quatrefoil mandala

Mandalas

“Anywhere is the center of the world.” —Black Elk

The way begins here. What follows below, if you like, are a few preliminary thoughts.

I started, I believe, with the circle of the full moon. Luna went through her phases, over and over; and I have gone through my phases in her waxing and waning light, and in her darkness. In “Mandalas V” I wrote:

let the man carry the moon
for a season or two
not that the sun
doesn’t shine so bright
in the broad blue sky
but let him feel
the ineffable deep
that comes
with carrying the moon

That image of a man who carries the moon serves as a self-portrait of sorts of myself as a drawer of mandalas. The moon symbolizes the unconcious and so of the source of dreaming. This meaning holds true for me. Two dreams in particular have seemed important when I consider the moon:

03.29.1985 I dreamt I was one of a group of people seeking initiation. Upon arriving I see another group already there start to leave. I notice a woman—one of the initiates—she and I go in and meet an older woman who tells us her energy level is low after the ceremony that has just ended. I look for a long time at the face of the woman with me and realize she doesn’t resemble anyone I know. The three of us look out at the moon on the horizon. It is huge—I can clearly see craters and other surface features. A waxing moon—nearly full—darkening as we watch it set. We continue to see all of it after it sets; somehow we look over the horizon.

07.29.1993 I dreamt of looking up at a mountain and sensing something above it. I see craters and realize it is the moon. It seems very close and unbelievably huge. I raise my right arm and a white owl flies down from the moon and lands on my hand.

owl moon dream

The owl dream so impressed me that I created the picture above to represent it. As I look at it now, I see the call to bring dreams into waking life by drawing them as mandalas. This is how I have “carried the moon” in my life.