Mandala Magic Alignment 202021


reclaiming symbols + rhythms of the solar cycle

This video is 13:58 minutes long and is supported by Closed Captions in English.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is a year-long creative program that combines art journaling with mandala art and symbolism, following the cycle of the 8-fold year.

It’s an evolution of the original Mandala Magic program, where we followed the Great Round of Mandala and its archetypes in twelve parts.

This time around, we will work with eight seasons in a liturgy of nature and its long-standing milestones – a pattern of ancient Scotland and beyond.

Mandala Magic ALIGNMENT combines offerings in a variety of formats, including film, story-telling, mandala-making and other creative prompts delivered in eight parts, beginning at the midwinter solstice in December, through to Samhuinn at the end of October.

The meanings of life aren’t inherited. What is inherited is the mandate to make meanings of life by how we live. – Stephen Jenkinson

Mandala Magic Alignment

Join me to explore the symbols + rhythm of the 8-fold year in your art journal + beyond.

In Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT we will return to an old way of being, in new ways.

Marking the festivals of each solstice + equinox, together with the four quarter days of ancient Scotland and beyond, we will work magic by way of heedfulness.

Together, we will connect to a slower rhythm + create meaningful art as we follow the solar cycle through story-telling, mandala-making + journaling.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is an invitation to your curious, creative and capable self to honour a natural rhythm in your creative process.


reclaiming symbols + rhythms of the solar cycle

ALIGNMENT Imbolc Bride

Mandala + Art Journaling


Combining the mandala symbol with the practice of art journaling is an incantation that speaks to our longing for creativity with purpose.

In the journal, we are invited to make pages full of creative content, suffused with personal and cultural wisdoms and trespasses, without the pressure of an audience.

The mandala as symbol speaks to our longing for wholeness and orderliness even as our human souls experience the messiness and vicissitudes of life in these times.

An age-old symbol from across civilisations, cultures and traditions, the mandala offers us an opportunity to challenge the status quo as we make meaning from the way we choose to live + create today.

In this work, we will use both imagery and words in ways that activate our mythic imagination, subvert the dominant cultural narrative and re-energise our relationships.

Establishing or re-engaging with this practice is a devotional act and the structure of the 8-fold year allows for us to honour an age-old pattern through regular practice, creating pages full of purpose.

 The 8-Fold Year


The 8-fold year is an ancient practice of heedfulness to the natural rhythm of life, marked both personally and in the community.

There are many stone monuments here in my homeland of Scotland that attest to this practice being millennia old and although the prevailing culture is bereft of most of it throughout its lands of origin, there are pockets that survive here and there in a folk culture strongly tied to the stories and myths of the local landscape.

Following the traverse of Earth around Sun, the 8-fold year divides this cycle into not twelve parts, but the eight that fall between the solstices and equinoxes and their mid-way points – in the Gaelic calendar ; Samhuinn, Imbolc, Bealltainn and Lùnastal.

This 8-fold rhythm is remnant of a culture where the rate of change was practically non-existent between generations and matches eight distinct seasons throughout the year.

Returning to this rhythm we can attend to a creative practice where we relearn how to slow down, tend to our relationships both personal and beyond, reconnect with our creative imagination and face the issues of our times – together.

ALIGNMENT Spring Equinox
ALIGNMENT Bealltainn

Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

ALIGNMENT Lughnasadh


is your invitation to your creative, curious + capable self to;

Blurb Icon Image

Commit to a regular and focussed art + journal practice, with prompts, guidance + extra resources.  

Blurb Icon Image

Create imaginative pages full of life-enhancing content, taking old stories into the world as it stands today.

Blurb Icon Image

Align your inner experience and outer world through the fresh awareness gained as part of your creative process.

Blurb Icon Image

Explore your natural rhythms and the age-old wisdom of the 8-fold year.

Blurb Icon Image

Reclaim symbols that hold deep meaning for us all and make them count for new times.

