Aug 19, 2015


A quick mandala made from fallen oak bark with lichen, twigs
and leaves in my driveway.
It took less than 5 minutes to make.

In a post on Facebook, someone asked me about mandalas. Here is some information you might find helpful.

The word Mandala comes from Sanskrit and means circle. In Eastern spirituality, you will see some pretty complicated examples but in its loosest form it is basically a circular geometric pattern. It usually radiates out from a central point and is symmetrical in nature. In other words if you fold it in half, you will see that both sides line up. While there is a lot of information on the symbolism, the information I am presenting here is geared toward a New Age/Pagan/Witch aspect.

Mandalas can be made out of any number of materials. They can be drawn, painted or burned onto paper and wood or etched into metal. They can be laid out physically with man-made or natural objects. They can be completely made of the same object, IE shells, stones, crystals etc or they can be any mixture of items. They can take a few minutes of your time or they can take hours or even days, months or years depending on how complex you make it.

One of the primary purposes of creating your own mandalas is meditation and focus. It helps train your mind to focus on the task at hand and let the outside noises and distractions stay outside. You may find mandala making pretty relaxing for your body even if your mind is hard at work laying down the pattern. Try not to plan too much before you start, let your mind work out each step as you go. This really is a really fun way to see what your creative side comes up with but at the same time, is a great exercise for conscious thought.

Now as a pagan, witch, druid, etc., how can we incorporate them into our practice? Mandalas can be used as a meditative or relaxation practice as above. They can be made as an offering to deity, They can be used as decor on our seasonal altars. Or they can be even more. Since the creative process in itself helps promote conscious focus this is a great time to focus on what you want to achieve whether it is healing for a friend, attracting love, protection, and more.

As many experienced witches will tell you the major hurdle of any spell work is focus and intent. No matter how much someone tells you that this herb or this stone or this candle works wonders, if the focus and intent is not there the spell is more than likely going to fail. Spells are not like prayers. Spells require the witch to do the brunt of the work. So no matter what materials you use, keep your focus on the intent during the process.

Here is a step by step process for making a basic mandala:

1) Choose a spot where you will remain undisturbed and if you live with others make sure you tell them to do not disturb.
2) Collect your materials. I do not put too much thought in this part as often I make mine on the fly and with whatever is nearby but if you are doing spell work you may want to at least collect materials that work with your intent.
3) Sit and relax for a bit in your chosen work area. Clear your head of outside influences and breath.
4) Start at the middle and lay down your base. I usually start with an equal-armed cross (a plus sign +) and something at the center of the arms.
5) Work your way outward and try to stay symmetrical.
6) Stop whenever you are satisfied and enjoy!

If you are doing spell work, you may want to place it in a safe location until the spell has manifested. At that point dispose, bury or just dismantle and return to nature.

For those who need or want the symbolism to help focus their work, below are some suggestions.

Love: rose petals, apple wood & blossoms, rose quartz, stems of lavender.

Protection: sage leaves, willow branches, agate stones, violets

Healing: basil and rosemary stems, amethyst, juniper

These are just a few suggestions out of many options. Many pagan/new age books and websites list correspondences. If you do a search for Magical Correspondences you will see that the possibilities are endless.

Below I will post some links to a few sites with examples of natural material mandalas as well as other informational sites.  As a side note, that first blog link is what really got me into mandalas so my thanks to Amy from Flandrum Hill. If any one has any questions, do ask but make sure you skim through the comments to see if any have been answered already.

You do have my permission to repost this on social media, but please include my information. Do not just copy, paste and claim as your own.