MANDALAS are MAGIC
Mandala Magic is an art journaling process that has served thousands of curious creatives worldwide.
A tried + trusted methodology that combines symbolism with intention through an understanding of the mandala form, Mandala Magic is used for creative expression, self exploration, personal healing and spiritual practice by those who seek a deeper connection to both the inner + outer world.
Circle as Symbol
As Dr Jung taught us, the circle is the most basic of mandalas. One of the world’s oldest and most widely utilised symbols, the circle forms the basis for the whole Mandala Magic process – from format to theme to image.
Mandala Magic works with the archetypal patterns that influence much of our human existence. Properly understood, these patterns act as maps to help guide us through universal rites of passage and our everyday world.
Better understanding of self leads to better understanding of others and in uncertain times, Mandala Magic provides a process to work through the commonalities of shared existence and unique experience.
The Great Rounds
Mandala Magic works with cycles such as the Great Round of Mandala, the solar cycle as 8-fold year and the lunar calendar. It is based on knowledge that our ancestors faithfully practiced and modern psychology that helps us make sense of the big WHO, WHAT, WHY, HOW and WHERE questions.
Symbology in Practice
Archetypal and personal symbolism are explored as part of the process as we learn to decipher codes and patterns that hold deep meaning for us through a robust dialogue process, working in an erotic relationship between our inner world and external environment.
Mandalas with Meaning
Mandala Magic teaches the basics of the mandala principle whilst we discover how to create many types of mandala design in our own style. As an integrated practice, Mandala Magic concentrates on the whole process rather than the end product and as such is suitable for beginner artists.
A Creative Practice for Good
Art journaling helps visual thinkers process that which might otherwise be too difficult to express with words alone.
Whether you are committed to a process of personal healing, seeking deeper connections, or simply trying to figure your way through the changing landscape of the Anthropocene, the activation of your creative imagination is paramount in practicing an alternative to outmoded systems + behaviours.
Combining art-making with written journaling is a practice that allows for full and free expression without any external editing and which reveals multitudes of insight into your experience of the world in real time.
Regular creative practice means you are better able to respond to the changing times in which we live, whether that’s on a global scale like the Covid-19 pandemic or in your individual experience of the everyday.
Imagination permits transformation and a regular art and journaling practice ensures your imagination remains responsive and flexible, allowing you to connect more deeply with the possibilities of how we can better exist on this planet, with less confusion, fear and projection.
Find Meaning Through Art
Finding meaning in a time when the dominant culture seems hellbent on complete destruction requires us to slow down, listen and imagine creative possibilities outside the realm of our current intellectual understanding.
Dr Carl Jung famously advised that the hands might solve a problem the intellect was unable to fathom. The Mandala Magic process supports your practice of not-knowing as you learn to decompose outmoded beliefs and behaviours.
Creative practice also brings forth a connection to other aspects of consciousness that are not so often celebrated by the dominant culture, engaging our less revered capacity for intuition, sensation and feeling alongside our overused and often exhausted thinking modality.
Understanding and engaging in your full range of human being, you can find growing coherence between your inner world and outside experience, aligning your sense of self with your place in the bigger picture.
Following a process that provides structure and accountability together with archetypal wisdom and current pertinence, you can begin to find answers to questions you didn’t know how to ask.
Addressing the Paradox
When the dominant culture increasingly tries to convince you that the world is made of only polar opposites, the full complexity of your curious, creative and capable self is unable to fully realise itself and you are likely to become increasingly perplexed, dissatisfied and anxious.
You see, humans are animated by an enigmatic combination of soul, spirit and flesh – we are made from both stardust and clay. Our beliefs, feelings and actions don’t always align and we hold many seemingly contradictory ideas at once.
For those of us awake to the need for big change in the world, but who struggle with navigating the contemporary terrain, Mandala Magic offers a framework and process for the practice of holding all of our multiplicities, whilst allowing for the readjustment of that which benefits from alignment.
The mandala principle allows for the creative exploration of all possibilities, containing both the centre-point of the self and the outer perimeter of the external world and all it contains.
Its very nature is a ‘container of essence’ which allows for all that is, all that has been and all that is yet to come.
For Beginners + Non-Artists
One of the beauties of art journaling is that it isn’t limited to trained or ‘naturally talented’ artists : Mandala Magic is accessible to you even and especially if you’ve been told or felt like ‘you aren’t good at art.’
The practice involves establishing or re-engaging with a creative process that works with archetypal patterns and forms to help your understanding of self and the natural world.
As you progress through the exercises, you engage your innate creativity and learn some useful art and journaling techniques along the way.
Together, we use easy to follow prompts to explore foundational mandala construction techniques that offer you a robust bedrock for ongoing development and the freedom to work with your preferred or existing art supplies, as well as experimenting with fresh materials.
