|Emergence Symbolism||Labyrinth & Moon||Profiles & Links||
Fad or Rise of a Genuine
Throughout the last decade of the old millennium labyrinths multiplied dramatically and world wide, and have continued to do so as we have moved into a new century, a new millennium, a new astrological age, and, according to some who calculate such things, the beginning of an entire new cycle of ages.
Now too numerous to count, labyrinths are everywhere to walk: in school yards and on hospital grounds, inside and outside of churches and retreat centers, in parks and even backyards. As interest keeps growing so does recognition of the many and diverse purposes labyrinths are serving: as instruments by which certain learning disabilities are remedied; as beneficial to restoring physical, mental and emotional health; as tools of meditation and centering prayer; as forms of inspirational and recreational walking; and, in their myriad variations, as aesthetically-pleasing additions to public and private landscapes. But beyond all these individual and personal ways in which labyrinths are functioning, their larger purpose may be towards restoring the balance of a world reeling from the shock with which the twenty-first century has been entered. If fear has many in its grip, is the labyrinth an equal and opposite sign of hope?
As a highly energized, and therefore archetypal symbol, and considering the spontaneity of the idea's appearance at so propitious a time, are we witnessing the rise of a genuine archetypal phenomenon? And if so, does the degree of fascination with labyrinths suggest their appearance as synchronistic to other collective occurrences? Is their manifestation prophetic? And if so is this to be read in the design of the motif itself?
From ancient times the labyrinth has belonged to a class of patterns whose geometry has been considered sacred and therefore applied to special places set aside for sacred purpose and to mark sacred time. This has worked in two ways: in recognition of a place already deemed holy. and through ritual consciously enacted to enhance the sense of a place's hallowedness. A third purpose served has been the re-enchantment of a place that has lost its spirit--the invisible light that formerly had infused it and made it a harmonious place that engendered a sense of well-being. It is primarily this last restorative function that the present Labyrinth Movement would seem to be serving and which strongly suggests that behind the movement is a wisdom transcending ordinary human contrivance.
The Labyrinth Movement at 2002
How is the deeper significance of the collective emergence of labyrinths at this particular moment in time to be understood? What is there about the pattern of a labyrinth that is finding resonance in the human psyche? Or is the labyrinth's rise from obscurity attributable to earth itself? or its guardian spirits? or what Teilhard understood as the noosphere? or Jung as the collective or archetypal consciousness?
Some of our thoughts and discussions in regard to labyrinths have been clarifying for the nearly fourteen years since the making of the Murray Creek Labyrinth on the first weekend in November, 1988. It is therefore, at this 2002 junction, that we have to wonder if the way the labyrinth has continued to evolve here is typical. If our level of awareness concerning the meaning, purpose and function of labyrinths has continued to increase, is this similarly true for others? If so, then perhaps the time is right to reflect back on the history and the evolution of the labyrinth at Murray Creek.
What might the labyrinth, as a collectively-energized archetype, be attempting to communicate? Not just to individuals but to a civilization believed by many to be at a major point of transition, even an evolutionary turning point, and where its continued existence is considered threatened.
How might labyrinths be serving civilization's dire need to transform? Or is a "change or die" impasse how evolution builds momentum? Borrowing Jung’s expression, how might the symbolism of the labyrinth relate to a collective “Christification” process?
As a collectively awakened archetype, are labyrinths appearing in dreams? And if so, what interpretations are forthcoming? Is human consciousness, as many hold, on the verge of an evolutionary leap? In waking or dreamtime, how might the ritual of moving towards or being in the center of a labyrinth be symbolic of Self realization, or some other aspect of the spiritual rebirth process? How might these and answers to other questions explain the heightened awareness so many speak of experiencing in their initial introduction to a labyrinth?
As labyrinths move into the new millennium, will their proliferation continue? And if so, will this be accompanied by an expansion of understanding as to their meaning, purpose and function?
Is it time to begin sharing in greater
depth about our labyrinth experiences? Not just location or statistical
information, although that in itself can be highly significant, but labyrinth stories that may contain vital pieces of a puzzle
which once pieced together will be a "sign of the times" to be read.
The Murray Creek Labyrinth at 2002
As for the Murray Creek Labyrinth, the following are some of the questions hopefully to be answered in a way that will have relevance to an emerging overall picture:
The Heart, Soul, and Purpose of the Labyrinth
For most labyrinth enthusiasts their experiences are both subjective and personal. This means there are drawbacks and advantages to sharing these experiences, as sometimes our experiences feel almost too personal to share. But then sometimes it is only in the sharing that a piece of our own truth is recognized. Bearing this in mind, the history of the Murray Creek Labyrinth is not only about the evolution of understanding as to its purpose and meaning, but also about the role it has played in the deepening and broadening of the awareness of those lives who connect through it. Certainly this has been so in gaining an understanding of how the history--the past--of a place can be influencing its present, and how this calls for greater awareness of and responsibility for restoring and maintaining the peace and harmony of a place. In this sense, the heart and soul of every labyrinth can and perhaps already does serve as a center of peace, and each labyrinth walk a journey to that heart center of peace--to Jeru salem--habitation of peace.