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Love is the Key


My response to the November terror attacks in Paris was to create an altar for healing, featuring “Accepting Grace”, “Always Love”, “Compassion Mandala” (standing) and “Transformation” (flat). ALways Love Altar

I posted it on Facebook, writing that we must not respond to fear and hate with fear and hate, but rather, love is the key.  So the intention for the mandala was born.

It began simply enough, four hearts overlapping, joining in a spiral in the very center, the overlapping areas creating somewhat of a keyhole shape.

More hearts, eight in green, surround the center, four in purple border the larger heart shapes and twenty more green hearts complete the central portion of the mandala.

Love is the Key - progress

The message I received was written in the mandala journal…”We must all work to accept and integrate the marginalized and radicalized parts of ourselves (with love!)  It is being reflected by the world that this work is vital!  To attempt to destroy or further banish and exile these fragments will lead to more pain and destruction.”

This speaks to me as I know there are aspects of myself I seek to avoid, the jealous, angry, fearful, stingy, shameful, lazy and generally unattractive elements that I like to pretend are not part of the otherwise loving, kind, generous, charming, intelligent person I like to think I am.

I have noticed my tendency to seek diversion as quickly as possible when the difficult thoughts and feelings arise.  This is further exacerbated by the “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” philosophy that is generally touted as most likely to produce happiness.  The trouble is, that is simply not the truth.

I am not recommending a long-term wallowing in the quagmire of suffering or dark thoughts, but rather, instead of rushing away from whatever difficulty is arising, practice turning to face it, allow the feeling to be present in the body, (as challenging as it might be), release the judgment and story around it, and allow it to move on its own, which really happens rather quickly, once it is acknowledged and accepted.

To reject what I am (honestly) feeling, and judge it as bad or wrong, creates more conflict and division within.  It seems crystal clear to me that this method is not bringing about the desired results, within me, or in the world. Acknowledgment of the truth, with compassion, has far greater power for positive change.


I added Sacred Hearts, with wings, and butterflies that have hearts in them, that are actually made up of hearts themselves.  There are in excess of eighty hearts in the piece.  The keys, twelve in number, were added last as you can see.Love is the Key-finis-web

Quoting John Newton now, “May we all love and bless each other, love and bless ourselves…be at peace with each other and at peace with ourselves.”

“Love is the Key”.

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About the Author

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As a Phoenix native, Vikki Reed's vibrant watercolors of desert botanicals evolved from her love and appreciation of the desert's ability to produce tender beauty in the midst of harsh conditions. The mandala series which began in 2004 resurrects a childhood knowledge that mandalas are a primordial tool for centering and healing. Vikki studied in the 1980s with watercolor greats Irving Shapiro and Paul Kuo, and began exhibiting at the outdoor shows in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico after Paul's encouragement. This led to gallery representation with the Wickenburg Gallery and Work of Artist's Gallery. Vikki also exhibited at the Celebration of Fine Art for eight years. Before taking sabbatical to act as caregiver for her father in 2010, Vikki was featured in a one woman show at the Northern Trust Bank in January 2008 and was selected to create an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree that same year. Vikki's current focus, the Mandala Series, combines ancient symbolism and the healing power of color.


  1. Love is the key…yes, respect too. Respect for others who are different than us. Acceptance.
    “We must not treat ‘fear and hate’ with fear and hate.” Well said. We’ve got to pull ourselves up…rise above the temptation to marginalize a group of people just because we fear them. Why do we fear them? We don’t take the time to try to understand them.
    Your mandala is beautiful. I love the colors you have chosen and so skillfully blended in.

  2. Pingback: Heart Activation | Magical Mandalas

  3. Dear Vikki, Your heart, your words, your art are all so beautiful! I just got your email and am always in awe of how spirit gets the message out through us when needed. Bless you, bless you, for being a beacon of light, beauty, and truth on this planet 🙂 So much love!

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