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Labyrinth Walks Around the World

Updated on January 5, 2015

"Say not, 'I have found the PATH of the soul.' Say rather, 'I have met the soul upon my PATH."' by Kahlil Gibran

"The center is really powerful tonight," or, "I was drawn to one spot, so I stopped and meditated for awhile."

The labyrinth is an ancient mystical tool that many people believe helps accomplish a "shift in consciousness" for those seeking spiritual maturity For many, it helps find that sacred space where the inner and outer worlds connect.

Labyrinths are usually in the form of a circle with one well-defined path that leads into the center and back out again. This path is what sets the labyrinth apart from the maze. Mazes offer a choice of paths, dead ends and cul-de-sacs.

The practice of constructing labyrinths is over 3,000 years old and are believed to have been used as portals to the spirit world. They offer a special kind of spiritual balm and symbolism. Few records actually exist about the specifics of how labyrinths were used, but many stories have been passed down. They suggest that the people of ancient cultures walked the labyrinth for good fortune, protection, connection with their sacred center, pilgrimages and healings--reasons that resonate with us today.

Top 7 Labyrinths Around the World Ready to be Explored - Nothing is more exciting than exploring unfamiliar terrains. This selection of unique history is brough

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This underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey has long finger-like stone formations with turns and eight-level warren traps descending 200ft down.This labyrinth has a single path coiling and turning within a 40-foot perimeter. Laid on the floor of Chartres Cathedral, France.Hampton Court Palace, Herefordshire, UK hedge maze mostly consists of twisted paths.  The mazes now follow a single path and had no dead ends.Roman catacombs, known for their passageways lined with bones consist of hundreds of connected tombs in Capuchin Crypt, Rome.Built as a detour to delay invaders, Bara Imambara is a massive fort at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.Declared a world heritage by UNESCO in 1995, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea complex houses the Tripitaka Koreana.Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac of France built this maze as a castle and summer home with terraced gardens before the French revolution.
This underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey has long finger-like stone formations with turns and eight-level warren traps descending 200ft down.
This underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey has long finger-like stone formations with turns and eight-level warren traps descending 200ft down.
This labyrinth has a single path coiling and turning within a 40-foot perimeter. Laid on the floor of Chartres Cathedral, France.
This labyrinth has a single path coiling and turning within a 40-foot perimeter. Laid on the floor of Chartres Cathedral, France.
Hampton Court Palace, Herefordshire, UK hedge maze mostly consists of twisted paths.  The mazes now follow a single path and had no dead ends.
Hampton Court Palace, Herefordshire, UK hedge maze mostly consists of twisted paths. The mazes now follow a single path and had no dead ends.
Roman catacombs, known for their passageways lined with bones consist of hundreds of connected tombs in Capuchin Crypt, Rome.
Roman catacombs, known for their passageways lined with bones consist of hundreds of connected tombs in Capuchin Crypt, Rome.
Built as a detour to delay invaders, Bara Imambara is a massive fort at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Built as a detour to delay invaders, Bara Imambara is a massive fort at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Declared a world heritage by UNESCO in 1995, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea complex houses the Tripitaka Koreana.
Declared a world heritage by UNESCO in 1995, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea complex houses the Tripitaka Koreana.
Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac of France built this maze as a castle and summer home with terraced gardens before the French revolution.
Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac of France built this maze as a castle and summer home with terraced gardens before the French revolution.

People Today Are Looking For Clues to Life's Many Dilemmas

Much spiritual seeking is driven by the desire to manifest people's unique and individual gifts in the world. Somewhere within us there is a deep, sometimes buried, sense that we have a special task. Spiritual restlessness is rampant nowadays partly because many of us feel we are not using our gifts.

Many people find their way to the labyrinth searching for their own special talents. They come for insight into how their unique skills can serve the world. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives us insight into our spiritual journey, therefore allowing us to experience the rhythm of our souls and helps us discover the sacred in everyday life.

