Radiation Therapy Mandala

The circular form in this watercolor painting makes it a mandala, a Sanskrit word meaning circle. Its composition and colors are symbols of the healing experience during radiation therapy for breast cancer.

The ideas behind the painting were based on my own experience during radiation therapy. While each treatment was taking place I visualized healing energies coming into my body through the crown chakra and by means of the actual radiation beams. I visualized them vaporizing any remaining cancer cells to eliminate them from my body. 

While I was receiving treatments, one of the oncology nurses told me of the art show held annually at the Oncology Nurses Conferences. She urged me to paint something that might be appropriate to exhibit. One evening while I was seated in our living room watching television an idea came to me for a mandala painting.  I drew the basic sketch for it on the back of an old envelope. It was many months before I enlarged the sketch onto watercolor paper and began to paint it. I complete the painting in1995. However, it was almost two years before I submitted it for exhibition in the 1997 Fall Institute Art Exhibit at the Annual Meeting of Oncology Nursing Society in Washington, D.C.

This mandala painting has also been featured in The Mandala Workbook by Susanne F. Fincher. 

The forms and colors were carefully chosen to represent various ways I was looking at many levels of my experience, acknowledging the reality of my situation and my fears and expressing my hopes for healing and a positive future. The symbolic meaning of the various colors include: the red for radiation, anger, survival needs, and life energy; the blue for receptivity; the green for growth and healing; the indigo blue for higher knowledge; the purple for struggle and high calling; and the lavender for spiritual growth. The black, almost enclosed, circle suggests the need to protect oneself and build safe boundaries and to develop courage needed to confront fears. But note that the circle is not completely closed. There is an opening at the top to let in the healing energies. 

© Rachel G. Norment 2010—2015