Labyrinths are found as rock carvings and earth and stone patterns all over the world. The labyrinth is an ancient symbol. It is a symbol of the journey of life and of the different layers and paths we take. It is a symbol of transformation and of wisdom found.
Some people get labyrinths and mazes confused. In a labyrinth there is only one way in, and you then walk the same way out. They are not like a maze where you have to find your own way.
I don´t know when I walked my first labyrinth, but I do know when I walked my first one ceremonially. It was in my first year of my Priestess training in Glastonbury. I remember my teacher Kathy and the "lovelies" (the Priestesses helping out) creating the shape with white sticky tape on the floor in the room where we were.
And I remember thinking that this could in no way be magical! It was just sticky tape!
Then we went into ceremony. Kathy walked through it first, opening it for us. Then it was our turn.
Oh, woman! It was life changing. It was magical. It was transformational!
I don´t know exactly what happened, but it was something I will never forget.
When we walk the labyrinth we go through all our layers, physical, mental and spiritual. That means we stir up shit. We heal shit. We find new things. New insights and perhaps new truths.
It is a deep communion with Spirit, Goddess, God, the Universe and the very depth of our soul.
Sylvia Shaindel Senensky writes in her wonderful book Healing and Empowering the Feminine - A labyrinth journey:
"The path of the labyrinth is long because we are being prepared for the sacred centre, and by the time we reach it, our consciousness is indeed altered." (2003: 44)
Before we start the walk towards the centre we might have a question, or say a prayer, but when we reach the centre, that is not the goal. That is a brief pause. A time to breathe and reflect and wait to see if we get an answer. Then, we start the journey outwards again, carrying with us the new energy, the answer, the connection, and a new journey has begun.
Just like in life, we journey towards something, a degree, a new job, having children, a trip, and just as in the labyrinth, when we reach that goal we keep going, slightly altered by what we have experienced or achieved.
That is why the labyrinth is so powerful. It is a symbol of life.
It is a sacred symbol.
Sylvia Shaindel Senensky writes in the same book:
"What the labyrinth teaches us, and I can not emphasise this enough, is that life is about rhythm and flow, times of joy and times of sorrow, times of moving forward, times of moving backward, and times of standing still. These are the archetypal dimensions of the larger pattern, of the larger story, of the mystery of life." (2003: 8)
If you have never walked a labyrinth ceremonially, or just consciously, do it.
Just see what happens. Just be in the moment. Perhaps you will not have a life-altering experience, perhaps you will. Perhaps you will experience a few minutes of beauty and stillness.
Isn´t that just magical enough though?
With love, Elin xx