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 Create A Labryinth I


I walked my first labyrinth at Lillydale in western New York many years ago ..........
and I was enthralled. I came home and did some research..wow ..lots of stuff out there. A search  found several sites on sacred geometry and the labyrinth also the Grace Cathedral http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth  and  and the labyrinth society  www.labyrinthsociety.org where you can find a labyrinth in your area to walk or people close by to help you make one.
My second experience was at a weekend retreat where they had made a temporary one with straw..and I was impressed and inspired... I could go home and make my own and not have to go anywhere when I wanted to walk one...I could walk one everyday..and so it was back to all the reading on how.
Hummmmmmmmmmmm.. not so easy..very complex ..I didn't think I could follow their directions so maybe I needed to figure out what I wanted in a labyrinth besides the wonderful peace that I felt in one.
I wanted to walk on grass paths so I could be in my bare feet
I wanted to walk towards the east from the west..I don't know why, I just did.
I wanted it close to the house. (we are so very fortunate to have 40 acres to choose from)
I wanted something I could build and maintain by myself.
The instructions say to divine a sacred place.
I tried using dowsing rods..but finding several spots made it hard to choose.
How could I tell if one was better than the other?
I picked what I thought was the place and then sat approximately where the center would be and meditated...and I ask for a very specific sign if this was THE spot...I asked to see an owl in daylight.
Several days later as I was leaving for work around 6 A.M. it was daylight and there sat an owl on the fence post just looking at me...took me until lunch time to realize that I had gotten my sign..whoopee..now what to do, cause I sure thought it would take  longer than that..
I was drawn to the Chartres labyrinth and had decided I wanted one of that design.. so having found the location, I needed to know how big I could make it.  
The smallest area in the field was 105 feet so I figured I could do 100 feet across.
I printed out numerous copies of the design and counted and figured and thought about how to go about it and finally I thought I had a good plan.
My plan was to find the center and make as many concentric circles as the labyrinth had and then using the printed copy as a pattern..walk it and make the turns where they needed to be.  If I used chalk  I could erase the circles where I needed to and any mistakes could be be easily fixed. And then when I had it just like I wanted it..it could be made permanent...
now to see if that would work..
If you look at the Chartres labyrinth you will see that the turns in the four sections make what looks like a cross - or an X and I figured that I could put that cross on the four cardinal compass points.. and that would make it easier for me to orient the opening in the west so I would be entering facing east..and thinking about the layout did I turn left or right.. I decided to make the first turn go to the left which would be to the north first.
Now I can't recall any reasons for my deciding these things..just that it felt right.
First I pounded a nice stake where the very center would be and then using a compass found the four cardinal points and measured 50 feet out to where each one would be and put a small marker at each one. This would make the cross and be the outside of my labyrinth.
Then I got a piece of string (kite string is nice and strong and comes in different lengths) and tied the string to the center stake...
I decided a 10 foot  center circle for lying down to meditate would be large enough..so I measured out 5 feet from the center and tied a knot in the string..I walked the circle and yep it was big enough..but the string wrapped around the stake making the circle uneven.....
what to do ?....
ah-ha..got the swivel off the dog lead and nailed it to the top of the stake and then tied the string onto that..walked the circle again and the swivel kept the string from wrapping ...it worked..yahoo...
so how to figure out how wide to make the walking paths..hummmmmmmmmmmmm I could TRY math but naw, I'm more of a Kiss type (keep it simple sweetie)..
To solve the path size question I went and got some clothes pins..and with the center circle sized I headed toward the east point and every so many feet I clipped a clothes pin to the string...when I got to the east point - which would be the outside of the circle I put the string on the ground and then adjusted the clothes pins till I had the correct number of paths.
Then I went and tied a knot where each clothes pin had been to prevent then from slipping and making sure that I made them all the same width..
now I was ready to chalk..
oh now the chalk.. when I went to price the stuff I had sticker shock..being the cheapo that I am  I looked for something else and came up with white lime..and even cheaper is gray lime...since I was in the grass either would work..
The spreading of it was not easy..I needed to walk sideways keeping the string taut and make a line directly under the string..this took some thought..
I wound up getting the biggest sippy cup I could find and using that...
When I got all the circles made, I counted to make sure I was right.. looked like a nice big target and I was wishing I had gone smaller than a 100 ft circle..
so I took my printed copy and made the lines along the cross..if you've ever gardened you know how to put in two stakes and run a string line from one point to the other...so from north to south and then from east to west ..and look at the drawing the path doubles back on itself so at these places where you turn a straight line across the path was all I needed...
a labyrinth is a long meandering walk...one way to the center..no need to think just follow the path and turn when there was a line across your path..
pretty easy when you think about it and boy was I getting intimate with thinking about it...
I finally got all the lines where I wanted them and  now to walk it and see if it was a path to the center...
that first test walk was amazing...I forgot about making lines and circles and directions and by the time I got to the center, I collapsed laughing at the joy and wonder of it...
The next day I looked at my labyrinth and wondered how  WAS I going to make it permanent before it rained and messed up all my lines...
sooooooooooooooooo asking for forgiveness from any and all things natural I got out the Round Up grass killer and walked the circles and sprayed all the lines. My lines would then be formed by the dead grass lines.
if you have ever used Round Up you know that visible signs of it are not fast...by the third day and some rain all my work was gone.....now should I start over or what?? was the universe telling me that a weed killer was not compatible with a labyrinth and all that I thought it was???
Finally after much impatience and a 5 day wait the lines were visible .....hahaha.. I HAD A LABYRINTH
.... I danced around that circle several times before the thought occurred to me that I needed to somehow bless/dedicate the space...hummmmmmmmm but should I.. I was going to be mowing over it to keep it.. and what about the lines.. the round up would only last so long and then I would have to reapply it...hummmmmmmmmmmmmm
My husband was out weed eating  right as time to respray was close.. that wonderful man put the blade on his weeding tool and walked the path for me...effectively cutting all the lines into the grass.... and bless his heart he has been doing it ever since..
 I dedicated it at the summer solstice of 2000.
In looking for others doing this type of thing I stumbled across a message board where I met so many beautiful souls. That board evolved into another and that one into this space...the circle is widening all the time.. change is great.
Everyone who is lucky enough to walk a labyrinth will have an experience that will be personal.. you may want to share the experience or keep it to yourself...it's all good..
But as with so many things that are out there it will teach you a lesson ....and one of my biggest lessons with the labyrinth is/was that it is just a tool.
Really..just a tool...it does nothing without you...you are the energy source .. it is a tool to help you realize your strengths and to work on yourself for whatever you need...Yep !   JUST A TOOL.. and when the job is done the tool can be retired...
My labyrinth will be retired at the winter solstice of this year, 2007.   It has served it's purpose. and for any who make your own or walk one in any of the wonderful spaces they are found...may you realize that the force is not with you.. it is you... go with joy and dance in your power.
Diane K.

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