September 20th, 2020
IN ANCIENT FOLK traditions, as noted in the farmer's almanac, the full moon closest to equinox is known as the harvest moon. It was a time when people would use the extra light of the full moon, to harvest as much food as they could to store for Winter. We no longer live like our ancestors, but connecting to the symbols of the season, the moon and ancient traditions, strengthens our life force! This year's harvest moon is October 1st. To honor the Autumn equinox and the harvest, we gathered from our environment and made a nature mandala. It may be seen as an artistic expression, or an offering to Mother Earth for all that she provides.
Mandalas are a beautiful, simple way to enjoy nature and explore making art with children. The word mandala is a Sanskrit term that means “circle” and a mandala is a circular structure with a design that radiates out symmetrically from a unifying center. Mandala patterns can be found in natural objects from the radiating petals of a flower to tree rings, snowflakes, fruits, spiderwebs, seashells, crystals and more. We can enjoy the process of making art with children and realize that it is fulfilling without needing to have something material to take home. Creating art in nature teaches children about the impermanence of life.
The mandala is more than an image seen with our eyes. It is an actual moment in time. While they are beautiful, there is a deeper meaning in the mandala that you can introduce to your child. The mandala’s pattern can be interpreted as a model for the organizational structure of life, a type of cosmic diagram.
To make a nature mandala with children, start by gathering items. Begin by place a special piece in the center and work outwards in a circular design. Continue making patterns until your design is complete.