Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Labyrinth

Labyrinths have been around for hundreds of years. It is an ancient symbol which relates to wholeness. They were used as a meditation tool as well as part of the spiritual process for many cultures throughout the world.

The most famous Labyrinth is the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth near Paris, France. It was constructed in the early 13th century and is quite complex, measuring over 40 ft. in diameter. It is known that Labyrinths located in the French Cathedrals were the scene of Easter dances which were carried out by the clergy.

But Labyrinths are not unique to the European culture. They are an important theme in the culture of the Native Americans located in the Southwest portion of the United States. The "Man in the Maze" motif can be seen in the pottery, basketry, silverwork and petroglyphs of this region.

Anyone can create a Labyrinth in their yard or garden. It can be as simple as cutting the pattern into an over-grown lawn with your weedeater, or outlining the pattern with rocks, painting on concrete, or even installing plantings around the walkways. For more info on how to create a Labyrinth, click here.

**Special note** Labyrinths should not be confused with Mazes (we'll have more on Mazes at a later date). Labyrinths have only one pathway to the center while a Maze will have choices in the pathway, many of which are dead ends. To read more on Labyrinths, click here.


  1. I am a complete and total labyrinth freak! I've thought about painting one on the wall in my house since I don't have enough yard to do one. I made one that took up a 10 foot x 10 foot area in the corner of my yard and it was so frustrating because I just couldn't get a long winding aspect out of it. It was too tight. I always say, if I didn't have to confer with the other person in my home who has strong opinions, I'd clear out the front yard and make a giant labyrinth and open it to the sidewalk so neighbors could walk it too. Very cool post!

  2. Some friends of my Grandparents had a huge rather formal one in their back yard, with a little pond with a bridge over it, in the middle.

    They kept it stocked with goldfish, and every year, my Grammie would take me over there, and we'd find our way through the hedges, to the pond, where I'd pick out a couple of fish for my bowl at home. Sometimes, when I still had fish from the previous years, I'd go just to feed the fish, and look for tadpoles.
    Thanks for bringing back a wonderful memory!

  3. Cool - love laybriths, if I had room I would make one....but I am saving that space for my maze :)

    Looking forward to that post too!!

    Thanks for sharing.