Seafarer Mama/Karen is a Life Coach who uses labyrinths as a tool for personal growth and transformation for both herself and her clients.
Heart Chakra Stone With Spiral Center
The Labyrinth Path as a Journey Within
A labyrinth path is a form of Sacred Geometry. It carries energy that has the power to heal and transform our lives. Its spiral nature invites us to step closer to our Intuition, our sacred knowing, and to the Spirits that guide our lives. No matter what we believe, the labyrinth path will support our spiritual journey.
Stepping onto Sacred Ground
We approach a labyrinth with respect for its sacred nature. It is a meditation tool that brings us to a closer relationship with our Intuition, our Soul, and the Holy Spirit with every step we take. Our task is to listen for the messages Spirit has for us. When we step on the path, we step away from our everyday life and into a gap between worlds - the physical and the spiritual. In Buddhist teachings, this gap is often described as a bardo. It is a liminal space that encourages us to be present to our immediate surroundings, and to find Wisdom in what we encounter on the path, for those are messages to us from Spirit. Often, the act of being mindfully present shifts us so that we are no longer the people we were, but we aren't fully the people we're meant to become. In the gap, we begin to see things differently.
When we walk a labyrinth path, we begin a journey within and we learn new things about ourselves. Each step taken brings us closer to an important insight, and a gift of inspiration from our Muse.
A Closer Walk With Your Shadow
All of the information about our world that we store in our memory, both mental and physical, becomes stored in our Subconscious, the Shadow side of our psyche. When we walk the labyrinth path, all of that information becomes more accessible to us because we've taken the time and space from our everyday lives to integrate that knowing into our conscious selves. Gifting ourselves time and space with that knowing brings us to a new place on our life path.
Sun-Splashed Turn on the Labyrinth Path
Turns on the Path
Every turn, or circuit, on the path brings us closer to the Center. At first it might feel as if we're being led away from the center, but when we trust the path to bring us to where we need to be, we relax. Our hearts and minds open. Step by step we happily reach our destination, ready to be present to the space we find ourselves in.
Each turn is meant to lead us more deeply into our meditation on the path. Each turn is meant to open our hearts and minds to what our Intuition wants to tell us. All we need to do is listen. If we listen to our breath with each step, our inhaling and our exhaling, letting each thought float around the space, we may recognize a pattern. We may want to explore the meaning of the pattern, then we may want to Release it. The release makes room in our minds and hearts for a new way of thinking and feeling about something. It also prepares us to receive insights from our Muse, the Creative aspect of our Intuition.
Labyrinths Outside in Nature
If the labyrinth you are walking is located in a natural setting, listening to the critters, the breezes, even the rocks and trees, may yield important insights. You are really listening to your Intuition, but attending to a creature outside ourselves may make it easier for us to hear what Spirit is telling us about ourselves. They all carry energy and their Wisdom can be received when we listen attentively to their sounds and watch their movements.
Stages of a Labyrinth Walk
People use different words to express the stages of a walking meditation on a labyrinth path, and they are all similar in meaning. The words I use are Release, Receive and Return.
- Release is the first stage. It involves letting go of the world outside of the labyrinth, which will be there waiting for us when we step off the path at the end of our walk. We release all of our worries and concerns from our everyday lives. We take some deep breaths and open our hearts and minds to where the labyrinth path takes us. The frenetic world of "doing" is released from our consciousness in favor of time spent "being," a gift to ourselves. If I have a hard time releasing my worldly concerns, I often take a deep breath and imagine myself surrounded by light. Sometimes I say the Metta prayer:
- May I be filled with lovingkindness.
- May I be well.
- May I live in peace and ease.
- May I be happy.
- Receive is the next stage of our labyrinth walk. We step into the center after releasing all the distractions of the world outside the labyrinth path, ready to receive the Wisdom the Spirit of the labyrinth path is ready to give us. Take a few deep breaths and enjoy your connection with your Intuition. If we are walking to determine our next steps for a course of action, the necessary steps will become clearer to us. Notice how that feels in your body. Walking a labyrinth is about connecting your body with your mind and heart.
- The final stage of a labyrinth walk is the Return. When we've received all the support and guidance we were seeking and we know the next step or two for our life's journey, we are ready to return to the world we left behind outside the space of the labyrinth path.