Your art journal is your home for unedited self expression, personal inquiry and unfettered experimentation, where your imagination is invited and your inner critic is given a permission slip to evacuate the premises.
If you are already well-practiced in the discipline of art journaling, the thematic structure and exploration of the mandala form and principle will provide you with some juicy prompts to follow along with and develop according to your own interests and direct experience.
Kind Words + Testimonials
You offer such an amazing and complete course I don’t even know if words suffice to tell you how much it has meant to me this year. The way you have delivered this course – over an entire year is remarkable. At last a class that matters! Thank you for not selling out. It is obvious that you care about your students and their wellbeing as much as you do your own welfare and earnings. You have made the class so affordable and doable, again, words escape me to tell you the gratitude I feel for this experience! Thank you so much for this incredibly delicious and enlightening journey! It is life-changing.
I just wanted to write and thank you for your obvious skill and hard work in running the Mandala Magic class. You have obviously done your homework, both internally and externally. Your technical and logistical mastery is most apparent at first glance. But your energetic presence and groundedness is really what seems to “run the show,” so to speak. You set the tone for respect and courage in creative endeavors. You offer us structure without school-marm-ing us to death (or at all!). You’re very open and encouraging without being fluffy or airy-fairy at all. Truly, I don’t know how to best articulate it. But I have worked with other teachers in other online classes, and I have not felt the sense of being held and guided lovingly that I do with your class. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
I am an Art Therapist and recently became accredited in MARI. I must say that the learning here in your program is on a deeper level and gives a much clearing understanding of the Great Round’s true purpose.
At first, I was unsure about taking on a year long course. Although I am, depending on who you ask, an artist, I had never done an art journal and I didn’t know what to expect, but I pushed the “buy” button anyway. I was ushered, like Alice Through the Looking Glass”, into a wonderful world of self exploration through an amazingly extensive program of art techniques – easy ones, panic not – magical musical playlists, and a loving, gentle White Rabbit to guide me through it all. Julie’s quiet calm presence and extensive knowledge of the art and the Great Round of Mandala made this an amazing experience for me. Although there is a new lesson every month, you can progress at your own pace and take from it whatever you need. There is a wealth of information and things to explore and there are no right or wrong and no mistakes…how often does life offer you that at any price? Mandala Magic is a wonderful program and pushing that “buy” button was one of my best life choice so far.
Mandala Magic is such a juicy experience! So much so that I’m on my third year/round of taking this course. Every year goes deeper, and I can feel myself release just a little bit more into this beautiful experience that Julie guides us through. It is so many things – self reflection, creative expression, mandala-making, processing and healing, letting go and inviting in, being part of a wonderful community. Julie is gifted in her ability to be present and guide us through the year. The course overflows with content and beauty, all created with love by Julie, and provides a suggested structure for the experience. And yet, everything points inward to the personal, to following one’s intuition and to participating in a way that feels good. There is something for everyone and can (and will!) be experienced in so many different ways. This experience brings so much added beauty to my life.
This course Is beautifully put together and is truly a journey into your own soul. This course is the gift of allowing yourself to discover who you really are, how to appreciate and love the qualities of yourself you wish to keep and to make changes with the things that no longer serve you. Step by step your are unraveled and gently put back together. Can’t recommend it enough to those who are looking discover their true self. Thank you Julie for sharing your passion in such a beautiful way.
My creative juices had been somewhat dormant before beginning the Mandala Magic course. Having these juices unleashed is not only an enjoyable experience in the moments of creating Mandalas, this burst is beginning to permeate other aspects of my life. Julie is a Master at teaching using the modern technology of video demonstrations. It someone has asked me some years ago if I would be interested in taking an art class online I probably would have thought this was not feasible. Not only is it feasible it is very effective and efficient. I love the connection on Facebook with other participants around the world and the supportive feeling of these connections. Thank you Julie for your genius and your heart connection to this process and to us.
A Cyclical Framework
The format for the year-long annual Mandala Magic art + journaling program
The structure of the annual Mandala Magic program is currently the cyclical framework of the 8-fold year – fixed day festivals that divide the year into eight distinct seasons of approximately 45 days, an astronomical system that was marked by our prehistoric Ancestors and lasted long into the folk culture of Scotland, the rest of the British Isles and beyond.
This cycle describes a naturally occuring process in the phenomenal world – what Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes as the life/death/life cycle.
