Elizabeth Phaire- Labyrinth PowerPoint - 1st Draft

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Walking The Labyrinth: A Ceremonial Journey by Elizabeth Phaire, Life-Cycle Celebrant 

“With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not.”:

“With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not.”

What is a labyrinth?:

What is a labyrinth?

Etymology:

Etymology Labyrys: Greek; double axe, a symbol of royal power. Also believed to be a symbol of feminine power. -inthos: Greek; place Labyrinthos: place of power

The Labyrinth is a spiral path that is unicursal, which means that it follows one path to the center and back out again. :

The Labyrinth is a spiral path that is unicursal, which means that it follows one path to the center and back out again. Tracing the labyrinth’s path, either with one’s finger or by walking it, engages the right brain. It allows one to be in a receptive, contemplative state which enhances relaxation, insight, and creativity.

Labyrinths are usually, but not always round; they can also be found in square or octagonal shapes.:

Labyrinths are usually, but not always round; they can also be found in square or octagonal shapes.

The Labyrinth is often confused with a maze, but they are not the same.:

The Labyrinth is often confused with a maze, but they are not the same. The maze is multicursal. It has intersecting paths, detours, dead ends, and often has high walls that obscure one’s view. It is challenging, a puzzle to be solved, thus it requires logic and decision making to find one’s way out. Mazes can cause confusion and fear.

The 1980’s movie “Labyrinth” is an example of a labyrinth mistakenly represented as a maze. The heroine wishes her pesky brother to go away, summons the Goblin King who kidnaps him. Now remorseful, she must solve the puzzle of a maze in order to reach the demon’s lair, and rescue her brother.:

The 1980’s movie “Labyrinth” is an example of a labyrinth mistakenly represented as a maze. The heroine wishes her pesky brother to go away, summons the Goblin King who kidnaps him. Now remorseful, she must solve the puzzle of a maze in order to reach the demon’s lair, and rescue her brother.

History of the Labyrinth:

History of the Labyrinth

It is unknown exactly when, where or why the labyrinth first came into use. The earliest known labyrinth dates back to the Neolithic Period. Over centuries, the symbol was carved on rocks, ceramic vessels, coins, mosaics and floors. :

It is unknown exactly when, where or why the labyrinth first came into use. The earliest known labyrinth dates back to the Neolithic Period. Over centuries, the symbol was carved on rocks, ceramic vessels, coins, mosaics and floors. The oldest known European labyrinth pattern is from Knossos, Crete. It is referred to as the Cretan Labyrinth, or classical seven circuit labyrinth. Cretan labyrinth Cretan didrachm coin, c. 280 B.C. “Domus de Janus” tomb, Lazzanas, Sardinia

The labyrinth is believed to be an archetype, created in the human collective unconscious. This pattern emerged in cultures across the world, who in the earliest eras had no access to one another.:

The labyrinth is believed to be an archetype, created in the human collective unconscious. This pattern emerged in cultures across the world, who in the earliest eras had no access to one another. The Hollywood Stone, Wicklow, Ireland Petroglyph, Pansaimol-Goa, India Photo: Bibliona, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibliona/ Labyrinth of Mogor,Galicia, Spain Naquane at Capo di Ponte, Lombardia, Italy http://mmmgroup2.altervista.org/e-labiri.html

In Medieval Europe, there was a resurgence of interest in labyrinths, and it’s meaning was modified with Christian symbolism for the modern day pilgrim. Thus the medieval style labyrinth was created.:

In Medieval Europe, there was a resurgence of interest in labyrinths, and it’s meaning was modified with Christian symbolism for the modern day pilgrim. Thus the medieval style labyrinth was created. Several gothic cathedrals in France incorporated labyrinths into their structures: Chartres, Amiens, Saint-Quentin, Rheims, Sens, Arras and Auxerre three of which still exist today.