Keep a Journal for Your Walks
Keeping a Journal for Your Walks
Many people have reported that the practice of keeping a journal has made a significant difference in the quality of their lives. Exploring their thoughts through writing them down daily has given them a clearer sense of their passions, their priorities, their values, and what direction they want to bring their lives.
Process and Integration
How do you process your thoughts about a situation, incidence or event in your life? Do you like to write or draw? Perhaps you like to do a little of both. I keep a journal for writing, in which I also draw pictures. The more color I add to my entries the more I feel connected to them, and the more vivid my memories are when I re-read my entries weeks or months later.
When we write out what we think and feel, we give ourselves a chance to piece together our overall response to something that has happened in our lives. We look at all of the elements involved and think about their meaning. Where did it come from? Is it a pattern? Is it a blessing? We decide if a response, or what type of response, is necessary.
Keeping in Touch
Whatever happens in our lives, writing about the events in our day that make an impression on us is a way to keep in touch with who we are as humans. In a world full of distractions and thousands of media bits coming at us every hour, it's so easy to shut down our minds and hearts due to feeling overwhelmed. Fasting from media for an hour each day (1/16th of our waking time) gives us space to process our thoughts and feelings, discern our own from those of others. Make our own meaning for what has shown up for us in our lives. Doing so right before sleep has added bonuses. Journaling right before bed also prepares us for a better night's rest than if we watched a screen.
I often write my responses to specific prompts in my journal. Later, I read my entries as information about my present self that I want my future self to know. I can often see how different times of my life connect to each other in a steady flow of life energy. When I read with self-compassion, I am able to tie together threads that need to be let go before I carry forward the ones that resonate with me now. This process helps me make important decisions.
A Walk on the Lighter Side
Having fun with our labyrinth walk meditation and journaling process is important, so I often add humor and whimsy to my journal entries. When I look back at what I've written and/or drawn, I see where my thoughts come from and how they take shape, and from them I make sense of my world.
Through writing, I know what makes me feel happy and what makes me feel sad. I know the actions that have brought me discomfort and the types of things I would do again. At the end of a cycle in my life, I have a record of my process for future reference. It's a reminder of how I landed at a certain place in my life.
My Gratitude Journal
Walking with Gratitude
Scientific evidence supports that Gratitude is one of the most powerful states of mind for healing and transformation. So much research has been conducted into the impact of Gratitude on our well-being and the results have captured the attention of professionals in the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology, philosophy and the arts. Writing in a dedicated gratitude journal at least three things we are grateful for each day improves our mood significantly. It lifts our heart, gives us hope and helps us keep a positive perspective in the face of difficulties. I keep one that I add to often, if not every day. Some of the things I'm grateful for I write down once, but then add stars next to them each time I think of them.
What are You Grateful For?
What are you grateful for? Often, I begin my labyrinth walks by saying thank you to the labyrinth itself for being there, which has given me so much comfort and inspiration over the years. The Celts call places like it "thin places," where the veil between this world and the next is thinnest. I can feel that quality in the labyrinth I walk among the trees in my co-housing community almost every day. I feel my Ancestors' presence and protection there, especially at this time of year.
Here are some of the aspects of my life I feel grateful for:
- My son
- My co-housing community
- My home
- Our cat, Skye
- Our gardens
- Our orchard
- Opportunities to lead labyrinth walks
- My musical instruments
- My art supplies
- Rainbows at the end of a rainy day
The Purpose of Walking Labyrinths
|Why Walk a Labyrinth?||Sacred Nature of Labyrinths||Benefits of Walking Labyrinths|
Unicursal (One path into center and back out)
Listen to/Connect with our Intuition
Positive changes in our lives
Moments of Grace on the Path
Recognizing Grace on the Path
What is Grace?
The word Grace has a variety of meanings centered around a basic root meaning. The primary meaning for Grace the way I use it is that it's a gift, a benefit, a favor unearned. It is often connected to divine benevolent action by a deity (i.e. the 3 Graces in Greek Mythology were benevolent Goddesses).
Examples of Grace that we might encounter include:
A positive outcome for some type of trial we might be subjected to
Good weather for an outside event we've been looking forward to
An unexpected kind gesture from a fellow human being
Synchronicity ~ we are in the right place at the right time for an opportunity
A chance meeting with a person important to the course of our lives
Finding a treasure on the path that holds meaning for us
Grace on the Labyrinth Path
When we walk the labyrinth path with an open heart and mind, the questions we have about the next steps on our life paths are often answered. We think of those answers during our walking meditation. If we are seeking a direction to move in or a sense of our life's purpose, some clarity amidst a period of confusion and change, we often find the guidance we need while we walk the labyrinth, especially when we spend time at the Center.
