What is a mandala?

Hippy Mandala
By RaulFalco78 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Loosely translated, ‘mandala’, from the Sanskrit word ‘mandra’, means ‘circle’. But a mandala is so much more than a concentric pattern in pretty colours.
The most famous mandalas are probably the ones created by Tibetan monks from coloured sand (made from crushed semi-precious stones). But mandalas feature in a variety of cultures, including that of the Navajo people.


‘From Buddhist stupas to Muslim mosques and Christian cathedrals, the principle of a structure built around a centre is a common theme in architecture.’ – The Mandala Project

The magic circle

In many cultures, the circle is a powerful symbol. It’s the shape of our planet, our sun and the stars.
It’s the container of yin and yang – and within each essence is a little circle of the contrasting energy.
We talk about our ‘circle of friends’ and ‘family circle’.

In Norse mythology, our universe is contained within the circle of the world serpent, Jörmungandr, who holds his tail in his own mouth. It is said that when he releases his tail, Ragnarök (the end of the world) will begin.

In the Pagan/Wiccan traditions, the circle is cast for protection, and the year’s cycles are expressed as a wheel.

The magical symbolism of the circle has been celebrated across the globe for millennia. And mandalas, whether ancient or modern, permanent or temporary, are a beautiful expression of this magic.

What’s more, mandalas traditionally contain geometric patterns that further symbolise the geometry of the universe.
‘Representing the universe itself, a mandala is both the microcosm and the macrocosm, and we are all part of its intricate design.’ – The Mandala Project

Using mandalas

‘Through all cultures… the creation of a Mandala is often a sacred process that can take weeks to complete.’ – Forever Conscious
Mandalas are beautiful and highly symbolic, yes. But they’re also a tool. Making or colouring in a mandala is a way of calming the mind.
Like meditation, creating a mandala enables us to focus on something other than the internal chatter of the ‘monkey mind’. It brings peace and clarity.
It is also believed that working with mandalas can bring us closer to oneness with the universe.

3 Ways to work with mandalas

1. Choose a mandala that appeals to you and use it as a meditation tool. Start by focusing on the centre, then slowly move your focus through the symbolism to the outer layers of the design.
2. Make your own mandala. You can draw one, or make a semi-permanent mandala from flowers and herbs (fresh or dried). You can even use crystals and semi-precious stones. Let the mandala’s healing powers work on you as you make it.
3.Colour in a mandala. There are so many beautiful adult colouring books available that feature mandalas. Colouring in a mandala is a great way to unwind after a long day. Who needs a television?

Our favourite Hippy Clothing mandalas

Purple Elephant Mandala Throw, Bed Spread, Wall HangingUse mandalas and flower of life designs to attract good energy into your home.

  • This small Mandala Suncatcher in Turquoise, Blue and Purple would make a beautiful addition to any hippy home or garden
  • Bright and beautiful! This colourful Mandala Suncatcher in Orange, Yellow and Red would look great in a sunny spot.
  • Use this Purple Elephant Mandala Tie Dye Hippy Throw as a bedspread, wall-hanging or throw

    With a selection of mandala inspired hippie clothing that uses cotton throws to create clothing garments like skirts and dresses as well as tops. We have made it easy for you to incorporate the mandala into your life.