Ancient mystical and occult traditions has always maintained that the Universe – as well as our own conscious reality, is maintained through mathematical and geometric patterning. For thousands of years mankind has attempted to replicate the fundamental laws that they underpin in a wide variety of ways. From sacred architecture through to mandalas, the linear expression of the Divine has been tapped into and utilised to anchor sacred energy and power.
Susanne F. Fincher is an artist who spent more than forty years working in mental health. She is also a Jungian psychotherapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Registered Art Therapist. For more than 25 years she had followed a passionate interest in mandalas and in her book Creating Mandalas with Sacred Geometry she offers practical guidance to readers who might be interested in drawing personal mandalas based around the traditional rules of sacred geometry.
For those who might think of this work as simply an exercise in creating pretty pictures Fincher makes it clear in the opening to her book that the function of a mandala runs much deeper than one might suppose.
“Creating mandalas in the tradition of sacred geometry can be a pathway toward grasping who you are, where you belong, and what you are to do.”
For those who are not quite sure where to start on this journey Fincher offers a history of numbers before moving on to explain the meaning behind the two most important and basic geometric patterns known to underpin lifeforms of all types, namely the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci sequence.
Numbers have been an important aspect to religion as well as to the world of occultism. The author explains how they have been particularly significant in Islam and Jewish Mysticism. She also reveals how numbers have been used to represent not only qualities but also concepts. In her chapter ‘The Meaning Behind Numbers’ she breaks down the fundamental principles behind the philosophy of Pythagoras in particular.
This completes the practical aspects to mandala creation and in the following pages of her book Fincher offers practical guidance on how to draw, or create, mandalas of your own. This includes advice on the sort of tools you need and how to begin forming the basic structure to a mandala. These are initially simplistic in form but soon become increasingly complex in structure.
In the final section of her book the author includes some completed mandalas which the reader can colour or replicate as required.
Our Review of Creating Mandalas by Susanne F Fincher
There is no doubt that creating mandalas is a very therapeutic process. Its also a great discipline if you want to get it right. Oddly, it is also a very powerful way of uniting the two parts of the brain and for that can have a similar effect to that of meditation.
As a book Creating Mandalas is something of a scrappy, but nevertheless engaging publication. On occasions it works well as a manual of instruction but in parts it feels incomplete and occasionally contradictory, This is particularly evident in the enclosed templated mandalas. The book also contains a fair amount of what is somewhat unnecessary space in its latter stages.
I also felt that it would have benefitted from a section on the psychospiritual use of colors and their associations; for these are what ultimately will really make a personal mandala come to life.
That said, I feel that these criticisms of the book do not detract greatly from its overall merit. It does a good job in covering the groundwork of how to start thinking in terms of sacred geometry as well as how to establish a set of personal protocols for what will ultimately be a representation of your own inner psychological processes.