WHAT IS A LABYRINTH ?
A circular path, an ancient walking meditational tool, found in Crete BCE,
(with minator), Celtic cultures, and Chartres Cathedral 1200 CE,
as a pilgrimage walk.
Its origins are lost in prehistory. It is
believed that the Egyptians and Etruscans used subterranean
their tombs around 4500 BCE. Early fishermen in the Baltic regions walked crude
stone paths to lose the slower trolls before they leapt
their boats to fish. South American examples are
found with the Nasca in south west Peru, and in North
the Hopi Indians used a 7 path model.
The one most people know about is the Cretan model
and the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. It symbolized the condemned hero’s journey
to the dark centre and back into life..
The plaque in the centre of the Chartres labyrinth
stone represents the Cretan labyrinth. Those who enter
cannot leave unless they be helped by Ariadne’s
The Chartres pattern was built in 1200 CE and mirrors
the rose window above.It is a lonely survivor of
found in medieval churches. We believe they were
used by pilgrims who were unable to
journey safely to Jerusalem. It was a symbolic journey
to the holy city to find Jesus.
THE FORM OF THE LABYRINTH
The labyrinth is a symbol of the archetypal
feminine, there is a uterine energy in the spiraling
into the central
womb and the birthing out.- the Cretan model used
272 stones which is approximately the number of days
RITUAL IN THE LABYRINTH
The sacred experience of
walking in the labyrinth is greatly enhanced by the
special lighting eg candles
thematic materials eg at harvest festival taking in
some produce, celebrating in the centre and later donating
USING THE LABYRINTH FOR HEALTH AND RELAXATION
Walking the Labyrinth, following the twists and turns of the path
balances the left and right brain activity. It is a calming device which aids the walker to slow down, shed tension making
thoughts and return to the quiet inner centre. The path becomes a metaphor of our journey through life.
Going into the labyrinth to shed negative and burdensome thoughts,
and meditating or praying at the centre can clear and focus your whole person
your purpose in life. You can walk into the labyrinth with a life question and find
help and answers.
This ancient meditational tool has proven healing effects for walkers
and is being
used by an increasing number of hospitals hospices and retreat centres
WHAT DO I DO?
Stop, pause -slow yourself down,
perhaps sit and take time to think or list,
things you might like to shed,
as you walk into the labyrinth.
This is your time to look after your own centering.
Take the single winding path to the centre, the path winds
around and becomes a symbolic mirror for where you are
in your life. Walk it with an open mind and heart, for
it leads to self-knowledge, healing, clarity and balance.
WE INVITE YOU TO EXPERIENCE IT AS AN AID TO MEDITATION
A PLACE OF CENTERING, HEALING AND PEACE
ALLOW YOURSELF TO FIND YOUR OWN PACE
YOU MAY PASS PEOPLE, RESPECTFULLY
STAY A WHILE IN THE CENTRE TO LISTEN AND PRAY
Then return out of the Labyrinth refreshed, even dancing as you go by the same path.