What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a single, winding path that leads you from the entrance
to the centre. It is an ancient universal archetypal pattern that has
been found in almost all cultures all over the world. The history of
labyrinths dates back more than 5000 years.
There are two archetypal labyrinths, the Classical 7-circuit Labyrinth
and the Medieval 11-circuit Labyrinth, and several contemporary labyrinths,
of which the Reconciliation Labyrinth (a unique South African design)
is an example.
A labyrinth offers one of the oldest contemplative tools known to humankind
that is used for personal and spiritual growth. It is a blueprint of
transformation. An ancient practice that is used as a way to calm the
mind, still the thoughts, get insights, receive guidance, solve problems
and set goals. Like Augustine said: "Solvitur ambulando." It
is solved by walking.
Labyrinths offer a non-denominational path for self-discovery. It is
open to anyone on any spiritual path and from any religious
tradition. There is no dogma attached to labyrinths and also no right
or wrong way to walk them. They offer neutral ground.
labyrinth is a riddle
It is the cosmos and the world
The life of human kind, the womb of the earth
The journey, the way to the centre
The way to ourselves…
- Ursa Krattiger Tinga
A labyrinth is a sanctuary; a safe and sacred place in which we can
reconnect with ourselves and the world of spirit. When you walk toward
of the labyrinth, you symbolically walk toward your personal spiritual
centre. And this walk mirrors your journey through life as the labyrinth
offers a metaphor for the journey of life. Your journey towards the centre
of your deepest true self. You initiate your journey/search from the
outside and conclude it in the inside: the solution lies in the middle.
It is a symbolic pilgrimage to still the mind so that the heart can
open up and you can return to the world with a deeper and clearer understanding
of who you are. Like with all journeys, it begins with a single step.
A labyrinth is different from a maze. A maze has twists and turns and
blind alleys and one can get lost in the puzzle that must be solved.
In a labyrinth one cannot get lost as the way in is the way out. It does
not matter how intricate the labyrinth pattern may be, there is only
a single route to the centre. Thus the only choice with a labyrinth is
whether to enter or not.
Like Robert Ferré, professional labyrinth builder, said: "It
is a powerful and universal spiritual tool that can lead us not only
to its centre, but to ourselves and to God."