Montana Wolf

Monday, September 24, 2012

Labyrinth Wisdom

I've long retreated to the circle paths of a labyrinth. I've walked along the misty, invigorating, flower-lined paths at the Shrine of St. Therese outside of Juneau. I've pondered within the red rock canyons of the Ghost Ranch labyrinth in New Mexico. I've discovered the little circles hidden in yards, park corners and tucked behind churches. It's like finding a treasure map... a path inward to myself as I step towards the sacred center.

at the Shrine of St. Therese 

The labyrinths I know are circles of stone; stones hold eons of history and wisdom. No wonder one is rendered small within the narrow walkways. Magic happens because one can let the mind go, because you know, step by step, you are moving towards the center. Of revelation? Of emptiness? Every step peels away a veil to inner truth. I once did a group labyrinth meditative walk with 30 people and it was a disaster. Just as the mind would wander or shut down another person would approach me from another lane and force me to be conscious of not hitting them with my shoulders. The camaraderie was sweet, but the labyrinth walk didn't work for me. I consider labyrinths a solitary venture. I will return later if someone is already walking. I want to be free to cry. Heckle. Gaze with solemn silence.

Everyone travels with special spontaneous stops in mind. My two favorites are hot springs and thrift stores. Now, I've found, I can add labyrinths to my stops as I head down the road. The Labyrinth Society website contains a labyrinth locator. I can search their site for the rock circles along my route. Or even better, head onto unplanned back roads to find a circle of stones.

I recently made contact with a special woman who lives in Columbia Falls, MT. She invited me to walk her labyrinth next Saturday when I'm in town for a book event. She constructed her labyrinth this summer and sent me these pictures. It brings home, if you will, another secret to a labyrinth's power: the construction. The intent that goes into every stone and curve, every sand, stone, dirt or marbled surface. In this case, the hands and heart of the Creatrix.  Labyrinths are the epitome of sacred art.

I look forward to Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the url to find them...I just walked one at a Quaker retreat center, Pendle Hill, outside Philly, last weekend. Love finding them in unexpected places.
    Love the blog!