Blurb Icon Image

Join a community of like-minded creatives in a safe and welcoming container.


is a program designed to offer opportunities for you to;

Blurb Icon Image

Ignite (or re-ignite) and engage your creative passion and relax into your world experience.

Blurb Icon Image

Engage with and understand the mandala principle as it applies to your individual life and the world situation.

Blurb Icon Image

Explore old symbols and stories and make them relevant to your time and place.

Blurb Icon Image

Experience symbolism as a reflection of the phenomenal world and a useful aid to finding meaning in it.

Blurb Icon Image

Exercise your creative imagination to visualise, name and enact a world where you are deeply connected and where your relationships (both human and more-than-human) are mended.

ALIGNMENT Autumn Equinox

In Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT you will practice creating mandala art + journal pages full of meaning and purpose.

Your practice will develop over the course of a year so that your journal becomes the living symbol of you – a record of your deepening relationship with all aspects of your life, both personal + beyond.

You will come to recognise and understand the natural rhythm and symbols of the 8-fold year, which offers ancient wisdom for living a meaningful contemporary life.


Sorry, registration for this program is now closed. Please sign up to the Solar Circular mailing list to receive news and updates on future workshops, special offers and events.

Some Artwork Submissions (Session 2020/21)

Deborah Caulfield Spring Equinox
Jennifer Rubin Midwinter
Claire Maclaine Imbolc
Jacqui Diamond Meditation
Kittredge Bret Harte Imbolc
Cathy Van Nes Midwinter

Mandala Magic ALIGNMENT Feedback


The Global pandemic created a lot of worry and anxiety for me. With a job in education, I was forced to drastically change the delivery of education, which was so difficult. Having a focus on the mandala work allowed me to delve into many really interesting and thought provoking themes. When a new module came out, it was like a release into a world that I shared with others in a surprisingly intimate way(even if online). As time went on and kids came back to school, it was clear to me that I needed this group more than ever. I’ve signed up for the coming year because I think the longitudinal creative process will be amazing. At times I’ve felt self conscious about posting my work (as I’ve no art education) but just knowing the community support is there, around the world, has been a life changer. Julie’s gentle and meaningful guidance through the year of craziness is amazing. Knowing we are all going through something big together …so cool.


A course that I connected with in a deeply personal way. I loved the jumping off points, the range of interesting ideas and information presented which allowed me to develop personally and in my connection and experience of art in the round. I appreciated the exposure to new ideas and the invitations to explore throughout the course.


This is the first paid online course that I have participated in and I have been blown away by the value for money. The quality and quantity of course content is excellent. Julie has provided such a large amount of resources to support each module, not just the prompts for each mandala, but live online events, sound tracks and links to additional information too. I have learned so much from participating in this course and have recommended it to all my friends. Thank you Julie for such a wonderful experience and helping me reignite my creativity.


The Mandala Magic program has been truly inspirational. Julie shares her love and interest for the 8-fold year with such passion that you just want to pick up pen and brush and follow her prompts to explore your own version of each mandala. And I love the introductory videos to each module – they capture the essence of each season beautifully.

Some Artwork Submissions (Session 2020/21)

Barbara Olle Lughnasadh
Eliza Dagostino Autumn Equinox
Wendy Ells Imbolc
Yvonne Chapman Midsummer
Jana Worley Spring Equinox
Janet McLaughlin Bealltainn

Is Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT Right For You?

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is right for you if you resonate with the mandala symbol and wish to create art + journal pages that help you make sense of yourself and the world.

You can be a beginner artist, with no previous experience, although this program is not a traditional art class and isn’t for you if you simply wish to learn art techniques.

The focus is on creating a cohesive, meaningful art + journaling practice that truthfully reflects your life experience – the grief and the joy and everywhere in between.

The emphasis is on practice – it is an experiential program, working with both visual imagery and sensory experience first and foremost.