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth Chartres, France:

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth Chartres, France Constructed circa 1200 Classical 11 circuit style 42 feet in diameter, path is 16 inches wide Crafted in relationship with the whole of the cathedral using sacred geometry and Pythagorean ratios. These are believed to be numerical patterns of balance, and heighten consciousness Christian symbolism added meaning to worshippers: -the equal armed cross created within the pattern -the rosette in the center represents the Virgin Mary During the Crusades travel was dangerous, thus the labyrinth served as a symbolic pilgrimage for Christians were unable to journey Jerusalem.

Chartes Rose Window:

Chartes Rose Window

Amiens Cathedral Labyrinth Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens Amiens, France:

Amiens Cathedral Labyrinth Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens Amiens, France Installed in 1288 by architect Renaud de Cormant. Follows the same pattern as the Chartes labyrinth, except it is octagonal. Its path is 12.1 meters wide and 240 meters in length. Was destroyed in the Revolution, and a replica built in 1894. The surviving labyrinth in Saint Quentin Cathedral, built in1495 is also octagonal, modeled after Amiens.

Sacred Geometry:

Sacred Geometry

The Labyrinth as a Symbol: What makes it so compelling? From early humans carving the symbol on cave walls, to mythic reenactments and religious pilgrimages, the labyrinth has served as an enduring symbol of our human connection to something greater than ourselves, that guides us to wholeness. The basic pattern of the labyrinth is a spiral within a circle, which are primary building blocks in nature. It is considered to be a blueprint, mirroring nature’s laws. The theory of sacred geometry captures these laws in numerical form. :

The Labyrinth as a Symbol: What makes it so compelling? From early humans carving the symbol on cave walls, to mythic reenactments and religious pilgrimages, the labyrinth has served as an enduring symbol of our human connection to something greater than ourselves, that guides us to wholeness. The basic pattern of the labyrinth is a spiral within a circle, which are primary building blocks in nature. It is considered to be a blueprint, mirroring nature’s laws. The theory of sacred geometry captures these laws in numerical form.

Spiral Patterns in Nature:

Spiral Patterns in Nature

Red Cabbage:

Red Cabbage

Fiddlehead ferns:

Fiddlehead ferns

Milipede, curled up:

Milipede, curled up

Anglerfish ovary:

Anglerfish ovary

Nautilus shells :

Nautilus shells Photo by Ken Ilio iStock Photo

Whirlpool Naruto Straight, Hyogo Japan:

Whirlpool Naruto Straight, Hyogo Japan

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in Dust and Stars N. Scoville (Caltech), T. Rector (U. Alaska, NOAO) et al., Hubble Heritage Team, NASA:

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in Dust and Stars N. Scoville (Caltech), T. Rector (U. Alaska, NOAO) et al., Hubble Heritage Team, NASA

Human uterus - maternal spiral artery:

Human uterus - maternal spiral artery

Human Fetus - 5 1/2 weeks:

Human Fetus - 5 1/2 weeks

Fingerprint whorl:

Fingerprint whorl www.ridgesandfurrows.homestead.com

Bony and Membranous labyrinths of the ear:

Bony and Membranous labyrinths of the ear

Walking the Labyrinth: Modern Day Uses:

Walking the Labyrinth: Modern Day Uses A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. ~Lao Tzu

Grace Cathedral San Francisco, CA:

Grace Cathedral San Francisco, CA

In the Community:

In the Community Memorial and Commemorative events -September 11th memorial walk, to honor those who passed; walk to remember shooting Workshops Meditation Healing Holidays and Celebrations Peace Walks Business - team building and problem solving Parks Hospitals Community Centers Churches Backyards

Benefits of labyrinth walking ~More to come here~:

Benefits of labyrinth walking ~More to come here~

Methods of Practice:

Methods of Practice

The Threefold Path:

The Threefold Path Purgation: to “purge”, surrender, release, let go. This is the first part of the walk, from the entrance to the center. Here you enter a receptive state, come into the present moment in your body, following your own pace and rhythm, letting go of expectations for the experience. Illumination: meditation, prayer, insight, inspiration, rejuvenation, grounding In the center of the labyrinth, you have symbolically reached the center of your being, and your connection with your higher power. Union: Integration The walk from the center, following the same path back out, allows one to integrate and embody what one has received, and prepare to enter the world in a new state of being. Through the act of trusting the path, of giving up conscious control of how things should go and being receptive to our inner state, we can be opened up to a whole new world. ~Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress, Director of Veriditas, San Francisco

