Wild Goose Publications, 2013, 144pp
Reviewed by Ian Mowll
“In the UK, interest in working with labyrinths is on the increase. We are witnessing a flowering of permanent labyrinth construction and a steady growth in the creation of portable and temporary labyrinths. The number of trained labyrinth facilitators has more than doubled in the last two years alone, enhancing the quality and variety of new projects.”
This extract from page 128 shows the importance of this book in giving those interested in this area ideas about how to develop labyrinths. Examples in the book include labyrinths in hospitals, schools, universities, hospices, spiritual centres and public spaces. The book also covers more personal development issues such as the use of labyrinths for stress management and self-care.
Why has there been a growth in labyrinths in recent years? A clue is on page 80 where we read: “It seems that many people today are looking for deep, holistic, nurturing ways of exploring, understanding and expressing their authentic spiritual experience; ways which serve to align their belief with a fresh appreciation of humanity’s intimate relationship to all planetary life, to the universe, to mystery and to the sacred.”
As someone who has struggled with (and finally given up on) sitting meditation, this rings true for me. Being outdoors and moving freely helps me to connect more easily with the world and my authentic self.
Finally, I did not realise that labyrinths are so cross cultural and crop up in many traditions. There is a short section in the book on the history of labyrinths and how they seem to be akin to a spiritual archetype. Perhaps this cross cultural aspect is one of the many reasons why they are becoming more popular as we live in a world of increasing local diversity.