The labyrinth: an ancient tool for healing
By Maria "Dancing Heart" Hoaglund
Posted June 21, 2009 01:00 MDT
The labyrinth, an ancient spiritual tool for transformation, is being rediscovered in our day. Labyrinths are usually constructed from patterns using circles and spirals, based on principles of sacred geometry. They have been found around the world and are known as sacred patterns or “divine imprints.” These sacred symbols have been passed down through the ages; they are in churches of medieval Europe, on the walls of caves, on coins, and in natural settings. They are usually constructed directly on the ground and have been used for “walking meditation” and rituals. They can also be drawn on paper or carved into wood. In this case they are traced, using the fingers (known as “finger labyrinths”).
The labyrinth has been used as a spiritual tool for at least 4,000 years. It is a physical metaphor for life’s journey – the journey of healing. Labyrinths have been utilized in a variety of ways: as a tool for initiation, such as for warriors before they entered into battle, for psychological and spiritual growth and transformation, for enhancing right-brain activity, and for restoring faith and healing to troubled or stressed souls.
The labyrinth teaches trust and can be used as a tool for spiritual practice. It is different from a maze in that: as long as you follow the path step by step, you end up at the center; when you leave the center, you follow the same path back to the beginning. The labyrinth is a good place to work with questions that need to be addressed in your life. You can take the question with you as you walk the labyrinth; after reaching the center, you can pause, meditate, and reflect. In this way you can often receive added inspiration and guidance. The “return” walk is be a time of preparing to move out into the world again, having received the gifts that were needed.
In our times, labyrinths are being constructed on school grounds and in parks, churches, universities, businesses, community centers, and even private homes and gardens. As their benefits are being recognized, their use and popularity are growing.
Please look into the labyrinth for yourself and use it in your own creative ways. There is much yet to be explored with it, especially in the areas of grief, letting go, transformation, and preparing for the end-of-life.
Here are some websites you might explore: ispiritual -- walking the path of the heart, The Labyrinth Society, and The Grace Cathedral Labyrinth.
Happy Summer Solstice! Enjoy the labyrinthian power of this day, Dancing heart~~~ If you're interested in more Tools for Healing, see Dancing Heart's website's Link Page. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read:
Rev. Maria "Dancing Heart" Hoaglund, author of The Last Adventure of Life, is an end-of-life and grief coach. Maria was a hospice counselor for many years and is passionate about bringing the subject of death back to life. E-mail: email@example.com.