The Hero’s Journey Joseph Campbell:

The Hero’s Journey Joseph Campbell Departure: “The Call to Adventure: Journey to the center Initiation/Transformation: The road of Trials. Receiving the boon. In the Center Return: Journeying back from the center There's a certain type of myth which one might call the vision guest, going in quest of a boon, a vision, which has the same form in every mythology. That is the thing that I tried to present in the first book I wrote, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. All these different mythologies give us the same essential quest. You leave the world that you're in and go into a depth or into a distance or up to a height. There you come to what was missing in your consciousness in the world you formerly inhabited. Then comes the problem either of staying with that, and letting the world drop off, or returning with that boon and trying to hold on to it as you move back into your social world again. ~Joseph Campbell

Rites of Passage Arnold Van Gennep:

Rites of Passage Arnold Van Gennep Separation Transition/Liminality Incorporation

Ceremonial uses of the labyrinth:

Ceremonial uses of the labyrinth Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path... exactly where you are meant to be right now... And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love. ~Caroline Adams

Ceremony Overview: Acupuncture Practice Opening officiated by Amy Benedict, Life-Cycle Celebrant  :

Ceremony Overview: Acupuncture Practice Opening officiated by Amy Benedict, Life-Cycle Celebrant 

Participants stood in a circle around the spiral, which was created with multicolored scarves representing the seasons and the elements. As the honoree walked into the spiral, the story of her heroine’s journey was told – answering “the call” of becoming an acupuncturist, her initiations of marriage and divorce, getting her practitioner’s degree, being a single mom, illness and healing, and now sharing her skills and wisdom by opening her own acupuncture practice. Her “return” with wisdom gained was enacted, by participants refusing to allow her to join their outside circle as she exited the spiral. She wielded a sword to symbolize her clear intent to share her wisdom with the community. She was allowed to join them in the circle, thus symbolically integrated back into the community. :

Participants stood in a circle around the spiral, which was created with multicolored scarves representing the seasons and the elements. As the honoree walked into the spiral, the story of her heroine’s journey was told – answering “the call” of becoming an acupuncturist, her initiations of marriage and divorce, getting her practitioner’s degree, being a single mom, illness and healing, and now sharing her skills and wisdom by opening her own acupuncture practice. Her “return” with wisdom gained was enacted, by participants refusing to allow her to join their outside circle as she exited the spiral. She wielded a sword to symbolize her clear intent to share her wisdom with the community. She was allowed to join them in the circle, thus symbolically integrated back into the community. Participants later joined the honoree in walking the spiral again, symbolically through the seasons and the elements, contemplating wholeness, balance and harmony with themselves and the world.

Ceremony Overview: Life Honoring and Birthday Celebration officiated by Woody Winfree, Life-Cycle Celebrant :

Ceremony Overview: Life Honoring and Birthday Celebration officiated by Woody Winfree, Life-Cycle Celebrant 

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There in the center was a Rosemary plant, a symbol of life, protection and positive energy, associated with elves and fairies. It would later be planted in her garden. She then poured the blessing water onto the plant. She then walked back out of the labyrinth, as the Celebrant spoke the honorees affirmations of returning to herself. To enact her “ incorporation ” back into her community of friends, the guests were invited to individually greet the honoree, present her with a few personal words and a rose, to be collected into a bouquet; a symbol of love, healing and new birth. The honoree celebrated a birthday, and her journey to her “ self ” , having a few years prior left her home, business and marriage. As guests entered the ceremony space, they were each asked to pour a small amount of water into a bow, symbolic of their “ combined life force within community together. During the ceremony, the celebrant read aloud an essay that the honoree had written, of a meaningful labyrinth walk that she had taken the year. The Celebrant invited the honoree to enter the labyrinth, first taking off a shawl that she wore, representing releasing what she no longer needed. The Celebrant continued reading as the honoree walked. When she reached the center, the Celebrant spoke of : “ Receiving full acceptance of the promise that when you trust in life – life will support you. Let the immense courage within that led you to this moment be the foundation of complete Trust in yourself and the future that you dream. Receive your wish to forsake the need to know the exact order of life ’ s twists and turns – and Trust that all will unfold to your benefit. ” “ Solvitur ambulando, it is solved by walking ” ~ Saint Augustine

