Wise Woman Within

Stage 8 Functioning Ego: Functioning in the World

Stage 8 of the Great Round Of Mandala is outwardly active with a sense of being energetic, successful, doing, creating and communicating with the world. There is a sense of functioning well as an individual and also in relationships as we take full responsibility for our own lives and step into our own individual consciousness: our ego.  This stage is about putting into action the union of opposites and the personal values and mission/vision that felt so clear in stage 7: Squaring the Circle.

In this stage we feel alert, thinking clearly with clearly defined goals and we feel harmoniously in flow with life as we take action with optimism, excitement, self-confidence, generosity and enthusiasm.  It is a time of personal growth, self-awareness, energy, active engagement, power, creativity, problem solving, cooperation, productivity and practical solutions.

Reflection Questions:

Does this stage sound almost too good to be true to you?  When in your life did you feel so focused, so clear, so in flow?   Can you tune in to how it felt within your body?   This stage could be fleeting or last for the length of a project or exist in just one facet of your life at the moment. What supports you to be in this stage?   What small action can you do to move towards this stage again?  When have loved ones/friends in your life been in this stage? What did it look like, feel like, sound like?

‘feet firmly planted & head in the clouds’

Susanne fincher

A good metaphor for this stage is ‘feet firmly planted & head in the clouds’ – we are aware of life’s practicalities and we also have plenty of energy and are in tune with spirit to be creative. 

Stage 8 is a time of pursuing worthy goals and joining with others to make a positive difference in the world.  This stage is a DOING stage, where you are engaged with the world of people and things, implementing, solving, creating for the benefit of yourself and of others and it is a time of feeling appreciated with your efforts well received.  

Susanne Fincher says that this is a time of ‘riding high in the mainstream of life’ – working with others to achieve goals with respect, diplomacy and empathy.  In this stage you find skilful and respectful ways to explain your mission and ignite others with your passion. You might find yourself in a leadership position quietly and effectively building consensus as you pursue your life’s work. 

Stage 8 is a time for reduced reflection (like in the earlier more feminine stages) and taking more action; functioning in the world.  It is about shining bright, like in late summer or the afternoon sun.  Your ego is in line with your true self, you feel confident in communicating your desires and needs and in loving and being loved.  It is a time of focused and respectful communication.

Reflection Questions:

Can you think of someone who is in this stage right now? How do you feel as you see them in the flow?  If there is envy there, is that indicating that it is time for you too, to hit your flow, to get DOING….to put in action some of your dreams and values?  What are your dream seeds that you are planting and nurturing at the moment?  Some of those dreams that might have surfaced as possibilities in the earlier stages? What is one small action you can take towards fulfilling that dream? Is there an aspect of your life that needs less reflection and more action?

We all revisit this stage again and again in our lives as we bring our dreams into full expression through our efforts. Sometimes it will be clear to you that you are in this stage at the time, sometimes it will only become clear in hindsight.  This stage is highly valued in our society (just like stage 7) and yet it is only 1 of 12 stages… and we need to remember we revisit all the stages many times throughout our life-time.  Each stage is important for our growing, unfolding and evolving as human and spiritual beings.

Hands:

The mandalas from this stage often have hands within them as symbols of service; giving, cooperation, energy, action & productivity as we share our gifts and follow our unique mission, bringing our vision into the world.   The hand of Fatima or Hamsa is a talisman to ward off the evil eye and it is used as a symbol of protection by the Muslim and Jewish faith. 

Hands are very symbolic in many cultures. Mudras are hand signals used in yoga and dance and they have spiritual meaning with each thumb/finger connected to one of the five elements (space, air, fire, water & earth). In the Hindu religion the thumb represents universal spirit and the index finger represents the individual spirit so when these two touch it is symbolic of the Self meeting the Universe and making a circle of wholeness.   The symbol of the Namaste prayer hands represents the meeting of matter & spirit.

Stars:

Stage 8 mandalas have balance, energy, movement and a strong centre.  Some mandalas use the colour of white on black to symbolise the energy you have at the moment or to symbolise the energy you wish to create.   Stage 8 mandalas often symbolise the number 5 – with a star or pentagram – to celebrate ‘the star that you are’, to illustrate your effectiveness, your centre of power, your ability to think, feel, intuit, sense and act.  The star symbol can also represent the body (legs, arms, head) and can be seen to be a symbol of health, vitality and light.

Body:

This stage can be a time of being very aware of your individuality and your body in space. In this stage you are relying on your body to get things done, to be of service, to follow your passion and your life’s purpose. You are embodying the union of opposites in stage 7 and you are busy creating, with high energy, following your mission that is in line with your true self, with everything seeming right and in flow. It is time of blossoming and a great time to tune in to your body, your life force, to move your body more and ask her if she needs anything from you? 

Julia Gibson asks some great reflection questions;

If you considered your body as a being in her own right how would you treat her?  What are her likes? and dislikes?  Tune in to your body and ask what needs attention?   What has supported you in extraordinary ways?  What can you give thanks for?

“Through the eyes of a soul, a woman’s body is wild & wise”  Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Goddess Tara also symbolises this stage in terms of a journey towards your true nature, your true self; active compassion, being ready for action, a union of wisdom and skilful means to embody the divine feminine.

On a personal note:

For me personally this can be a challenging stage – I think mostly because it is so highly valued in our society to always be effective, in flow and taking action towards our life’s purpose ALL of the time! And yet of course this isn’t the case – all 12 stages are important for growth and unfolding and all 12 stages have key learning points for me… In the flow of life the stages are constantly changing.  I feel I need to honour the more feminine stages and let go of expectations that to be ‘successful’ is to be in stage 7 and 8 actively doing!  I am learning how to honour the stage I am in, knowing it will change and be fluid as I live this messy and wonderful life.

Revisiting this stage is great for me in two ways. One to reflect on all the times when I am in this stage; either fleetingly for a moment, or for a half day as I pursue something with all my heart or for longer times in my life as I work towards a project that encompasses my body, mind, heart & soul where my true self feels aligned with my ego self. It is also a great chance to use the stage 8 mandalas to create what I want to give back to the world, to initiate the action and purpose I would like to take, to visualise how in flow I would like to feel.   As this soulful woman card states below it is a chance to ‘nurture my dream seeds with love and appreciation and allow them to unfold in their own time.’

Information for this blog came from Susanne F. Fincher’s The Mandala Workbook and Julia Gibbon’s Mandala Magic Program in 2017 and The illustrated signs & symbols sourcebook by Adele Nozedar.

Some Functioning Ego Mandala Inspiration can be found at: https://www.pinterest.com.au/saraphillipsnsw/functioning-in-the-world/

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