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The harvest moon crested the rolling hills tonight as I walked home from calling hours commemorating the life of a true friend of our community. Autumnal transition is in the air. Once again, I am reminded that we are all walking the circle, captive on the carousel of time.
"What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous." ~Thomas Merton
One of the first fundamental stages of artistic development is the ability to make the circle. "it's a universal stage of artistic development that every normal child throughout the world experiences. In fact, it is the first major milestone in image-making and for that reason, a child's circle drawing may be one the earliest representations of the self."~ Cathy Malchiodi
In the origins of all humanity we have had a survivalists fascination with circles deeply rooted in our inherent connection with natural cycles of life, observations of the patterns of the solar system, and deep-rooted awe of the oh-so-magical moon.
Myths About The Moon
Mythology of the Moon (NASA)
In cultural art throughout history the moon is generally represented as white or silver. White is also often used to represent silver. One must take into consideration the aspects associated with the color silver if white is being used in this context.
White appears in mandalas in several different ways.
It can be applied to the fresh surface of the paper.
The white paper can be left blank in selected areas.
It can also be applied over other colors giving a pearlized look to the work.
Each of these methods lends itself to a variety of outcomes and interpretations. Joan Kellogg teaches that white paper left blank, especially at the center of the mandala, indicates a certain readiness for an imminent change.
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Due to the diverse applications, symbolic cultural associations, and alchemical symbolism associated with the properties of the color white and its link to moon myths; it is wise to analyze its use in mandalas via its juxtaposition to other colors, shapes and symbols. As previously suggested, individual life experiences and personal visual vocabulary at the time of the drawing will also inform this assessment.