Saturday, 18th August 2018
An Introduction to Labyrinths ~ In Pictures!
- “This is a scan from a transparency which I took in the mid 1970s. It shows one of the two very similar small labyrinth patterns cut into the cliff face at Rocky Valley, Tintagel, Cornwall, England. They are of unknown date. The Bronze Age has been suggested, but it is equally possible that they were made by workmen at the nearby mill (now ruined).”
Spiral paths and finger designs, found all over the world, going back centuries, but still cloaked in mystery.
Divinity is like a wheel, a circle, a whole.
The word “Labyrinth” is thought to have come from the Greek Labyrinthos.
Etymologically the word is linked to the Minoan ‘labrys’ (‘double axe’), the symbol of the Minoan Goddess of Crete.
A labyrinth is a design that has one continual path leading in to the centre, and then leading back out again.
There are no dead ends, and no ‘tricks’. Those are features of mazes. The words labyrinths and mazes are often used interchangeably, but that is incorrect.
The focus here is the on labyrinths.
Labyrinth (on the left) and a Maze (on the right)
A maze is a puzzle, with many possible paths, even multiple entries / exits, dead ends, and often built up. If you are walking it, you are further disorientated by being unable to see above the walls. Mazes became popular in both Europe and the UK in the 17th Century as garden features.
- Also known at the Medieval Labyrinth
- constructed in the 13th Century in Chartres Cathedral, France.
- One of the two most common designs known as ‘Archetypal’ Labyrinths.
Simply the best labyrinth organization in the world, in my opinion. I have done their classes, including their labyrinth facilitator training – although I have not completed my certification.
Find Labyrinths all over the world!
As it says, an Australian specific labyrinth resource.
Another international labyrinth organization.
- Australian Labyrinth Network (FaceBook Group)
Clifton Hill – The Merri Creek labyrinth was created out of bluestone by the community, for the community. It sits in a beautiful spot in Clifton Hill and is available for a walk any time.
Eltham – St Margaret’s Anglican Church has a public labyrinth you can walk any time. It is housed on space that was once a tennis court.
Gardenvale – The good people from Labyrinth Lane in Gardenvale run regular guided labyrinth walks around the Solstices and Equinoxes.
Glen Iris – St Faith’s Anglican Church has a lovely Chartres based labyrinth out the back – all they ask is that you avoid walking it when there are services on.
Healesville – The Healesville Labyrinth is another that is available all year round.
Kew – Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality is a place of hospitality, rest, welcome and prayer. They offer programs and retreats, which are steeped in the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). There is a labyrinth tucked away in the gardens; it’s polite to contact the centre and make sure your private walk is not clashing with any thing they might be offering.
Langwarrin – the labyrinth at McClelland Sculpture Park is available year-round. A walk is scheduled at 1pm on the first Saturday in May to celebrate World Labyrinth Day.
Lower Plenty – The Edmund Rice Centre, or Amberley, is a retreat and conference facility which has a labyrinth that is a full-sized replica of the famous one at Chartres Cathedral in France. It is available to walk by prior appointment.
If you can think of any Melbourne based labyrinths I have missed – please pop them in the comments!
I will be doing a longer, more involved post around labyrinths.. this is just a brief intro! 🙂
Please also check out my Labyrinth page for more information or to contact me regarding labyrinths, labyrinth walks and / or presentations.