The word Mandala is a Sanskrit term which means a “circle”. Mandalas have been used by many cultures over time. From Buddhism to Hinduism to others, Mandalas have served humanity for centuries.
The Mandala can be used in both art therapy and rituals. In native America tradition, it is said that the Mandala is formed through the medicine wheel and dream catchers, and the Aztec and Mayan calendar. In Celtic tradition, the helix of energy, the Celtic Cross and the Triple Spiral are Mandalas of their own. Whereas indigenous Australian art features Mandala-like forms in bora rings, water holes and their traditional arts.
We already know that pagans and witches often gather in circles which have connotations of equality. These circles also reflect the movement of the sun, moon, and the planets. The Mandala is a representation of circular energy at work which also adds greater depth to the interpretation of the circle practice in paganism.
Aside from being an external schematic visual representation of the universe, the Mandala serves as an internal guide for several psychophysical practices and meditation is one of it. Mandalas also offer balanced visual elements which symbolize unity and harmony.
THE USE OF MANDALAS
The Mandala can be painted on paper, wood, stone, fabric or even on a wall. In some traditions, they can be reproduced in ephemeral materials like colored sand.
In many traditions where Mandalas are used, there are different rites where the practitioner establishes a dialogue with the symbol or deity at the heart of the Mandala by moving gradually from the outside to the center.
Once inside the center, the practitioner connects with the central symbol or the deity so as to perceive all the manifestations as part of a single underlying set, and gets closer to achieving his goal.
The main goal of the Mandala is generally to serve as a tool in the spiritual journey because it symbolizes the cosmic and psychic order. It is undoubtedly one of the richest visual objects of Tibetan Buddhism.
In the center of the Mandala is the palace, which has four doors facing four quarters of the world and is located inside several layers of circles that form a protective barrier around it. Each layer symbolizes a quality (eg purity, devotion, etc.) that must be obtained before entering the palace.
According to the tradition to which it belongs, the palace has symbols associated with different deities or cultural symbols. When there are different deities, the main deity is placed in the center of the Mandala, while other deities are placed around the central image. The main deity is considered the generative force of the Mandala and the secondary deities are considered as manifestations of the power of the central image.
Before meditating with a Mandala, one must first set an intention. Normally, we choose a Mandala we like. It is good to know what the Mandala you have chosen means, or to define your own intention before focusing on this Mandala. Thus, before meditating on the Mandala, set the intention to align with it.
Below are examples of some intentions for creating a Mandala:
- To allow joy,
- For Self-acceptance,
- To surrender worrisome circumstances,
- For world peace,
- To allow love into your life,
- To allow abundance,
- To release anger and bitterness,
- For gratitude,
- To welcome the job of your dreams,
- For working through grief,
- To connect with the Divine,
- To cultivate a compassionate attitude,
- To learn to say NO.
Whatever Mandala you use, coloring can be very meditative and relaxing. You do not have to be a Buddhist to color the Mandalas. It is an activity that everyone can practice. Because the Mandala is not a literal representation of reality, children can take full advantage of their creativity. They do not have to worry about choosing the right color, green for the trees or blue for the sky. Coloring a Mandala is a great way to help children relax.
Everyone has days when their heads are full of thoughts. Coloring a Mandala for an hour can help calm you down. By focusing only on the pattern and colors, you can empty all the worries in your mind. For the elderly, coloring Mandalas can help your memory become more retentive. Also, the repetitive nature of many Mandalas allows them to create beautiful symmetrical patterns.
The Coloring of the Mandalas
On the internet, you will find many colored Mandalas. It is always best to choose colors intuitively, but here is a list of colors and their symbolic meaning:
RED for strength, energy and passion
PINK for love, intuition and the feminine.
ORANGE for creativity, transformation, self-awareness and intuition.
YELLOW for learning, wisdom, laughter and happiness.
GREEN for physical healing, psychic ability, love of nature and caring.
BLUE for emotional healing, inner peace and meditation.
VIOLET for all spiritual things
WHITE for spiritual focus
BLACK for mystery, deep thought and individuality
While coloring your Mandala, continuously meditate on your intention and release yourself to feel its energy. When you are done, place the Mandala somewhere you will see it every day while waiting for the manifestation of your requests.