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Gay walks the Labyrinth
at Chartres France

The Labyrinth

There are many designs but the 7 circuit and 11 circuit seem to be the most used today. The seven circuit may be the oldest dating back as far as 3,500 years. The 11 circuit is from the 1200's and is used today in hospitals, hospices, prisons, schools, and churches of all denominations. To enter the Labyrinth is to step into a rite almost as old as the human race.
Information available hints at a close connection with Mother Earth, with a deep experience of death and rebirth, initiation, healing.
The pattern itself reminds us of the interior of the human body, as well as the turns and returns each person experiences in life.
The center of the Labyrinth is the enclosed garden containing the fountain of living water where the rose of all roses blooms. The six petals, going clockwise from lower left represent the realms of mineral, animal, vegetable, human, angelic and divine.
Labyrinths have been found in cave paintings in several places throughout the world. Labyrinths have been found everywhere from Egypt, Africa, Greece, and even in caves in New Mexico.
Labyrinths are akin to the zodiac and similar to the medicine wheel. Like the medicine wheel, the Labyrinth is entered from the West, the gateway to sacred journeys. At that time all elements are represented the first quadrant is water, the second is fire ---the sun, passion, metabolism; the third quadrant is earth; where substance is formed; and the fourth quadrant is air.
Some scholars believe the idea of the Labyrinth may have originated in the catacombs. During the middle Ages, the Labyrinth was said to show the connection between earth and spirit. In the 12th century, a beautiful Mandela-like version of this ancient pattern was laid in the stone floor of the great Cathedral of Chartres. Pilgrims came from all over the Western world to tread the Labyrinth as a substitute for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. People who walked it for both physical healing and birth into the spirit-filled life. There are 279 stones in the path representing the time from when the angel told Mary she would give birth, until the birth or the days of normal gestation.

So the Labyrinth is a picture of the self. Are you willing to travel every part of yourself? You can do so as you walk this meditative route. If so, come, follow the path of the Labyrinth. The music is chosen to provide a background in which to lose self-awareness in order to discover your true self. As the music plays, circle the Labyrinth and when you feel ready enter the Labyrinth and begin your pilgrimage.
Remember: There really is no right or wrong way to walk the Labyrinth.
Meditation is a time to be quiet, to center your thinking and be with your beliefs.
Walk slowly at your own pace, follow the path and take care when passing others.
When you reach the center you may stay as long or as little as you like.
When you are ready, begin your outward journey by reversing your path.
After leaving the Labyrinth you may relax in the seating area, circle the labyrinth, journal or contemplate but please remember to maintain the quiet meditative atmosphere around the Labyrinth. Enjoy your journey into the Labyrinth.
PS: We know everyone is mannerly so there is no need to say excuse me, stay within yourself as you walk, pause, or pass another.

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