Meanings of the Mandala
While a finished mandala bears importance as a focus for meditative practice, the creation process remains equally important. There are three basic layers to a mandala’s meaning.
The outer meaning represents the divine form of the universe.
The inner meaning creates a map to guide the mind to enlightenment.
The secret meaning, however, remains between the artist and the creation as far as specific details.
Overall, it represents a balance of body and mind infused with clarity.
You can analyze your finished mandala using the below map that shows the areas corresponding to important symbols of the psyche and Jungian Archetypes, such as the Persona, Animus & Anima and the Shadow:
Make your own Mandala
When you create your own mandala, think of it as an echo of your soul. Drawing and colouring a mandala can be a highly enriching personal experience in which you look inside yourself and find the shapes, colours and patterns to represent anything from your current state of mind to your most deeply-desired wish for yourself, for a loved one, or for humanity.
You can design a mandala to symbolize a state of mind that you would like to achieve. Mandalas are great tools for meditation and increasing self-awareness. Many different cultures around the world use mandalas in their spiritual practices.
The best thing about designing your own mandala is that you have the freedom to choose whatever shapes and colours that you feel express your sense of self and your view of reality. Your mandala is yours, and you have the freedom to use your creativity to create a mandala drawing that is uniquely you.
Once you know the basic steps of how to draw a mandala, you can try now new designs and new colors each time you draw a new mandala.
The first step in how to draw a mandala is to measure out your paper into a square shape.
Next, use your ruler and a pencil to draw a dot in the very center of the square.
The next step in how to draw a mandala is to draw a series of circles around this dot. Once you’ve drawn the dot in the center of your square, one easy way to draw circles is to use a compass.
Measure out another distance from the center dot.
You can continue making as many rows of these dots as you like. The important thing is to make sure that the dots you make are all equidistant from the center dot.
Now that you’ve drawn your dots, it’s time to connect them. Draw a straight vertical line connecting the dots that go up and down, and a straight horizontal line connecting the dots that go one either side.
Draw another series of dots at the same distances from the center as your first series of dots.
For the next step, use your ruler to connect the dots you just made.
Now that you’ve drawn the basic outline for your mandala, you can begin drawing designs in your mandala!
You can use a pencil, coloured pencils, ink, crayons, or whatever you choose.
The important this is to repeat your pattern. For example, if you draw a circle on one of the lines, be sure to draw it in the same spot on the other lines.
This creates repetition, which is a key element in creating a mandala.
Mandala is a graphical representation of the center (the Self at Jung). It can appear in dreams and visions or it can be spontaneously created as a work of art. It is present in the cultural and religious representations.
Examples of mandala can be found in all the ancient cultures. We find it in Christianity under the form of frescos with animal images representing apostles and under the form of the zodiac. The astrologic zodiac and its versions are an excellent example of mandala. Also, in the Indian spiritual practices we find fascinating representative cases of mandala, with symbols of the local pantheon.
Active imagination is intended to bring about a state of hypnagogia. This is the state in between sleep and wakefulness, where people may be partially aware that they are dreaming.
Always remember that the principle is always the same: to allow the unconscious to manifest into consciousness and then trying to integrate its lessons, thus making important progress towards achieving what Jung called individuation.
Active imagination is a process in Jungian psychology used to bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious minds: opening oneself to the unconscious and giving free rein to fantasy, while at the same time maintaining an active, attentive, conscious point of view. The process leads to a synthesis that contains both perspectives, but in a new and surprising way.
The wise old man (also called senex, sage or sophos) is an archetype as described by Carl Jung, as well as a classic literary figure, and may be seen as a stock character. The wise old man can be a profound philosopher distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.
In literature, the sage often takes the form of a mentor or a teacher to the hero, playing a crucial role in the hero’s journey. The sage archetype may be portrayed by a God or a Godess, a magician or wizard, a philosopher or an advisor.
The sage is usually depicted as a wise old man or an old crone with great foresight, who offers measured advice and guidance to help the hero in his quest, and at the same time letting the hero choose his path towards destiny.
Anima and animus are gender specific archetypal structures in the collective unconscious that are compensatory to conscious gender identity.
One of the most complex and least understood features of his theory, the idea of a contrasexual archetype, developed out of Jung’s desire to conceptualize the important complementary poles in human psychological functioning. From his experiences of the emotional power of projection in his patients and in himself, he conceived first of the anima as a numinous figure in a man’s unconscious.
The persona, for Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, was the social face the individual presented to the world—”a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”.
Jung’s individuation process starts from this level, of the persona, of the social mask, trying to break the artificial convention through awareness of its presence and function, and the attenuation of its often oppressive-imperative character.