As some of you may be aware of, about a year and a half ago I began an art project: drawing a mandala each zodiac season that represents the themes and energies of the that sign. Along with producing the mandala itself, I also wanted to write a corresponding blog post about the creative process and what it taught me about the nature of the archetype. That part was bit easier as a concept…..I only got about halfway through the writing portion. (Check out the articles already written about Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius!)
Since I wasn't able to finish all the articles, I felt like I needed to share an update on the project as a whole. Fear not, I will finish the last half of the articles. The have become more of a separate exploration of my thoughts on each sign, and I have enjoyed writing them when their energies seem relevant to share.
Originally, this project came out of a desire for a more structured and consistent way of producing my art. I had fallen in love with drawing mandalas, but I felt like I wasn't giving myself enough time to be in that creative space and produce them. I was heavy in my astrological studies at the time, as I was a few month into my apprenticeship program. It was quite natural then for the inspiration and drive to come from combining these two parts of my life. So, I would sit in reflection about the sign for the entire season, and produce my feelings into a mandala.
Each month, each new mandala continued to surprised me. I would get nervous sometimes that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything for certain ones. Or that there would be no resemblance to the sign itself. But I always came back to trusting in the process, and every one came out more perfect than I could've hoped. I wasn't really sure what I was getting into at the beginning, or what I was really seeking out of it for that matter. But the project blossomed and grew, and ended up taking on a life force of its own. And in turn, I blossomed and grew as well, learning so much from these new found friends I had invited into my life.
Not only did this project enhance my intellectual understanding of the signs, but more importantly, it was an intense journey of self reflection. Instead of learning about the archetypes through words or intellectual ideas and concepts, I was able to learn about them through feeling them. Feeling how they expressed themselves through the natural world, and feeling how they expressed themselves through me. The process of condescending the feelings of these energies through a mandala, always brought up a new layer of myself to look at. Each one always taught me something new.
The further I got within the process, I came to realize too, that I was giving a face to the name. These signs of the zodiac are living forces, that I am constantly interacting with on a daily basis. I created a new way of personifying them for myself. I could encompass everything they mean to me all in one image. Now, when I need to sit, pray, or speak to them, I have something I can hold in my hands and look to.
I have learned so much about myself, the nuances and meanings of the signs, and my own astrological knowledge in general throughout this whole journey. And I did it by working with the natural evolutionary cyclical process. Nature is the greatest teacher. As my teacher taught me, the best way to learn about astrology is by observing the patterns directly through the world around us. So that also means observing nature's patterns within ourselves, and how we feel them.
I hope you all enjoyed this little update on the project. These mandalas really do mean the world to me. And I'm so pleased to be able to share who they are with you; share their teachings and lessons, as it seems selfish to keep this whole experience to myself. Art is meant to be enjoyed and shared. All I can hope is that this project maybe brightens someone's day; connects someone to an energy or archetype that is needed in their life; beautify someone's life with the gift of astrology.
**Update as of July 2018: Please check out the final culmination of this project in my self-published book, Journey through the Zodiac: An Artistic and Reflective Mandala Experience. After a two year process, I am so happy to finally be able to share this piece of art with the world!