For the second year running I have felt drawn to mow a Labyrinth into the back garden of the Rose Temple. It has not been staked or measured out but I have simply downloaded and printed an image from the internet… sellotaped it to the mower and set off into the lawn just following my Heart! The result has been fascinating as a form to walk and everyone who has come to Rose workshops or Retreats here has the opportunity to experience it.
The History of Labyrinths
Labyrinths have been around for thousands of years and are thought to date back to around 2500 BC. The earliest probably used for simple rituals and initiations. The Labyrinth is essentially unicursal ie one pathway to centre, unlike mazes which offer many opportunities for taking different paths and routes and were essentially entertaining mind puzzles.
The oldest example of a Labyrinth with a central cross has been found carved into a rock in Sardinia but these symbols can be seen across the world and even in the North American tradition there is a Labyrinth believed to date from 12th century carved into a rock in Hopi reservations in Arizona.
Probably the best known of the Labyrinth styles is seen in Chartres Cathedral south west of Paris, France. Pilgrims tread the Way or the path of The Christ to come to the centre or Rose to be sustained by the Feminine, the Mystic Rose, Mary. It is in the still-point Heart of the Rose where both energies come into balance and there is a return to ones centre in Self and Love.
The Labyrinth journey as a Sacred path to Centre
Each time you walk the Labyrinth brings a new opportunity… you may wish to carry a crystal with you or something significant to you from nature, or perhaps an unlit candle and a lighter (to be lit when you are ready to journey out) and take your shoes off as you enter to enable the connection with Mother Earth to deepen. You may like to use incense or smudge to cleanse and stop and touch the Earth, before you mindfully step into your pilgrimage to Self. This is the perfect time to bring to mind anything you are seeking answers for.
At each turn there is the possibility of a deeper letting go, you are turning to face a new direction unfolding and consciously releasing your habitual thoughts and patterns. Allow the Labyrinth to guide you. Pause where you feel to reflect… it is not a race to the middle! As you come to the centre allow your mind to still, rest and receive. The centre of the Labyrinth is like the golden centre at the Heart of the Rose a place of connection to all that is.
Practical tips for your Labyrinth journey
When you are ready you can light your candle or just simply give thanks and start your journey back out again… the feeling is quite different and the turns offer the possibility of embodying something new in your journey forward in life.
If you don’t have access to a Labyrinth you can simply download and print a copy and using your finger to follow the path and allow the journey to unfold. In fact it is possible to buy finger Labyrinths for that purpose.
These are powerful times for letting go and creating anew… taking time to come to rest in the centre of your being… The golden Rose of the Heart… and moving out from that place to share you authentic Self and your light with the world.