A labyrinth is a tool for meditation. As the body is involved in walking the single path to the centre, the heart and spirit come into play to offer an experience of integration to the walker. Walking the labyrinth is a metaphor for the sacred path that every seeker travels through their life. Like the pilgrimages of old, the physical journey symbolizes a spiritual journey to the centre of our soul to encounter God in the hidden depths. The labyrinth provides the opportunity for people who walk it to deepen their sense of themselves, to strengthen their sense of connectedness to God and to the world in which they live.
The labyrinth has been known to the human race for over four thousand years. the Cretan labyrinth was based on a seven circuit pathway, and remains of such a curcuit can be found on Mount Knossos in Crete. The Hopi medicine wheel, the Tree of Life of the Kabbala (a Jewish mystical tradition), a giant labyrinth structure in Egypt, Roman labyrinths made in tiles, turf labyrinths in Europe, Celtic labyrinths including the spiral path around Glastonbury Tor, all come to mind.
Labyrinths were built by the Christian Church from the fourth century. The earliest labyrinth to be found on a church wall is in St Lucca cathedral in Italy, dating from the ninth century. The Chartres cathedral labyrinth, a sophisticaled eleven circuit form, was laid between 1194 and 1220. A revival of interest means than new labyrinths are currently being built around the world in churches, parks and other places, both public and private.
A labyrinth is a single path, contained in a circle or square, with one entrance and one path to the centre, which you retrace to leave. With no choices to make, the walker can relax into the experience, trusting the path. By contrast, a maze offers many choices, as well as dead ends. A maze is a puzzle that requires solving.
Come and be taught, and then walk the labyrinth for yourself. Wear comfortable clothing, be prepared to take off your shoes or bring slippers to wear.