Labyrinths represent a journey or path to our own center and back again. The labyrinth serves as a metaphor for life’s journey. —Healing Consciousness Foundation
What is a labyrinth?
There are many definitions for the word “labyrinth”. One simple way to explain it is “a series of circuitous paths that lead to the center and out again.” The word is often used interchangeably with “maze” though they are distinctly different.
- a maze is designed to trick those who enter
- the famous Minotaur Labyrinth in Greek mythology was built as a maze to hold in a monster
- mazes have more than one entrance and are designed with hidden exits that are purposefully difficult to find
In contrast, the labyrinth has one circuitous path that when followed takes you to the center and then out again.
How long have labyrinths existed?
Labyrinths appeared on most inhabited continents in prehistory, with examples known from as far back as 4,000 years, found in North & South America, Africa, Asia and across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.
Since the 90’s, the usefulness of the labyrinth is now common knowledge. Labyrinths are showing up at hospitals, churches, and even spas. You can find one near you by putting your zip code into the Labyrinth Locator search engine here. They are often set in beautiful locations and are free and open to the public.
Walking questions of grief and life.
As a long-time tool for my life, the labyrinth became a go-to for me early in my grief. It helps to calm my spirit and helps me move my body when grief is pulling me down. It provides a refuge when my heart and mind are heavy; a place for me to put my worries down and leave much lighter and freer.
We all know that grief brings up innumerable questions. Practical questions. Fears framed in question marks. Unsettling feelings without labels or hints about where they originate. All these I take into the labyrinth.
There are many ways to find our way through the journey of grief and capture what wisdom may be found. I wish for you to find which tool is the perfect one for you today. One reliable one for me is the labyrinth. May the option that suits YOUR need find its way to you just when you need it.