Friday, 24 September 2010

My First Labyrinth Walk


I first walked a labyrinth on the Summer Solstice in 1997. It was a large Cretan labyrinth mown into a hayfield located on womyn's land south of Winnipeg, Manitoba. About 20 women attended the event, many of whom I knew from the local Goddess, feminist and lesbian communities.

It was a perfect prairie summer day -- hot and sunny, with an endless blue sky and only a few fluffy white clouds. We could hear the meadowlarks singing and smell the beautiful scent of clover all around us. We danced our way into the labyrinth, holding the hand of the woman ahead of us and behind us, taking two steps forward and one step back. The dance of life!

While we were spiraling toward the centre, the sky suddenly grew dark and the wind picked up considerably. Out of nowhere, menacing clouds appeared. Then the heavens opened and poured cold, cold rain on us. There was thunder and lightning in the distance. But we kept dancing, two steps forward and one step back.

At the centre, we had a (shortened) guided meditation and the rain finally stopped. We each walked out of the labyrinth at our own pace, alone or with others as desired. As we did so, the wind and clouds disappeared and the glorious summer day returned. It was hot and sunny again by the end of our labyrinth walk.


That particular summer was a real crossroads in my life. I was single, turning 40 and newly unemployed due to government down-sizing. Who knew what the future held? Things seemed very uncertain. Yet within a month or two of my first labyrinth walk, my life changed completely -- a new relationship, a new job, a move to a new city in a new province.

I was definitely on a new path!

[Unfortunately, I have no photos of that long ago hayfield labyrinth. These pictures come from the internet but are reminiscent of what the experience was like.]

25 comments:

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I especially like the look of one, done in a hayfield. [For walking it, I mean] A lot bigger look to it, than the usual labyrinth. :-)

I actually never saw a larger one, like this. Well, I've never seen any. But have not even seen a picture of a large one, like this, I mean.

Cameron said...

When I walked the Labyrinth the first time in 1998, it was also a time of huge change for me, and a deepening of my spirituality! I have walked labyrinths many times and our future plans include having one on our own property - dreams rather than plans maybe, but still...I was involved in a Labyrinth walk that had a group of women who walked it hand in hand. In the center we had a bowl of water for rebirth and self baptism. However, that time I wasn't on the walk - I was to one side, with my guitar, singing the Labyrinth song I wrote! It was a different way to be involved with the experience and just as powerful!

Jeanne said...

A labyrinth mowed into a field definitely adds to its mystique.

What a wonderful experience you had. And thank you for sharing it with us.

Jaliya said...

OH ... how beautiful! I'd love to know where this is ...

faerwillow said...

~thank you for sharing your walk with us...amazing the blessings that came upon you afterwards...i think i need to find one real soon! maybe great changes would come my way too...hhhmmmm ; )wishing you well and blessings always~

mxtodis123 said...

I'm going home tonight and color in one of my picture labyrinths. I do appreciate you sharing your walk with us.
Mary

Wendy said...

I got shivers of electricity reading this, Debra...I was there with you with all the elements dancing and hearing the ancient chanting. May you walk many more labyrinths of love and magic on your path.

City Wiccan said...

I would love to try one of these. The ones we have here are all cement.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I like the idea of a mowed on in a field..I'd like to have a huge field of blue bonnets with a labyrinth laid out in it..hmm..great idea jackie..
by the way..thanks for the pat on my head in my comments on my friday post..I like the guy but he's dumber than a box of rocks..sigh*

Sarita Rucker said...

That sounds wonderful.

I've also walked a labyrinth that was mowed. That kind of thing is awesome.

laughingwolf said...

amazing, on so many levels, deb :)

The Frog Queen said...

What a great story about the power of labyrinths. Thanks for sharing so much with us. Greatly appreciated. You never know where you will learn something in life.

Cheers!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Lovely, just lovely! Have a great weekend!

Beatnheart said...

JUST WONDERFUL!

mistress maddie said...

Sounds like it was a nice day! I love to walk in the rain and just get soaked, unless it's cold. Then that is not fun. And what a intresting looking labyrinth. I am used to the high walled ones.

Turquoise Diaries said...

Should be a great experience..Look how it changed your life. I would love to try someday..

madtexter (corey james) said...

I too love those moments in time when you feel your life is beginning a new chapter - especially when you weren't planning to turn the page.

When I turned 40 this year I felt that way. I'm not sure, but think something in the mind happens when we hit our 40's. It's like all the ups and downs we experienced over the years is somehow appreciated in a completely different way. I care a little less about what other people think of me, yet I think a little more about them.

Andrea on Third Street said...

Sounds great!

Jabacue said...

Sounds wonderful Debra! You know you have gotten us both interested in Labyrinths? I started my first one this morning. Well, it's a Mandala labyrinth! But it's a good start, don't you think. I'll blog about it sometime soon. Anyway, thanks for the kick-start!
Jim

Intuitive Goddess said...

Sigh.. I'm Pea green with envy!!!
What a fabulous experience... Thank you for sharing those wonderful pics!
Blessings

Rue said...

What a great story and a wonderful symbol of change for you!

miss*R said...

lucky, lucky you! what an experience to walk that :)

Incipient Wings said...

wow! how powerful! I love that it started to rain,almost like a cleansing.
great story thank you so much for sharing it with us.

theimaginativetraveler said...

I love this story..love that the heavens opened up and drenched you..I would have felt extra blessed by that! I have never seen a grass maze, but these photos are so lush and beautiful that I would very much like to walk one now. So glad your grass maze brought wonderful new things into your life...:)

Lois said...

My first labyrinth was in a small town in Ontario, Port Dover, and was in the back yard of a shop. The owner would open it at times to the public, and I loved it. Then I made a small one in my backyard, and would walk that daily. Later, there was one in a field at summer solstice, and a fabulous one at the Ecology Retreat Centre... It was so wonderful to walk the labyrinth with my son. It was a very traditional one like your little purple graphic, whole anbd beautiful.