Farewell to Summer, A Flower Mandala

Flower Mandala complete

At this turn of the Wheel, I was grateful to be up in the forest on the mountain, in more-than-ordinary sacred space, circling again with women at the autumnal equinox, and making a flower mandala as a farewell to summer. I had the round white cloth from my mother, who used it as a tablecloth for a small round table in her house. I kept it these last decades thinking it would be good for something, and it finally was.

Flower Mandala sacristy

When I was small and my mother volunteered on Sunday mornings at the church, I loved to go with her to the sacristy before the service, where the flowers were prepared for the altar. In the ceremonial yurt we had our own kind of sacristy, a table with vases,  baskets and sacred images holding flowers of all kinds from everyone. The four big bouquets along the back were from the fittingly-named Guadalupe Community Garden in San Jose.

Flower Mandala beginning

The cloth was measured into nine pie shapes with yarn. Flower heads, petals, leaves, and seeds began to be slowly added over the weekend.

Flower Mandala Center

A bouquet  of  yellow mums, marigolds and a Foundry rose held the center.

Flower Mandala detail

I surprised myself by keeping my section simple in the extreme. We are entering the season of the ancestors. Marigolds festoon the ofrendas made for Dia de los Muertos. My circle sister told me they are called the “headlights for the dead.” So I made a yellow path for them. Later, when I was ready to return from visiting with my dear ones who have gone before, I added the white petals reaching out to the sides to touch my sisters in the circle.

Flower Mandala finished

When it was finished we had made an amazing altar, a mandala meaningful in every way to each woman who created her part in it, all different paths but one beautiful and holy expression of devotion to the Mother.

We were blessed with the first rain of the season at our equinox retreat, making it truly feel like fall.

Flower Mandala ready to release

On Sunday we finally released it, letting go the flowers into the mountain stream to be carried by the winter rains to the sea.


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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Bea Baechle 09/25/2013, 10:14 am

    I felt so blessed to take part in this floral mandala as an expression of the abundance and gratitude I have for everything in my life right now: family, friends and spiritual communities…work, home and nourishment in every form.

  • Erin McCauley 09/25/2013, 10:40 am

    Thank you Cari. I’m so abundantly blessed in so many many forms and sharing time in sacred space with sisters is a gift beyond my wildest dreams

  • Conni R 09/25/2013, 10:51 am

    A beautiful ritual and expression of the end of summer. Thanks you for sharing it.

  • Sarah 09/25/2013, 1:32 pm

    I’m moved by the simplicity of your panel.

  • Dionne the Tea Priestess 09/25/2013, 6:40 pm

    What a lovely expression of gratitude for the turning of the wheel. There is such power in these pictures…they touch me deeply. Thank you.

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