Making mandalas from nature is an activity that I have enjoyed since I was a kid, bored, on some small island or on top of a mountain with my adventurous mother who dragged us all over goddess's country in search of freedom and the great outdoors.
Boredom, as it turns out, has been a major motivator of my creative life.......And another reason I don't over-plan my kids lives. This Summer, plenty of unplanned time will surely bore them half to death, and allow them to develop their creativity out of necessity and desire. This is the Summer of the Sacred Mandala.
Here is what I love about making Mandalas.
- I get to sit and focus on a project without any attachment or idea of what the outcome will be. It is fully about the process.
- I get to connect with my surroundings by studying the landscape and plants in search of building material. It really helps me identify and root down with the elements, which brings me a deep and profound peace.
- I take time to marvel in the sheer beauty of the natural world, and to notice the beauty in otherwise over-looked things like twigs, rocks, plants, and animal bones.
- I get to interact with the natural world in an intimate and sensual way, which makes me feel both very human and very vital.
- They help me practice pure love with complete un-attachment, two things that are both dearly important but quite hard to practice together.
- They help me practice taking measured risks in life, which is good for someone like me who is quite compelled by risk-taking. These days, as a mother, I have to be more thoughtful about risks I take in my personal and professional life. By building a Mandala with feathers on a windy afternoon, I risk a lot of work and creative energy disappearing before my eyes in a gust of wind.
- It allows me to appreciate the process of aging and decay, if I have a chance to stick around for a few days and watch the mandala shift, wither, and change over time.
This is all a part of the process of building a mandala, and it can represent larger parts of my life. I have learned so much about myself and about life through this wonderful practice!
How I Make My Mandalas
When I go to make a Mandala, I know that I will need at least 30 minutes, so I make sure to carve out the time and space for myself to work. This often happens on a river or beach day with my children, when I am certain that they are safe and will be entertained.
I look for things like sticks, rocks, flowers, creatures, plants, seaweed, grass etc. Anything with color ant texture that catches my eye.
Almost all of my mandalas start with 5 elements of one kind.......5 pine cones, rosebuds etc. I lay them out in a circle, and start designing around them, always working my way out from the center. For a 5 point mandala, I look for either 5, 10, or 15 of each element. Smaller elements used for borders will be gathered in much larger quantities.
Do you need open, free inspiration, or elemental, focused grounding?
I believe that the odd-numbered nature of a 5 point mandala helps me feel free, loose, and open while I'm designing. They help develop the left-brain.
My 4 point mandalas are more grounding, elemental, symmetrical, organized, and geared towards the right side of the brain.
I sometimes make a mandala that turns into a different sort of design, like this eyeball, which got ruined by a dog that startled me and trampled my work. I punched it in the face, which was a strange reaction.
I also occasionally just do a little nature designing like this........Just a progression of colored stones.
Floral Mandalas are a fantastic way to honor and interact with quickly wilting bouquet of beautiful flowers.
It is always sad to watch cut flowers slowly die, and I often feel the need to celebrate them by using their petals and leaves to make a mandala.......I recommend having a little pair of scissors on hand to assist you:) And, don't be afraid to make a mess. That is an essential part of the process.
With Sacred Mandala making, we let nature be our inspiration, our source of healing, and our crafting kit......no matter where we are in the world. There is always beauty (and filth!) around somewhere to notice and appreciate. Take a minute, or 30 minutes, and see what you can come up with.
Need a mandala made for an event? Contact me and we can talk:)
xo, Roxie Jane Hunt