full moon mandala

8.

 
There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.
— RUMI

Life is messy.

Between the last full moon and today's new moon things clarified and got muddy again. It feels like I'm being asked to go deeper and deeper to find my answers. How deep I am willing to go?

At the beginning of this month I learned that my friend died. Unexpected news like this one stops you in your tracks, it wakes you up, touches you right in the innermost chamber of your heart...

When the initial shock wears a little and grief settles in, more questions arrive.

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The grief is still there, palpable under the messiness of my ordinary life...

The questions are still there, at the centre of my soul.

I am still alive...

How do I want to live my life?

What is important?

What is my purpose?

How do I honour every precious moment that is given?

* * *

I couldn't help myself and I decided to complete this post with Mary Oliver's poem. I feel that this poem (and especially the last verse) is so overused in the on-line world, at the same time it perfectly describes my inner state, and it is beautiful and touching.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

P.S.

Below are the pictures of my last full moon mandala, from August. Although, I created it during the full moon I didn't feel like sharing. After completing 31 days of August Break and showing up on my Instagram feed daily I had to take some time off social media and recover. I hid in my cave.

I didn't have any plan for this mandala. I was surprised that I decided to cut out the circle from the page and that I used weaving in this piece. At the same time, when it was completed it made perfect sense. I am trying to establish some structures for myself, make choices about what is important in my life right now, and decide in which direction to move forward. Placing the strings of thread and the weaving above the messy and overwhelming background depicts the work in progress. I like how meaningful the tiny bell - I randomly attached into the middle of this mandala - became. It symbolizes awareness, focus, and a point of access from which the work grows and expands. 

The foundation for lasting happiness and fulfillment is finding and living your life’s purpose.
— Rod Stryker
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s.

6.

I am back home from my travels, although the idea of "home" and "being at home" has quite a different meaning for me right now. For the past fifteen years I have been trying to be at home here in Canada and I was pretty sure that I had arrived to that place in myself, from where I could call my current home "my home".

Returning to Poland showed me that nothing is for sure, things aren't that obvious anymore. This trip reminded me quite strongly that I spent the first 30 years of my life in a different place, different "home", and in a sense I was a different person. This journey truly touched and woke up the invisible roots I am still surrounded by. For so many years I tried to move forward and establish myself in this new land and life; but now, the pull to go back and review and investigate the past is so strong - it takes a lot of space in my mind and soul.

But I am back; back "here"  and from here I am trying to envision my next step.

This Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse were raw and beautiful. They reverberated so vividly within my inner landscape, filled me with reflections and dreams. I think it shows in this mandala, the dreamy, calm, yet somehow rich and layered image - so much meaning hidden there, at least for me. It is subtle but when I look at it I can feel it's power.

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a cocoon enveloped in eclipses

resting in mystery

processing

digesting

connecting with its roots

transforming

becoming

withdrawing into the inner landscape of the soul

awakening from a long forgotten dream

sensing the centre of the universe

following the golden thread

learning self

whispering to the moon

“my love”

 

+

 

 

* This mandala was inspired by the eclipse, the blood moon and a journal spread that I created for one of the classes I'm currently taking - Hali Karla's "In the Stars". I used the scraps and leftovers from that spread and from my birth chart, as well as one of the self-portraits I took for a different project. Here is the journal spread.

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xo

s.

P.S.

Images of July's New Moon Mandala, which I created - of all places - in Bulgaria!!! With limited art supplies, and lots of "happenings" around me I felt like I was in the eye of the hurricane and life was whirling around me. As a highly introverted person I learned my lesson the hard way. My idea of vacation is to retrieve to a cave, preferably alone, with a book, journal and art supplies. Traveling, even though truly exciting, is hard work for me...

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2.

 
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I had been creating mandalas for years, but it became a monthly practice in November 2016, when I bought "The Moon Is My Calendar" journal and started using it. Every month since, I have created a new moon mandala and this ritual has became an important part of my spiritual and creative practice. I shared more about my process in an interview with April McMurtry from @themoonismycalendar last year.

At the beginning of this year I decided to start creating mandalas for both, the new and the full moon. I am amazed at the shifts and differences in energies I notice with each new and full moon. This one was especially potent.

A few days before the full moon I knew that I wanted to use this particular self-portrait for this mandala and I knew it had to be multiplied. I felt really drawn to using black paint. That is all I knew when I started this mandala. Sometimes, I have a clear image of what wants to emerge and sometimes I don’t know anything, When that happens I just stare at the page and wait for that first impulse to lead me. The creative process, like life, is all about trusting, listening, and taking the next step. 

Watching the process unfold before me is one of the most exhilarating experiences I know. No matter how many times I start a project I am always surprised at the end. There are many ways to create but when I allow the process to take over, instead of me taking the lead, I enjoy it the most.  

Once the process of creating the mandala was completed I felt the urge to respond to it with words. I listened to that impulse, followed it and this is what emerged.

Litany to Wholeness

Looking at myself in the mirror
I am reaching out to collect the separated selves
The many parts that play hide and seek
The parts that yearn for wholeness
The parts that want to be embraced

The one that is in love with the moon
The one that sees and feels but cannot tell
The one that writes long poems that no one ever reads
The one that dreams
The rainbow one, the owl one, the luminescent one
The one with broken wings
The one that remembers everything
The one that wants to be left alone
The one with a clear voice
The one that hides her gifts
The one that takes on and on
The one that doesn’t mind
The one that keeps your secrets
The lost one
The one that is never good enough
The one that feels dead inside
The one that doesn't hide
The one that talks with the trees and stones
The one that is overwhelmed all the time
The one that swallows her scream
The funny one and the playful one (I haven't see them for a long time)
The one that sees through
The one that rises above
The one that feels too much
The one that wants to be seen
The one that cannot let go
The one that did let go
The one on her knees
The one who knows how to pierce your soul
The pretty one
The one that weeps the silent cry
The deserving one
The one that hides herself
The one that knows the right from wrong
The one that is strong
The one that feels alive
The one you want to know

The one that looks back at me
Sees who I am
The one that knows all the parts
That one
The whole one


Invitation

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  1. Take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror.
     
  2. Recognize the parts of yourself that want you to notice them.
     
  3. Make a list of “the ones” that showed up.
     
  4. Cut the list into separate strips.
     
  5. Mix them up, turn them upside down.
     
  6. Pull one after another and arrange them into your own litany.
     
  7. Reflect on this process.

* If you decide to share your litany or your reflection, please let me know! either here in the comments or by tagging me on Instagram @rainbowsylvia #litanytowholeness.