"Jaguar Island" is a mandala I designed as a meditation tool intended to induce balance by facing and conquering fears.
The central storm at the eye of the mandala represents the hurricane of anxiety abundant in life these days, while the jaguar in Mayan culture symbolizes control, confidence, perception, and foresight. This confident power manifests in the ability to face one's own fears and conquer obstacles. The jaguar's ability to see during night and day enable it to view the darkness and light within the heart, and identify those fears to challenge. No one would argue that a jaguar isn't, "Born to be Wild" but these magical and powerful traits that multiple cultures associate with them demonstrate that within the wild there is both the mystical to inspire and the science to inform.
The jaguars themselves I designed for a print and not knowing the symbolic significance of the jaguar I faced them together, amplifying their self-reflective qualities. The choice to use a hexagon to layout the mandala was informed by the organizing, and stabilizing qualities of the form in nature. The series of stingray and animal skin prints surrounding Jaguar island employ the honeycomb composition of close packing hexagons, and reference unifying patterns in nature to support passage to the hexagonal reef surrounding, "Jaguar Island."
The reef is made from a painting of Belize's blissful blue waters because images of water, particularly those with memories associated with them, can trigger joy, relaxation, and release endorphins. And finally surrounding the Jaguar atoll are Five Element symbols referencing Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal as a reminder of Zen philosophies and their ability to assist this constant restoration of life balance. The hexagon is often found in Buddhist and Hindu mandalas, particularly in Yantras of the Tantric tradition where they symbolize, "the concept of fusion polarities, the male and the female, spirit and matter, the static and kinetic in a perfect state of unity." Yantra (1973)
Jack Mascharka, Senior Designer