To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Mandalas – Five Universal Shapes

Mandalas – Five Universal Shapes

(Spiral Symbolizes: Growth, Evolution)
Our lives are journeys in the cyclical process where we come to familiar places but with a different perspective. Each cycle is similar and familiar, but different. We see things in a new light and new insights as we journey through life.  


There are 5 universal shapes that are archetypes of energy and psyche that humankind shares across time and cultures. They are the circle, square, equal sided cross, triangle and spiral.

 (Circle Symbolizes: Wholeness, Unity, Completion)
We live on a 3 dimensional sphere, a circle. Our solar system of planets, moons and stars are all circular.
Our bodies are made of many cells that are circular in shape.
We live in circular time patterns of day and night, months and years.

We are one, the never ending unity with all. 

These universal shapes are often spontaneously created when making marks in mandalas or other art.  In the peace and flow of spontaneous creating these shapes emerge from a deep place.  That deep opening offers guidance about what a person may want to pay attention to.

(Square Symbolizes: Groundedness, Stability, Security)
A square is the symbol for earth. It represents the foundation of earthly life.
It gives a sense of security with feet planted on the ground.


I love the watery flow of watercolors.  I explored the five universal shapes recently with new ways (for me) of working with this medium. Water is the medium of emotion.  The flow and merging of colors is an adventure of joy.

(Triangle Symbolizes: Goals, Dreams and Purpose)
We are here on earth for the purpose of sharing our unique gifts of our being.  The mystery and majesty of who we are is revealed as we discover our dreams and purpose.
Our goals let that purpose manifest and be shared.


(Equidistant Cross  Symbolizes: Relationships, Integration, Connection)
Our lives are lived within the community of people, plants, animals and all beings.
We are part of this universe with all animate and inanimate beings.
We are connected to others and thrive in that community and communion with others.

The joy of creating mandalas is letting these shapes emerge in so many different ways.  These symbols are found throughout the world. Their meanings are cross-cultural and across time.

I just saw one of the most powerful art exhibits in New York City where the abstract art paintings had all of these five shapes.  The art was done in the early 1900s by a female mystical artist.  She was “commissioned” by spirit guides to create the abstract paintings that were done before other male artists who were supposedly the first abstract artists created their abstractions of forms and colors.

Here is a sneak peak of the Guggenheim Museum exhibit of Hilma af Klint’s paintings. She used the universal shapes over and over in her paintings. I will share many more pieces of her art in my next blog.

Enjoy and Create.






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