I was recently asked to create some original Labyrinth paintings for a client. And I thought I knew what a Labyrinth was. I was wrong.
"chartres labyrinth dancer"
Like many people, I thought Labyrinths were the same thing as Mazes. I immediate thought of the 1986 Jim Henson/George Lucas film with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. That Labryinth was a magical maze with hedges that shifted and changed shape, dead-ends that trapped you, and full of creatures you should probably stay away from. What I learned was that true Labyrinths are nothing like that. There are no traps, no dead-ends, no tricks. Labyrinths are designed to lead you in and back out safely as you follow the path. Used for meditation, ritual or just entertainment, Labyrinths are so much more than just a maze. They are a round-trip ticket to insight and wisdom. And here's a fun fact- you can create a Labyrinth with birdseed, chalk, stones, really anything that can form a line.
I haven't yet walked a Labyrinth, but I did do a "finger walk," where you trace a small Labyrinth with your finger. Even that was a calming, introspective experience. Give it a try- Finger Labyrinth Now that winter is finally ending here in Michigan, I will walk a full-sized Labyrinth. And the baby will be walking any day now... I'll take him with me!
There are Labyrinths all around... If you live in the Detroit area, you can walk a Labyrinth next Saturday, March 27th, at the Women's Day of Renewal in Warren, MI.
Or find a Labyrinth near you, with the World Wide Labyrinth Locator!