Journeys. While on one to Boston recently, my daughter wondered aloud how we managed to find our way before our phones and Mapquest (which she does remember lol). The conversation turned to paper maps and reading the roads, turning those maps upside down and all around to find the right direction. Think back even further to explorers of many centuries ago, navigating by the stars. How did they find their way? The stars and the sky, and yes, paper maps! On these paper maps would be a symbol, signifying north, south, east and west, as well as the directions in between. But there's more to this symbol and how it came to be than just common directions. The symbol we see today on maps, nautical charts and monuments has a rich and long history.
This symbol is the Compass Rose, also known as a Wind Rose and Rose of the Winds, because the original directional signals were determined by the direction the winds blew. Variations of the Compass Rose have been found back to ancient Greek and Roman times, in the Middle East as far back as the 900's, and on medieval charts of the 14th century. The version we commonly see today has the familiar coordinates along the edge, with a "rose" in the center, so called because of the petallike design. The rose-like center came into being to show the directions the winds blew! The fascination for me has always been that everyone using a Compass Rose has been on a journey of some kind. A trip, a path, a journey, even hundreds of years ago, needed the guidance and direction of a Compass Rose.
We are all on some kind of journey. I love the symbolism, which is why I gave my daughter a Compass Rose before she went off to college. We've added a new Compass Rose pendant to our collection. Isn't it beautiful? It's the perfect gift for yourself, or for someone who's on your journey with you, as a reminder that "we are not just travelers but the navigators of our destiny".