Labyrinth Society of Edmonton
Labyrinth Society of Edmonton

Basic Approaches to Walking the Labyrinth

Walking the Labyrinth is a right-brain meditation activity.
There are as many ways to walk it as there are walkers, but here are some suggestions.

Give Gracious Attention: quiet your mind, let go of doing and be, allow thoughts to go away, be still in mind, embrace soul rest.

Ask a Question: Prior to walking, journal your thoughts or share what you are looking for with another person (they might help you to form your unspoken question). During the walk look at your question from all aspects; walking allows your own consciousness to open so deeper aspects of yourself can speak.

Use Repetition: a mantra phrase, centering prayer, non-distracting word, affirmation sentence

Read & Reflect On Scripture: a psalm or other inspiring material

Ask for Help Through Prayer: pray as you walk

Honour a Benchmark in Your Life or That of Another: a memorial act, a celebratory act, a penitence act, an intercessory act, etc.

Make A Body Prayer: move spontaneously as encouraged by the path, feel safe in its containment, sense kinetic awareness.

Use Accessories: wear a coloured scarf as symbolic of something for you; carry an object of significance to you (votive candle, flower, stone, etc.) Whatever you carry in should be carried out as well.

How To Walk the Labyrinth

The great gift of the labyrinth is that you don't have to do anything in a particular way. It is the walking through the pathways that will help you in prayer and meditation and play. As Augustine said: "It is solved by walking."

PATH: There is a single pathway in to the centre and the same path brings you out. When you have reached the centre you are halfway along the path. Take some time in the centre. It is okay for many people to be in the centre at one time. It is okay to sit in the centre. When you are ready, begin the walk back to the beginning. If a number of people are walking the labyrinth, then you will pass people on the way in and on the way out.

PAUSE: At the entrance, take a moment to become fully conscious of stepping into the labyrinth. Allow a space of time to elapse between you and the person in front of you.

PACE: Allow your body to find its own pace. If you need to walk more quickly than the person in front of you, then it is okay to walk around them. The turns are a good place to move ahead of someone. And if you are moving slowly and are being distracted by worries about people behind you, then step aside and let them walk past. It is also okay to let them take care of themselves.

SHOES: Walking the labyrinth, whether in deep meditation or playful dance, is a sacred act. We ask you to take off your shoes, if that is possible for you. It is certainly okay to keep them on, if you need them for balance or some other reason.

There is only the dance.

Walking the Labyrinth

The Parts of the Labyrinth

PATH: there are 11 circuits (the 12th is the centre). 12 = 3heaven x 4earth = creation
There are 34 turns: 28 U-turns and 6 right-angled turns.
labyrinth patternCENTRE: a six "petal" rosette (beauty and love) = Holy Spirit (6 days of creation), formation and transformation
There are 6 aspects (elements) of Creation: Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, Human, Angelic, Unknown (Mystery, Unconscious)

LABYRS: 10 at the points where U-turns abut. Viewed from above they form a cruciform pattern.
They are symbolic of women's power and creativity.

LUNATIONS: the outer edge of the labyrinth is formed by these. Each lunation is a foil ("2/3 of a circle, an arc or concave opening") separated by a cusp ("saw tooth").
There are 28 cusps per quadrant representing the lunar cycle of 28 days.
The cusps send the energy of the labyrinth out into the world.

INVISIBLE 13-POINT STAR: Christ (12 + Jesus); 13 is a prime number.
There are 13 full moons in a year. A walker of the path turns 13 times toward the centre.