It is also possible that when we walk the path with openness we begin to see how our lives have been filled with Grace, and we begin to feel Gratitude for the ways we are often blessed with good things:
an abundance of food
a roof over our heads
loyal friends to enjoy and make great memories with
employment in a field of work we love to do and great coworkers
sweet children to raise with a spirit of shared curiosity and discovery
living on land filled with beautiful gardens, etc.
What Graces have filled your life? Write them down in your Gratitude journal.
Having Fun on the Labyrinth Path
A Path of Playfulness
Creating Joyful Moments with Play
Creativity is a gift and an energy that we were all born with and it connects us with the Divine. Life is ever-changing and as humans we have a limitless capacity to delight in the changes that happen for us spontaneously. We also have the power to bring about change in our lives, spontaneous or planned, and in the lives of others. Walking a labyrinth path with the spirit of curiosity enhances our Creative energy, which makes it very likely that we'll meet our Muse on the path. Our Muse will give us creative ideas to play with, usually related to work we've already begun or a project we've been planning to start working on.
A History of Celebration on the Labyrinth Path
Ancient people completed rituals of initiation -- rites of passage that marked the completion of a stage in someone's life and the beginning of another. Those were occasions for congratulations. Preparing for those celebrations involved a bit of creativity, and often young people played games or danced on the path as part of their special events.
Types of rituals and/or celebrations done on a labyrinth path included:
Coming - of - Age
Rites of Protection for loved ones about to Travel
Church Celebrations such as Christmas and Easter (Medieval)
Games that were played on the Labyrinth Path:
Tossing and catching a ball (often at Easter)
Dancing (often with scarves/veils)
A Playful Labyrinth Walk Meditation
Walking With Creative Energy
Walking the Path to Your Muse
In the Beginning...
Perhaps you already communicate often with your Muse. I do daily now. It all started with my friend James. I know him from attending Stone Soup Poetry open mics in Boston and Cambridge, and now on Zoom. He began a small creativity support group that met to walk the labyrinth and share projects we've been working on with each other in the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral (He's a member of the congregation. The labyrinth is now in the sanctuary). This was my first introduction to labyrinths and a purpose for walking them.
We always walked the labyrinth first to open our hearts and minds to the creative energy moving on the path. We often walked in ways that were imaginative, sometimes silly. We also moved around each other in spontaneous mime collaborations. It was a way to build community among us.
After walking the labyrinth path together, each person in the group took a turn to share a project we were working on. If someone in the group had an idea around how that artist might expand on what they already created, we shared it. Since James often performed mime, he encouraged us to bring movement into a piece to make it come alive on a new dimension.
Meeting the Muse on Other Paths
Since then, I've met and walked many other labyrinths: Boston, San Francisco, etc. The one I walk most is the labyrinth woven among a grove of trees in my co-housing community (Central MA). I walk the path barefoot in the summer so my feet touch the energy of Earth directly. This also helps connect me more deeply to my Muse. Each time I walk I listen to the sounds of nature around me and feel the love of my Ancestors as well as the labyrinth spirits who call the place home. They are spirit guides who speak to me, generously sharing their Wisdom. The critter spirits who live there also visit me and I pay attention to their movements: squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, frogs, crickets, and a variety of birds. A couple of our hamsters are buried there.
Love is the Answer
No matter where or when I walk, I practice working with Reiki energy and send out Love to the world. Since a labyrinth as Sacred Space is liminal space, the energy I send out from the center travels across Earth to where it is needed, and out into the Universe.
Love is the energy that travels at light speed and love is the energy I connect to when I walk the path. It's open energy, and with it I feel free. In that openness I meet my Muse and she affirms that I am on the right path toward my life's purpose.
Bringing Mindfulness to the Path
Walking the Path with Intention
What Do You Bring to the Labyrinth Path?
When we step onto the labyrinth path, we bring with us everything that's on our hearts, and that's good. The labyrinth path welcomes us as we are! However, we have the best chance of receiving specific information from our Muse when we walk with a single intention. When we do, the messages we receive from our intuition are more direct and useful. We can always return later or on another day with another intention.
