an ancient perspective we can still learn from
Our ancestors lived much simpler lives, closer to nature. Following seasonal cyclical rhythms handed down from generation to generation. We turn to our ancestors for wisdom in interpreting and understanding the message of the Mandala.
Mandala (MUN-DA-LA) is a Sanskrit word meaning, “circle” its a spiritual and ritual symbol used in ceremonies and religions around the world and represents in its wholeness the universe. Perhaps you would like to use the following information to get in touch with your own symbology to begin to understand your steps through the ancient message by making your own mandala
Our eyes absorb the inner harmony of the symbolic geometry and positions it in relation to our internal patterns. Circles within circles, patterns within patterns. A mandala consists firstly of a circle, a ring or rim, often that circle will have a central focal point and divides into a diagram, chart or geometric pattern with mostly even-numbered divisions or sections. A cross-section of our DNA is a mandala, tree rings form a mandala, in fact even atoms and cells form mandalas. So looking back at our ancestors, their art contained mandalas, the sun, the moon stars and our galaxy are mandalas, our ancestors saw the sacred in everything, the mandala was a way to share this sacredness of life through paintings, embroidery on ceremonial clothing, in nature they would use natural earth objects to create mandala’s each for a specific reason, even our gothic cathedrals hold the reverence of the mandala. As seen in the traditional stained glass Rose window.
The symbolism of colours as taken from Rudiger Dahlke’s Mandalas of the World.
Violet: holy significance the ‘sacred world’ in the human heart, it stimulates spirituality, the path to the center.
Blue: cold, absorbent, the role of the Virgin Mary, depth, depression. Vishnu is the Hindu blue God – the god of truth. Thus blue represents truth, fidelity, and immortality.
Red lifts up. The colour of the flames, colour of the Holy Ghost, the colour of courage and of the fire of enthusiasm, it affects the external world in a stimulating way as the violet affects the internal world, red stands for passion.The predominant colours of “traditional Rose Windows” are red and blue which depict the polarity of warm and cold.
Gold: sunlight, manifested light, seen as ‘God’ as the One
Yellow: in its pure form is still considered the colour of light. But as soon as it turns pale or sulfur coloured, it becomes the colour of envy, jealousy, betrayal.
White: Perfected light, as with gold white belongs to the highest, the garment of priests from Egypt to Indian including the Pope. The colour of resurrection thus the colour of the dead, because whoever wants to rise again has to die in this world. White signifies the resurrection of spirit. Lotus flowers, funeral flowers are white, signifying perfection and absolute purity. White is the only perfect colour, because it contains all the other colours. White is a universal symbol of purity.
Black, is not a colour, it represents the absence of all colours, as white symbolizes everything containing perfection, black is the absolute reduction, the lack of all light and thus of any colour.
In astrological symbolism black is the colour of Saturn, the guardian of the threshold, father of time, in western culture it is the colour of sorrow and death. In Hindu culture black represents chaos and the cosmos because behind all chaos lies the cosmos and believe it is our task not to suppress but to confront the chaos and be lead through it to the order (cosmos).
The symbolism of Numbers as taken from Rudiger Dahlke’s Mandalas of the World.
1, resonates with unity, the not yet manifested, highest God
2, represents polarity, contrasts, good and evil.
3, A harmonious or harmonic aspect of creation, holy trinity, 3 wise men, Hindu 3 main Gods, Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva, 3 primary colours.
4, represents and resonates with Earth, 4 is the number of the cross and square symbols of substance and thus of this world, 4 world rivers, 4 kinds of roots, 4 seasons, 4 world eras, 4 elements, earth, wind ,water and air. the 5th element of Hindus ‘Akasha”, does not belong to this world.
5, the number of the human being, ‘pentagonal star’ one way up is life, the other way down is death or the devil.
6, Equilibrium between forces ‘6’ pointed star
7, Harmony, stands for entirety on a clear material level – mystical number, God’s creation in 7 days. 7 classical planets, 7 liberal arts, 7 virtues, 7 periods of life, 7 wonders of the world.
8, This number has grown out of the four. Through the world of the foursome, with its 4 directions and 4 paradise-rivers, blow the 8 world winds. 8 stands for infinity, the symbol of rebirth.
9, Resonates with Completion. Symbolising fruition, perfection, time for withdrawal and introspection, a time for rounding up.
10, is a starting vibration of new beginnings, new chapters, the symbolism of the number one the initial starting point.
So looking back, our ancestors used mandalas to symbolize messages and depict truths that would be remembered for future generations. They lived symbolic lives of ritual reaching towards understanding life and creation, connecting them to God, rising above the world of chaos, into a word of form, structure, and ritual so giving their lives meaning. Its only in our generation that we have enough reference and foresight to look back into the past and see what they were doing. Which is why working with mandalas is a great way to search for one’s center, to give our life meaning when we feel life is void of meaning. In a world that is in constant change, where we all have a deep longing to belong. The mandala is a way of expressing your truth in beauty and form while being mindful that you are doing an ancient practice that has set up a morphic resonance of discovery over the ages. By ritualizing working with colour and shapes, just as many sages, artists, and children are discovering, the silent healing power of symbolism resonates within our cells, our hearts and our minds. So consider this next time you draw, doodle, paint or colour in a Mandala. The colours, the shapes, and the form resonate with us on a soul level. they speak to us of our forgotten home, when we were all One, connected yet unique. When we look at mandalas the colours and patterns trigger memory within us, ever so gently reminding us that we are connected to all that is and all that will be. If you have not found the joy and delight in working on a mandala, then now’s a good time to start.