In the course of my personal spiritual journey I was led to the labyrinth. In mythology it was a maze that was nearly inescapable. More recently it is typically a singular path with one entrance and one exit, although labyrinths can be in a myriad of patterns. There are no dead ends or pitfalls just the one path.
The labyrinth is a metaphor for life, we can each only walk one path. At the time I was guided to it I lived in a place in the woods along a river that was somewhat of a gravel bed with lots of sand as well. Our driveway was situated in such a way that there was a large plateau in the mid section in an otherwise inclined driveway. When I first learned the seed pattern and was guided to start drawing labyrinths I thought the sand plateau would be a perfect Zen garden of sorts.
The first time I went out with a rake and began to clear sticks and stones from the otherwise sandy area, it struck me that it was very much like clearing your mind for meditation. Then I had to get a long stick to draw with and mark my course, first deciding how many circuits (circles) it would have, 3 or 5 or 7 or more. Then plotting the course, how much space it would take up, how wide the path would be. In starting to draw the decision is made whether it will be left handed or right handed, it will turn out opposite of the direction you start. Right or left handedness is designated by which side of the center line you enter and exit the path from. It is said that if engraved on a finger board if you could trace the right and left sides with your index finger simultaneously that it would be an indication that the hemispheres of your brain are well integrated, if you could not, the doing of it would help establish those pathways.
The drawing starts at the top point of the + drawn across the center of the seed pattern. The seed pattern for a 3 circuit labyrinth looks like a domino 5 or as it would appear on dice, with a + drawn intersecting in the middle dot so it looks almost like a wrapped package to me. It is a gift! Then you draw in circular patterns from a line to a dot and so on. I happened the first time to be drawing a 7 circuit labyrinth which includes some extra lines to support the paths. I was more than half way through when I realized I wasn’t landing where I expected to, something was off. I had to step away from my creation and look at it from a distance. Recognize where the mistake was made and undo everything beyond that point. When I started back again I was more careful with each step not wanted to have to start over again.
When I finished the pattern correctly and stepped back to look at it there were footprints everywhere, but they were all mine. Instantly I connected with the microcosm and macrocosm of it. I wondered how many others had walked in that spot over the eons of time. At the same time I knew that just as I was seeing them then, they had always been all mine, from the perspective of Oneness. The image sank deep into my bones.
Next was the walking of it. A book I have on labyrinths suggested standing at the entrance with palms raised to your sides and asking for what you wanted from your walk. I asked for input on some issues that were plaguing me at the time and I wanted to know how long I would live. The labyrinth is an energetic vortex that will help focus what we bring to it. It input to me that I would live as many years as the number of steps it took to walk the labyrinth from start to finish. Answers to my other issues kept arriving in my thought process as I walked and as I reached the center, which is symbolic of going from the outer to the inner, I stood with my hands outstretched and my eyes closed,the message was,”You are only as trapped as you allow yourself to feel.” When I opened my eyes the sun at my back cast my shadow across the path before me and it looked like a cross.
The labyrinth resonated so completely with me that I incorporated it into my healing practice and made many many labyrinths in different mediums over time. Most recently I’ve made a different arrangement since I live in the city now and don’t have a sand yard or room for a path. There is a breakwater wall to protect the harbor here, where one of the Great Lakes and our local river meet. It has been very worn by Mother Nature’s chill combined with the North Wind and the water, but despite local warnings and signs posted it is still a great walking and climbing workout and wondrous spot that attracts college students, seasoned hikers and fisherman alike. Out on the longest stretch there is a fairly new spot that hasn’t been pitted and worn since its last repair, I found it to be the perfect place for a more permanent labyrinth.
One sunny afternoon about 5 yrs ago I spray painted a labyrinth to walk whenever I went out there, for all to share that were attracted to and to ground an energy center to help protect our harbor. The first one didn’t last the winter but when I rejuvenated it the following year it took and has lasted through 4 winters which is miraculous considering how the boulders look thrown around like tinker toys by the end of each winter. I have walked that path so many times to the center where it simply says I AM, as have many of my friends and family and unknown hundreds who have found it on their walk.
With the energetic shift that has been going on and ramping up as 2012 neared, it has felt like a birthing process to me. Contractions lead to deep breaths and heavy sighs as the physical and energetic try to justify themselves. Feeling drawn up into the chaos lately I felt the need to seek my bearings and went to let Mother replenish me and let the labyrinth answer me. As I approached the path I called upon my guides and higher self and asked to be told what to do. There were only 8 words (infinity symbol) on the path for me in the form of two sentences. “Focus on the next step. Be here NOW!” I was dumb founded, I had never heard better advice, not that I haven’t heard it before but in the grand scheme of things, what else is there really to do? Letting our egos romp has already been done, so for me, I’ll take the reflection of the labyrinth!
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I was born and raised a Central New Yorker but lived 18 yrs. in Va Bch, VA. I am the mother of two young men, who are 29 and 9 yrs. of age. I have been doing Reflexology since I was 11 yrs old, I have been a teaching Reiki Master for 12 yrs and have been Dr. Mom for my family using therapeutic grade essential oils as our medicine for 7 yrs. Having come from a functional family but living many years in a megalopolis combined with many years of being a catalyst for healing, gives me a varied point of view. Perspective is one of my favorite playgrounds! If you’d like a consultation for Reiki or aromatherapy or soul integration/inner child play please feel free to contact me at vaw4beacon *at* yahoo.com, Blessings for your highest and best, Vicki Willoughby.