1.09.2010

Mandala As Feminine Container

In the last post we began creating a mandala - you could also call it a shield, an altar, a womb, or just a grid of energy that carries support for your potential and the gateways for its manifestation. At its center we placed a vessel containing the symbol for your Song and your promise (see the last 3 posts, beginning on January 4th, for the background and introduction to this process).

In general, for the process I’m sharing on my blog, I see the mandala as very womb-like the mother and matrix of creation and creativity. I imagine the Circle of Promise as a ground for the power of the pure feminine - as it holds the quality of unborn potential.

Circle of Promise = The womb holding the seed of your promise as expressed in the Song of Your Soul.

As always, in creating an outward expression of an inner understanding (or ‘epiphany’), it changes and defines itself on its own terms. As I share this process right now, I am beginning to understand aspects of it that I hadn’t considered before. And that sometimes results in working it out right in the moment. I do not claim any expertise. I continue to be a devoted student of the transformative potential and power of living the creative life. I encourage anyone who is following this to make this process your own - using my system as a flexible tool.

When I resume on Tuesday, I’ll share how I became more and more acquainted with my Song, and through that process began to name my gifts, name my wisdom, name (and sometimes sing and dance) what I'm here to contribute to the world. Naming your gifts takes you beyond dreaming, imagining, visioning, by introducing you to the support and guidance that is waiting for you when you joyfully declare who you are and what you were born to do. This is where the magic begins.

If you began the process yesterday, continue to hold and listen to the symbol for your Song. Ask it to enter your life and your dreams. Write or draw descriptions of it. Give it a form. Give it a pulse.

More mandala info.
Since I wrote these last few posts I’ve been revisiting all my old mandala books, articles, prints, and photos. Mandalas have influenced my work and life from as far back as I can remember. It would take me dozens of posts to describe my relationship with this form. One of the first books I bought was Mandala by Jose Arguelles (still have the first edition published by Shambala in 1972). I also still have an old 1972 copy of Carl Jung’s Mandala Symbolism. Carl Jung brought the mandala process to the west as a therapeutic and dream tool.

The first mandalas I made were in the 1970's (ok this really dates me - but I'm proud of my history!). They were designs appliqu├ęd on wearable art and later a wall-hanging of the Sri Yantra (symbolic of creation). Yantras are similar to mandalas in that they contain wisdom for achieving wholeness. I focused on a print of a feminine yantra while in labor during the birth of my daughter. Because I am forever healing and reinventing my life, it seems appropriate this form for wholeness continues to recur in my art.

There are countless books and articles and websites starting with the Kalachakra mandala, which is believed to have been taught by the Buddha in 6 BC, and through to today’s wonderful contemporary artists and teachers such as Judith Cornell. Of the Kalachakra, the Dalai Lama suggested it creates a favorable atmosphere for reducing tension and violence in the world. He said, “It is a way of planting a seed, and the seed will have a karmic effect”.

Mandalas can be constructed using natural materials such as jewels, flowers, stones etc., and large outside manadalas can be dreamed up using just about anything.

I will admit, I am a true mandala geek - and in recent years have enjoyed the many beautiful examples of mandala-like symmetry in the natural world. If you love botanical art, here is my favorite: Ernst Haeckel's, Art Forms in Nature.

In the last few posts I described falling through a portal, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, into a strange and magical new world.  On our walk yesterday, Ken and I couldn't resist 'entering' this very large golden globe portal in someone's yard. We have a whole series of reflection photos we've take in recent years.