mandalas, moon wisdom & lunar cycles, musings, shamanism

From Shame to Shaman

Shamanic Mandala - First Gate, Snake, Inca Cross, Four Elements - Air, Water, Fire, Earth

Two months ago I started a nine-month shamanic apprenticeship program called the Jaguar Path. I decided to create mandalas to document my journey. Here’s the first one.

I see each mandala as a “portal” or doorway that takes one from one state of existence to another. Here the snake eating its tail (ouroboros) is like a door pull. If the hero/heroine is courageous enough to handle the snake to open the door then there is the potential for divine wisdom (7 stars at the center).

For those of you who have studied the “Great Round” with me, we see the Inca Cross (chakana) as the 7th Stage where the hero/heroine is at a crossroads. Which direction will you go? I’ve chosen to step through this portal to see what’s on the other side and eagerly await the many lessons and experiences on this nine month journey.

It was my first time drawing the Inca Cross where we “square the circle” a lesson I offer in my Mandala Drawing I course. “Squaring the Circle” is also a motif of Stage 7 in the Great Round. It’s so cool how all of these elements come together and connect with the wisdom from other frameworks that I’ve studied. The underlying influences of my knowledge are Pythagorean and Jungian.

I chose to work with the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue as these are foundational in the traditional color wheel and mix together to create all of the other colors. Gold, orange, and green accent the primaries. I was inspired to work with vibrant colors seeing how this is typical of Peruvian textiles and art.

The patterns within the snake and outer ring have the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth.

Inside my vision journal – a place for self expression, insight, and healing.

In recent years I’ve been tuning into lunar cycles, astrology, and planetary transits. It has been fascinating to observe what I’m experiencing and then make connections with what’s happening in the sky.

I’m taking a deep dive in this shamanic training to look at the old wounds that have been buried within my body and psyche. These wounds have been casting a shadow on my life’s journey and I feel ready to greet them and release them.

I found the perfect image in Uppercase Magazine to capture this moment.

This recent Scorpio season with Mercury in Retrograde has amplified this deep dive and I found myself walking in the shadowlands. Feelings of disappointment, sadness, shame, failure, “not enough” have all come to the surface.

I found comfort in a recent Soul Journey meditation when my spirit guide reassured me that “I’m never alone.”

In our shamanic work we use stones to help us with our healing.

I found another perfect image in Uppercase Magazine of a collection of stones arranged in the shape of a heart. In our shamanic work, we use stones not crystals to do our healing work. I layered in the background an image from the Gudrun Sjödén catalogue. The red shoes and clothing convey the root chakra and getting grounded to feel safe and secure.

“Do you hear it? A rattle sound in your heart?”

Pictured here is a rusty keyhole that sits on top of the heart. I made some careful cuts to create a doorway.

Want to see what’s inside? Ahhhh…scroll down.

My journal is an old Copic catalogue that I’m recycling.
On the page was this snake illustration. Now how perfect is that?

The rattling sound within the heart is the snake who asks,

“What old stories are you ready to let go of?”

“Take heart” snake says, “It’s time to shed the skin so you can bloom to live the life you were born to live.”

As I look at the red rose, I think of the “blood, sweat, and tears” that have gone into the last 11 years and more so these last five years building up my business. I’ve seen all that I’ve accomplished, all the wonderful experiences, and all that I’ve learned. It’s time to make a shift in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it to ensure a thriving livelihood. There is only so much time in the day and I need to use it wisely, placing my attention in areas that will help me to flourish.

What I’m so incredibly grateful for is that this shamanic training comes at the most perfect time in my life. I’m learning tools to help me to quickly and effectively recognize the years of undigested pain that I’ve been carrying around and how to release it.

It’s really quite impressive to feel this transformation within myself and to see it in my peers who are in the training. The practices are empowering and invoke feelings of inner peace, calmness, and sweetness. Often we feel the energy releasing as it flows down through our bodies. My favorite part of this training has been to look around the room at all of the warm smiles and bright, sparkling eyes. I can see the luminous nature of each person.

I’m feeling so grateful to not only experience this for myself but to also receive the training so I’ll get to offer this amazing experience for others.

Light & Dark

Looking again at this journal spread we see the influences of Scorpio on the left side. On the right, the stones and root elements convey the shift to Taurus. Taurus energy is very grounded and focused on the material. It’s energy is helpful for working steadily to build strong foundations and wealth.

What’s really cool here for me was that I didn’t even realize the Taurus connection until after I made this collage. That often happens for me. I work intuitively and my wise inner self that’s connected to the wisdom of the unified field creates the art and my simpler cognitive mind delights in noticing all of the connections and deeper meanings after the art has been created.

Full Moon in Taurus

I was so ready for the full moon ceremony. After the intense weeks in Scorpio, I knew exactly what limiting beliefs, sorrows, and challenges I was ready to release. After opening sacred space, I put on some music and my husband and I wrote on little slips of wish paper our intentions.

Some of mine were,

disappointment, I release you
shame, I release you
poverty consciousness, I release you
“not enoughness,” I release you

As we light each intention, we delight in watching the flame consume it. Then “pop” the ashes suddenly launch into the air and gently float back down. What a wonderful way to reflect, release, and renew.

One of the biggest lessons for me, especially when I find myself walking in the shadowlands, is that we live in cycles of dark and light. I am strong, resilient, powerful, and full of hope, inner peace and joy.

Thank you dear friends for joining me on this soulful and creative journey.

{soul hugs}

Kathryn Costa
Instigator of Soulful & Creative Living

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