How did the mandala I made in January know what would happen?
In a year of one magical and mysterious week after another, this one was a topper. And in a way I never, ever expected.
This week, I was reminded just how alive the mandalas we create in The Lotus and The Lily are. You’d think I’d know this. After all, I’ve led Lotus and Lily intensives for a decade. I’ve made 9 mandalas myself, and tracked the miracles they've generated in my life.
But we are not the ones who make our mandalas.
In the book and intensive, I remind people that your only role in creating a mandala to welcome in the new year is to get out of the way.
Your hands may draw the marks, glue the pictures, and paint the colors, but the mandala is not a product of your intellect. It’s not even a “product.” It’s not a thing at all.
A mandala is a mystery. A moving mystical mystery. It sings the song of a depth of your story that your mind has no access to. It remembers who you are and who you came here to be. It knows more about the life you want to be living than you do. And—the best part—it knows how to get you there.
Now, I know all this. I’ve experienced all this. Year in and year out, the members of this intensive look back at the mandalas we created 12 months ago and, without fail, are surprised to finally see the deep meaning of the symbolism and name we gave to the year. Suddenly the images make sense. The words make sense. And it’s all a wild and delightful surprise.
My surprise came this week. I want to share the story because it’s quite the testimonial to the magic of the mandala, but it’s also, I hope, a reminder of how The Mystic works. Not just for me. For you. For everyone.
You have heard me use the term: The Mystic. I use it to try to name the unnamable in language that lives far outside the bonds of dogma or theology.
The Mystic isn’t an idea. It’s real. It’s a place.
It’s alive. It’s the Feminine Divine. It’s the exquisite voice that bubbles up in soul writing. It’s the wild untamable juice of creativity. It’s the bottomless well of inspiration and the source of deep body intuition. It’s a universal and yet somehow also deeply personal path to knowing.
That’s knowing in the non-linear way of trusting the mystery as you begin to embody your personal knowing, your sacred gnosis. The Mystic is love. Big love. It’s the Mystical Love at the core of everything that was or is or ever shall be.
Thanks to stumbling upon deep soul writing 24 years ago, I have become a bit of a mistress of ways we cross the threshold between worlds and drop into The Mystic.
Soul Writing. Original Prayer. Lying in the liminal space of morning theta. Staring at the wall. Walking in nature. Dreaming. And of course, surrendering your hands, your feet, your whole body to the mysterious call of imagination and creativity.
And then, there’s the mandala. It holds so many threshold practices in one. It’s creative. It’s soul written. It’s prayer. It’s made in liminal space.
And it lays out for you where you are going in the new year. And then, waits for you to finally notice.
Well, on Thursday I noticed.
I sat down for my daily soul writing, said my prayers, called my Council of Love, and wrote my salutation, “Beloved Vibration of Mother Sophia!” But then, instead of soul writing, I opened Facebook on my phone.
Scrolling through Facebook would not ordinarily be in my list of threshold-piercing practices, but…
At the top of my feed was a novena post in The Way of the Rose community from Lea, a woman I adore. She described the first day she said the rosary in March.
She had gone outside to walk the labyrinth in her back yard and was surprised to find an M scratched into the center that had never been there before. She walked around the M and noticed that from the opposite direction it's a W and from the side it's an E and from the other side a 3. Lea said M is the only shape that has these 4 distinct letter/number expressions.
I drew the M, W E, and 3 in my journal and saw that indeed they look like markers of the 4 directions.
I thought, wow, this is interesting, but I didn't realize what was happening.
I looked back at my phone and read a short fabulous post from the poet Glenis Redmond: "I am a mystic. That is clear."
And just like that I knew my witch title. And I hadn't even asked.
Ever since the dust-up with my agent over the word witch in August, I have played with how to describe myself.
I am a Prayer Artist for sure, but I want to add Witch—because hey, a witch is a wizard at crossing the threshold between worlds. Prayer and Witch feel like sister twins to me. So much so that one of my first definitions of witch is “a woman who prays.”
I had played with Sacred Witch. Awakening Witch. All lovely titles but not quite me.
I know from past experience that when the right idea or word or title arrives, it’s physical. I describe it as “landing in my body.”
That’s what happened when Sophia arrived on December 26, 2014. She came full bore. I could feel her enter and inhabit my body. She landed.
It’s sort of the ultimate clairsentience. When your whole body says YES, it’s a non-negotiable YES.
That’s what happened on Thursday.
My Witch landed. I am a Mystic Witch.
I could FEEL her land in my gut. And I started to laugh-cry. And I yelped out loud. YES! I am a Mystic Witch!
And then, because numerology is such a powerful confirmation for me. I did the numeric vibration of the letters. Mystic Witch is a 53/8. Oh Goddess, I laughed some more. Because my birth path is a 35/8. The mirror. Just like the M and the W are mirrors.
And then, I looked at the 2020 mandala I made on January 1 of this year. I think she smiled. She'd been waiting a long time for me to notice.
Keep in mind, I made this mandala before Covid, before quarantine, before the 5 Original Prayers came calling in April, before George Floyd’s murder, before armed supremacists screaming at Black Lives Matters protestors, and long before witch entered my world.
But now, looking at the rather odd mandala I made, I see that my soul knew 2020’s story. It knew that Witch was not only coming, but her special name. It knew the magic hidden in the name I gave 2020: “Make Love Visible.”
On my mandala I drew an upward-facing V and a downward-facing V with a space between them. I thought it meant that our job, my job, in 2020 was to make loVe visible after it’s been buried for so long by patriarchy.
I had absolutely no awareness of the hidden visual messages.
When I turned it sideways the two Vs look like people shouting at each other.
When I looked at the 2 Vs above and below each other, I suddenly noticed that the V at the top is middle of the letter M and the V at the bottom is the middle of the letter W.
How in the world did my soul know on January 1 that come November, I’d be ready for my witch to come.
It’s a particularly wild example of the magic of the mandala. Magic I’d love to share with you.
Starting tomorrow, Monday, November 16, we’re going to look back at 2020 to unearth all her mysteries as we slowly walk a finger labyrinth asking each month to speak her story.
We’ll do January together, and then you can walk through the other months all this week. When we gather in a week, I bet we'll all have "oh my Goddess" insights to share about the underlying story of our lives in 2020.
And then, if walking the labyrinth to look back isn't magical enough, Emma Kupu is going to introduce us to our Progressed Moon and show us how to look back at 2020 through that lens.
By the time 2021 begins to rise on the horizon, you’ll be ready to get out of the way and let your soul create a mandala for this new year. A five year. A year of more change. But fear not, your soul knows your story. It knows who you are and who you’re here to be.
And it knows how you will embed your soul's story in a magical, mystical mandala.
We open tomorrow, Monday, November 16. A delightful global soul community is forming across the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, and South Africa, all the way to Australia and Guam. But there's room for you. I have 19 open seats.
Click for dates, details, and registration.
The Lotus and The Lily: Complete 2020 and Enter 2021
to getting out of the way so our souls can tell us our story and sing us our song,