At its simplest definition, a labyrinth is a path, usually circular in design, leading to a center point where the walker pauses for reflection, and then retraces the same path outwards once more. Dan Brosier, a Unitarian Universalist minister thinks, “The labyrinth is here to keep the spiritual dialogue open-to be a reminder that there are a number of paths to the sacred.”
There is no doubting the resurgence of interest in this ancient path in these early years of the new Millennium. Beyond its spiritual and mystical dimensions, it is also sought out as a means of empowering creativity, to help deepen self-knowledge, and as a tool to guide healing. In the U.S., much credit for rediscovery of the labyrinth is given to Dr. Lauren Artress, Canon of Special Ministries at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Her 1991 encounter with the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France led to her writing Walking a Sacred Path, a seminal text for those wanting to learn more, and to the development of an ever expanding program, Veriditas: The Worldwide Labyrinth Project. I completed my training as a labyrinth facilitator with Dr. Artress in 2002.
My work with labyrinth has led me to create my own portable 15′ labyrinth using a design called the Chalice Labyrinth, a combination of the two most well-known labyrinth patterns, the Classical (also called 7-circuit) and Chartres (pictured above). (see link below for more info) Pictured below is Morningside Labyrinth, the 7-circuit labyrinth I made in the backyard of my longtime home overlooking the quiet beauty of the Unadilla Valley. The photo was taken the morning before Winter Solstice in 2006.
Regardless of the design, all labyrinths are based on sacred geometry offering a meditative space to listen to ourselves, to connect with the divine as we understand it, and to dance to the rhythm of the earth.
A wonderful website to explore labyrinths is here: http://www.labyrinthos.net/
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~