from my point of view) becouse all the conches I see in my life was clockwise.
    Is this from the sud emisphere ? (I'm in the nord emisphere).
    I would apreciate very much an answer becouse I find nothing on the internet about earth movement related to the movement of solar sistem wich is the true answer to this question.
    Ade Zephyr

  3. Hi Ade, Sorry it has taken me over a week to address your comment. Apparently dakshinavarta (clockwise spiraling) conch shells are rare. The one shown above and left (at the top of the article) was photoshopped ... it is a horizontal inversion of the vamavarta conch. There are images of dakshinavarta conchs online, I just wanted to use the same image because it seemed to illustrate the spirals very well. The vamavarta shell image is from

    I have also wondered if rightward spiralled conchs grow in the southern hemisphere, but I can't find any information on that. Do let me know if you find anything out about this.

    I found the following about the solar system's movement relative to the Milky Way: "If you could look down upon our solar system from the the North Ecliptic Pole in the constellation Draco the Dragon, you'd see that the Earth and planets go counter-clockwise around the Sun. In direct contrast, if you looked down at the Milky Way galaxy from the North Galactic Pole in the constellation Coma Berenices, you'd see that the Sun goes clockwise around the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Relative to the Sun's revolution through the galaxy, the Sun rotates and the planets revolve around the Sun in retrograde - or opposite the direction of the Sun's revolution." [LINK].

    So it seems from this that both the Earth and the Solar System both rotate counter-clockwise from the perspective of the Northern Celestial Pole, retrograde from the motion of the Milky Way. ... If you find out info to the contrary, please let me know. Thanks, Lori

  4. Dear,

    Rather interesting all this...

    I wonder if there is a preferential flow in ether/energy vortices as well, so I continue observing details of mother Nature in its spiraling movement on all scales (also countrary blood flow movement in the heart in connection to outgoing arteries/incoming veins, the hair on our skull around the center - often just like the mostly occuring shells I found until now -can you check on people or yourself, dear reader? )...

    The Earth's axis also rotates clockwise nowadays, opposite to the zodiacal-planetary ccw direction (as well as the sun&stars seen from the Earth - which is relative, because the earth spins counterclockwise causing this illusion from Earth's perspective).

    I wonder why Vedic lore considers clock/counterclockwise from the outside inwards towards the center (like the airflow towards the lower pressure center in a tornado or low pressure zone on the northern hemisphere), whilst you might as well look at it in the opposite direction from the center outwards (like the airflow in high pressure zone on the northern hemisphere) like Ade Zephyr.
    Perhaps because the center leads towards 'real' infity? (inwards towards ZERO-ness & dimensional transition, through the quantum vacuum, instead of outwards because outwards you can only imagine relative infinity to that side, an imaginary limit that you never reach in math and in the psyche).

    Also why consider the Earth north pole (a magnetic north pole) to be the reference, Lori, or the south pole?

    Speaking of references: what starting ( ending;-) ) point for the sidereal zodiac did the Ancient Indians use, Spica (corresp. to 13h30 sidereal time -its zenital position, a climax on earth at any place for 'paranormal', non-local perception according to research) or ... ?

    Thanks very much...

    Kind regards,


  5. Hey Stefaan, thanks for your comments. Regarding how the the 0 point for the Sidereal Zodiac was identified by the Ancient Indians (or some previous humans), I don't know. I am of the camp which recognizes the real Vedic Year or Zodiac as the Tropical based on the four pillars of the Earth's equinoxes and solstices ... wherein the Zero Point of Aries is easily determined. Indians have conflicting 'Vedic' calendars I believe because entrance/exit through the constellations/signs is not an exact science. This line of thought can be followed in the books and writings of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (including her new blog Puranic Cosmology Updated).

    Regarding the reference point for North and South ... perhaps it is easy enough to consider this a random choice. I've always thought their must be a reason, and that the fact that there is more landmass in the Northern Hemisphere and less in the Southern hemisphere is somehow part of this reason. Last month I read about the fixed HEXAGON at the North Pole of Saturn. What amazed me just as much was that the South Pole looked like the bottom of a drain. Images of that phenomenon are on 'Geometry and Rotation: Did You Know They Are Related?'. I imagine that this difference as seen b/n North and South Poles, has something to do with why the Northern Pole is UP and why it is the reference point of rotation. I do hope scientists are proceeding to explore rotational geometry.

  6. Was anything ever found out about the right and left spiraling conch shells, why there are different ones and is it related to north and south hemispheres? Thanks in advance for your time and help.

  7. Hi Debbie, I haven't found anything else about why dakshinavarta (clockwise spiraling)conchs are so rare or whether this is related to the northern and southern hemisphere. There is some interesting new evidence for rotational geometry which I imagine has something to do with the prevalence of counter-clockwise conchs on Earth. See 'Geometry and Rotation - Did You Know They Are Related?'.

  8. This port is very informative. I'll definitely refer to this every now and then

  9. The aether flow as Stefaan point in this conversation is the real subject wich could guide us. Everything is growing, the earth is growing and the shells a growing and in fact the flux of aether guide this growing. The shells are clockwise and the DNA is clockwise and the direction of this aetheric flux depend of solar system movement related to his direction of displacement. A better comparison could be a gyroscope. If a gyroscope is static (no movement while rotating) then nobody can say clockwise or counterclockwise, becouse this depend of the point from wich you look at gyroscope , but if the gyroscope is moving than you can say something only if you look from behind toward the direction of movement.
    So the question is this : is the solar system a clockwise gyroscope ?

    Ade Zephyr