The Mandala as Container – The Future

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Snake Dance © 2016 Bo Mackison

Third in a series of five mandalas I created after naming “creative path” as my intention. I then paired a mandala with a Desert Wisdom Card each morning for five days and then reflected on a question. I followed this with a freewrite keeping the intention “creative path” in mind.

Illumination - A Desert Wisdom Card

Illumination – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison




This past May as I was preparing to pack and return to the Midwest, I found a snake shed in the rocks steps from my front door. And in the past few months, snake has frequently appeared in many places.

Snake is change, transition, transformation.

Snake dances, her rattle sounds. Be aware. She shows her shadow side, her underbelly, a place of vulnerability. Be open. Paired with the desert card illumination. Shine light into the darkness.

She speaks: do not mess with me. Show disrespect and I will strike; show respect, treat me with kindness and I will companion you. I am strong medicine. I have been with you since you found my shed in Arizona. I am the symbol of transformation, outgrowing the old and shedding it. Now I am bright and gleaming in my new skin.

New skin. Is it too soft, is it vulnerable? Yes. And still, do I show up with underbelly exposed, my shadowy side illuminated in the desert sun? Yes. Vulnerable and exposed…and yet? Here I am. I keep showing up. I am present, I am transition, I am transformation. And see what I do? I stay close to the ground, often out of the spotlight.

AND I chose the illumination card in tandem with snake dance. I am wise and I show up. I have great power and yet I do not strike without provocation, and then only in self-protection.

How will I show up? Slip into the light and still stay grounded. Hold on to the power to self protect and to change. Such powerful medicine, this “no” medicine. Such creative force, a living force that courses through, never-ending.

so many life death rebirth challenges and you have faced the all, you have experienced rebirth on so many levels, the four levels of wholeness – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Release the identity which binds, constricts, limits growth. And dance. dance. dance.


Coming in the next post, Day 4. What is the Gift or the Guidance?


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.

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