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Mandala of Possibilities

Mandala of Possibilities

Suzanne Fincher describes Stage 2 as the “hot tub of the mandala Great Round.”  It is a stage of respite and renewal from which the potential for new life emerges. Here’s a mandala exercise to try, combining a technique learned from Julie Gibbons’ Mandala Magic course and round stickers. Cut a circle from water color paper and place random stickers on it. Create a marbled mandala by floating ink on a bed of shaving foam and using a chopstick to swirl it around. Press…

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Symbols

Symbols

I’m taking a Julie Gibbons’ on-line Mandala Magic class and an assignment this month was to explore the symbols that re-appear in your journeying, dreams and/or artwork. Try this! It’s really interesting what emerges. Ask the question and then breathe into a meditative space. When I did it the first images I got were my animals, the ones that in stuffed form live on the mantel over the old fireplace in my bedroom. There’s Horse who I sleep with when I’m feeling…

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Not Alone

Not Alone

  In mandala journaling you can go deeper by identifying a place in your mandala that has strong energy for you and doing a second mandala based on that place. In yesterday’s mandala the nascent pink-orange shape at the center had that energy. It seemed like a vulnerable new life taking form in a swirling sea. In today’s mandala it has grown larger and more defined. More importantly, it’s not alone. It is joined by a collective of others whose…

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What’s Next?

What’s Next?

It’s been a challenging time, these past few months of bracing for the onslaught. In mandala work, black can denote death and deep depression, while purple often signifies grief and mourning. That sure fits this one. I’ve been walking around like a zombie, unwilling to face the reality that almost half of my country voted for Donald J. Trump, voted to support a populist nationalism as powerful in its hate-filled rhetoric as that which came out of Nazi Germany in the…

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Bright Morning Star

Bright Morning Star

The swirling void echoes the darkness and chaos I feel as we move toward the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. So much grief and confusion. When I was little, I had such a pure, simple patriotism. I still remember tears sliding down my twelve-year old cheeks as I stood with my father, hand cupped over my heart,  listening to the US Army Band on the Fourth of July. In high school I took the required “Evils of Communism” class and was grateful to be…

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I Ain’t Afraid of Your Yahweh

I Ain’t Afraid of Your Yahweh

  “I ain’t afraid of your Yahweh. I ain’t afraid of your Allah I ain’t afraid of your Jesus I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God.” I’m part of a newly minted street choir in Portland, Maine that meets each month to sing out our frustration and make plans to lend our voices to social justice events. In this confusing time, it’s good to connect with others, young and old, who will not be silenced…

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2016

2016

These are my steps to creating a mandala of 2016. Between Peter’s cancer, the election, and the nightly news there was a lot of grief and loss, represented by the black and purple. But as the paint dried and sank into the paper, it lightened and I could add the healing turquoise and the white swirls. Behind it glowed the divine light that hold all the mess. All that was left to do was label the highlights of the year. Try…

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Kaleidoscopic Hubcaps

Kaleidoscopic Hubcaps

You’ve got to see this. Back in August one of my mandala blogs explored the question of “What is a mandala?” and spoke of “mandala days” in which even the kaleidoscopic hubcaps of passing cars evoke the presence of the sacred circle. Now Rebecca Stephans, one of the participants in my Mandala Journaling class, has photographed hubcaps that suggest the twelve stages of the mandala Great Round. My favorite Christmas present ever!

The Mandala Great Round: Transformation

The Mandala Great Round: Transformation

The twelfth and final stage of the mandala Great Round is Transformation. This season of the Winter Solstice and the story of Christ’s birth is a Stage 12 season, reminding us of the return of light. It is a season of our lives that arrives once we have faced up to endings and allowed ourselves to experience the fragmentation that occurs during the dark night of our souls.  Stage 12 is an ecstatic stage, offering hope for rebirth and a mystical awareness of…

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Mandala: A Symbol of Tangible Hope

Mandala: A Symbol of Tangible Hope

        In the events and rancor of recent weeks, I have had moments when I’ve almost forgotten that the world is never outside the sacred web of love that offers tangible hope. The thing that most reliably brings me back from the edge of despair is the mandala, that visible sign of wholeness and completion. I find mandalas everywhere: in architecture, on billboards, in the kaleidoscopic hubcaps of passing cars. I color mandalas. I keep a mandala…

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