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Mandala Theory

Mandalas have a rich and dynamic history.

A Sanskrit word, it is informed by Buddhist theory and iconography,

but its origins and manifestations reach throughout time and space,

which led to the psychologist Carl Jung describing them as

"archetypal symbols of wholeness".


Mandalas, medicine wheels, labyrinths, there are sacred circles found in almost all human cultures and civilisations.

The structures of atoms, plants and flowers, planets and stars,

the universe is filled with circles, spirals and spheres,

while everything we see is through the lens of our circular eyes!

Process-oriented systems of relationships,

Patterns of radial balance,

Containers of essence,

Tools to aid meditation,

There are psychological and philosophical dimensions of mandalas Which go far beyond what can be covered here,

But for all that can be said about them, 

The experience of making them,

Is all there really is.


Here you can find a collection of resources related to mandalas that I've found useful over the years,

As well as an open invitation to check out the Facebook Group 'Mandala Makers' for more.



Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds - Part II - The Spiral [YouTube Video]

Powers of Ten™ [YouTube Video]

Ellcock, S. (2022). The cosmic dance: Finding patterns and pathways in a chaotic universe. Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Lima, M. (2017). The book of circles: Visualizing spheres of knowledge. Princeton Architectural Press

Sutton, D., Lundy, M., Ashton, A., & Martineau, J. (2010). Quadrivium: The four classical liberal arts of number, geometry, music, & cosmology. Wooden Books.



Davis, C., Lhadrepa, K. (2017). The art of awakening: A user's guide to Tibetan Buddhist art and practice. Shambhala.

Donnalley, E. (2022). Mandala - path of integration: Exploring the lived experiences of individuals drawing mandalas and their ability to induce an altered state of consciousness. Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology, 3, 83–96. 

Hwang, K. (2011). The Mandala model of self. Psychological Studies, 56, 329–334.

Jung, C. G. (2017). Mandala symbolism: (From vol. 9i collected works). Princeton University Press.

McLean, A. (1989). The alchemical mandala: A survey of the mandala in the Western esoteric traditions. Phanes Press.

Preece, R. (2021). The mandala and visions of wholeness within Tibetan Buddhism and Jungian Psychology. Mudra Publications.

Tanaka, K. (2018). An illustrated history of the mandala: From its genesis to the Kalacakratantra. Wisdom Publications.

Trungpa, C. (1991). Orderly chaos: The mandala principle. Shambhala.



Moss, R. (2010). The mandala of being: Discovering the power of awareness. New World Library.

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