In the beginning, I was simply walking in the woods…

My very first mandala, I realize now, was a circle of stones I created in the woods where I take walks. One of the round pictures I drew in 1995 recalls this stone circle, built in the fall of 1989:

I had to carry heavy stones up a steep hillside and through tangled undergrowth to construct it, but making that stone circle felt very important. (At that time, the career in church ministry I had planned for since high school had come to an end after only six years.) I buried two smooth stones from the shore of a lake in the center; and I would sit quietly inside the circle from time to time.

The buried stones seemed to me like a yin and yang of phallus and womb. This bringing together of masculine and feminine imagery occurs in this mandala, too:

On the first page of the journal in which I did many of these drawings, I wrote:

Everything living dreams of individuation, for everything strives toward its own wholeness.

—Carl Jung from Memories, Dreams, Reflections