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Posts Tagged ‘The Great Round’

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Wheel Of Life, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


ONE: Gates Of Death, Stage 10 of The Great Round, begins the natural process of ending the Great Round cycle in preparation for a new beginning. Experiences that open this stage often come in losses or obstructions that challenge us to question who we are. The first mandala, Wheel Of Life, brings us face to face with the relentless passage of time. The Wheel of Life turns on, sometimes up, sometimes down, urging us to let go.

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, Rainbow Magic pens that erase and change color, Reeves Water Colour Pencils




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Celtic Cross, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


TWO: In Stage 10, we are being separated from that which is no longer needed. Celtic crosses made of tall, silent, enduring stone dot the landscape of Scotland. They stand against the sky, washed by the winds and rains of countless seasons, reminders that even though things change, there is a part of us that lives on.

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils




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Lotus, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


THREE: In mandala three, based on the Kali Yantra of Hinduism, destruction opens the way for creation. The eight-petaled lotus represents the goddess Kali in her nurturing maternal aspect. The inner circle, traditionally colored black, reveals her also as a Destroyer, the dark womb that absorbs all into non-being. The central triangle, ultimate symbol of divine feminine creative energy, holds the spark of new life.

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils




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Gateway, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


FOUR: Stage 10, Gates of Death, opens the last segue leading to the completion of a Great Round cycle, and urges us to walk through the gate into the unknown. It is time to let go of the way things have been and clear the way for a new beginning.

Medium: Reeves Water Colour Pencils, Crayola markers




October Mandalas — Stage 10 – Gates Of Death


The last few months I have been feeling empty, like I am nearing the end of a creative cycle. I have been wanting to shed the old, to wrap up lingering projects and push them out into the world, so that I can open to something new. It’s disconcerting to not know where you are going—a good time to revisit old practices. Yesterday, I spent most of the day in silence and opened the book on mandalas. When I revisited Stage 10, Gates of Death, I knew it was time to sit with the lessons it had to teach.

The mandalas are from the 10th month of a year-long mandala practice that began with the post Coloring Mandalas and followed the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s Archetypal Stages of the Great Round. I spent that year taking the Great Round to completion. But there was something I had yet to understand—-it would take until 2013 for events of my life to catch up to the last cycles of the Great Round. Some of the signs of Stage 10 – Gates of Death are:

  • losses or obstructions that challenge us, causing us to question who we are
  • things that once seemed important, seem empty & meaningless
  • bittersweet parting with what was; painful rending from what can no longer be
  • desire to let go of life the way it was, with no sense of what is to come
  • sense of deflation when the connection between Ego & Self grows more distant
  • aware of cycles of decay in nature and the eventual approach of death


Adding to the sense of disorientation I’ve been feeling, I lost a writing friend in July. And in November, I found out my blood father died on October 31st, ending any chance he might have to read the letter I wrote. Death. Decay. Loss. Rebirth. I still believe that anything we take on as a practice takes us where we need to go. It is the time it takes to get there that remains a mystery.



Archetypal Stages Of The Great Round on red Ravine:


Crystallization — September Mandalas
Functioning Ego – August Mandalas (Goethe & Color)
Squaring The Circle – July Mandalas (Chakras & Color)
Dragon Fight — June Mandalas
Target — May Mandalas
Beginnings — April Mandalas
Labyrinth – March Mandalas
Bliss – February Mandalas
The Void – January Mandalas
Coloring Mandalas


-posted on red Ravine, Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 30th, 2013




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Gothic Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

ONE: Crystallization, Stage 9 of The Great Round, creates the opening in which seeds planted in earlier stages bloom into full flowers. The first mandala alludes to the rose windows in Gothic cathedrals, designs that continually pull the gaze back to the center.  

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Rainbow Magic pens that erase and change color

 
 
 
 

Rule Of 8’s, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

TWO: The underlying structure of this Stage 9 mandala is based on the number 8 which imparts order to the complex design (when you begin this mandala, give yourself plenty of time for the details). Derived from a Turkish design, it communicates the Islamic belief that all is held within the One, or Allah. 

