The holy grail of labyrinths lives at the Chartres Cathedral in France. The labyrinth is a walking meditation with a history that can be traced back over 5,000 years, it is an experience of the entirety of your existence in one container. It has been referred to as an ancestor, a gateway, a vortex. It's an ancient symbol, portal, doorway, connection between this world and the other.
Making a pilgrimage to this sacred space is a must for folks ready to access deeper parts of themselves and coming to terms with the religion of their childhood. You hear the bells before your breath is taken away by the imposing intricacies of the architecture, sculptures and the stained glass windows. They are held to be one of the best-preserved and most complete set of medieval stained glass, celebrated for their colours, especially the cobalt blue. They cover 2600 square meters in total and consist of 172 bays illustrating biblical scenes, lives of the saints and scenes from the life of trade guilds and artisans of the period. It is dense with meaning, symbols and mythology. You can spend ages getting lost in the stories and the storytellers whose craft was to carve the parables on this space. It serves as a reminder to another time and for folks who look at love from both sides, the light and the dark it is a space of holding for the dark madonna. You can't go wrong enjoying its mythology. Its sense of grace and movement and the magic and miracles of its wondrous neighborhood.
For those who want to get a deeper understanding of the labyrinth as a spiritual tool, Chartres Cathedral is an epicenter hub of power for this portal. It helps navigate the inner world. Orders chaos. Clears and quiets the mind. Opens the heart. So we may become an instrument through which healing can flow through.
The Labyrinth offers space to hold and heal perceptions. Perhaps you've seen one, been drawn into it. Its sacred geometry connecting somewhere deep within. A symbol of the wholeness pattern. The history and traditions of the planetary spiral, the unification of power and purpose within long been guarded by the symbology and sacred geometry of the labyrinth.
The labyrinth unlocks a connection to your inner experience and all that is. It is one of many tools to access connection to this divine love and wisdom innately a part of our inner source. Some folks, like me, know the labyrinth is one of our teachers, and the mythologies of vortexes something we seek out in remote locations and sometimes pilgrimage toward, where you experience energies so deeply embedded in the pattern as to lift spirits, to rewrite the very fabric of existence, and to give and receive in equal measure. When we say we use the labyrinth as a spiritual tool it is how we grow in navigating the wholeness pattern of life, comfort our grief and request insights into our ways and paths ahead.
The Labyrinth on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral grew out of a scriptural understanding of God’s guidance and presence with those on the way. The Eleven-circuit Medieval Labyrinth from Chartres Cathedral in France on the floor near the entrance connects to the architectural rose pattern stained glass as a feature of the ascension to other realms. This pattern, made of Beauce quarry stone and an unnamed black stone to delineate the path, was inlaid into the stone floor in 1201.
"We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world." - Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth
FROM THE CHARTRES CATHEDRAL GUIDE TO THE LABYRINTH:
Like bread for the journey, may these texts nourish you.
“You show me the path of life. In your presence is the fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11
“Take care of your body your soul longs to live within it.” Basil of Caesarea
“…the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us be guided by the Spirit. Galations 5:22, 23, 25
There is no right way to walk the labyrinth. A labyrinth has only one path, it is Monocursal that leads in a circuitous way to center. The way in is the way out, you can never get lost. It is designed to find your way to the heart of the matter. This is what makes it a path for meditation.
A WALKING PRAYER
Before entering a labyrinth:
Take a deep breath
Choose to let go of your
and all distractions.
Ask for God's blessing.
As you move towards the center:
Cross the threshold
Follow the pathway
it leads you toward the center.
Pay attention to your experience
without judging it.
It can serve as a mirror for
what you are experiencing
In the center:
Rest with Giod.
Receive whatever is given.
Don't Hurry away
Take your time.
You can return to the threshold
by following the pathway out.
Some prefer to go directly to the altar.
continuing their prayer there
No matter what. Know...
It is resolved by walking. - St. Augustine
After you walk the labyrinth:
Notice what you are feeling.
Consider your experience
Take time to journal, draw or think.
Perhaps a question has emerged,
or you would like to reflect
on something that happened.
Enjoy the connection of the deeper rivers merging your divine love and wisdom.
Many folks are introduced to the symbols that connect us and draw us into our interrelation divine love and wisdom through media. We like to look at and incorporate these ancester symbols into productions, experiences and the media as medicine we're actively co-creating as one way energies (good vibes) are projected for healing and a return to harmonious source energy. From Pan's Labyrinth to Inception to Terry Jones Labyrinth with David Bowie, it is not a new phenomenon. There are many ways to incorporate the sacred into movies and television shows. These mythological symbols are powerful, connective and a part of our evolution through time and space in different ways.
Within these ancient symbols we know our story and are able to unite with timelessness. Now is the moment where all things are possible. Eckart Tolle referred to it as the power of now. The labyrinth is a portal, a gateway, a vortex where all that ever was and ever will be exist in the moment. It is the way we progress from one world to another, one timeline to the next. It is how we dance with love holding to the magic and miracles of our interconnected ness with all that is.
Labyrinths can be found in many spaces across the globe, they can be created outdoors as this rock labyrinth in the heart of Hollywood at the Bronson Bat Caves. With our community group of storytellers we're doing a relaxed musical performance of 2122: an ecological renaissance, developed through a tender hearted biophiliac collab and performed by The Band of Singers, The Last Orchestraw and Radicle possibilities programs of The Bird House non-profit run by Bella LaNestour and John Allen at the Bronson Bat Caves incorporating the site specific stone rock labyrinth. 'My Dear Friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times... a critical mass of people are alive to possibilities.' Another way is possible, consider joining in our timeless adventures to create healing harmonies and enjoy the experience of biophilia by reaching out to The Bird House and becoming a member.
NEW TO THE LABYRINTH - LAUREN ARTRESS IS YOUR GO TO
Grateful my therapist introduced me to the woman who brought the labyrinth to the west, Lauren Altress. She felt its pull and importance to reconnect the world to its powers and built a mirror at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco where she works as a Canon. Her act of adding this spiritual tool for pilgrims young and old offers comfort and insight to 1000s and 1000s. She details the process of remembrance in her first book, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice. She was instrumental in launching what is now known as The Labyrinth Movement and continues to share her wisdom through her organization Veriditas.
Here's a good introduction to the work of entering the labyrinth, stepping into a void of complete loving possibilities https://www.veriditas.org/New-to-the-Labyrinth
Labyrinths are often gifted as mana, as grace, for women ready to give birth to new life, for support through a cycle of grief, for new beginnings and new ways of thinking. The shell (pictured on the right) is a symbol for sojourner pilgrimages. The ridges in the shell represent the hills and valleys that a pilgrim walks, as those who walk the labyrinth are pilgrims on a spiritual quest whenever they dare step into beautiful incarnations of their inner power and wisdom.
May love surround your walks, your thoughts, and your new days. May you take the good and take the bad and enjoy all life has to offer. You will never miss your destiny.
Lots of Love.