Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Walking The Labyrinth

I have been fascinated with labyrinths for a while: the different types, their uses, their construction. I have often found myself scribbling on a piece of paper while on the phone or watching a movie, only to later become aware of the fact that I drew a labyrinth and had been tracing it over and over.

I have often daydreamed about setting one up outdoors when I get some land of my own. (I think it would be great to be able to light it with candles similar to this). As it is hard to set up a labyrinth to walk when I do not have a place to do so, I tend to focus on small ones that I can hold and trace either with a finger or a tool. I tend to use my finger more often then the tool as I find it easier to connect and find that using a tool removes me from the act and it becomes impersonal.

While I tend to use labyrinths for a calming purpose, they can also be used as a focus for spiritual practice. It has been said that labyrinths can be used to symbolize the idea that we are on the right path. You can use it to work out questions or for problem solving. We can also use labyrinths to connecting to the deepest part of ourselves (as symbolized by the walk to the center). With this in mind, I have been thinking of starting to incorporate the use of labyrinths into a spiritual practice.

For more information and links about labyrinths, check out the links that I have posted at Pagan Links.


Paul said...

I love walking the labyrinths near to home. There is a City of Troy labyrinth on the brow of a hill at Dalby in the Howardian Hills with clear views across Yorkshire - a magical spot. And another called Julian's Bower at Alkborough which overlooks the point where 3 rivers join (Trent, Ouse and Humber). For many years I have also carried a labyrinth cut into a small stone which can be traced with a finger.
I love the way the entrance and centre are separated by only one line and how just as you feel you are getting close to the centre you are carried right to the outer edge, yet eventually you arrive at the centre.

Sojourner said...

...just as you feel you are getting close to the centre you are carried right to the outer edge, yet eventually you arrive at the centre.

I was thinking about this very thing today. I found myself thinking about it being about the no-so-straight path; every journey that you take up doesn't always go directly to the destination. In every journey, there are most likely going to be some twists and turns but eventually you will get to your destination. Each turn is a helpful reminder to think of life in a different way.

Even when your path seems to be taking you far from your destination, you soon realize that it was exactly the way that you needed to go to arrive in exactly the place that you needed (or wanted) to be.

It is reminder to me that not everything in life should be what you want it to be; your path (no matter how curvy) will get you to where you should be.

Spider said...

I recommend sewing string or cord onto a piece of cloth, you can then carry it with you whereveer you go, got the idea last year from my friend Phil, it makes a really good track for your finger and also folds down tiny :)

Sojourner said...

Spider, that is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

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there's a very cool online labyrinth at here's the link if you or any of your readers are interested: