Mandala-Primitive Pop- What is a Mandala

About the Artist

What is a Mandala

Why Primitive Pop






What is a Mandala?

A mandala is a sacred space, often a circle, which reveals some inner truth about you or the world around you. In Sanskrit mandala means both circle and center, implying that it represents both the visible world outside of us (the circle- whole world) and the invisible one deep inside our minds and bodies (the center- healing circle)

`From Native American and Tibetan sandpaintings to Gothic rose windows and Hindu yantras, mandalas are used as symbols for meditation, protection and healing`
Clare Goodwin 1996


Rose Window



Native American -Skyman Mandala


"Mandala art has been used throughout the world for self-expression, spiritual transformation, and personal growth. Mandala is the ancient Sanskrit word for circle and is seen by Tibetans as a diagram of the cosmos. It is used by Native Americans in healing rituals and in Christian cathedrals the labyrinth is a mandalic pattern used as a tool for meditation. An archetypal symbol of wholeness, the mandala was used as a therapeutic art tool by psychologist Carl Jung, who believed creating mandalas helped patients to make the unconscious conscious"


Mandala - Journey to the Center. Bailey Cunningham


In creating a mandala we open ourselves to all the possibilities that exist inside and outside of us.

A mandala can take any form and there are many natural mandala forms to be found in nature. Mandalas capture a moment in time, embodying it as a circular picture or object. The circle is a potent and universal symbol of wholeness and eternity. The earth we walk on is a circular globe and the sun, moon and stars are all circles

Mandalas in Nature



A mandala is a picture that tells a story, the story of a journey that we can follow. We all seek happiness and fulfillment, and Mandalas are a tool that can guide us straight to the heart of this search. In following the path through a mandala we are seeking to find the wholeness that lies at the core of us, the stillness that always remains no matter what storms may surround us.



The symbols and visual images inscribed in a mandala vary from culture to culture. Some traditions portray pictures of gods and goddesses, some use color and shape, whilst others use natural objects. However, although each may use a different "language", the mandalas of all cultures describe the same cosmos as our own. Irrespective of their historical and cultural origins, if we let them resonate with us deeply enough, mandalas can lead us on the journey to finding our own inner truth.


In the last century, the Swiss psychologist C.G.Jung developed the use of mandalas as an aid to psychological understanding. He drew a mandala every day to express his innermost thoughts and feelings. Each time he noticed that the circle he had drawn contained a snapshot of his mental, emotional and spiritual state of being. It was as though the images were reflecting his inner self. He also realized that the expression of the circle was universal, transcending time, place and culture - children spontaneously draw them, as do adults when they doodle, for example.

Paul Heussentamn

Jung came to see the mandala as a pathway to the self and he begun to use mandalas in his work as a psychiatrist to help his patients make deeper connections with themselves. The circle or sphere of the mandala represents the psyche that holds within it, at the center, the true self.

Looking deeply into the circle of a mandala means that we must look deeply into ourselves. It can sometimes take courage to study the picture in front of us and see the storms and turmoil as well as the peace and beauty that exists at our center.


By studying a mandala in sufficient detail, we can connect with our inner selves and look out from the center of our being. A mandala may be elegant and intricate, laden with symbols and vibrating with color, or it may simple and sparse. Either way it contains its own wisdom and truth. To unlock its secrets we must look past the first superficial impression and appreciate the detail within each tiny aspect of the pattern.

(C) Clare Goodwin


If we understand the message of each symbol, shape and color it will help change something inside of us and bring us closer to a place of peace. This intricate way of seeing, of always looking more deeply into things, brings an original and fresh way of experiencing the world around us. There is always more to see, and this is the way with mandalas.

Many of the Mandalas on this page were sourced from Clare Goodwins wonderful Mandala site. This site has a fantastic Catalogue of Mandala Links and resources . Clares web address is

This site is recommended.