You don’t need a Scottish or European heritage to join in with this work – the 8-fold year holds wisdom for everyone.

Any of the benefits and invitations listed here are only possible if you engage with the practices – this program is about practice, not reading and digesting written material alone.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is open to everyone with an internet connection and email address. There is no limitation on age (except, over 18’s only!) gender identity or location – and you can use whichever art materials you feel most comfortable with.

I offer this work to you with the intention of openness, fairness and equality. I have an ongoing practice to unpack my own unconscious biases and aim to present work that is rooted in an attitude of decolonisation, feminism, and social justice, delivered from a non-dogmatic animist perspective. There is no place for elitism, racism, spiritual bypassing or cultural appropriation in this work. i am constantly reviewing my offerings from this viewpoint.

The eight modules are delivered to you according to the structure of the 8-fold year (see dates below) and the content is available for you to download for access beyond the closing date (the program is open from 13th December 2021 – 30th November 2022 – all downloads need to be complete by closing.)

Your invitation is to join me for a year-long adventure through one cycle of the 8-fold year. The program offers best value if you are able to participate in real-time. Although the materials are available for you to download for future reference (+ easy access) I encourage you to mark the release dates in your diary and schedule creative time to participate as we move through…. make a commitment to your creative practice as a vital component of your everyday life.

Mandala Magic ALIGNMENT Feedback

Helen M

I am so grateful to Julie for the support and inspiration she has provided throughout the year. I am new to Mandalas and painting techniques; Julie’s guidance and vast amount of supportive information has enabled me to progress and enjoy all the modules immensely. Blending the painting experience with the eight fold year and personal reflection and journaling, has made the whole experience one of learning and personal growth and reflection. Thank you so much Julie, I will be joining you again on this special journey.

Helen D

I’ve really enjoyed the alignment programme. I’m not an artist but did regular written journalling prior to joining the programme. My journal is now full of mandalas and other artistic doodlings as expressions and explorations of my connection and experience with the world. It’s like a whole other aspect of myself has found expression. The materials – films, links and prompts are excellent, beautifully produced and inspiring. I love receiving them in my inbox. I’ve learned more about the eight fold year and feel so much more in connection with the natural world, its cycles and my heritage. Thank you Julie


I didn’t draw anything for 40 years as I “cannot” draw”. This programme has shown me some profound insights in me and unleashed my creative side. The journey wasn’t always easy, but in the Facebook group there is so much loving support. Julie is very good at creating a space where you can explore your path in whatever depth or detail as you feel ready to. As active or passive as you like. There are some really fun elements, making you curious about what else you can do. I journeyed from “Oh, I can never do something like that” to “I wonder what happens if I try” to “what’s the next assignment, whoopy!”. One bit of advice. Get some basic materials and for those buy the best you can afford. It does make a difference and you ARE worth it.


When I first saw the Mandala course I automatically thought my art work would not be up to any necessary standard as I am only a home made artist with no formal training. I took a leap of faith and signed up for the Alignment 20/21. I can thoroughly recommend this course as I have learnt so much. Not just artistically but all about the seasons and all the magical things that happen during the various times of year. Julie is such a calm teacher and she conveys her message brilliantly and is so easy to follow. I feel my artwork has improved and also my understanding of the natural and spiritual world. I am thinking of enrolling in the coming years course as I feel I have much more to learn and I am sure she has much more to teach.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT Schedule 2021/22

Mandala Magic Alignment



MIDWINTER : MODULE 1 : 21st DEC 2021

IMBOLC : MODULE 2 : 1st FEB 2022









SAMHUINN : MODULE 8 : 31st OCT 2022


Some Artwork Submissions (Session 20/21)

Verna Penner Midwinter
Lisa Gardner Autumn Equinox
Barbara Holland Bealltainn
Deborah Caulfield Spring
Miranda De Vries Spring Equinox
Jana Worley Autumn Equinox

Mandala Magic ALIGNMENT Feedback


Well, where do I start? This has been such an amazing journey, filled with both self discovery and a deepening of my understanding of the world around me. Through the wonderful mandala exercises, I have found tremendous insight and revelations. It has been genuinely aligning. As the winter approaches I find myself looking forward so much to the next cycle of the 8 fold year. I cannot thank you enough!



