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
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:
On March 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.
And on July 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.
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.