"As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers." William Blake

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Mandalas: the soul made visible

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The universal symbolism of the circle resonates deeply with our inner self. It symbolizes the idea of perfection, completeness, and wholeness. Mandala is the Sanskit word for "circle". It is a pervasive image in the art of folks and cultures all over the world, in the form of paintings, dances or buildings. Traditionally, the mandala is divided in four quarters, representing some kind of essential structure of the Universe – four cardinal points, four seasons, etc. It expresses the notion of Cosmos, of reality unified in a whole. They evoke a perfect relationship between space and time, form and movement.


In spiritual traditions worldwide, mandalas are largely used as healing, meditation, and teaching tools. They have the power to work as a mirror for the spiritual or archetypal content of the psyche. Through the process of mandala-making, one could access levels of consciousness that could not be achieved in a state of alertness. The colors, shapes, symmetries of a mandala can alter the pattern of our brain waves, providing changes in perception and a sensation of freedom and serenity. This is when we get connected to our inner self, or Divine nature; then the invisible comes to the surface and becomes available to the physical view. Due to its character of wholeness, the mandala can take the viewer and the maker to an experience of connection to the Universe, helping to reunite the fragmented pieces of their selves.



In today's world, when people are so easily dragged by the urges of the contemporary lifestyle, they forget to live their inner life, or attend to the needs of their souls. They become shattered, allowing illness to find a fertile ground to grow. Illness is nothing but unbalance, disconnection, disharmony between the parts of a whole. This is why making or meditating on a mandala has the power to provide relief for stress, bring focus and work as a tool for integrating mind, body and soul.


You can experience the benefits of the Mandala by just looking at one for about ten minutes, every day. Choose a design that “speaks” to you, even if you can't explain why. Before starting, close your eyes and take three deep breaths; then breathe normally while you let yourself to be conducted by the colors and shapes in front of you. Don't allow that any alien thought comes to your mind; when that happens, turn your focus into your respiration again. When you finish, take three deep breaths again and write down any ideas and thoughts that may have occurred to you during your meditation. Give thanks for those moments of inner peace and for any positive insight that you might have. 


Mandalas by Ofira Oriel: http://www.oriel-o.com


To know more, visit: 
- Flower Mandalas - a blog about mandalas, art, healing, and transformation: 
http://blog.beliefnet.com/flowermandalas/
- Article by Christine Valter Painterns on Patheos:
http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Mandalas-Part-2.html


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Call to collaborators

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Hello y'all! Just wanted to let you know that I am working to improve the blog, and that new posts are on their way. Last week was a pretty busy one to me. I worked hard to put together the Web of Life show, at the Lexington-Bluegrass Pagan Pride, in Lexington, KY, so I didn't have the time to contact the artists who are in my list of future features or to look for good guest posts. I guess that it's going to happen sometimes due to my regular activities, although I hate to leave the blog unattended! That's why I am in search of new collaborators for the project.

So, if you love to write about spirituality, mysticism, healing, alternative therapies and life styles, myths, tarot, astrology, and/or, of course, art, I will be excited to know your work and eventually invite you to be a fixed collaborator to The Aquarian Eye project. Periodicity is not an obligation and new ideas are always welcome.  Just drop us a line: theaquarianeye@gmail.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest post: Authenticity and Truth: Playing Big with No Apologies

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We are proud to feature our first guest post of our journey. Authenticity and Truth: Playing Big with No Apologies is an awesome, inspiring article by psychic counselor and hypnotherapist Alexis Allison. When I first read it, on her blog Daily Guidance, Influences, and Inspirations, I immediately linked it to the creative process and to the importance of being authentic in order to let you light shine through and inspire others. Enjoy!
[read more...]

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dare to be creative

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The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel (Michelangelo) image
The Creation of Adam, Michelangelo Buonarroti

Since I was a little child, I've been exercising my artistic creativity in the most varied forms. I don't remember any time of my life when I was not doing anything creative, and I was never blocked by my parents or teachers. So my creativity flourished and became part of my understanding of life.
Later, when I started to break a little of the big barrier of introversion that had permeated my life and had a closer contact with other people, it was sort of curious to realize how their views of life were different from mine. Part of my difficulty in teaching art is based on my attempts to understand how things work for people who don't create on a regular basis. It is like trying to understand how it is to live underwater when your nature is to walk on the ground.

Some my say that artists are lucky, privileged or "gifted" people. But I don't think that I, or any other creative person, are really any of these things. We are just exercising something that in reality is within everyone. We are so addicted to the feeling of happiness and realization that comes from the act of creation that we want more and more - I, for instance, wake up thinking about art and go to bed thinking about art.

There are no “creative” or “non-creative” people. All of us are creative people. Creativity is nothing that people cannot develop and exercise themselves – because, as sons and daughters of the Creator, that's our intrinsic nature. It is just that the second type probably had few or no chances to develop their creative beings as a natural thing. We go to school and we learn that math and history are more important that music or fine arts, because they are things of the intellect and arts of the perception, and since intellect is more important than feelings, therefore the arts are not really important. Artists are just those lunatics that make beautiful things to hang on our walls or put some sounds together to help us relax in the end of a stressful day. Nothing really important like money or a nice house and a car, or like science or engineering, those things, you know, that build and make the world you live in "work". Some people even say that creating art is not even a real job.

Oh, the world. That wonderful, comfortable, sick world of people fragmented and unaware of their own emptiness. That same people who learned so efficiently how to maintain the status quo are the same ones that know few or nothing about themselves. The same ones that look for a God somewhere over the rainbow and are unable to realize that He is in fact inside themselves, in their owns hearts... But they cannot hear Him because their hearts have been silenced for so long that they even forgot they have one.

There's a very interesting movie from 2002 called Equilibrium (director Kurt Wimmer) that in my opinion is a good metaphor for all this crazy process we've been into. In this film, people live in a kind of fictitious totalitarian society that only can maintain things in “order” because people are not allowed to feel. They are forced to take a drug that suppresses their emotions, so they are unable to be ourselves or be creative to best serve the interests of that government. The town they live in has no colors, the clothes they wear resemble boring gray uniforms; there's no art and no personal expression. Only people that exist like shadows of themselves, of soldiers in a war that they don't exactly understand.

According to the Eastern wisdom, things like creativity, perception and emotions are seen as ways to set us free from ignorance and suffering. It's only trough those things that one can access levels of conscience that are not within reach of the conscious mind. Eastern wisdom teaches us that we must function as wholes, and not in fragments, like the mechanistic Western thought has instructed us to do for so long. What follows this deep unbalance we live in cannot be less than sickness and distance from our true essence – and from Divinity.

Being creative does not only mean to create art in its strict sense; being creative is to be ourselves, it is to let your imagination flow and bring it to the world in physical form. It is to let your light shine from within to the outside. This light ends up illuminating not only own our existence but also everything and everybody else that comes to get in contact with us. And thus our personal contribution to a world more conscious and free from old, limiting patterns takes effect. Creative people are in straight touch with themselves because they are in constant process of self-understanding; at the same time, they are freer because they learn how to transcend their reality (this type of transcendence, or encounter with something bigger than ourselves, it's ordinarily attempted through common forms of escapism, which can include things like drugs, organized religions or TV.) They become conscious of their uniqueness and improve their self-esteem and self-respect. They leave their marks in everything they choose to put their love into: a meal, a painting, a new way to decorate the living room or to make the working team more productive. They become inspiring, more sensitive to other people's needs, more empathic and more able to contribute to their world in a loving way, because they learn to recognize the Divine in themselves and in others, understanding that through that divine inheritance we are all connected.

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