Why Walk a Labyrinth
Photo by Mario Dasz
A labyrinth offers a sacred space for introspection. In the shape of a circle, it also holds magic.
Labyrinths go back 4,000 years, are found in most major faiths and around the world. They are found in parks, places of worship and private homes, and often can be walked for free, offering the opportunity for a no-cost, nothing-needed ritual.
Unlike a maze, there is only one path in and one path out of a labyrinth. No dead ends. No wandering, lost. This makes it suitable for meditation. As you walk through a labyrinth, following the path, you head one way and then the other, turning right, turning left. This allows your awareness to shift from one side of your brain to the other and then back again.
One way to walk a labyrinth as a ritual is to prepare by taking time to reflect on what you would like to be able to resolve. Is there a situation – spiritual or physical – you would like to better understand, something for which you’d like a solution?
Photo by Lynn Woike
Slowly, step into the labyrinth. Let each step be soft and deliberate. As you walk toward the center, feel yourself walking toward a bit of wisdom, an answer, a clue. Let all your senses allow you to become aware of your surroundings. Gently explore the situation: when and how did it begin, how does it make you feel, what are the effects? Hold no attachments and no emotions, remain open and allow space for insights to come to you, if not consciously, on another level. Accept visions without judgement or analyzing – even if they don’t make sense.
As you step into the center, let your solution sink in. Imagine how you will feel when this is resolved. Know that you are healed, supported, loved and guided.
On the return path, ask for the help you need and remain open to ways to make this happen, bringing that resolution you felt in the center back out of the labyrinth with you. Bring any deities, tools or answers you were given, leaving behind that which no longer serves you.
When you reach the end, which is also the beginning, offer gratitude for the awareness and the strength to make changes.
Photo by Mario Dasz
In a group, we once placed divination tools including runes and tarot decks in the center of the labyrinth before beginning our ritual. We contemplated the situation on the way in, drew from as many of the decks as we were called to do, and carried them with us on our return journey. We then gathered for cakes and ale, and, as we were moved to share, spoke about what we drew and allowed others to offer interpretations.
To help find a labyrinth near you, visit the worldwide locator at labyrinthlocator.com. To connect with others, there are Facebook groups you can join. Consider Labyrinth Wisdom, The Labyrinth Society Global Group, One Path Labyrinth Ventures. There was also a recent article in Smithsonian Magazine you might like: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/walk-worlds-meditative-labyrinths-180957823/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&no-ist.
Enjoy your adventure!
And merry meet again.