Mandala: A Demonstrated Democracy

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What is democracy?

The word is built from the Greek demos, the people, and krateo, to rule:  kratos strength, hardness.  Demokratia “is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.” (Wikipedia.)  “Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally – either directly or through elected representatives – in the proposal, development and creation of laws… to enable the free and equal practice of political self determination.”

Unfortunately, “democracy” as a political slogan, is often used, to justify invading other nations.

Whether we argue, or whether we are able to listen, is crucial to our grasp of what is democracy, and what is the tyrant or oligarch within ourselves.  What can we do about it?


Here is a drawing of a recent group work.  It went on for about ten days.  The circles around the rim are the 22 participants – the symbols they represented.   Each, while journeying the Tree of Life to form a collective Merkabah (Chariot), picked a Path, a Sefira, a Dakini-oracle card, and an Animal of the Zodiac, and sat facing each other, like the spokes of a wheel.   I was asked to draw it, and copies were distributed to the group as it concluded.

Reflecting each other, the interconnectedness joins up the dots … towards the higher, deeper, unifying intelligence of our humanity.  The Greeks in discourse sat not in rows, but in a circle.  In shamanic cultures, the pipe of peace is passed … or the mace, around the circle, for the holder to speak.

Universal peace pipe dream – A sculpture from one of my favourite blogs,

This is group work – a human mandala focus.  The character of each person is expressed in the symbols they picked out to work with, in the framework and security of the Circle.  Mandala is a true democracy, where everyone faces each other and sees everyone else.  In the linear mode however, we are unconscious..  We sit in rows with our backs to each other, facing the priest, but we do not see each other.

The Circle has a group leader, whose focus pilots the journey and outcome.  With three other people, he or she represents the Four directions and elements at the Circle’s Cardinal points as a framework.  This creates a grounding and a solidity for everyone in the group.  All the participants, as they emerge through their own heart centres – Tifareth – are teachers to one another.  We do breath work, chanting, and a sequence of guided meditations along the paths and triads on the Tree of Life; and we share what is happening individually.  Breaking successively the granthi-knots of (1) – ancestral condioning;  (2)- the soul’s relationship to Karma and Dharma, and (3) the knot of the mental conditioning, we develop a healing group Consciousness.  Releasing and emptying the burdens we carry, creates space in our being.  This is the Chariot (Merkabah), by which we pass through the veils which separate ego from soul, and soul from Spirit … to receive Binah, Hokhmah, Kether.

The Tree of Life, showing the granthi knots at personal, soul and spirit levels.  These are crossroads in our human development.


In 2004 I participated in the creating of such a Mandala, and this is the message I received:   (the three-fold Kether on the Tree of Life reminds me of it …)

“Christ said, “Talitha cumi – arise again.”  So renew your Soul Covenant with the Divine.  Genesis is revisited;  so with the radiant light of protection, serve the Tradition and the Oracle.  You have toiled in what was  spoiled.  A thousand years is long enough!  Return to Egypt and its starry desert, and walk the carpet of the firmament.”

“With courage when snow flies in your face, shake it off.
Close sometimes your ears to what the heart is saying, and do not feel its lament.
If there is no God on earth – we ourselves are gods! Adam Cadmon, our completion.

“I saw three Suns in the sky –
Binah, Hochmah, Kether.
They stayed so still,
and they did not leave me.”

(Part of this message came from a Schubert song, translated by Lois Phillips in her book Lieder Line by Line, and channeled for that occasion.)


Rose Savitri

This type of work cannot be written down in books.  It is an oral tradition;  it is oracular, arising and flowering spontaneously.  Rain falls in circles on water.  The oral work gives  a direct and in-formed experience, which then matures into ways of expression.  However, for it to be effective, there has to be a concerted spiritual Will, balance and discipline within the group.

I feel that all over the world, unknown to the superficial spiritual “marketing”, similar initiatives come up through the ground.   They form a human root system beyond race, gender, class and religious background.  Trans-continentally, a holistic ecology of Consciousness vibrates along our woody veins, nitrates and airways.  The world of creative imagination – when focussed – sooner or later manifests, in the world.

The Aquarian awakening does not elevate a guru-ish figure on a pedestal.  Likewise, we seek to balance our personality-pressures with the Self – the higher good.  We are all fallible, and equally in this process, respect one another.  We have loved and lost.  We have lived and died.  We have strayed and returned.   It is called the Path of Return.

The principle – moving beyond the habit of person-dominated spirituality or “organization” – is enabled in the hidden spiritual circles of the world.  Gravity flows in spirals and circles;  straight lines do not exist;  we are not rows, but curves.  The curves celebrate the voluptuous Goddess.   The principle is transparent and light on its feet.  The principle is dedicated, yet unencumbered by property, fund raising or zeal.  In harmony with the Laws of Nature and magnetism, it finds always a roof.   The mountain, tree and heart together (see below), form a vessel – the tabernacle covers the need.   Upon the stillness of the mountain, the tree grows, and the heart’s abundance is aligned; everything is possible.

