Several years ago, while browsing in a bookstore, I picked up a copy of Mandalas for Meditation kit edited by Zoe Frances and read this, “Suddenly the doctor noticed the most amazing changes in her patients. Not only did they seem calmer and more centered, the overall atmosphere had become more harmonious and lighthearted.”
During that time, my mother had been in a nursing home for about two years due to her age and advanced Parkinson’s disease. The tremors were very bad in her hand, and she was exhausted and agitated from the constant shaking. I thought I might give this mandala thing a try. Test the theory. Nothing else was working. What did I have to lose?
Another quote from the book struck me, too. “Often, if people are aware of their centers, they tend to color mandalas from the center out.” My mother was always centered ~ in herself, in her world, and in her faith. No pun intended, but she was unshakeable. It was her body that betrayed her.
I packed up my little mandala kit and went for my daily visit. She was very interested in the black and white drawings and a bit shocked when I told her we would color them together. “But I can’t color,” she said. I explained that she would pick the mandala and the colors and I would do the actual coloring. I didn’t mention what I had read about a mandala’s ability to calm a person. It was mid-afternoon, and she was already very tired. The tremors were increasing by that time, and with sundown approaching, they would get worse. We started with a very simple drawing ~ not too complex, with larger areas that would be easier for her to focus on.
“Where shall we start?” I asked.
“Why, in the center, of course,” came her soft reply. Ah, yes. That’s my mom. In the center is right.
And so we colored. Shades of blues and pink, highlighted with some golden yellow. She never took her eyes from the page.
I would do an occasional check and notice that the tremors had calmed. Medication was still more than an hour away, and she was calm. By the time the hour had passed, the tremors were gone ~ just from watching me color. We colored almost every day for the last few weeks of her life.
Since that time, I have taken great enjoyment from coloring mandalas. Each time I color one I find it to be very relaxing. In many ways, it’s time I get to spend with my mom again because it always brings back memories of our last days together. As I complete the mandala, it comes to life with color and form, and always brings me back to a center I may have strayed from.
The astrology community is fortunate to have excellent sources for mandalas ~ Clare Goodwin’s Mandala Page and Sandra and David Mosely’s Zodiac Arts. There are amazing mandala galleries on each site that you can get lost in for hours. You can also download and color your own mandalas, and sign up for their newsletters. Clare offers a New Moon Mandala newsletter that arrives on each New Moon ~ a gentle reminder of that tender time of the month. Coloring a mandala at the New Moon can bring focus to your intentions and displaying it throughout the month will remind you of your New Moon wishes and goals. You can write your wishes right on the mandala ~ a source of inspiration and encouragement. By clicking on the mandalas above, you’ll be taken to Clare’s and Zodiacarts’ respective pages. They are absolutely gorgeous.
If you think mandalas aren’t your thing, rethink that a little. If you’re an Astrologer, you already practice mandala art everytime you look at or cast a chart. Every natal chart is a mandala ~ the planets and stars, even the sun, radiating from our center ~ our earth, our world. Here’s an old chart form from…well, who knows where. I have tried to find the chart and the artist online, but have not been successful. I have a few left in the pack and they are true treasures. I’ve scanned it so I’ll never run out. Take the time to draw a chart on this form and color it. The chart will come alive as you work on it, and it will be a true prize for the client you present it to…unless you decide to do your own chart and keep that little treasure for yourself. After all, you do deserve a gorgeous copy of your own chart ~ your life mandala ~ handcast by you.