Labyrinth: Age Old Path of Wholeness
One of the first things Donald and I did when we moved to our current home was to plant a seven-circuit labyrinth. We laid out the pattern with a string and some stakes, swinging arcs in prescribed ways. We then laid irrigation line in the beds, and planted lavender every three feet along these lines. There is an energetic center which is the heart of it. In later years we planted medicinal plants, including a large white sage plant which sends up great spires of tiny white flowers. The morning after we laid out the pattern, I returned to find a snake skin in this most energetic area upon which you do not walk. A visitation!
The labyrinth is not an easy path, being on a steep hillside. When you walk it, you have to pay attention, or you can slip. People often bring a rock to carry, or carry one of the sweat lodge rocks from the days a Lakota medicine woman led sweat lodges here, rocks which have already been prayed over. They leave these rocks along the path on the way out. I think of the oil that we distill from the labyrinth as liquid prayer. It is never sold, only gifted (click here for more of the story).
This pattern is called the Cretan labyrinth because it was found on Crete and was the labyrinth of the minotaur, but the pattern is found worldwide. The most rigorous seven-circuit labyrinth I have walked is that of the Tor in Glastonbury, which takes all day.
I worked several days with Sig Lonegren, geomancer, dowsing sacred sites in Glastonbury. Sig is particularly interested in the seven-circuit labyrinth and the dialogue between earth and human energies which occurs in walking this pattern. He dowsed my aura before walking the pattern, and when I was in the center. Before, my aura was the standard three feet, but in the center of the labyrinth, it extended 30 feet.
Walking this age-old pattern makes us energetically larger, and I felt it! Perhaps it is why the labyrinth is used as a meditation tool. This is how it is done: on the way in, You meditate on an issue which may be a problem for you. Each of the circuits is said to correspond with the energies of each chakra. You enter on the third circuit, or 3rd chakra, which is the solar plexus, which winds into the second circuit, or 2nd chakra, and then to the large outer ring, the first, or root chakra. From here the path curves inward to the fourth, or heart chakra, and then the inner circuits and higher spiritual centers. Coming out is a reversal, as one returns to the world, and hopefully with a larger perspective on the problem.
Does our wholeness depend of developing sensitivities to these subtle energies of ourselves and of the earth? I suspect so. Perhaps awareness of these sensitivities returns us to wholeness, but in a conscious way.