I drew this mandala during a period in which I was considering how to extricate myself from an alliance whose time had come to an end. To foster contemplation and release, I spent a lot of time walking along the marshes at the Marin County water reclamation district.
During that time, a huge flock of white pelicans was wintering there and I got to know them in some small measure. Fishing, they would gather in small groups, swimming in a line sweeping the fish forward. At some point, those on the ends of the line would arc forward, coming together to form a circle. Then all members of the group would simultaneously dive into the water, wings slightly spread, black tips showing, tails up, filling their huge beaks. Rising to the surface, beaks distended, they would swallow what they had caught and once again, sweep out in a line across the lagoon. It was like watching a line of slightly comic yet infinitely graceful ballet dancers in a carefully choreographed burlesque.
Afterwards, they would gather on one of the islands and spread their nine-foot wingspans, like a month’s worth of laundry hung out to dry. Once, I witnessed this flock of almost a hundred take flight, leaving the island in sixes and tens and twelves, gathering up slowly, gradually, in a spiral toward the clouds, finally so high that — as I blinked my eyes — they disappeared from sight. These pelicans became for me a symbol of magic and mystery, humor and grace, and the power and beauty of cooperative living.
This mandala represents the alchemical processes of resurrection, transformation and ascension. The marsh is a place where waste materials are reclaimed, and energy and matter are cleansed and raised to the next vibratory level in order to be brought into use again.
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© 2009 Anacaria Myrrha ~ All rights reserved