The circle is an enduring symbol for the cyclic nature of the universe. It evokes ideas of continuity, change and renewal, and is commonly identified as a symbol for infinity. Rust chose the circle motif for Earthen Cycle because of its universal appeal and the various symbols and metaphors attributed to its shape. The ephemeral earthwork was intended to go through its own cycle of creation and destruction as it is slowly altered by weathering and human interaction. Rust wanted Earthen Cycle to appear as something that "grew out of the ground," to which it will eventually return.