A friend suggested I add some green and yellow to my original photo of a black honeybee here in North Cyprus and, once again, I found myself working with crystals in a circle. The green stones are Peridot chips, which represent positive thinking, creativity, self-confidence, your inner sun radiating positivity. Around the Peridot chips are citrine chips for abundance, creativity, regeneration, the sun within us shining out, augmenting the energies of Peridot.
In relation to this, a reader asked me about the difference between a crystal mandala and a crystal grid. I guess it’s up to your own choice. A grid, to me, implies a structure such as a square or rectangle while a mandala always signifies a circle. But that’s my choice, others may feel differently. I think it’s important to work with what has meaning for you. For example, I don’t feel comfortable with altars in my house, due to a lousy time at a Catholic Convent when I was a young girl. I now prefer to have Sanctuary Spaces in my home as the term “sanctuary” has a great significance for me – a place of retreat from an often inharmonious world.
As for mandalas and their significance in my life: the first piece of halfway decent art I ever created in my life was when I was 49 and I attended a mandala workshop in February 1996. Prior to that, in November 1995, I had felt drawn to have a Tarot reading with a particular reader at a mind, body, spirit fair. I felt very drawn to her energy but felt disappointed when she said I’d go to a short art course and end up drawing colours for people.
The reason why? At the Convent we never painted anything. We, as good little Catholic schoolgirls, were taught embroidery and knitting to prepare us for lives as good little Catholic wives. So when I got to grammar school and was introduced to poster paints, I really had no idea what to do with them. My art was appalling and I’m sure I got a 53% pass mark out of sheer sympathy on the part of the art teacher. But what I did love was when we had art classes looking at particular artists, because they awakened me to the beauty of art.
I never even thought about the Tarot reading when I went to the 2-day workshop in Brisbane with a friend. In fact, I panicked when we all got seated and if I’d been near an exit, I probably would have scarpered. But I’m so glad I didn’t because at the workshop I created a mandala which, for me, was quite extraordinary – it’s the one on the right. And I found that my forte was symbols rather than real life. I never looked back. I created mandalas for friends. I got orders for mandalas. I saw colours around people and drew what I called “Soul Symbols” for them.
And I taught mandala art which really opened me up to the power of mandalas as circular art which people find inspirational. It’s as if working with a circle connects people with their inner voice, their inner wisdom, their inner light. I tell people to put their pen, pencil or whatever they want to use in the middle of an empty circle on a piece of paper, take them into a creative visualisation, then guide them to open their eyes and start drawing whatever comes to them.
And no-one, absolutely no-one (after the first look of horror at a blank space), has failed to draw some wonderful, beautiful images which have meaning for them. Some people don’t like to look at the meaning of art designs, but for me the important part of mandala work is that the art speaks to the artist, it has a message. And when we create mandalas, we are all artists.
I rather think that the circle has meaning for us because so much of life is circular – we start off as a round blob before fertilisation. Our cells are circular. We live on a round planet with round planets around us. We see round trees, round limbs, round spinning chakras or energy centres in our bodies, sitting in circles of friendship, round particles of sand, round atomic particles (although admittedly they’re too small for us to see), round blood cells, and so on.
For me, when you embark on creating a mandala, you’re going within into your centre, to your heart and soul, to your soul’s connection with spiritual energy, from whence you start weaving patterns and symbols of creation which feed out through your heart centre, along your arms and out through your fingertips. We can access inner wisdom and bring it into being when we focus on a circle and surrender to the mystery of creation and spell-weaving through our art.
So if you’re at home and want to experience the power and wonder of mandala creation, find a quiet space, take some deep breaths and relax, draw a circle (I use whatever is round – plates, saucepan lids, etc.), put your pencil/crayon/pen in the centre of your circle, close your eyes, let go of any tension or expectations, imagine your heart opening and symbols pouring in which then float out of your heart, down to your fingertips and, when you open your eyes, onto the circle on your piece of paper. Let go of control. Don’t think. Just let the images flow and see what you create in your circle.
Most of all – relax and have fun. Remember the joy of drawing and painting when you were a kid.There is no right way. It’s not a test. It’s a journey into your inner world and bringing that inner world out into concrete form on your piece of paper.
Go forth and CREATE!