Alignment 20/21 was a course of exploration and discovery. In each module of the course, Julie lead us ever so gently to the doorway of wondrous knowing. She is a brilliant and creative messenger of ancient wisdom, nature’s rhythms and symbology, And somehow, through the course, always coming back to the grounding teaching that mandalas of self, community, ancestry, planet and spiritual world are all one and the same. Alignment 20/21 was a soul-affirming and life-altering course.


Mandala Magic Alignment helped keep me anchored and grounded during the dark days and nights of the pandemic lockdown during the winter and spring of 2020/21. It also helped develop my art practice, and changed (for the better) my attitude to my sketchbooks, which have become safe and sacred places for me to explore, reflect, be serious and/or playful, and above all to be myself.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT : What’s Included

Detailed Getting Started Information.

Essential + Recommended Supplies.

Membership Classroom Access until end Nov 2022.

Private Facebook Group for sharing, witnessing + discussion
(optional participation – no content will be delivered via FB.)

LIVE events, including a launch party + seasonal fairs.
(optional participation – a community building exercise.)

Online weekend retreat.
(optional participation – supplemental information only.)


Each of the 8 modules includes at least;

Introduction Film (exploring themes + symbols.)

Mandala Practice Exercises (3 projects per module.)

Journaling Prompts to accompany, lead and respond to your art-making practice.

Downloadable PDF to save.

Supplemental Creative Invitations + Prompts.

Sonic Mandala (Spotify music playlist) specifically crafted for each theme.

Additional Recommended Resources to continue your own research.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT : Prize Draw


This prize draw is now closed.


The winner is Darlene Little – congratulations!

An email has been sent to confirm.


>>Winner announced here and by email on 30th November. *further terms and conditions here.


First Fifty Subscriptions

Frequently Asked Questions
+ Terms and Conditions

Who is this program designed for?

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is designed for curious, creative folk who want to engage with and deepen their art journaling practice through an understanding of the mandala + the symbols of the 8-fold year.

You don’t need to have any special skills, experience or qualifications to participate, but will benefit best if you are willing to engage in each of the modules throughout the year.

You’re likely to have an interest in creative expression through visual art and are attracted to the mandala as symbol. In this regard, you may be a beginner or an experienced artist.

If you are looking for a structure to contain your art + journaling process and to connect your creativity with your living experience, then this program is perfect for you.

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is open to everyone with access to an internet enabled device and an email address. There is no gender limitation or age limit (over 18’s only – thank you!)

Do I need to be an artist to complete this program?

You don’t need to have any special skills, experience or qualifications to participate, but will benefit best if you are willing to engage in the creative art of mandala-making as part of your practice.

This means you’re likely to have an interest in creative expression through visual art and feel called to work with the mandala as symbol. In this regard, you may be a beginner or an experienced artist.

You don’t need to be ‘good at art’ to participate, simply willing to engage with the process and see what shows up for you. There are no good or bad pages – just a process from which you discover more about yourself.

What supplies do I need to participate?

In each lesson I provide a full list of the materials I use, but encourage you to use your favourite supplies + what you already have!

If you’re a beginner, then I suggest you work from a limited range of materials until you decide what works best for you. Although it’s tempting to go out and collect a whole boatload of new shiny supplies, it’s not necessary to have a comprehensive range to join in.

You will find a guide to my favourite + recommended supplies in the Getting Started Guide information which will be available when the class opens.

