Labyrinths came into my awareness for the first time in late 2013 when I began working at a yoga and health retreat center that had a labyrinth on the premises. Beginning that job coincided with several challenging life events that left me feeling anxious and ungrounded. It was a time in my life when everything was being uprooted and shaken loose so that starting anew would be possible. During my breaks at work I would go out to walk around the beautiful land to reconnect and recharge. One day a coworker told me that I should check out the labyrinth while I was out there. I had no idea that there was a labyrinth there and I only had a vague idea about what labyrinths were all about. In my mind, it was the same thing as a maze which I would later learn is so far from the truth. Labyrinths, unlike mazes, have a clear and unobstructed path that leads to the center. That was the first labyrinth I walked and I continued to enjoy walking it many times while I worked there, but I didn’t fully awaken to the power of labyrinths until this year. As is often the case for me, the connection I made was guided by a plant.
There is also a labyrinth on my teacher, Pam Montgomery’s land. During our 2015 Plant Spirit Healing apprenticeship and following it during plant initiations I have attended there, we have worked with the labyrinth ceremonially. Last June I went to Pam’s for a Yarrow initiation. This is a powerful three days of deeply connecting with one plant through ceremony and meditation to learn the plant’s teachings. Since that weekend I have felt Yarrow’s presence strongly with me. Among many other things, I learned that Yarrow is a weaver of healing light. When the fabric of our being becomes, frayed, torn, unraveled, Yarrow can help us mend the fibers of that fabric, whether it is our actual wounded flesh, or the deeper spiritual/emotional patterns/boundaries that make us up. I have experienced Yarrow fixing those loose ends, reconnecting them, and weaving me with new patterns. During the initiations, we meditate on the plant’s messages in the labyrinth. After the initiation with Yarrow, labyrinths began popping up everywhere I looked. I saw them in bookstores and social media and people began telling me about them and where I could find them. I started walking them more often, reading about them, learning how to draw them, dreaming about them. After our first snow storm of the season I built a Hecate labyrinth (smaller, more spiral like, associated with the Greek goddess of that name) in the backyard out of snow. As I built and walked that snow labyrinth, my creative flow slowly came back after four years of dormancy. I began making things again and ideas for projects came to me out of nowhere as if I were downloading information from source. It feels like my work with Yarrow and labyrinths together has guided me back to the creative process that has always been such an important component in keeping me going and healthy. It is truly a gift to be reconnected with that inspiration.
A lovely friend whom I connected with through study at Pam’s recently invited me to help her birth a labyrinth on her land in Pennsylvania. I was ecstatic and honored to be a part of such a beautiful of process. Her friend who is a master labyrinth builder was there as well as another friend. Three of us had never met before, yet we were all connected through Jen and we shared so many life connections. The four of us spent the afternoon working easily together to create this gift for the land. I am so grateful for the wisdom and experience that everyone shared while building together. I know that it will continue working through me as I develop the skills and confidence to build a permanent labyrinth here.
Today, after the second major snow storm of the season and inspired by my time in Pennsylvania, I built another snow labyrinth in preparation for building a permanent one here in the Spring. My hope is to create a labyrinth that will feed those who come here, as a meditation tool and a tool for self-care and self-work. It will be created with the intention of spreading peace, connection and regeneration. I will invite my friends and neighbors to come and walk it whenever they would like to. I will offer it to my clients to walk before or after their sessions and imagine it helping them to better understand and integrate the wisdom within their bodies as it has done for me. I wish to share and spread the gifts of the labyrinth to those who are also drawn to it.