Clearing I Mandala

After a healing session an account is shared with me of a round clearing in the woods carpeted with very soft grass. There are four hidden entrances to this clearing, one from each of the four cardinal directions, and there are four large stones at the ordinal points. The stones are seats, apparently ancient as the tops are worn light grey and the color gradates to a dark black near the ground. A leopard relaxes on the left as The Lady in Waiting—who wears a burgundy colored hooded dress—enters the clearing and pulls back her hood to reveal a beautiful face and brunette hair. The Lady in Waiting has arrived to answer all my questions. Although this clearing is in the woods, the space above it is open to the sky and a whole day passes in the space of minutes—the night sky is filled with thousands of stars, as if the whole sky is seen from the clearing through the opening in the canopy.

Below is my mandalic image of this clearing.

Here the four entrances appear as triangles, the four colors representing the four directions: red for south, yellow for east, white for north, and black for west. The Lady in Waiting in her red dress enters through the red southern entrance, suggesting that I have come here through the white northern entrance. The four rays of the rayed quatrefoil figure appear here extending from the four stones at the ordinal points to the four corners of the square, suggesting pathways for the movement of the stones.


Clearing II Mandala

In this drawing the stones have moved to the corners and the quatrefoil appears at the center.

In the spring of 2008 I wrote, "I was listening to some music the other night and imagined floating down (as in my running with the sun dream) and passing under the arcs of four rainbows. As I passed under each rainbow I 'picked' a pearl suspended there, like a fruit." [The running with the sun dream appears in the poem on page 48 of The Daughter of the Moon.] I associate this experience with the white discs that appear beneath the rainbows in my drawings of the quatrefoil. In this drawing the pearls are brought into relationship with the four stones.

A friend writes to me about this mandala, "Everything has intensified. It's like energy is coming in from the four corners and being deposited and contained in the center."

Following this drawing, I draw a series of pictures exploring the mandorla image. This idea of two circles overlapping in such a way that the circumference of each passes through the center of the other becomes very compelling.


555 Mandala

I draw a picture in which there are four circles, two pairs overlapping to create two mandorlas, which in turn circumscribe a new inner space. In this space a red diamond appears, each corner touching the center of one of the four circles. I have the impression that the energy flowing into the quatrefoil has brought the four circles into a new relationship with each other, and at the center is a revelatory unfolding, a blossoming of rubedo.

The four stones and their containing square have rotated into the four pearls, creating the relatively larger white discs under the four rainbows in a diamond shape. Four celestial pearls are combined with four terrestrial stones—a wedding of sky and earth. I associate the resulting four white shapes with eggs.

The title of this drawing comes from having repeatedly seen the number sequence "555" an experience I wrote about in this poem:

A Widower's Fives

notice
when you first
open your eyes
the clock at 5:55
notice
on your morning walk
the five bucks
standing in the woods
right by the path
one bearing a pair of antlers
each with five points
later
someone
will tell you a story
about a five pointed leaf
and you relate all this
to a friend who responds
by sending these words—
555 buckle your seatbelt
a major life change is upon you

to which you are
tempted to reply
no shit
but don't miss
the whisper
of this synchronicity
that asks you to realize
you're still alive
you're still alive