Mandala Glossary
cardinal points
major points of the compass: North, South, East, West
chakra
[Sanskrit- wheel, circle] Hindu term for centers of energy (prana) in the human astral body. Traditionally there are seven principle chakras along the vertical axis of the body. These are often symbolized by mandala or yantra-like circular diagrams.
Hildegard of Bingen
(1098-1179)A Benedictine abbess who was an artist, musician and theologian. Hildegard's illuminated manuscripts contain many mandalas.
Jung, Carl Gustav
(1875 - 1961) Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who drew his first mandala in 1916. Jung's discovery of the mandala provided the key to his entire system. Some of Jung's writings on mandalas are available in the volume Mandala Symbolism
Kalachakra
[wheel of time] The term refers to  1. a secret teaching given by the Buddha and recorded in the Kalachakra Tantra. 2. the deity associated with the teaching 3. the Indian system of astrology 
"The Kalachakra Sand Mandala is a visual representation of the entire Kalachakra Tantra. It is also a two-dimensional representation of the five-story palace of the Kalachakra deity... Those who participate in making the sand mandala place themselves within the realm of the deity."  - from The Wheel of Time Sand Mandala
labyrinth
(lab´  rinth´) A circular pattern featuring a serpentine but clear path to the center. Labyrinths were set as mosaics into the floors of Gothic cathedrals and represented a symbolic journey to Jerusalem. Pilgrims would walk the labyrinth to the center and back out again in a kind of walking meditation. See labyrinth web links. 
mandala
(mun´ d l, mahn dä´ lä) [Sanskrit- circle, center] a traditional design often utilizing the circle—symbol of the cosmos—and the square—symbol of the man-made world. Mandalas generally exhibit a center, radial symmetry, and cardinal points. (after Argüelles, Mandala
rose window
a stained glass window in circular form with symmetrical roselike tracery typical of Gothic cathedrals See rose windows on the web. 
sand painting
refers to ritual sand pictures created by Native Americans of the Navaho tribe. Not to be confused with Tibetan sand mandalas, sand paintings are used in ceremonies or "sings" by Navaho healers. See Sand Painting web links. 
Stonehenge
A circular arrangement of massive stones (monoliths) in Salisbury, England thought to date from the neolithic age. Probably created as a celestial observatory, the site's actual usage, meaning, and method of construction remain unknown. 
t'ai chi
Also known as the "yin and yang" this circular Chinese symbol represents the universe as the mingling of opposites: light and dark, hard and soft, male and female, etc.

thangka
(than´ k) [picture, painting] a Tibetan Buddhist painted scroll important in ritual and visualization. See Thangka web links. 
yantra
A Hindu diagram used as a focus for concentration and meditation. See yantra web link.
 

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