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils

 
 
 
 

Sri Yantra, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

THREE: In this mandala based on the Sri Yantra, a sacred Hindu design used for meditation, the single downward-pointing triangle in the center is a symbol of divine feminine energy, the source of all creation. Expanding outward from the center, upward-and-downward-pointing triangles signify all male and female creatures coming into being. Lotus petals enclose the field of emanation; lines that represent the 4 directions, the 4 elements, and other ordering principles border the whole. 

Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils

 
 
 
 

Rule Of 6’s, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

FOUR: The overall pattern of this mandala is based on a Hindu design signifying creation. Based on the number 6, the interplay of lines brings one circle after another dancing into view.   

Medium: Colored exclusively with Rainbow Magic pens that erase and change color, experimenting with color subtraction and complements

 
 
 
 

September Mandalas — Stage 9 -Crystallization
 
 
When you reach Stage 9 of The Great Round, it is time to pause and take a moment to stop and smell the roses. The Crystallization of Stage 9 is a time of fulfillment, satisfaction, and completion. It is opened by the adult experience of finishing a project or fulfilling an important commitment (such as raising a family) which creates a natural pause to experience delight and joy in what you have accomplished.

These mandalas are from the 9th month of a year-long mandala practice that began with the post Coloring Mandalas. Early in 2008, I made the decision to follow the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round. According to Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 9 – Crystallization are:
 
 

  • a slowing of creative activity followed by a sense of balance and relaxed enjoyment
  • completing tasks and finding deep satisfaction in what you have accomplished
  • scattered puzzle pieces come together in harmony; seeds planted come to full bloom
  • seeing through appearances to grasp fundamental structures of reality
  • reviewing each facet of what you have created, you survey your labor of love, and conclude “this is good”

 
 

In later cycles, Crystallization is a time when you achieve mastery of a spiritual practice. It’s a sweet time, a moment of joy. I think that’s why many of the mandalas in Suzanne F. Fincher’s Coloring Mandalas 2 are based on the Crystallization phase. I was going to do another elaborate essay about color systems at the end of this post. But it’s been over a year since I posted Stage 8, Functioning Ego — August Mandalas (Goethe & Color) (my apologies). So I decided the most important thing I could do for our readers is to complete the publishing of the entire Great Round I completed in 2008.

I’ve learned a lot from the practice of mandalas. It’s moved out into my photography practice. I’ve continued on to Coloring Mandalas 2 and hope to start posting them in 2010. Anything we take on as a practice — writing, haiku, photography, doodling — takes us where we need to go. Whether we decide to take a practice to the next level, or abandon it altogether because it has run its course, the structure, repetition, and dedication prove to be excellent teachers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to color a few mandalas while Liz watches the Vikings game!

 

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, November 15th, 2009

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Dragon Fight – June Mandalas, Winding Down – July 4th Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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Night Flower Faces The Sun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Night Flower Faces The Sun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



ONE: The 8th Stage of the Great Round, Functioning Ego, allows you to stand on your own two feet, reach out, and engage the Universe, much like a flower turns to face the sun. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Rainbow Magic pens that change & erase color.




5-Pointed Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

5-Pointed Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



TWO: In the rising star of Stage 8, others begin to take notice of skills, abilities, and dedication to your craft. The 5-poined star mandala has a firm foundation, arms outstretched, head held high. Medium: Reeves Water Colour Pencils.



Laws Of Nature, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Laws Of Nature, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



THREE: During Stage 8, you take life by the hand and learn to manage the many circles spinning around you. Whether a complex project, people working together in the spirit of cooperation, or the waxing phases of the Moon, you are learning to work in harmony with Nature. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.




Thunderbird, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Thunderbird, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FOUR: In this Native American mandala, the static cross sprouts wings and becomes a spinning Thunderbird form, ancient symbol of the Sun. Archaeological evidence of this shape on ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.





