From the Sanskrit for ‘circle’, mandala is the term used to describe beautiful circle designs. A circle is a symbol of unity, eternity, perfection and completeness and it is an important symbol in all cultures. The basic mandala form consists of a four gated square within which is a circle with a defined centre point. Mandalas have a spiritual and ritual significance in many eastern cultures, especially Buddhism. They can be used to focus the mind in order to achieve deep meditation or assist in promoting a state of deep trance which allows for one to access the deepest levels of the consciousness in order to experience a sense of unity with the universe. In more modern usage a mandala is often referred to as being any geometric pattern that is a reflection of the cosmos. It is an illustrated form of expressionism that has existed for centuries across all art forms.
Native American Mandala
Used to discover the deepest meaning within our hearts and uncover the drive behind our motivations, Native American mandalas showed the connection of man to the universe. The creation of each mandala is a personal experience and from beginning to end a journey of discovery. To wear this journey on the body, in such an indelible form as a permanent tattoo is to honour the journey and respect, honour and understand the connectedness of the Universe.
The inclusion of feathers in a Native American mandala design represents ascension and spiritual strength, as feathers were traditionally worn by tribal chiefs to symbolise their communication with spirits and express their celestial wisdom. The inclusion of a labyrinth in the design is a symbolic representation of life’s journey.
Celtic mandalas are symbolic of growth and expansion. They are a tool for initiating contact with our origins, visions and desires and contacting our divine ancestry. By focussing our thoughts upon the Celtic mandala we let our rigid, logical side step back to allow our intuitive side to take over, this lets us attain a state of higher awareness and discover where we may have lost balance in our lives. To display a Celtic mandala in the form of a tattoo is to show that we are grounded, centred and at one with both our past and our destiny. A Celtic knot mandala is a representation of our own lives interacting with those around us. It illustrates how our decisions in life can alter the path of our lives, and bind us together with others.
The process of visualising and designing your own mandala tattoo, whether a simple design or an intricate one, is a journey of self expression and a kind of personal therapy. The choice of shape, colour and size are reflections of how you have progressed on your journey through life. No one will ever wear the same tattoo; it will be as unique as you are. Creating the design is therapy for the mind and soul and the transference of the design to your skin completes your therapeutic journey so wear it with pride.