What Does a Triangle Inside a Circle Mean?

The Alcoholics Anonymous group’s Sobriety Circle and Triangle Symbol is depicted as a triangle inside a circle. The equilateral triangle stands for harmony, healing, and service in response to the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the alcoholic disease. The surrounding circle denotes harmony and perfection and stands for wholeness or oneness.

The circle around the triangle was thought to ward off evil spirits by priests and medicine men in various native societies, where the symbol’s origins may be traced. Bill Wilson, one of the co-founders of AA, picked the image to signify the ability of the mind and body to fend off the demons that drive addiction.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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