August Mandalas — Stage 8 – Functioning Ego


Whether starting your own business, remodeling your home, or managing interpersonal issues as a community leader, Functioning Ego is about taking Action. A time of doing, not being, Stage 8 becomes activated when you take the initiative to bring an inspiration into reality, and really kicks in when you are engrossed in the challenging tasks required to reach your goals.

These mandalas are from the 8th month of a year-long mandala practice that began with the post Coloring Mandalas . Early this year, I made the decision to follow the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round. According to Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 8 – Functioning Ego are:

  • ability to work comfortably in group settings, organizations, or alone, whichever is needed to accomplish your goals
  • inspiration becomes reality through great effort, and takes on a form that is seen and appreciated by others
  • you are actively engaged toward personal goals, living life on life’s terms, using the imagination to the fullest to create new and wondrous things
  • on the spiritual level, healing takes place through finding ways of sharing wisdom gently and respectfully with others, in ways they can understand



I’m currently working on the tail end of October’s mandalas, along with a painting in the studio. The textures and colors are kind of wild on the canvas, so I thought I’d continue to use the mandalas to talk about color. Some time ago, when I was researching information on Providence, I ran into Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Theory of Colours (original German title, Zur Farbenlehre).


Goethe's Colour Wheel, 1809, image Public Domain

Goethe, originator of the concept of World Literature (Weltliteratur), took great interest in the literatures of England, France, Italy, classical Greece, and Persia, and wrote what is considered a high point of world literature, the two-part drama Faust. Theory of Colours was published in 1810 and Wassily Kandinsky called it, “one of the most important works.”

The last major color breakthrough had been in 1660 with Sir Isaac Newton whose work in optics led to his creation of the color wheel. For Newton all the colors existed within white light. But Goethe’s Colour Wheel arose from the interaction of light and dark, and the psychological effects of color. Goethe didn’t see darkness as an absence of light, but polar opposite and interacting with light. Colour resulted from the interaction of light and shadow.


He wrote:

Yellow is a light which has been dampened by darkness; Blue is a darkness weakened by the light. Light is the simplest most undivided most homogenous being that we know. Confronting it is the darkness.

–Letter to Jacobi


Goethe's Triangle, image for educational purposes, from Color Mixing and Goethe's Triangle (csbrownedu)

Goethe wanted to uncover color’s secrets and investigated whether rules could be used to govern the artistic use of color. He created a Colour Wheel but later found his ideas were best expressed within an equilateral triangle. In Goethe’s original triangle, the three primaries red, yellow, and blue, are arranged at the vertices of the triangle. He chose the primaries based as much on their emotional content as on their physical characteristics.

To Goethe it was important to understand human reaction to color, and his research marks the beginning of modern color psychology. He believed that his triangle was a diagram of the human mind and linked each color with certain emotions. Blue evoked a quiet mood, while red was festive and imaginative. The emotional aspect of the arrangement of the triangle reflects Goethe’s belief that the emotional content of each color be taken into account by artists.

Goethe’s theories of color and emotional response, once considered radical, are commonplace in today’s world. Over the course of the year, I am learning about my own color preferences in relationship to the circle. Perhaps color observations about our work say as much about us emotionally, as they do our art.



-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, October 30th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Dragon Fight – June Mandalas, Winding Down – July 4th Mandalas, Squaring The Circle — July Mandalas (Chakras & Color), and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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CrossWings, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

CrossWings, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



ONE: Squaring the Circle creates an opening which connects the (“I”) Ego with the inner self, freeing up energy for the things that really matter to you. Opposites in conflict settle into balance (like these wings). Medium: Crayola markers and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.




Meditation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Meditation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



TWO: Stage 7 brings attention to thinking, learning, and discovering creative abilities. This mandala was designed during the Renaissance as an object of meditation. Committing it to memory was thought to draw up love, the life force in all things. Medium: Crayola markers and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.




Circle Squared, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Circle Squared, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



THREE: Learning to feel comfortable with yourself and your place in the scheme of things creates a firm foundation for identity. The balance between circles and squares signifies the harmony between masculine and feminine energies that reside together in each of us. Medium: marker paints.




