What’s In a Logo? - International Academy for Deep Transformation

What’s In a Logo?

‘What is it? What does it mean?’ people often ask about our logo. And we’d like to share something about it here.

The Academy logo has just had a facelift as our Academy renews its focus and enters a new phase. Our logo is not just an interesting and mysterious graphic. It is like the chip on a credit card. It packs a lot of data into a small space. It is like our DNA, carrying the programme shaping so much about who and what we are. Our logo encrypts into a tiny design the essence of our philosophy and inspiration, our vision and mission, right down to the life-principles guiding how we work with individuals and organizations.

Our logo ultimately stands for our work supporting deep transformation in individuals and organizations, in particular through Transformational Coaching and Leadership.

The Perennial Wisdom

Throughout history, universal symbols have appeared in different cultures embodying similar principles of what we can call the universal wisdom of life. The lotus or mandala with eight petals or directions, like the compass or ‘rose-of-the-winds’ has appeared time and time again in stained-glass windows of Christian churches, Islamic ceramics, Navaho sand paintings, Greek and Roman mosaics, and the traditional architecture of India and Bali.In Bali, the symbol is everywhere, in different forms, crystallizing a message that is both ancient and truly modern: our human lives and the life of nature pulse according the same rhythms, patterns, laws, and organizing principles. The microcosm of our body and mind shares the same deep structure as a tree, a forest, or the world or cosmos as a whole.

Micro and Macro

From the one side, the logo reflects the macrocosm, the moon, the sun, and the stars above. It reflects the eight directions of natural space, plus up and down. From another side, the logo symbolizes our own body standing on the ground, with our centre in the middle of our body and the little flame of inspiration above.

It speaks to our inner alignment, and to our alignment with the larger field of life around us. In this alignment, the energies of life move within us and the spark of divine creativity becomes fertile within us and productive and expressive in the world.

As we walk through the world, our feet are firmly on the ground. Gravity pulls us towards the earth, while a counter-pull brings us upright with our head pointed to the sky. Our life happens in-between. We may receive inspiration from above, in the form of brilliant ideas. But they only become something in the world if the spark can ignite our energy and passion. Only then do we mobilize our inner resources and the resources of nature for vision to become action. Our logo maps this process.

Coming Home to Our Centre

Often Western thinking emphasizes Mind, forgetting that our true centre is not in our head, but in the centre of our chest, between our solar plexus and heart. That is where our energy and intelligence meet, merge, and become fruitful. Our work as Transformational Coaches so often means bringing people home to their centre and source in the body.

The central sphere of our logo reflects this creative tension. Four petals point towards the centre (the four cardinal directions). Four petals radiate outwards. These counter-tendencies cause the wheel of life to spin within us.

The counter-pull of these two tendencies, in the centre of our being create a fundamental challenge for us: How to remain centred and aligned within ourselves while expressing ourselves dynamically in the world.

Creative Balance

The two coloured wings or arms coming out of the main sphere represent how we can stabilize our inner dynamism as we interact with the world. They are like the stabilizing outriggers of traditional Balinese fishing boats (‘jukung’) that make them so difficult to capsize.

In fact, potentially, the very meeting and circulation of the ascending and descending energies within us gives rise to the wisdom (black petal), power (red petal), and intelligence (yellow and white petal) that dynamically shape and steer its expression in the world.


The dark foundation to the moon, at the base of the logo, points to our connection with the earth and nature. We cannot manifest anything in this world without raw material. Ultimately, everything we create is a gift from nature and an expression of our groundedness and connection with our earth.

As the seed ideas we receive from the intelligence above are planted below, they gather force and strength, watered and nourished by the light of life, till they are ready burst forth and bear fruit in the world.

Our logo thus speaks to the heart of our work. How to help people and organizations come into a good relationship with themselves energetically and emotionally. How to know and follow the deep purpose and inspiration we were born for. How to express and fulfil our hearts desire in the world. And how to do so in a way that enhances the quality of relationships in our immediate sphere of influence and in the larger circle of Life.

This is our birthright and why we are here. Anything less is not worthy of what we can be and fails to satisfy the full dignity of human life. That’s the vision and direction our logo reminds us of each time we see it.

Author: Peter Wrycza, PhD, Founder, International Academy for Transformational Coaching and Leadership