The Zia Sun Symbol

The Story Behind the Holistic Connections Logo

Zia Sun Symbol

I was hiking to the top of a ridge near Fort Marcy in Santa Fe on a warm summer morning when an image caught my attention. It was carved into a post and was an image I had seen many times before, from roadside signs to the New Mexico state flag.

I had spent many years studying holistic health, practicing Healing Touch, and exploring the shamanic traditions of indigenous cultures. Now, this one single image—the Zia sun symbol—seemed to capture the essence of my life’s work.

I’m struck by its symmetry and simplicity, yet underneath the simplicity is deep wisdom. The four rays pointing to the four directions hold great significance:

  • The East represents the direction of spring, the rising sun, new beginnings, and the field of infinite possibilities.
  • In the South we are in the fullness of day; it represents summertime, incredible abundance, and the container of support that the Earth provides.
  • As we turn to the West, we watch the setting sun, we honor endings, autumn, harvesting and releasing, cleansing and healing.
  • The North brings us to winter, which is a time for turning inward, hibernation, harnessing our energy, and preparing to take action.

These four directions anchor us in the “medicine wheel,” the cycles of nature, and the seasons of our lives.

The number four has other meanings as well. The square, with its four equal sides, represents strength and stability. Native Americans consider the four elements their allies: fire, earth, water and air. In holistic healthcare, we emphasize the importance of finding physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance.

The overall shape is that of a cross, an ancient symbol of balance between heaven and earth. In the center is a circle, which symbolizes the infinite; a shape with no beginning and no end. This circle creates a focal point, bringing us to our center, or our essence. It is from this centered place that we are able to reach out, communicate, collaborate, and build community.

For the Holistic Connections logo, this symbol has been superimposed on the shape of a spiral, further signifying my intention to reach out, expand, and grow. Why the color blue? Not only is it my favorite color, but blue is also the color of the throat chakra, our center of creative expression.

When you look at the image, what do you see? What meaning does it hold for you?

Click here to find out more about the Zia Native Americans of New Mexico.