The path into the center of the labyrinth winds in a clockwise pattern, meandering but purposeful, and the path back unwinds in a counterclockwise direction. The circular path inward cleanses and quiets us as we are lead in. The unwinding path integrates and empowers us on our walk back out. Know that all we need to do is put one foot in front of the other and we will get to the center of the labyrinth--and to your own center--and back out again.

Walking the path does not demand of great amount of concentration in order to benefit from the experience, however, the journey can be enhanced immensely by advance preparation, a sense of openness and reflection afterward. The most powerful influence you can create for your labyrinth experience is your intention. Walking the labyrinth is intended as a body prayer. It is non-threatening; all you are asked to do is walk. Don't stop and try to figure out where the path goes, you will be guided to its center. Stepping out of one's linear mind is often the most challenging part of the walk. Even though one has been assured that the path leads to the center, some do not surrender easily and may stop walking during the first part, trying visually to figure out where the path goes. This can be a valuable lesson about control and surrendering to the process.

Before entering, stop and consider what is on your mind. If seeking a change is one reason for walking the labyrinth, think about what kind of change you seek. Having a clear idea about the change you want to make will help you create an intention that will yield the desired result.

Labyrinth Meditation

The Labyrinth Functions Like a Spiral, Creating a Vortex in its Center

Usually, it is a surprise to reach the center because the long winding path seems so "illogical." We don't know we're there until we're there, which is often true in life. After we have quieted the mind on the labyrinth's path, the center is the place for meditation and prayer.

A labyrinth walk can set into motion many different thought patterns, emotions, energies, ideas and questions. None may lead to insights or answers immediately, but which may eventually produce transformations long after the walking meditation has been completed. Walking the labyrinth is another way of tapping into forces beyond our normal conscious mind. "It takes us to some ancient part of ourselves, as old as the turning of the planets and stars, as old as goddess and earth energies, back when night was dark, when people knew the sky and nature was part of us and we of it. This is something lost in the modern world and the imbalance that it causes cries out for resolution. That's why the labyrinth touches so many people so forcefully," said Robert Ferre', Director of the St. Louis Labyrinth Project.

There are more than 1,000 labyrinths in the United States today. As the resurgence of interest in labyrinths continues to grow around the world more and more, communities and cities are using this tool for healing and deepening self-knowledge. The labyrinth may truly be a tool for our times in providing a space to listen to our inner voice and come to grips with our role in the new millennium.

Most labryinths are open to the public year-round. Barb Poiriez, co-creator of the Blue Star Kachina Labyrinth in Lakeside, Arizona says "This labyrinth is for everyone and I want everyone to enjoy it."

My Experience Building a Labyrinth - Lots of hard work and fun

On Valentine's Day in the year 2000, a girlfriend and I decided to tackle building a labyrinth. She owned an acre of property next to a creek that wasn't being used and realized this was perfect. We actually made it a community affair and employed several of our friends at different intervals to help move many piles of rotting logs, move rocks into place, push dirt around, cut branches and weeds and make sure we were on track. About a 100 hours later, a seven circuit labyrinth emerged in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Blue Star Kachina Labryinth at night
Blue Star Kachina Labryinth at night

Celebration!

We were officially finished with the labyrinth and this orb shows up to visit

This is a little hard to see as it was taken at night. The picture was taken on a ledge above the labyrinth, looking down into it. The moon was full and barely starting to peek out from behind the trees. There is a lady wearing blue walking around the labyrinth on the right side of the picture. When the orb image was examined more carefully through a magnifying glass, a cross in the middle emerges. Does anyone else see the cross?

A Labyrinth for Alamosa, CO

Dentist Denise Vanderwalle has incorporated the healing aspects of labyrinths both spiritually and literally. This newest labyrinth is located in the backyard of the Avalon Wellness Center on 815 West Aveue, Alamosa. CO.

Darrell Laird, a New Zealand native and spiritualist built the labyrinth for Vanderwalle in the Cretan design. He said it was a labor of love, a direct result of his mission to bring peace and spiritual purity to mankind.

Vanderwalle hopes that by locating the labyrinth in the open backyard, people in the community will visit often.

Love to hear about your experience.

If you have visited a Labyrinth, Tell Us How You Felt

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting journey.

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