Stop, Turn and Do This

I am a builder of labyrinths. I have built ones in solo contemplation and large ones as community projects. I have used chalk on a driveway to create a labyrinth and made adobes of mud and straw to build walls for a labyrinth that eventually melts back into the Earth. I have walked ancient labyrinths all over the world. Labyrinths have been around for over 5,000 years. I use this labyrinth locater to find ones nearby

If you are new to labyrinths, this is a wonderful description from the Verditas website:

“The labyrinth is a walking meditation, a path of prayer and an archetypal blueprint where psyche meets Spirit. It has only one path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the center. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. Unlike a maze where you lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way”.

Walking a labyrinth is a compressed journey where you may travel thousands of miles, decades and maybe even lifetimes within a few yards. Walking a labyrinth at this time of year is especially meaningful for me. Late October is the time of year when the veil between the visible and unseen worlds is the thinnest. It is the time of year here in the northern hemisphere when the days are getting shorter, the harvest has passed and preparations for winter and the time of going within yourself have begun. During this season when the spirit side is close, you may feel like you hear whispers from deceased loved ones or that your angels are nearby. There is a reason that ceremonies honoring the dead happen this time of year.

Now is the time to stop, turn, face inward and peek behind the veil. It is the best time to reach out and ask your spirit for guidance. You will get an answer. A tradition I honor every year is to walk a labyrinth. My birthday falls in October, so the double whammy always gets me thinking about life and death and what comes afterward. Walking a labyrinth is a meditative practice you can use to activate your spiritual sensitivities. Are you drawn to celebrating Halloween? Do you love scary movies this time of year? You are tapping into the ancient traditions of honoring the cycles of the natural world and the transitioning to the spirit world. In our contemporary culture we use scary movies and dressing up in Halloween costumes to honor this tradition. You may feel you can more easily connect with loved ones that have passed on at this time of year. You may also feel a need for more sleep and be prone to daydreams. This is all part of the natural cycles.

Here is a ceremony I use to honor this time of year when the transitions pull you closer to the spirit world. How you define the spirit world is up to you.

  1. Find a labyrinth near you using the locator. Many churches and community centers have labyrinths. You can even make your own. I have directions on how to make a hand labyrinth in my book, Awakening Your Creative Soul and you can find information online. Begin your ceremony by honoring the Earth and creating sacred space. A ceremony delineates secular space and time from sacred space and time. You may use water, stones or plants to set the intent. I like to burn sage or copal as a cleansing ritual and to have water in a bottle nearby as another form of cleansing. Water amplifies spiritual energy. Cleanse yourself in the smoke and then pour some water onto the ground. The water will connect your spirit with the Earth and it is a way of honoring all who came before.

  2. Sit quietly for a few minutes and thank the Earth for supporting you and giving you sustenance. Ask yourself what question you wish to ask? Take a few moments, but I find the first thing that pops into my mind after asking is the best question to carry.

  3. Take your question with you and enter the labyrinth. Slowly follow the path inward, silently repeating the question over and over as you journey inward. Take your time, this is a prayer and a meditation.

  4. When you reach the center, bend down and touch the Earth. Place your hands on the ground and imagine planting your question in the center of the circle. Take a moment to be one with the Earth and clear your mind.

  5. Stand up and slowly begin to retrace your steps outward. With each step listen for the answer to your question. No need to repeat the question, simply listen. When you reach the place where you began, bend down and touch the ground and thank Spirit for your answer. You will get an answer to your question. Let the answer be within you. It may be resoundingly clear, or you may wonder what it means. Write down your question and your answer in your journal.

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