Symbols of Hope

Envisioning a Positive Future

Handmade-Hope was inspired several years ago by discovering my own personal symbols of hope. With a playful heart I began expressing some of what I was learning from a class I took on shamanism. Just for fun, I began making these healing circles and medicine wheels inspired by a trip to Arizona.

I didn't really know what a mandala was until I found the courage to exhibit my work publicly for the first time. Many times over the course of that week-end someone seeing my unique and ROUND quilts hanging from my market tent would ask me when I first began making mandalas. This is how I fist stepped into the circle and began my own mandala-making journey.

This project uses the mandala as a common framework to find, negotiate and map pathways that support and foster sustainable and life-affirming community.

It is my hope to enlist other humans to gather in small groups, both globally in the on-line setting, and locally, face-to-face,to create all kinds of mandalas reflecting their personal and cultural symbols of hope. This web-site provides the vehicle for sharing the diverse and widely scattered group and individual mandalas in its various galleries. The site also creates a common 'location' to network with others, thereby expanding the collaborative potential of the project.

I invite you to explore the mandala while visiting these pages. I encourage you to discover the many mandalas all around you, and explore how the mandala may serve you personally. Mandalas make excellent 'maps', and can enhance learning and collaboration. As the project evolves, I intend to grow a community of Learning Circles from across the globe, networking together to learn together and work together towards common purpose.

The time has come to recognize the beauty of our diversity and celebrate our common humanity. Please consider adding YOUR vision of handmade-hope to our stories.

Mandala-Making is FUN!

...and the process of mandala-making can enhance learning, help resolve conflicts, and relieve stress! I have found the process so rewarding for just the mental-health benefits that I wanted to find SOME way to network the information to be of benefit to all.

What began as the simple need to share these benefits has led to this project. I decided I would start with what resources I had .... and begin! The project could start small, and still be effective, or so I believe. I was interested in establishing a sense of community where we could begin a process to explore what peace looks like in action. I knew many could benefit from learning how to use symbols of hope in their own lives, too! So I decided to form a collaboration of peace-seeking humans willing to step into the circle of making mandalas about peace.

What is a mandala?

At first contact, the word mandala can appear mysterious to some.

Let's look at the definition:




1. Buddhist or Hindu symbol: in Buddhism and Hinduism, a geometric or pictorial design usually enclosed in a circle, representing the entire universe and used in meditation and ritual

2. symbol representing self: in Jungian psychology, a symbol representing the self and inner harmony

[ Mid-19th century. < Sanskrit maṇḍalam "circle" ] man·dal·ic ADJECTIVE

Content above provided by Encarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition] © & (P) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Visit the resource for the above definition HERE.

Step Into The Circle

Now for the FUN part! Anyone can make a mandala. It is as easy as opening a box of crayons. All you REALLY need to do is make a circle and fill it in with your own personal symbols of hope. You see, making mandalas is just a way to share our own personal symbolism.

Mandalas can also be made of words, pictures, or any thing at all. Some mandala artists even create mandalas of objects organized within a circle to convey a specific message.

In time, as more humans decide to share their own visions of hope here, this collection will reveal our beautiful diversity ... AND our common hopes and desires. These symbols of hope can be part of an active, dynamic and co-creative process to envision a positive and life-affirming future.

Step # 1 - Make Your Mandala of Hope

You can either draw your own circle to get started, or visit the link listed below to get a free coloring sheet of a blank circle to begin. You can download and print hundreds of coloring sheets from this website, or simply do a search of your own. This website does require you to join as a member, but the membership is free. There are a lot of great resources here to begin to explore mandala-making, and it is a favorite of teachers and parents, and kids of all ages (including me).

Then sit down and let your imagination go to work. Just have fun. Make it personal.

What does hope mean to me?
What does it look like?
What colors and shapes give me hope?

What message of hope would I like to give the world?

There is no right or wrong way to make your mandala. In fact, a mandala you make today might be entirely different from one you make tomorrow on the same subject. That's the value of mandala-making.

Mandalas reflect inner states of being, and so will change to reflect how YOU change and evolve. Your personal symbols of hope will evolve, too!

Over time, your own mandala-making efforts can reveal many hidden aspects of your psyche, provide valuable maps to aid the learning process, and even serve as a tool for conflict resolution.

Download some Symbols of Hope HERE!

Step# 2 - Take A Picture of Your Mandala of Hope

Now ... take a picture of your mandala.

If you don't have a digital camera, perhaps a friend with a cell phone will help you out. Or take a picture using someones web cam. You can even scan the picture using an optical scanner feature found on many home printers these days.

Don't forget to save the file in a place where you can find it!

Step # 3 - Submit Your Mandala of Hope

Use the form below to submit it to the Hope Mandala Galleries.

We will notify you when your mandala has been added to the Hope Mandala Gallery.

Then, tell all your friends to take a look at YOUR creative vision of hope! Maybe they will want to join the fun and vision a better future, too. Invite them to discover and submit their personal symbols of hope and envision a better future for us all.

See you in the circle!

Would YOU like to submit a mandala of hope?

Feeling creative? Make a mandala of hope of any kind and then ... Share it!

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