Crusaders Shield, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Crusader’s Shield, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FOUR: Resolution of inner conflict creates a stronger, more complex personality. You start to find yourself motivated by a sense of mission toward worthy goals that engage your whole being and allow you to find your place in the world. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.





July Mandalas — Stage 7 – Squaring The Circle


One of the hardest things about this year-long practice of working with mandalas is getting them posted on or near the month I’ve actually created them. Isn’t it amazing how the older we get, the more a year goes by in the blink of an eye?

I was traveling most of July and completed these before I left for Georgia (I’ve had resistance to posting them). I am currently working on September’s mandalas, and have started a drawing on canvas that I hope to paint and complete by mid-November.


This mandala practice began with the post Coloring Mandalas when I decided to take a year to follow the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round. According to Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 7 – Squaring The Circle are:

  • choosing goals that accomplish more than Ego desires for wealth, health, and happiness
  • learning to recognize projects worthy of your best efforts, projects that challenge you to grow, create, and care for others
  • dedicating yourself to principles and practices that make life better for you and for those around you



Squaring The Circle is a stage that brings the intellect into sharper focus. For a child, it is going to school for the first time; as a young adult, it might be when you complete your formal education. You are energized with a sense of power, importance, and mission and have great potential to create in ways that may impact the rest of your life.

On the spiritual level, Squaring the Circle is about dedicating yourself to principles and practices that enhance life for you and others. From that perspective, I thought I’d use July’s mandalas to talk about color and the body’s spiritual energy centers — the chakras.



 Body Mapping, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Body Mapping, ancient illustration from Mapping The Body by Mark Kidel and Susan Rowe-Leete, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The Chakras & Color


Chakra is from the Sanskrit word for wheel. It is believed that we have hundreds of energy centers inside and around us, all connected to major organs and glands that govern parts of our bodies. On a daily basis we collect energy from different levels of vibrations, including color, that are utilized by the body.


Here are the general ideas and color schemes for each chakra:


  • RED – 1st CHAKRA — base of spine: basic needs, physical health, security, survival, connections to first tribe, community
  • ORANGE – 2nd CHAKRA —  between navel and tailbone: autonomy, self-worth, issues around gender, sexuality, money, energy to create (including procreation)
  • YELLOW — 3rd CHAKRA — behind the navel, at the solar plexus: independence, self-esteem, ability to take action, to move toward your goals
  • GREEN — 4th CHAKRA — near the heart: attachment to parents, ability to nurture yourself and others, ability to form intimate relationships, the many ways we love
  • BLUE — 5th CHAKRA — throat area: creating and communicating in your own voice, sharing and expressing gifts, talents, and the spiritual within us
  • INDIGO — 6th CHAKRA — just above and between the eyes: the Third Eye, developing wisdom, center for creative visualization, learning to receive information from the Higher Self
  • VIOLET — 7th CHAKRA — crowns the top of the head: the 1000-petaled lotus, transcending separate existence, living in the moment, connecting with the Universe, belief that you are more than your physical body


What begin to emerge in a year-long mandala practice are patterns of color. As the months go by, you start to notice a gravitation to certain colors (the same way your body is drawn to certain foods that contain the vitamins and minerals you crave). Shades, hues, tints, values make up the thousands of color vibrations that help the body heal.

I am drawn to oranges and reds with certain undertones of blue and shades of black. The oranges and reds are at the base of the spine, connected to survival and root energies. It makes sense to me as I continue to dig into the past while working on my memoir. I revisit what has passed for rediscovery and healing. Certain materials draw me, too; those that create strong bold colors (while others may be drawn to pastels).



What Colors Are Showing Up In Your Mandalas?


RED – Is some part of you feeling vulnerable or in need of healing? How is your relationship with your tribe? Do you have a vibrant stirring of energy to create something new.

ORANGE – Are you honoring your own needs as well as those who are in relationship with you? Do you struggle with addictions to food, money, sex? Is your creative energy ebbing or flowing? Are you acting with integrity around your commitments.

YELLOW – Are you ready to learn, think, plan, take action for your future. Does your self-will overrun your common sense and good judgment. Do you accept yourself fully for who you are and stand up for what you believe in from your own unique point of view.

