The Power of the Infinity Symbol: Working with the Lemniscate for Ultimate Harmony and Balance, by Barbara Heider-Rauter
Earthdancer Books, 9781844097524, 128 pp., 2018
The lemniscate (more commonly known as the infinity symbol) never fails to incite a sacred sense of limitless possibility. The wisdom held within the figure-8 seems to invoke a mysterious sense of balance, unity and connection. I have studied the symbolism in regard to tarot card meanings, but often wondered how to connect to it more deeply. While the symbol reminds me of the pop culture phenomenon of people getting infinity symbol tattoos, I still looked forward to learning more about the lemniscate in Barbara Heider-Rauter’s book, The Power of the Infinity Symbol: Working with the Lemniscate for Ultimate Harmony and Balance.
I enjoyed Heider-Rauter’s description of the history of the lemniscate. It was interesting to read about its use in different cultures around the world and connection to topics such as numerology, the tarot, and mathematics. However, very quickly the book became a bit too New Age for my taste. Repeatedly Heider-Rauter associated the lemniscate with Atlantis, and she believes the lost esoteric knowledge of the lost culture of Atlantis is now reawakening humanity through the symbol. She often refers to readers as “lightworkers.”
In The Power of the Infinity Symbol, there is a focus on human evolution, and she notes that spirituality comes when we are balanced at our core. Heider-Rauter discusses the divide in our brain, and how western culture has become too focused on left brain thinking, she writes that the rational side is “conditioned only to recognize materialism, corruption and mutual exploitation.”1 To some extent, I can understand the split she describes, but as a trained psychologist, many of her claims seem vague and based on a spiritual whimsy rather than scientific evidence, which there is plenty of she could have included.
Despite the lack of fact-based information, the section about achieving kinesiological balance was my favourite. Heider-Rauter offers exercises that help to balance the two hemispheres of our brain through physical movement. I found practicing these exercises, such as moving each arm in the shape of the infinity symbol simultaneously, did bring feelings of peace and calmness to me.
Yet, following this section were ideas that I could not get on board with and found very offensive. Heider-Rauter writes, “In Western society, it is unfortunately often the case that girls tend to be educated to be strong like men, independent, and capable of asserting themselves, while boys are educated to be accommodating, understanding and — in particular emotional.”2 I actually had to re-read the sentence about three times to grasp that she was asserting this to be a bad thing. She continues, suggesting that this leads to gender confusion and how we are not meant to lead a life that is incompatible with our gender. Gender roles and stereotypes are upheld in a story Heider-Rauter tells about how men go out to hunt and women cook the hunt, and in this way the energetic balance is kept in equilibrium. Her concepts are extremely narrow-minded and antiquated. She even goes as far as to talk about how she suffered many failed relationships from living a male path, coming to the conclusion her partner did not want to be with another man, for it robbed him of being his true masculine self. Heider-Rauter states we have to cultivate the energy of our assigned gender to truly balance ourselves, be in our true nature and find the right partner. Bleck! I truly hope people never feel they have to sacrifice who they are to be in accordance with a gender-stereotype in order to find fulfillment.
After this point, I rapidly lost interest.
All in all, there were some good techniques offered on how to use the energy of the ,emniscate to facilitate healing, balance, peace and unity. The lemniscate remains a powerful symbol to work with, and it has many benefits for those who seek to know the wisdom it holds.
If one is able to look past the faults in The Power of the Infinity Symbol, one may find some helpful guidance of how to cultivate a practice of working with the lemniscate. Otherwise, it might be better to find another source of learning how to work with this energy.