Meantime, the following is a rough guide:

1. Sketchbook/Paper:

I recommend using paper or a journal designed for mixed media or watercolour.  The work is best recorded in a format of UK size A4 or US size 12×9”.

Here are some of my favourite journals:  Moleskine A4 Watercolour Album ; Seawhite A4 Watercolour Travel Album ; Strathmore Mixed Media Journal Stillman & Birn Zeta Journal Canson Mixed Media.

2. Compasses:

Any drawing compasses, with a radius to fit your chosen paper size will work. For some hints + tips on compasses, please see a video I created on this for last year’s 5 Days of Mandala Magic.

e.g. Ecobra Universal Compass ; Helix Drawing Set ; Rotring Convex Compass

3. Ruler:

Any 30cm/12inch ruler will work. I often use a t-square ruler.

4. Pencil:

Any ordinary graphite pencil will work.

I prefer to use erasable coloured pencils like these from Prismacolour.

This is my favourite pencil sharpener.

5. Eraser:

Any eraser you use to rub out your pencil marks will work.

These are some I use in the workshops; Derwent soft art eraser ; Tombow MONO Zero.

6. Pens:

A range of pens is useful for journaling and any fineliners, gel pens or pigment pens will work in this event, though I prefer to use a dip pen and ink for writing, in the main.

Here are some I like to use: glass dip pen ; uni Pin fine line ; Uniball Signo broad pigment ink pen.

7. Paints/Markers:

Basic colouring supplies will work for this event, and I use a range of paints, inks and markers to offer flexibility throughout. Please adjust to suit your current supplies and preferences.

If you’re brand new to this work, a basic set of watercolours will be more than enough to get started with.

Here are some of the materials I like to use: Pitt Artist pens ; Tombow Dual Brush Markers ; Winsor & Newton Drawing Inks ; Winsor & Newton Designer’s Gouache ; Coliro Finetec Watercolour Shimmer.

8. Extras:

Scissors + a glue stick or glue tape – for some collage work.

A selection of literature you can use to cut up that contains words and images. You will also find it useful if you have access to a printer and can print off some images of the moon, but this isn’t a requirement.

In my demonstrations I also use some drawing templates – a template with different sizes of circles, and a template with pentagons.

These are not necessary, and you can trace around household objects or work freehand to achieve the same effect.

Don’t forget some brushes if you choose to work with ink or paint!

You will also benefit from a companion journal, for note-taking and additional research.


Can I join in from my city?

This program is delivered to you online, so as long as you have a valid email address and are able to access a computer/device with internet access, you are able to participate from anywhere in the world.

The content will be delivered on this website with a mix of writing, some video and audio, so you will additionally need to be able to stream video and audio.

Do I need to attend classes in real time?

The content is hosted on the website for you to access at your own pace. There’s no need to show up at a specific time, so you won’t miss out if you’re in a different time zone, or need to login after your day’s work.

The content is released eight times throughout the year (see above schedule) and is available to download for you to keep and access at a future date.

All downloads need to be completed before access to the classroom closes on November 30th 2022.

How long will each lesson take?

As a rough guide and depending on your experience, you’ll need to allocate roughly 1-3 hours to watch through each of the modules and complete your own pages.

If you choose to create more pages with more detail, then you’ll need to allocate a longer period of time 🙂

There are three mandala exercises in each module.

What happens when I register?

STEP ONE: After payment, you will immediately be transferred to the registration page for the Julie Gibbons classroom/membership site to create your unique login and password.

You need to complete this registration to access the classroom/membership site. Please click the SUBMIT button only once – it may take the system a short while to respond – thank you!

Please contact with your PayPal receipt details + email address as soon as possible if you are unable to complete your registration after payment – thank you!

STEP TWO: Further to registration, you will be sent a confirmation email from the classroom, confirming your login + password for the website, including the URL you need to access the classroom. Please keep this safe as you will need to use these details if you have any questions about the program in future. 

