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The mandala: the most fascinating symbol of all. When it takes the form of a natal chart it encompasses all the existing archetypes. The whole universe of archetypes is enclosed within its boundaries. Analyzing each symbol means going deeper and deeper in a never-ending inward journey of self (ego)-discovery and the Self-discovery, the Jungian Self signifying the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness in a person. The symbols need to be felt, experienced and meditated on; a natal chart is a thing of beauty which cannot be explained away with words. It shows the wholeness of the personality. It appears static but it is also a work in progress. A natal chart is a seed which will grow into knowledge and life.
The mandala of a natal chart shows the totality of an individual. This magic ring establishes a sacred space, a circular fragment torn away from the collective unconscious. It is constructed around a middle point, which is the most secret centre of the soul, the source of consciousness and spirit. The circle boundaries are necessary to protect the individual from the collective unconscious, but the boundaries must not be rigid or impenetrable, because it is the content of the collective unconscious that nourishes and creates the Self, which is hidden in the centre of the mandala. On the other hand, if the boundaries are too porous there is a risk of being flooded with archetypes which might breed psychosis.
Symbolically, all mandalas are based on the squaring of a circle. The energy flows into and out of the astrological mandala through four gates: the Ascendant, the Descendant, the MC and the IC, signifying respectively self-awareness, the awareness of others, the place where we belong (our roots) and our place in society. These form the Jungian pairs of opposites that structure our personality. All of these elements need to be balanced for full individuation to take place. One-sidedness is not a feature of wholeness and the Self desires wholeness above all else.
The centre of the mandala is a focal point for circumambulatio, i.e. round, circular movement. Both transiting and progressing planets go round the central point of the mandala. This journey takes time and is a powerful process. Each important transit and progression, if experienced consciously, transforms the individual and brings him or her closer to the ultimate prize: self-knowledge and Self-actuation. The diamond of our inner Self, which forms the centre of the mandala, is an object of beauty which is cut and polished through time. It is the most precious treasure that can be obtained by an individual.