This is I Ching Hexagram 53:  Wind/Wood over Mountain/Keeping Still:

“A tree on a mountain, developing slowly, firm root, is visible from afar, and influences the whole landscape.  Tranquillity within and penetration without: correct relationships of cooperation.  Haste is unwise.  Gentleness is adaptable but penetrating.  Inner calm.  Slow progress perseveres.”

Richard Wilhelm (precis)

During this time-period, tipping the Mayan calender at 2012 towards Aquarius, a new Great Circle opens, with problems that are inherited and problems that are “new”.  As the self-encircling figure of infinity (8) passes through the hour, our perception of time is altered, at first subconsciously.  The long-term alteration of the way we see things – awareness – is as radical as the thought of geophysical polar-axis shift or flip, which many prophesy, project and profess.

Who knows?  The interior is beyond measure, and our entire worldview is a creation from thought.   Life goes on.

It is in our inner evolution to perceive time not in a linear way, but as a pattern of interpenetrating circles and depth.   Here … below the strata of wars, earthquake, climate change and wealth imbalance … the quantum leap of our humanity awakes almost unseen, eye to eye:  the lighthouse keepers.

Embroidery by Elisabeth

The Word is breathed from heart to heart.  Who knows where the heart was born or began?   A mandala of souls is an eye, a fountain.

A human Mandala or Wheel:  Buddha with encircling Boddhisattvas


Sacred Geometry and Relationships

Sacred architecture is based, almost universally, on a stake in the ground and a piece of string.   The string pegs out a circle around the point:  the Circumpunct, symbol of the Sun.  The stake is repositioned on the circumference, and a new circle with the same radius is drawn.  In the same way, persons giving one another space, may dialogue.  The oval vesica-pisces is also called a pomegranate.

“In the underworld, Pluto gives Persephone a pomegranate of which she eats, a symbol of femininity and fructification.  By … taking this principle within herself, she binds herself automatically to return to the Underworld every year, for only in the descent into the Underworld is new life possible;  it requires death to gain rebirth.”

Gareth Knight

On the same principle of embodiment, we investigate and regenerate our inner psyche.  From the seed in the ground, the root descends, then a little shoot begins to grow.  As in the Seal of Solomon, as in all the Eastern Yantras and Mandalas, ascent and descent pass through each other in the heart.   From vesica pisces – the Fish sigil of the early Christians – the Flower of Life proliferates.


On this architectural ground-plan, proportions are produced, the arches constructed, the Sanctuary is built:  the vertical through the horizontal plane, the male through the feminine; and it stands.   Walk tall, as the terrestrial magnetic divines the Pole Star.   We live as a myriad pendulums from that One axis.  We are the Circle around the Point.  But the point is within ourself!

… and is it any thing?


What are Politics?  Is it a group of people working for the common good, or is it the opposite?  Polites in the Greek means “citizen” and politeia means “the condition of a state”.   Many words beginning with “pol”, “poly”, suggest a head-count – the many – and the application of some kind of restraint.  Politics are broadly, the art of government.  It is an art – a broth with many cooks.

The problem with parliament is with rows of partisans shouting each other down.  They do not yet know how to interconnect their ideals to serve the nation’s interest.  The same is observed in my mental process as in yours.  What do I believe in?  What do I crusade about?   What really works? We cannot expect governments to ask this question, until we are capable to ask it in ourselves, our opinions;  till we  find out what really works within ourselves for for the good;  and dialogue is so different … from debate, the warring monologue.

It is the capacity to hear and appreciate another’s story.  A circle is a seamless robe of democracy, connected in all its parts.  It contains debate, story-telling, dialogue, argument and ultimately reconciliation.   Ultimately it brings conflict into resolution.

Our awakened inner life needs an environment of harmony and peace.  A leader wears a mantle of authority with, but not over others;  to enable others to come to their own authority.  In the process of truth all, including the leader, reveal their vulnerability.  True Authority is unmistakable.  It uplifts the culture of the people, and their needs.  Love gives space for others to be who they are.

We need to quieten, to give room.

Flower of night, 1986

“I am a hidden treasure who longs to be known.  Split a piece of wood, and I am there.  Lift a stone, and I am there.  We are not of the world, but in it.  We walk just about one-mile-an-hour ahead of the tide coming in.  It is tiny, but enough.”

sunflower, fish and paddle-steamer 1988




My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books).   Published recently online: The Reckless Fruit in two parts – here are the links to click


All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

2 thoughts on “Mandala: A Demonstrated Democracy

  1. Aa scholarly treatise on Democracy . There is an ease of movement which carries the mind and eye of the reader effortlessly along.It demonsstrates skilfully what a true democacy is. I find the open circle very interesting and the pictures are exquisite1

  2. Pingback: The Playground | janeadamsart

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