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G'day fellow WoT Community,

Could someone perhaps explain the symbol of the Wheel of Time? I'm reading The Gathering Storm and I just realised that I'm actually not aware of what it is... It looks like the Aes Sedai ring entwined perhaps with a seven spoked Wheel of Time? I'm only speculating but it would be comforting to be told exactly what it is and what it represents.



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I think they are just both two of the in-series symbols for eternity - the snake or great serpent eating its own tail (also seen on the rings of Aes Sedai), and the seven spoked wheel which represents the wheel turning through the ages.

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I think it can also come from the lore within the world.  In Eye of the World, the band of Aiel Maidens passed a message onto the Tinkers.  They said (something like), "The Dark One wants to blind the Eye of the World and slay the great serpent."  So, within the lore of the world, Time is represented by the serpent--kind of how in some of our ancient cultures, the world rested on the back of a turtle. 


So, the Wheel is turned by the serpent (Time), which is eating it's own tail to symbolize eternity--also emphasized by the sideways figure-8, a mathematical symbol for eternity in our own time.  That's why the snake and wheel are together.

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I picture the imagery of the turning of the wheel by the serpent rather literally.  As the ouroboros devours itself, and since it is entwined among the spokes, it turns the wheel like gears which represents the passage of time.  


What's interesting is the concept ties in rather nicely with the idea of eternity the ouroboros represents in many mythologies, as @BaridBelMedar and @MashiaraSedai described.  

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