STEP THREE: You will receive an email asking you to subscribe to “Mandala Magic ALIGNMENT Membership Emails (2022)” : Please confirm your subscription to make sure you receive all membership emails, thank you 🙂

You will be able to access the classroom immediately upon registration.

Do you provide therapy or counselling?

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is a self-guided creative program and is not intended as therapy or as a substitute for healthcare or medical advice.

Due to the nature of working with a self-inquiry process, please ensure you have in place a suitable support network and inform your healthcare professional if working with one that you are taking part before you commit. Many participants share their mandala work with their therapists and counsellors with meaningful results.

I do not offer therapy or counselling as part of my work, however 1-2-1 sessions are available for participants who wish to discuss their creative response to the material within any of my programs. The cost of these sessions is not included in the fee for Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT and is payable separately.

Exchange Rates + Payment Processing

Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is a year-long program.

You can choose to pay for the program in one single payment, or select the monthly payment plan of twelve monthly instalments, beginning from the date of your initial purchase.

The cost of MANDALA MAGIC : ALIGNMENT is £216 paid in 12 monthly instalments of £18 or £180 in a one-off payment.

The cost of Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is listed in £GBP and *all other currency listings are approximate and depend entirely on the daily exchange rate – check for currency conversions.

All payments are processed by PayPal, who will automatically calculate your local currency.

When your payment transaction is complete, you’ll receive a receipt from PayPal by email. Please keep your receipt in a safe place – it acts as your proof of purchase.

If you choose the Monthly Payment Plan, please note that this is not a subscription service. You agree to completing all 12 payments throughout the year, unless otherwise agreed with Julie Gibbons in writing. If you forfeit payments, your classroom access will be discontinued immediately.

Refund Policy + Payment Plan Terms

Due to the digital nature of the program, no refunds can be given after the start date. You may cancel your participation in the program at any time.

Please bear in mind that Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT is not a subscription program.

This means that when you select the Monthly Payment Plan, you agree to completing all twelve payments, unless explicitly agreed with Julie Gibbons in writing.

If you forfeit payments, or cancel membership your classroom access will be discontinued immediately.

Do You Offer Scholarship Options?

Scholarship options are made available with a view to accessibility for those from diverse backgrounds and financial means.

This is in keeping with one of the core values of Mandala Magic, whilst still recognising the costs and creative effort that have gone into the creation of this program.

There are a limited number of scholarships available each session. To apply, please send an email to: with the subject heading: scholarship application.

Please do not enclose any financial or any other personal information – thank you!

Further Terms + Conditions

You can change your subscription or unsubscribe from all emails sent by Julie Gibbons at any time by following the Manage Your Preferences + Unsubscribe links at the bottom of each email.

All content provided on this website + in the Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT program is owned by Julie Gibbons and is made available to you for private consumption only. Under no circumstances should any of this material be replicated or delivered to any third party without explicit permission in writing. If you share content created during the workshop, please respect the source and mention Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT + Julie Gibbons in your post.

Thank you for supporting my small business and helping me preserve my artistic integrity!

When you register for Mandala Magic : ALIGNMENT you automatically agree to these terms and conditions. Thank you!

Further terms for participation in the website classroom can be read here.

Still have questions?

Send me an email to and I’ll reply as soon as I’m able – thank you 🙂

Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine — to become luminously, impossibly so. Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it. – David Abram

Some Artwork Submissions (Session 2020/21)

Yvonne Chapman Bealltainn
Barbara Holland Midsummer
Anna Therese Chamberlain Imbolc
Miranda De Vries Samhuinn
Kelli Kennedy Midsummer
Helen Mitchell Meditation


Sorry, registration for this program is now closed. Please sign up to the Solar Circular mailing list to receive news and updates on future workshops, special offers and events.

Some Artwork Submissions (Session 2020/21)

Sonia Sanchez Imbolc
Corinne Heart Midsummer
Sara Phillips Spring Equinox