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Hello everyone. I’m Kaz, living in Pembrokeshire, a beautiful, magical county of West Wales. I landed here in March 2020, after a period of travelling abroad, for a two-week workaway and lo-and-behold, here I am 4 years later. 

I have lived off-grid since arriving, mainly in community with people who share the values of cherishing the earth and each other. Some days it’s more challenging than others.

I am a practising Buddhist who has had the huge good fortune of landing here, now, where a love of creativity, self-expression and connection are welcomed and encouraged. I have always been interested in the human mind and psychology, music, creativity and how we can connect on many levels within systems that attempt to separate and divide.

I can wholeheartedly say that this journey with Mandala Magic has brought connection in ways I didn’t expect.

So, how did I get here, writing this? During the days of Covid isolation, I had tapped into some online arty offerings which got the old creative juices flowing – a flow  I feel had been suppressed somewhat while working a busy 9-5 professional job, firstly in education and then social work.

An introduction to Mandala Magic came, towards the end of 2021, with an invite on Facebook to take part in a 5-day taster with Julie and well, I was hooked!

In those five days, I learnt not only about the world of mandala creation with, for example, the simplicity of concentric circles, but also how the creative process of art journaling provided a space for honest personal reflection within an online community of mandala creators.

It appealed to my journey of personal and collective transformation and wanting to express myself creatively more freely and consistently.

Having spent an enjoyable and inspiring 5 days I signed up for the Mandala Magic Alignment programme and am now in my third year!

There’s something so fulfilling about having committed to an ongoing creative practice, and, showing up at my sketchbook is, though sometimes daunting,  rewarding. 

I suppose it’s being fully in the presence of that creative moment which appeals to me so much. 

My mind quietens – yes, I still have to make choices such as what media and colour to use, but as time goes on I lean into the process more and more rather than the outcome. 

It’s actually really liberating because, for me, it is a way of exercising the letting go muscle.

Also, living off-grid has been absolutely in alignment with the 8-fold seasonal cycle.

I remember being in my van living in the depths of Welsh woodland and the winter solstice practice particularly helped me to slow down and embrace the darkness rather than pushing it away and craving for light.

A favourite alignment mandala in fact was my first that winter solstice. I had created a beautiful, to my mind, mandala, got the ink pen ready to start journaling and dramatically spilled the ink in the centre of the mandala.

What to do?! Freak out! It wasn’t supposed to be this way! It’s ruined! And then, I allowed the ink to move, it slowly transformed into the magical track leading into the woodland, trees appeared, the moon.

This was a deeply transformative practice in the art of letting go, allowing the grasping of an expected outcome to be released into something even more magical and meaningful.

I’d say I stay inspired and motivated to continue creating mandalas on a regular basis because of the joy this practice brings me.

I’m constantly learning about different mandala creation techniques, colour study, even botanical ink making which provided an even greater insight into connecting deeper with this west Wales land full of folklore and ancient stones.

I can’t go without mentioning the online space I’ve shared with other mandala magicians, a space that Julie holds so beautifully.

You know, there’s that thing called life, yet when I have showed up to the online events they have provided such an insight into others’ practice and the reasons why we all choose to show up. 

The holding by this mandala-making community helps me return to my sketchbook and I have to admit, I love seeing the awesome beautiful inspiring marks people make on the page and get lots of inspiration!

If I had any advice to give to someone who is interested in exploring mandala creation and the Alignment program for the first time I’d say.. go for it! 

Simply have a go. This practice doesn’t have to be about being a super-skilled artist, I honestly CANNOT draw.

It’s a space to just be yourself, enjoy freedom of expression,  and, like I said before,  take it as deeply or lightly as we wish.

For now, I am so happy to keep practising and see where this journey takes me with you all.

21 Comments

  1. michael ann Leaver

    What inspiration you offer. The life is so present in your work,your play. I love the sense of movement and all the words moving too.

    Reply
  2. Kathy Steelandt

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Karen. I love that you are truly in the midst of the cyclical year with all its changes. Your connection to our earth comes through in your your mandalas, I have really enjoyed your spotlight. Thank you for what you bring to the community. Blessings to you, Kathy x

    Reply
  3. Julie-Ann Booker

    Hi Kaz, thank you for sharing your wonderful spot light. I have been moved and inspired by your depiction of embracing winter’s darkness and by your use of the word ‘Transformative’ – thank you

    Reply
  4. Nathalie Dale

    Thank you for sharing your journey and art with us. Both are really inspiring.

    Reply
  5. Penny lamnek

    Hello Kaz. i enjoyed reading your story and love the spilled ink inspiration. Thats the thing with Mandala’s-they have a way of taking their own path.
    Thankyou for sharing

    Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Thank yoU Penny. What a journey this is

      Reply
    • BRONIA

      Such Beautiful art and I love how YOUR Mandalas reflect the Seasonality and closeness to nature of your Life

      Reply
  6. Kristiana

    Great Inspiration! lOVE your JOURNALING. The marks on the page are wonderful.thank you for sharing and growing with me.

    Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Thank you Kristina for your lovely comment

      Reply
  7. Cielle

    I can totally relate to all that you shared here about the unexpected gifts of diving into the exploration of mandalas and “meaning making” marks on paper that feed my soul and align me with the seasons and purpose.

    THank you for sharing here.

    Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Thank you Cielle. I love seeing your creations on the Facebook page. They are really inspirational

      Reply
  8. Raphaelle

    Thank you Kaz for introducing me to Julie’s wonderful Mandala Magic – totally inspiring and definately what I need in my life right now. Xxx

    Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Aww you’re welcome. So glad you’re here!

      Reply
  9. Dee

    Thank you, kaz, for sharing your jouney into the INTRIGUING Practice of mandala making. Your story is CAPTIVATING and inspiring.Your Mandalas are very rich and beautiful.

    Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Thank you See, that’s really kind to say

      Reply
      • Fae Wells

        Beautiful, Kaz! I loved the spilt ink story too. You told me at the time but it was a timely reminder. Its lovely to see your creativity expressed this way xx

        Reply
  10. GIANNA ANAGNOSTOU

    Thank you for this beautiful sharing! your journey is insiring and i am grateful meeting you!

    Reply
    • Brenda

      Love reading when someone connects. That expansion. Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing

      Reply
      • Kazza Butler

        Thank you Brenda! That’s lovely to say

        Reply
    • Kazza Butler

      Thank you Gianna!

      Reply
      • Roma

        Really interesting to read your thoughts about this practice Butty. I only know about it from Indian art and outside people’s houses at festivals and so on so i’ve learnt a lot from you!

        Reply

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