The mandala as a symbol of the Self. I first mentioned the mandala in 1929 in The Secret of the Golden Flower. For at least thirteen years I kept quiet about the results of these methods in order to avoid any suggestion. I wanted to assure myself that these things mandalas especially really are produced spontaneously and were not suggested to the patient by my own fantasy.
I was then able to convince myself, through my own studies, that mandalas were drawn, painted, carved in stone, and built, at all times and in all parts of the world, long before my patients discovered them.
I have also seen to my satisfaction that mandalas are dreamt and drawn by patients who were being treated by psychotherapists whom I had not trained. In view of the importance and significance of the mandala symbol, special precautions seemed to be necessary, seeing that this motif is one of the best examples of the universal operation of an archetype.
The Sanskrit word mandala means circle. It is the Indian term for the circles drawn in religious rituals.In the great temple of Madura, in southern India, I saw how a picture of this kind was made. It was drawn by a woman on the floor of the mandapam (porch), in coloured chalks, and measured about ten feet across. A pandit who accompanied me said in reply to my questions that he could give me no information about it. Only the women who drew such pictures knew what they meant.
C. G. Jung, CW 9.1, par. 629