As the All-Mother, Frigg is the Norse Goddess of Mothers and protector of children. Frigg’s Forest is an ongoing series of tips and activities to involve your children in your practice.
With the recent passing of Eostara, Spring is officially upon us. Beltane is just around the corner and, before you know it, we will be fully in the Summer.
The Sun continues to return to the Northern Hemisphere as the days get both longer and warmer. With the conclusion of March, we leave behind the proverbial Lion and Lamb of the Winter-Spring transition, yet we become fully engrossed in the wet season. After all, April Showers Bring May Flowers.
So what to do to celebrate spring in the midst of the rainy season?
According to Ancient History (1), mandala is Sanskrit for “circle”. They are historically Asian and created by the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, to attain enlightenment. Their creation and use as meditative tools were shared along the Silk Highway and through the sands of time before finally ending up in the United States, used by yoga practitioners and followers of meditative principles. Simply put, mandalas are multi-layer tools connecting the user with the Universe. There are three layers of meaning to the mandala. The outer layer is the divine within the Universe. The inner meaning is a map which guides the user towards enlightenment. The most intrinsic layer, however, is known only to the artist and is unique to each mandala and each practitioner (2).
To create mandala art, start with a simple medium. We are going to use smooth, dark river rocks. First, lay down a dark, solid color in the background. Allow the base color to dry.
For our mandala, I chose chakra colors; the seven basic colors of the rainbow. For me, I use chakra balance to both ground and shield myself as well as connect to the divine. This mandala using chakra colors, will help me focus my meditation through each layer.
Start with a large dot of the first color. Since I am doing chakra colors in order from my base up, my most inner color is red. One large red dot in the middle followed by small red dots.
Between each of the small red dots, lay medium orange dots. Between each of those orange dots, lay medium yellow dots. The yellow dots will be in line with the tiny red dots.
Large green dots go next, in line with the orange dots. These dots should be about the size of the center red dot. Think about a flower blooming, and how the petals grow in size as they bloom further away from the pollen center.
Light blue dots go next, in line with the yellow dots. These should be the size of the green dots. Next, dark blue dots, now working along the edge of the original dark base, if you chose to include one. The dark blue dots are in line with the green dots.
Purple dots, placed above the light blue dots, begin the color on the outside of the original dark base. I am beginning now to work beyond the physical body and connect my roadmap to the divine. Small white dots go between each purple dot, over the dark blue dots. These are placed in a diamond pattern.
To increase the complexity of your mandala, a step for older kiddos could be to go back and make small layers of color. For example, tiny spots of light blue on the dark blue dots. Light green on the green dots. Lavender on the purple. Add elements of white in different geometric patterns.
The main thing to keep in mind with mandalas is you are creating something that reflects the natural world. Keep a flower in mind—one that opens wide, like a chrysanthemum, perfectly balanced and symmetrical from all sides. Above all, however, this should be a fun art project to help you and your child get into the habit of meditation. This project will allow them to take ownership of their practice and have something tangible, which will help their practice bloom.
(1) Mandala Ancient History Encyclopedia https://www.ancient.eu/mandala/
(2) Mandalas: History and Examples; Study https://study.com/academy/lesson/mandalas-history-examples.html