We can clearly observe this cycle in what many call the ‘wheel of the year’ :
- the deep dark of Midwinter, marked at the Winter Solstice – reminding us how to be still, rest and see in the dark
- the very tender stirrings of new life at Imbolc, or St Bride’s Day – teaching us to take our time, tread softly + enjoy the daydream
- the shoots, sprouts + blossoms of the Spring Equinox – affirming the promise of fresh beginnings and new life in all its forms
- the blossoming sexual energy of Bealltainn (Beltane) – where we fully commit to life and all that entails, including the great human paradox
- the height of the green at Midsummer – celebrating the wonders of life + providing clarity on all things just as they are during the solar peak of Summer Solstice
- the ripening of the grain harvest at Lughnasadh (Lammas) – where we can begin to sort the wheat from the chaff and gather nutrition for the coming phases
- the abundance of the harvest festival at Autumn Equinox – where we offer gratitudes and pay attention to all of our creations and contributions
- the beginning of the letting go at Samhuinn (you may know it as Samhain or Hallowe’en) – bringing us closer to the death cycle, showing us how to compost that which no longer serves and reconnect with realms unseen.
Part of this natural cycle, all humans are subject to the archetypal forces inherent within it as a pattern of existence for all – not just those with a Scottish, British or Northern European heritage. Using the thematic guidance, Mandala Magic invites every participant to introduce the symbols, myths, stories and traditions from their heritage or geography.
As such, we can all use the 8-fold year as a map that offers us the opportunity to navigate our everyday lives and learn again how it is to become fully human.
In its form as an annual program, Mandala Magic offers a deep dive into the process of understanding the cyclical nature of existence, combined with an understanding of mandala forms and construction, whilst offering us the reminder to keep connecting to all that is.
All of the content is provided on an invitational basis where participants are encouraged to trust their own direct experience and follow their personal needs, desires and longings, whilst taking account of the times in which we live.
Building Blocks of Mandala Magic
Mandala Magic works by introducing a clear intention before starting. The clearer the intention that is made, the greater the impact of the mandala. This means the process is not one of simply letting go into mindlessness, unless that is the intention!
There are many different forms of mandala and each carries a significance of its own. Practicing each type of construction design is an important aspect of the Mandala Magic process. This can help redress imbalance and address specificity.
The mandala is a powerful symbol in its own right, however we can also infuse the mandala design with other archetypal and personal symbols to add to its potency and boost our intention. Intentional design is also built into the magic.
Mandala Magic is a process that can act as both a vehicle for self inquiry and also as a means to explore a specific line of inquiry as a reflection of the outer world. In the work, I invite you to consider both your inner world and your external situation.
Arriving at our journal with an attitude of open awareness and curiosity, we can reduce the impact of our ego upon the work we create and this can connect us more readily with our authentic creative source. Follow the process, develop the practice!
Dialogue is available to us through the creative act itself. The image we create can also speak to us : an energetic exchange we cultivate through practice to help us understand and attune to our original creative expression.
The Great Round of Mandala
The Archetypal Stages of the Great Round of Mandala is a concept developed by art therapist and founder of the MARI® (Mandala Assessment Research Institute), Joan Kellogg.
She developed her studies of Jung’s theories in parallel with her own work as a mandala artist to form the basis of significant psychiatric therapy research.
That research resulted in the Great Round of Mandala – an identification of twelve (later, thirteen) different types of mandala that correspond to a particular stage of life cycle development (and therefore that of the whole of Existence.)
Kellogg believed that as we fulfil our potential towards wholeness, we revolve around the stages of the Great Round, meeting our true Self stage-by-stage.
For five years from 2013 – 2017, the Mandala Magic program followed Kellogg’s cycle of twelve archetypal stages.
Mandala Magic explored well beyond those original sources to bring the concept out of theory and into embodied awareness, incorporating years of independent research, training and experience.
It still informs the process today, especially regarding the construction techniques and forms of the mandala.
‘I am an Art Therapist and recently became accredited in MARI. I must say that the learning here in your program is on a deeper level and gives a much clearing understanding of the Great Round’s true purpose.’
Process not Product
Mandala Magic is a creative process that combines creative expression and self-inquiry, archetypal symbolism and personal psychology.
It is a practice that sees us use proven long-standing tools to help us connect more fully to our living life by better understanding ourselves and the world we live in.
The emphasis is on the transformational and evolutionary experience, rather than the creation of ‘good’ art. In this way, we set out to develop our art-making skills as a means of serving the process rather than creating art for art’s sake.
The Mandala Magic process is based on a unique blend of creative inquiry, personal intention and artful practice, influenced by archetypal psychology, world mythology, philosophy, animism and being human. Feedback from hundreds of participants over many years ensures a deeply grounded experience.
I graduated in Communication Studies, specialising in the symbolic art of the Picts of Scotland and studied visual and audio-visual communication in addition to psychology, social studies, history, aesthetics, linguistics, literature and mass media and have been teaching Mandala Magic for almost a decade.
‘I have been on an inner work journey for years and have organized women’s group for years. This course is outstanding in combining mind, body and soul inner work. The Mandala Magic course is like being taken on a magical journey if you go within and trust the process.’