My experience with mandalas started from an artist's corner. I found a book that gave me an introduction into it . This book taught me to make mandalas from intuition and creativity without contemplation and with few rules . They were not to be confined to circles . The rules were to start ( as a beginner ) with quick media - colored pencils , markers, pens etc. not to use paints . And to set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted and undistracted time to do one and then go , without thinking . Afterwards, when one felt complete we could analyze it by using the information provided on general color, shape and texture subconscious relations in combination with the use of our own personal relationships to the colors,textures etc. as well. I love this book and this way of doing it and was really surprised with the accuracy, insight, and surprise found in my interpretations . I highly recommend the book and the method . It's titled " The Zen of Creative Painting " by Jeanne Carbonetti . There are lots of ways to do mandalas though and perhaps that way isn't the way you want to do them . Perhaps , it isn't the way for everyone.
With so many symbols and color cordences so, ingrained in many pagans lives and spiritual practice perhaps, some of you would be more interested in doing them with different intent and for different purposes such as , a money mandala or a Beltaine mandala , a fire mandala , or a Hecate mandala .
Mandalas have been done for such purposes as focusing attention, spiritual teaching tools, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and to induce trance states .