This ancient and enduring archetype resonates deeply within the human psyche. It is found in all cultures and time periods.
Carl Jung discovered that the Mandala, as a potent archetype of the human psyche, could be used as an effective therapeutic tool. In his pioneering exploration of the unconscious Jung observed the motif of the circle spontaneously appearing – both in his own artwork and in the drawings of his clients. He recognized that the urge to make mandalas emerges during moments of intense personal growth. Their appearance reflects a profound re-balancing process is underway in the psyche.
Jung refers to the mandala as “the psychological expression of the totality of the self.” Within every human psyche there is wholeness at the core of our Being. This seed of the Self rests at the center.
“The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique…
The Mandala takes us to the center, revealing what is at the core. It catalyzes the transformative process. In my work with the Mandala since 1980 I have seen its magic revealed in the experience of hundreds of students. It can be as simple as coloring within a circle – expressing the energies of what is on the surface, what lies deeper within, and what is at the core of our lives. It can be experienced spatially in walking a labyrinth or dancing within a circle.
Creating and interacting with mandalas helps to recalibrate to our own harmony and integrity. The inner life is re-ordered and restored. Through the Mandala we center ourselves in alignment with the cosmos. At this core of our Being we tap into the unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises. In essence, we come home.
Dana Lynne Andersen is the director of The Academy of Art Creativity & Consciousness. Pioneering the use of art and creativity as vehicles for shifting consciousness, she has taught and exhibited on three continents. For more about Dana visit the Awakening Arts Academy.