GREEN – Are you able to forgive (yourself and others)? Is your heart broken? Are you opening emotionally to new relationships or expanding your capacity to love and nurture.

BLUE – Is it time you spoke up about an issue you’ve been quiet about? Are you sharing your gifts with the rest of the world or hoarding them, keeping them close to your body. Do you feel you speak with integrity about your own points of view.

INDIGO – Are your intuitive abilities being expanded at this time. Do you feel a sense of wonder. Do you see the mysteries and joy in our everyday mundane existence.

VIOLET – Are you living in the present moment? Do you feel connected to something bigger than you, a larger Universal Consciousness. Do you share with others the wisdom you have gained from living in this world.


As artists and writers, color detail is of prime importance to us. Volumes of literature have been written about the meanings, color systems, and energies of the chakras. What I have posted is derived from the many books I’ve read over the years (I’ve barely scratched the surface).


For a primer, you can read An Introduction To The Chakras at Chakra Energy. And here are a few more links for exploration, including a Chakra Test to gauge strengths and areas of vulnerability:


There is so much to be learned from the things we take on as practices. Structure, repetition, and dedication to a practice prove to be excellent teachers. Practice helps me to become a better listener.



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, September 8th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Dragon Fight – June Mandalas, Winding Down – July 4th Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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Befriending The Dragon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Befriending The Dragon, hand-drawn mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



ONE: Hand-drawn mandala incorporating the internal conflict and fight of the Dragon. Started as a blank circle, drawn with a black Sharpie, and colored with Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.




Eye Of The Beholder II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Eye Of The Beholder II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



TWO: The eye at the center of this mandala signifies the Ego, the part of you that you call “I.” The birth or rebirth of Ego happens many times during your life as the understanding of your relationship to yourself, and others, changes.




Eschers Dragons, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Escher’s Dragons, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



THREE: Dragon Fight brings about polarization of opposites: dark and light, male and female, angel and devil. Increased inner conflict creates energy that can be channeled into expansion of consciousness. The drawing is based on M.C. Escher.




Mother Earth, Father Sky, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Mother Earth, Father Sky, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FOUR: A new viewpoint emerges when you endure the tension of opposites during conflict resolution in Stage 6. Opposites are incorporated into one another as Mother Earth, Father Sky. Or the white and black of the Yin Yang symbol. Solutions to conflict bring something entirely new to the situation, something you may not have thought of prior to that moment.




Animal Spirit Guides, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Animal Spirit Guides, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



FIVE: Dragon Fight is experienced during adolescence and other transitional periods as a new phase in your life. Tribal peoples heighten the normal fear and stress of young people to intensify their initiation into adulthood. Initiates are given secret teachings about the animals that serve the tribe as helpers and guides to the Spirit World. This mandala design was inspired by designs on the creation of ancient pottery and based on an illustration by Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess.





June Mandalas — Stage 6 – Dragon Fight


I bet you thought I’d never get June’s mandalas posted. Here’s how it goes — I get the mandalas done, but then need to work them into the energy and timing for the posts; it’s time to publish June’s mandalas!

The theme for the 6th Stage of The Great Round is Dragon Fight. We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, working with the archetypal circle, and following the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round.  June’s mandalas are colored and drawn with Crayola markers, Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, Reeve’s Water Colour Pencils, and a black Ultra Fine Point Sharpie (Sharpies are my favorite writing and drawing utensils).



      Totems, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Synthesis, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




Dragon Fight takes you face to face with your own internal demons. When you are young, Dragon Fight plays out in adolescent conflicts and helps you separate from your parents, or the tribe or community in which you grew up. You find yourself wanting to break out of traditions; tension increases, issues are polarized, until a new psychological perspective is generated.

As adults, transitions in midlife can bring you around again to the stage of Dragon Fight. On the spiritual level, the 6th Stage is concerned with working through contradictions in belief systems, until your own spiritual footprint emerges.