What intention will you be walking with today?
An answer to a question?
Inspiration for a project?
Resolution for a conflict?
Letting go of a relationship or other situation?
Walking with grief for a loss?
Choosing the right opportunity before you?
Releasing old stories about yourself?
Celebrating some good news?
Walking the Path Through the Three Stages
Here's a ritual for walking a labyrinth path with a specific intention:
- Stand at the entrance to the path and take a deep breath.
- Light a smudge stick and surround yourself with the smoke (optional), or ring a singing bowl.
- Silently state your intention to the labyrinth.
- Step on the path and start walking. Listen to the sounds of the life around you. Listen to your breaths. Listen to your heartbeat.
- With each step and each turn on the path, Release what you no longer want. Release all the distractions of the world. You are entering Sacred Space and this is time to listen to your heart. Release compassionately all of the old versions of yourself that you are ready to let go.
- When you reach the center. Take another deep breath. Sit or stand for a while. Take your time as you Receive the Wisdom of your Muse, who represents your Intuition.
- When you have received what you need and you are ready to leave, step back onto the path (the Baltic Wheel path I usually walk has a shorter path you can walk back out to your world).
- Return to the entrance on the same path you walked in toward the Center. Return to the world you left behind with a new relationship to it. What do you feel is the first thing you want to do when you arrive back at the entrance? If you brought a journal, you can write your insights, inspirations and answers there.
Walk the Path of Dreams and Becoming
Dreaming the Map for Your Journey
Now that you have a firm foundation of the purposes for walking meditation on a labyrinth path, you are prepared to move your life path in a new direction toward your dreams. We often walk in a zigg-zagg fashion toward our dreams throughout our lives, but as we grow older we often decide to create a more direct route there. Ironically, the most direct route is often one that involves our doing less instead of doing more. We decide it's important to do less of what's expected of us by society and more of what we love to do, more of what makes our hearts sing. We begin to trust ourselves more because we've learned that turning away from our passions and toward the work that's considered worthwhile by society's standards instead of our own has caused us pain and confusion. Over time we've grown less tolerant of the feelings we carry from turning away from following our hearts. We become ready to turn toward the "still small voice" that calls us to stop, listen and transform our lives to reflect who we truly are.
The Labyrinth Path as Oracular
In ancient times, humans approached divine Oracles with reverence, open hearts and open minds. Those Oracles told us about the big mission of our lives, where we were destined to go and what we were charged to do. An Oracle was often in the form of a person who spoke aloud the divine messages sought for. Those who received a message from an Oracle dared not disobey. They were bound to carry out those instructions or they were bound to meet their death.
In modern times there are people who can give us information about our purpose and read Oracle cards (Tarot, etc.) for the same type of information. The results of ignoring their message may not be as dire, but why would we seek their knowledge if we didn't want to use it to make our lives better?
When we walk a labyrinth path, we have the chance to be our own Oracle. Like all dedicated sacred spaces, the labyrinth path is a place where we meet with divine energy, and listen to the divine aspects of ourselves -- intuition, muse, soul -- for the pieces of collective Wisdom we are meant to use for living our Purpose for this lifetime. We leave the world behind and prepare ourselves for the information by collecting our body, mind and spirit while we walk the path in toward the Center. Like in ancient times, we ask a question as we step onto the labyrinth path, then let go and walk toward the answer.
As we approach the Center of the Labyrinth path and Receive the Wisdom we seek, we often "hear" a distinct message in our head. Or, we may think a very clear thought that feels like it comes from deep within. That's the Oracle of our Muse speaking to us from the center of our Intuition. It could also be our Ancestors, Guardian Angels or Spirit Guides (there's often overlap between those). We are accessing information that's both within us and outside us. Either way, the information is from a Divine source. What we do with the information we receive will determine the quality of our lives from that moment on.
The (Ancient) Wisdom of Trees
There are lots of trees around the labyrinth I walk because its path was created around the trees. The trees carry grounding energy. They also hold Wisdom we can access by sitting near or against them. I believe that the trees of this labyrinth are part of the Oracular nature of the path. I greet them respectfully every time I walk the path with a bow and a "aho" greeting. I thank them for the blessing of their energies. They respond by extending positive welcoming energy toward me.
