What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a powerful archetype representing Wholeness. It is an ancient universal symbol found in many sacred cultures of the world and not belonging to any one faith or tradition.
Unlike a maze, which has many paths and dead-ends, a labyrinth is unicursal, meaning it has one direct path to the centre. It can be seen as a metaphor for our journey through life, a journey to the centre of ourselves and an opportunity for transformation. The labyrinth at Derrynagittah is a classic 7-ring labyrinth, a living Earth Temple. The rings correspond to the first seven major chakras or energy centres in the body and are planted with appropriate herbs and flowers for each energy centre.
When walking the labyrinth we are walking sequentially through the body’s energy centres from 1 onwards. This may be felt in the body as you walk. Whether or not it is felt consciously, there will nonetheless be a beneficial effect on the energy body. This labyrinth is dedicated Shekinah, the Hebrew Feminine aspect of the Divine. It also honours Yod as the Divine Masculine. It helps us connect with these aspects of ourselves and balance our own male and female energies, finding the Sacred Marriage within.
The labyrinth is a gateway between Heaven and Earth, Above and Below. It links in with the Earth Energy Grid or ‘songlines’ of the Earth and connects us to the stars and planets. As well as offering healing for ourselves and our communities, walking the labyrinth can bring benefit to the Earth Herself.
Walking the labyrinth serves many functions including:
- develops intuition, creativity and trust
- balances right and left sides of the brain, female & male energies
- enhances contact with spiritual realms
- cleanses and balances the chakras
- carries our prayers to wherever they are needed and gives us an opportunity to receive a reply
- brings healing to ourselves and others
Labyrinth walking has been shown to be of benefit to children with certain behavioural and/or developmental difficulties. At Derrynagittah we are currently running a project to bring labyrinths to schools. A pilot scheme is underway at a local school in Clare. The labyrinth may be walked in many different ways. There is no right or wrong – it is best to trust your own inner wisdom. It is helpful to walk with intention. This could be:
- to seek guidance and inspiration
- to ask for healing for yourself or another
- to give thanks
- to grieve a loss
- to release fear or some other pattern
- to dream
- to pray and be with Spirit
- simply to have fun!
Anything can be transformed, and you can hold the intention that whatever you do for yourself you do also for the collective. By surrendering to the winding path ones soul finds healing and wholeness.