new 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.

IMG_0372.JPG

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
IMG_0370.JPG

s.

7.

I love it when different projects merge together in a very natural way. I am noticing that because the creative process is so embedded into my everyday life now, it helps with integrating and deepening various themes and projects, and it's opened a kind of new dimension in my life, one that I greatly enjoy.

IMG_9860.JPG

I didn't have any ideas for this new moon/solar eclipse mandala. The day before, I went to Michael's after work, to buy gesso and I found myself meandering around the store. These beautiful neon threads caught my eye and they reminded me of Frida Kahlo and her life and work. By the time I reached the cashier I already had ideas for an entire book full of white, vintage, ivory and black spreads filled with these neon colours, gold accents, graphite drawings, embroidery and random papers glued together. That is what I call a spark of inspiration!

At home, I noted all of these ideas in my sketchbook. I felt so excited about them, and wished I had time to start working on this project immediately. Then I felt a little disappointed that this project would have to wait - as I am already involved in so many other projects right now. I also noticed that a part of me became fearful as the thought that "I will never have time to follow through with this" entered my mind. That part became sad and afraid, that this will be one of those ideas, that end up in my sketchbook and won't get a chance to spread its wings and manifest into this three-dimensional world. 

As I held the neon threads in my hands, I looked at my studio's table and noticed the pieces of leftover papers from my current project. I picked up a small piece of paper and started stitching it with my new neon thread. Then I painted over with gesso the mandala circle in my New Moon Journal. When it was dry, I glued the stitched stripe of paper to it and I went to bed satisfied and excited that night.

IMG_9861.JPG

The next day, I felt an immense pleasure while I was continuing work on this mandala. Things were unfolding organically and I just gladly followed my intuition and the creative process until I felt my work was completed.

I feel that there is room to add more here but I also know, that right now, it is not the time to do so. Things are still in the forming stage of the process; they will shift and develop - but this feels like the beginning of a New Cycle.

There is so much beauty, goodness, tenderness, and joy embedded into this mandala and it fills my heart with gratitude.

 

3.

 
IMG_8343.JPG

I saw this image right before falling asleep yesterday. It didn't look exactly like the picture above but the energy and quality that it represents has been preserved. This New Moon Mandala feels quite different from the other ones I've created over the past year and a half. It feels strong and clear. Especially in comparison to the last Full Moon Mandala, which was heavy, shadowy... in need of release.  

The last lunar cycle was quite difficult. My daughter was bitten by a dog, my son fractured his foot, at work and in the news endless suicides and all by hanging. Suffering and drama. The energy was so heavy that it almost swallowed me. I couldn't stop crying and felt so tired I wished I could quietly disappear into the darkest cave.

But the last few days I noticed a shift. Clarity emerged from darkness. Focus, direction, and more energy. It feels like something crystallized after all and some new structures are ready to support me on my path. 

I am ready too.

Let’s make a deeper commitment; one that cannot be broken or lost. To presence. To meeting in the here-and-now. To bringing all of ourselves. To knowing, and letting ourselves be known. To telling the truth, today; knowing that our truth may change tomorrow.
— Jeff Foster

INVITATION

If you would like to try creating a mandala for a new moon and you don't know how to start I invite you to read this interview and to explore The Moon Is My Calendar website.