Now and then I bring a notebook and sit between the roots of one of the trees on the periphery of the labyrinth, whom I call "Papa Tree." This tree's energy feels male to me and I have felt him request a stronger connection with me, so I have responded by spending more quality time with him. I bow to him, touch his bark with my hand, say a few words of greeting to him, then sit by him with my notebook and pen. The messages I've received from him have been sweet and full of encouragement. Before I walk away, I thank him while I touch the bark of his trunk again. After spending that time with him my energy is renewed and I feel great! When I return home, I re-write my messages from him as a journal entry.
Many Paths Back to Ourselves
Your Path to Transformation & Regeneration
Turning Toward Our Dreams
I believe that your dreams and passions hold the keys to your life's purpose. When our dreams are discredited and we are discouraged from pursuing them because someone from our childhood and adolescence believes they aren't fiscally sustainable, we lose a piece of ourselves. A part of us dies and we bury that part of ourselves deep in our Shadow self. It can take years to revive the piece of our soul that's been so crushed and buried, but it's possible. That's where walking meditation on the labyrinth path helps. We have the power to re-integrate the pieces of ourselves we feel we've lost. It takes time, and perhaps the company and support of someone who 'gets' us. If we have the will, patience and faith in ourselves, we can make it happen.
There's a chance that you have actually pursued some of the things you love and have accomplished some things that make you feel good, that give your heart wings. Give yourself credit and thank yourself for those things. It's important to remember that there may be some things about our lives that 'aren't broken and don't need to be fixed.'
Self-Affirmation Ritual at the Center
Here is a ritual you can do every time you reach the center of a labyrinth path. After you've spent time Receiving the Wisdom that's there for you, take a moment to affirm what you've heard. Choose an aspect of yourself, something you identify with, to fill in the blank.
To prepare for this ritual, the only thing you'll need is to know where the 4 directions are relative to your location. At least be able to know where North is from the orientation of the center.
- Stand up and face North. Hold your hands together in front of your heart, palms touching. Say, "Spirits of the North..."
- Bring your hands in the same position up to your forehead an say, "Of Earth..."
- Stretch your arms out to your sides, with your palms facing out, and say, "I am (a) _____." (Words I've used are warm, welcoming, funny, writer, healer, artist, musician, etc.) and soak in the energy of that direction and smile.
- Bring your hands, palms together, back to your chest/heart and turn 1 step clockwise (to your right).
- Continue this same exercise facing the East (Air), South (Fire) and West (Water).
Journal Prompts for Affirming Your Purpose
The more we affirm our purpose and take steps toward matching our life paths to our hearts desires, the more we'll feel happy with ourselves and positively impact the lives of others. The objective for responding to each of these prompts is that they inspire you to begin saying "no" to the things that drain your energy. Replace those energy vampires with pastimes and people who bring you joy.
So, grab your notebook or journal and a favorite pen, walk the path, find a seat at the center, and start writing!
- What would my ideal day look like?
- What would my ideal home look like (if you don't live there already)?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- Who or what makes me smile?
- What do I dream of having more time to do?
- What would my life look like if my work reflected what I truly value?
Transformation & Regeneration
When you begin to make changes in how you spend your time in favor of what brings you joy, your life will begin to transform and you will feel the magic in each day!
When we live our lives from our hearts, we begin to regenerate. We feel lighter, freer, because we're not carrying around the expectations of others on our shoulders. We are living according to our own set of expectations for ourselves, kinder and more compassionate ones.
May you transform your life into a magical creation of your choosing and may your heart grow wings and soar with happiness!
Links to Labyrinth Resources
- Art that feeds the Soul by WalkLoveSparkle on Etsy
Find meditation tools (labyrinths and coloring pages) and beautiful art (magnets and blank photo cards) that supports your Purpose! Come take a look and be part of the Magic!
- The Labyrinth Society: The Labyrinth Society
The Labyrinth Society, known affectionately as "TLS," is made up of labyrinth enthusiasts from all over the world. TLS supports all those who create, maintain and use labyrinths, and serves the global community by providing education, networking and
- Home of the Labyrinth Movement
Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience. We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote
- World-Wide Labyrinth Locator - Welcome
The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator has been designed to be an easy-to-use database of labyrinths around the world. Information about labyrinths you can visit, including their locations, pictures, and contact details, are accessible here, along with inf