Eye Of The Beholder (Dragon Close Up), Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 6 — Dragon Fight are:

  • learning how to confront self-doubt
  • facing temptations to misuse power
  • learning to incorporate and synthesize both sides of a conflict
  • learning the value of standing independent from tribe or community
  • working through contradictions between religious dogma and personal spiritual experience


With Dragon Fight behind me, Stage 7 falls at High Summer, in the month of my birth. I’ll be traveling over much of July and have a few mandalas left to color for the next stage. Maybe I’ll create a few of my own while I’m on the road.



        Swoop!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Avocado, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Polka Dot Curve, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, July 14th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February Mandalas, Labyrinth — March Mandalas, Beginnings — April Mandalas, Target — May Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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Mandala Shield, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Mandala Shield, hand-drawn mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




ONE: Hand-drawn mandala, setting pie-shaped boundaries. Made with Crayola markers, glitter glue, and Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels; started as an empty circle.




Celtic Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Celtic Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

TWO: Celtic mandala set up much like a castle and moat, with mazelike bands of designs protecting tender, leafy vines at the center. When emotions intensify, personal habits and rituals help you feel safe.




Protection, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Protection, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

THREE: Perceptions can make you feel sensitive and vulnerable, open to criticism from others (real or imagined). Mandalas during Stage 5 are about vigilance, protection and defense. The walls don’t have to be heavy – your fortress can be a connected ring of flowers.




Hildegard Of Bingen's Vision, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Hildegard Of Bingen’s Vision, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FOUR: Mystics transcend the emotional intensity of Stage 5 by using the Target mandala to communicate insights and experiences. This mandala represents the 9 circles of angels and humans in Hildegard of Bingen’s Vision. The empty circle at the center is the mystery of the center where beauty is born.




Circle Boundaries, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Circle Boundaries, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FIVE: Ringed mandala used to explore feelings. The inner circle is filled with things you fear most. The ring around that is a color that represents courage. The second circle contains mentors, guides, teachers (living or dead). The third, negative thoughts that arise from fear. The fourth, positive behaviors that help manage fear. The fifth circle is filled with positive affirmations.




May Mandalas — Stage 5 – Target

May is a turbulent time in Minnesota. It’s tornado season; the weather is unpredictable. Moods in the month of May seem to follow the seasons. The theme for the 5th Stage of The Great Round is similar to Frog Medicine — protection — setting and keeping good boundaries. It is a Catch-22 that strong boundaries allow us to feel safe when exposing our vulnerabilities. I found it difficult, and comforting, to work on Stage 5.

It was Carl Jung who introduced modern Westerners to the psychological significance of mandalas. He believed we all strive to live out our own unique potential, to experience wholeness.  We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, working with the archetypal circle, and following the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round.

Target, the 5th cycle of The Great Round, begins after age two, when you discover yourself as separate from your caregivers, and go after what you want. Sometimes seeking creates conflict, and can lead to disappointment or frustration.

In adulthood, we set and seek personal, creative, and career goals. We may run into resistance from others, feel tired and vulnerable. In Stage 5 we explore ways to set healthy personal boundaries, which allows us to feel safe when we take risks or are in situations where we are emotionally vulnerable.

Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Continue, Continue, Continue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

 

May’s mandalas are drawn with Crayola markers, glitter glue, and Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels. I find drawing and coloring mandalas fun and relaxing. But there are some artists who consider coloring a serious business. Last weekend, in On The Road, Jason Davis profiled Minnesota Artists. I was delighted to witness the work of Don Marco from Duluth, Minnesota who has been coloring in his Fine Art since the late 1960’s.

In an act of synchronicity that Jung would have loved, about a year ago, a 24-yr-old named Christina Nelson from Superior, Wisconsin decided to try making art with crayons. She thought she was the only one using the medium. Then she met Don Marco working only a few miles away in Duluth; he became her mentor. Now she goes under the name Tiona Marco.

According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 5 — Target are:

  • learning to ritualize behaviors of self-care and self-protection
  • realizing and appreciating daily rituals and routines
  • knowing how to set good boundaries with others
  • knowing your limitations and working within them
  • cultivating the ability to exceed and transcend limits when needed


The high humidity and blue skies, with a backdrop of billowing, dense gray clouds tell me we are well into June. And I’ve already begun Stage 6.



Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sacred Circles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, June 9th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February Mandalas, Labyrinth — March Mandalas, Beginnings — April Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       






SunWheel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






Eye To Eye, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. 






Mother, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




April draws to a close in a few hours. Though it snowed last Saturday, the light of April’s last day is clear and blue. The front yard is bursting with new life:  erratic shoots of thick, green grass, day lilies skyrocketing out of tender wet ground, red-stemmed dogwood buds, one purple bloom in the rock garden on the hill.

We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, following the twelve passages of The Great Round. The initial circulation of The Great Round coincides with early childhood, and physical development. Thereafter, the passages focus on spiritual exploration and maturation, awareness of one’s center, and seeking balance and harmony through working with the archetypal circle.



   Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Beginnings, the fourth cycle of The Great Round, opens prior to the age of two, when a mutual bond is formed between baby and mother. The child develops trust; the mother takes pleasure in nurturing. Later, as adults, we learn to trust and nurture our own creative energy through avenues such as writing, music, and art.

In Stage Four we explore ways to quell the self-doubt and insecurity (Monkey Mind) that bubble to the surface when we create. On a spiritual level, we learn to nurture ourselves, to feel compassion (for ourselves and others); we learn the importance of giving service from the heart.


The April mandalas are drawn with Crayola markers, colored pencils, and Uniball gel pens. Liz’s mandalas are all hand-drawn. But April was the first time in The Great Round that I drew one of my own (from a blank circle with a dot at the center). The simple design is found on the walls of a birthing chamber in an ancient palace on the island of Crete (archeologists suggest it may represent the cervix). The dot becomes the beginning point of our own design, reflecting something we may be ready to birth.



The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 4 — Beginnings are:

  • learning to contain and focus energy
  • deepening and nurturing the relationship with the inner self
  • understanding the value of service to others
  • developing patience and a belief in the process
  • knowing something new will be created and produced even though its form can not yet be seen


ONE: The first mandala (top of the page) was drawn by hand, unplanned and fluid, beginning with a circle and a dot. It is based on an illustration by Marija Gimbutas in The Language of the Goddess, where she illustrates a circle and dot found in a birthing chamber on the island of Crete.

TWO: The second mandala represents a flower or the sun. The center of the template started as empty white space. Everything within the blue center was added in the process of drawing and coloring. Beginnings are a time to contain and focus, to hold our projects and creations close to center, so they can develop. Talking, explaining, discussing, can dissipate valuable energy. Silence holds the space.

THREE: The third mandala draws from the heart chakra. Holding focused energy deepens the relationship to the self, intensifying and expanding the heart. Sustained effort toward nurturing our insides, allows more room outside to see the way clear for unconditional love — a generous love dedicated to serving others.

FOUR: In Beginnings, we learn to cherish the new, to care for what is young and tender. After Winter’s heavy runoff, we wait a few weeks before we rake and scrape the earth, protecting tender shoots of Spring grass. Be gentle with the self. Make room for and nurture your creative ideas, so they have room to come to fruition.

 


  Trimotto, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Signs Of Spring, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Sliver, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Find The Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Trimotto, Signs Of Spring, Sliver, Find The Mandala, hand-drawn labyrinths created by Liz, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The four mandalas above are hand-drawn by Liz, created for The Great Round – Stage 4. She agreed to let me photograph them from her sketchbook and post them with the April mandalas.

Mandalas have been used in Christian churches, in Eastern and Western traditions, by mystics and ancient peoples all over the world. Like labyrinths, mandalas cross all cultures, and represent Spirit coming into matter.

Spring teaches us about new beginnings. About trusting the process of movement — through Winter’s deadening hibernation, to the rebirth and new growth of Spring. We learn to trust ourselves. To know that what appear to be chaos and death, will be followed by renewal and prosperity.


    

Centering, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

-related to posts:  The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February MandalasLabyrinth — March Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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