My Birthday was on the 2nd of January. Usually, I like to go to some place that I have not gone before to celebrate the return of my spirit to the Earth plane. They say the Earth plane is the only plane that you grow spiritually. And that when you are in the other planes, it is there that you receive instruction but not necessarily growth. This year because I was just finishing school, I was not in a position to travel somewhere so I decided that the first thing I wanted to do that day was go to the labyrinth. So I gather a few of my closest friends and asked them to come and spend the morning with me at the labyrinth. It was one of those great highlights of the year and a wonderful and peaceful day here in Arizona. After each of us walked the labyrinth, we just sit under a beautiful tree and talked for about an hour before we each had to go our separate way. Many years ago, a friend first invited me to come and walk a labyrinth with her. It was in a Catholic church in downtown DC. I did not want to go into the church so I refused to go. That was a stupid move on my part because I did not understand very much about it and I missed an opportunity. But, now walking the labyrinth is one of my most favorite things to do and it is something that will always be apart of my life. Now I usually walk them on the New Moon as I set my intention for the things I want to accomplish during the cycle. So let me tell you a little bit about walking a Labyrinth, but really it is something you need to do for yourself and if your experience is anything like mine was the first time I walked it, you will truly be blessed and feel honored.
The symbolic meaning of Sacred Labyrinth Walk is associated with the various symbolic meanings of the spiral in that we can trace our footsteps (both metaphorical and literal) back to and from the Source (center or core). Labyrinths have been used for ages. Native Americans used the labyrinth as a symbol that represents birth, rebirth and/or transition from one world to the next. Specifically, as a Hopi symbol, labyrinths are depicted with a cross near the center which represents the four cardinal directions and their attributes. The spirals encircling this compass are symbolic of the waves or cycles of creation all of life experiences.
The Sacred Labyrinth Walk, Illuminating the Inner Path, is the ancient practice of "Circling to the Center" by walking the labyrinth. The rediscovery of this self alignment tool to put our lives in perspective is one of the most important spiritual movements of our day. Labyrinths have been in use for over 4000 years. Their basic design is fundamental to nature and many cultures and religious traditions. Whatever one's religion...walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight. It calms people in the throes of life's transitions.
People, formal cultures, and traditions have used the spiral and labyrinth designs as a symbol of their search for meaning and guidance. The labyrinth is a "unicursal" or one path design - there are no tricks or decisions to be made - much as the surrender to walking a sacred spiritual path in life - our only decision is to choose spirit/God and surrender to divine guidance. The labyrinth is non -denominational . People of all faiths and people longing to re-connect to faith come to walk labyrinths.
The labyrinth can be a powerful tool for inner enhancement and development. It is designed specifically for this purpose. When walking the labyrinth, we find our perspective constantly changing. Our vision and physical bodies are never facing the same direction for long. This is a technique to coax our inner knowing out from within.
Further, the spiraling inward motion is a physical replication of our spiritual tendency to seek within the highest truths in order to find eternal freedom. When we are moving outward from the source, it is an action that we have made the divine connection and now we are expressing our completeness outwardly – essentially sharing our highest good with all around us. It is important to note that walking the labyrinth (mentally or physically) is not intended to be overly challenging. There are no dead-ends with the labyrinth, only meandering waves of smooth lines designed to gently nudge us back to our destination. This is where labyrinths are often confused with mazes. Big difference. Mazes are designed to challenge intellect and strategic skills. Whereas the labyrinth is an exercise in soul development.
There is no "right" or "wrong" way to walk a labyrinth." The purpose of the Sacred Labyrinth Walk is to quiet the mind, open the heart". Because you are walking, the mind is quieted. Labyrinth walks are sometimes referred to as "body prayer" or walking meditation. It is suggest that people may want to see the walk as three parts to a whole experience.
The entrance can be a place to stop, reflect, make prayer or intention for the spiritual walk you are about to take. The walk around the design to the center can be a "letting go" - a quieting of the thoughts, worries, lists of tasks to do, a letting go unto the experience of being present in the body. Arrival at the center rosette - a place of prayer/meditation - "letting in" Gods guidance, the divine into our lives. When ready, the walk out "letting out" takes us back into our lives, empowered by spirit to transform our lives and actions.
In many ways, I see the labyrinth as a call to action, a transformation spiritual tool for people. It can aid healing, help in releasing grief, (people often shed tears during the "letting go"), help guide through troubled times, aid in decision making, illuminate our purpose in life, and act as a tool of celebration and thanks. It can be many things for many people. It is important to recognize it as a spiritual practice, not a magical tool. Its work is our commitment to enter into the sacred spiritual walk, not merely once, but to use it as part of an ongoing spiritual practice.
The vision of the world-wide Labyrinth Project is to establish labyrinths in cathedrals, retreat centers, hospitals, prisons, parks, airports, and community centers so they are available to walk in times of joy, in times of sorrow and when we are seeking hope.
There is a website:www.labyrinthlocator.com, that will help you find a labyrinth in your area. Please go and walk the Sacred Labyrinth at least once in your lifetime. You will be pleased with yourself and what else is life for except to experience life in all of its forms. The Divine lives through you why not give it a ride for it's money, at least that is what I do!
In Lak'esh (I am another yourself) Peace and Blessings.