As I told you in my previous post, I am a bookworm, and I love to have a blind date with a book in my local library.
My last discovery was Gailand Macqueen’s The Spirituality of Mazes and Labyrinths.
I am sure you are wondering how this kind of book could possibly help us in our relationships and how to get out of our comfort zone.
Well, honestly at first, I borrowed it because I found the pictures beautiful, and the title intriguing. Then, having looked at it more closely, the emotional vortex of our logo looks like a labyrinth, and sometimes, our lives looks like stressful mazes, don’t they?
In his book, Macqueen tells the story and history of mazes and labyrinths, starting with the most popular, the one that was built by Dedale in Crete to imprison the Minotaur. The author makes a distinction between a labyrinth and a maze, and takes us around the world to walk with him in labyrinths in England, France, and Crete.
By reading this book, you learn how to make your own labyrinth in your backyard, and experience a three-dimensional maze, a letter maze, and a multipage maze. This book is also a maze by itself, in which it is a real pleasure to get lost.
Mazes and Labyrinths are different, but they both hold a spiritual symbol. In many religions all over the world, they are the archetypal symbol of our journey through life to reach the center, which is the enlightenment; in medieval times, the center was called heaven.
A labyrinth is a winding path that takes you inevitably to the center. It’s impossible to get lost in it. It was present in many churches in Europe before the Catholic Church around the 15th Century erased them. One of them is in the cathedral of Chartres, in France, which is now open to the public and used for prayers.
The labyrinth symbolizes the unity of life. When we walk on its path, we sometimes feel that we are close to the center and sometimes that we are far away, but at the end, we arrive at the center. For Macqueen, labyrinths can be also a tool to understand relationship. We walk together on the same path, but sometimes we can be at different place in the labyrinth even when we try to reach the same goal. Then, we have to go back with what we learned during our walk. Walking in a labyrinth is a spiritual journey.
The maze has multiple paths, like a puzzle. It represents our modern life. Nowadays in modern society, we have to make our own decisions. Sometimes, we make mistakes and end up at a dead end; sometimes we make the right choice and continue on the right path. In a maze, life is more complicated than in a labyrinth. It’s more stressful. Some might say that mazes are more fun.
Macqueen also explains what a New Age labyrinth is. During the 1970’s, labyrinths made their come back as a tool to meditate and heal. It is related to a universal energy that brings peace and harmony for us and for the whole planet. Labyrinths are again tools for a renewed spirituality.
Whichever one we prefer, labyrinths and mazes help us rediscover our bodies as vehicles of spirituality. On their paths, we can listen to music and even dance to let us express our very selves, a simple, yet efficient way to get out of our comfort zone!
In conclusion, Macqueen shares with his readers the simplicity of labyrinth. It is calming and shows that life after all is simple, all we need is to “trust the Path.”
I was ready to travel to England and walk the path of the Glastonbury Labyrinth, which is supposed to be in the mystic Avalon, when I realized that I could go on my journey closer to my town, I decided to give it a try.
I took Georgia on the path of the labyrinth of the Unity Church of Sussex, NJ.
Next time, I will tell you more about it.
If you like to see if there is a labyrinth by you, you can check here
For more information on the History of labyrinth and how to create your own
On the spiritual labyrinth
On cathedral of Chartres’ labyrinth