Initially inspired by a most unexpected wolf-related numinous experience, CJ's Mandalas began to flow spontaneously from her unconscious in the spring of 2007. As of 2013 she has created over 300 Mandalas using Sakura Japanese art pens on paper.
What is a Mandala?
To do the Mandala justice, one must really consider and contemplate it from an interdisciplinary orientation (including mythology, religion, psychology, art, art history, architecture, world history, spirituality, sociology, anthropology, even physics and biology, and on and on...) but to keep it simple, let's just say this:
Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle, specifically, sacred circles that are drawn in the context of spiritual rituals. However, I hasten to add that it is a mysterious, ancient universal symbol with a life of its own.
In Jungian psychology, the Mandala is regarded as the archetype of wholeness, capable of creating unity, and containing unconscious sources of beneficial energy. The mandala is universally regarded as a symbol with magical significance, even possessing the powers to heal.
Traditionally, Mandalas have been used to focus contemplation and enhance meditation, inspiring harmony, peace, and balance. Mandala-Gazing can be a highly effective way of quieting the internal dialogue.
Being engaged in the process of creating Mandalas grows increasingly essential the longer I live with wolves. It has become a necessary means of expression (emerging spontaneously from my unconscious, never with conscious intent), and, much to my continuing surprise, the Mandalas consistently generate a transformation, and a centering, healing effect.
One of the most thrilling aspects of living with wolves is listening to them sing. Wolves are extremely musical, and if you happen to be very close to them when they burst into song, you can feel the air vibrating. It is very exciting, and I think this has caused me to be unusually aware of and sensitive to Vibrations. This phenomenon has played a leading role in the Mandala story, and maybe because of this, and because my first wolf's name was Mantra, I tend to think of my Mandalas as visual mantras. A mantra is a mystical sound vibration encased in a syllable - so a Mandala can be a mystical sight vibration encased in a symbol.
Sacred repetition is a key ingredient. Mantras must be chanted. In the Mandalas, colors and patterns "chant" the vibrations into view, transforming what is invisible into the form of a picture.
Each Mandala tells a story, is an illustration of an episode of our life here at Raised By Wolves. Every Mandala is a song of the wolves.
The Mandalas move
So quickly yet not at all
Silently, they sing
CJ Rogers, PhD, is a psychologist/wolf ethologist, who has been living with and studying wolves since 1992, at the Raised By Wolves research site in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. (www.raisedbywolvesinc.org)