indralaya

Labyrinth

The labyrinth is enjoying a resurgence in interest and popularity as people seek to reinvolve themselves in ritual activity that brings meaning and purpose to their lives. Labyrinth patterns have been meaningful throughout human history, in all ages and on all continents

In April of 1999, we offered a program called Journeying the Labyrinth, for people to participate in the construction of a labyrinth at Indralaya while learning about its meaning and history. About 25 people were led by Diana March, a dedicated student of labyrinths who had been involved in the construction of two full size labyrinth in the Chicago area. She is the past manager of the Quest Bookshop at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America in Wheaton, Illinois.

A classical seven circuit Cretan labyrinth was chosen for Indralaya and a suitable location was found on the east side of the main lodge. Once the center and the entrance of the labyrinth were determined, the measurements were laid out with dowels, string, measuring tape, and chalk. Then each person picked up a stone and piece of driftwood from the surrounding landscape. As they walked into the labyrinth in silence, they placed their item on the chalk wall lines and the labyrinth gradually came to life.

The Indralaya Labyrinth

The Indralaya Labyrinth

That evening everyone in the group pooled their ideas together to create a blessing ritual for the labyrinth. The next day they all gathered by the front of the lodge and softly hummed a tune that Minor, the camp manager, had composed based on tones ascribed to each of the seven circuits of the labyrinth. While humming, each person was smudged with cedar gathered from camp. Then the group proceeded silently to the labyrinth, encircling it in single file, with the oldest person, 70 years old, leading the way, and the youngest person, 12 years old, closing the circle. The labyrinth was cleared with a call to the 4 directions and the blessing began.

Minor played the seven circuit tune on his recorder that had been hummed, then the group sang three rounds of the words that he and his wife Leonie had composed for the tune:

“Let there be peace, beauty and love,
Blessing and grace, here in this place.”

After this expression of intention and blessing through song, Minor, welcomed the labyrinth to Indralaya. Diana, the program leader, spoke about labyrinths in other parts of the world and how they can be connected to each other. In her blessing, she linked the Indralaya labyrinth to the one at the Theosophical Society in Wheaton, Illinois.

The labyrinth altar

The labyrinth altar

Then, the oldest person carried a large white candle into the center of the labyrinth where it was lit. Each person followed, walking into the labyrinth with an item that had special meaning for them from the landscape of Indralaya or nature, and placed it in the center of the labyrinth. A beautiful altar was created with ferns, rocks, feathers, nests, shells, cones, grains, flowers, and water, to represent all of our relations at Indralaya.

After walking into the center each person went back to the outside of the labyrinth to form another circle. When the last person had come out of the labyrinth, a final blessing was given and the group proceeded out, singing the seven circuit song back up to the lodge, where the celebration continued with a festive meal prepared for the occasion.