Ceremony Overview: The 20th Birthday Ceremony and Celebration For Family Resources of Greater Nebraska officiated by Deb Goldman, Life-Cycle Celebrant :

Ceremony Overview: The 20 th Birthday Ceremony and Celebration For Family Resources of Greater Nebraska officiated by Deb Goldman, Life-Cycle Celebrant  ..."The meaning of life is not in the quest for one's own power or advancement, but lies in the service of that which is greater than one's self ” ~Robert Johnson “ The Fisher King & The Handless Maiden ”

This ceremony honored the birthday of a family resources center, it’s founder, and staff. The story of the center’s inception was spoken as a true hero’s journey. The founder had a vision quest in a sweat lodge, received a vision and guidance, and “answered the call” to serve this vision. Thus began her journey of establishing the family center from the ground up. A spiral was created for the ceremony. He husband escorted her to entrance, handed her a tree necklace which she wears as a symbol of her original vision. He helped her put it on, as a reminder of this celebration, and to continue holding the vision for the future. When walked to the center of the spiral, as a symbol of journeying from “the threshold of what has been, to the threshold of what is yet to become.” In the center, she had a private moment of silence, then spoke a blessing honoring all of her employees who answered the call and walked by her side. She asked the employees’ family members to stand in a circle around the spiral. She invited the employees to enter the spiral, one by one, As they came to the center she spoke a few words of of thanks and honoring, and gave them a gift that was symbolic of the gifts that they offer through their work. For example, a life jacket for a person who had been an “life saver”, a cowboy hat and hammer for a person who has a “Wild West take it on and get it done attitude”, a yellow feather for an optimist. As the employees walked back out of the spiral, they joined their family members in the outer circle. The final person to enter the spiral was the founder’s husband, walked in honor of his own hero’s journey, and joined her in the center, as her partner. She presented him with a gift, and they walked out the spiral, symbolic of walking into the next decade of adventures together.:

This ceremony honored the birthday of a family resources center, it’s founder, and staff. The story of the center’s inception was spoken as a true hero’s journey. The founder had a vision quest in a sweat lodge, received a vision and guidance, and “answered the call” to serve this vision. Thus began her journey of establishing the family center from the ground up. A spiral was created for the ceremony. He husband escorted her to entrance, handed her a tree necklace which she wears as a symbol of her original vision. He helped her put it on, as a reminder of this celebration, and to continue holding the vision for the future. When walked to the center of the spiral, as a symbol of journeying from “the threshold of what has been, to the threshold of what is yet to become.” In the center, she had a private moment of silence, then spoke a blessing honoring all of her employees who answered the call and walked by her side. She asked the employees’ family members to stand in a circle around the spiral. She invited the employees to enter the spiral, one by one, As they came to the center she spoke a few words of of thanks and honoring, and gave them a gift that was symbolic of the gifts that they offer through their work. For example, a life jacket for a person who had been an “life saver”, a cowboy hat and hammer for a person who has a “Wild West take it on and get it done attitude”, a yellow feather for an optimist. As the employees walked back out of the spiral, they joined their family members in the outer circle. The final person to enter the spiral was the founder’s husband, walked in honor of his own hero’s journey, and joined her in the center, as her partner. She presented him with a gift, and they walked out the spiral, symbolic of walking into the next decade of adventures together.

Ceremony Overview: Wedding on a Labyrinth officiated by Cynthia Matchett, Life-Cycle Celebrant :

Ceremony Overview: Wedding on a Labyrinth officiated by Cynthia Matchett, Life-Cycle Celebrant 

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