Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths where the good way lies, and walk in it and find rest for your soul. Jeremiah 6:16
Here at Arapaho we have a portable canvas labyrinth. The labyrinth is
set up and available to walk several times throughout the year. Please
watch this website for dates and times. A finger labyrinth is available
for those who are unable to walk the labyrinth for any reason.
Walking the labyrinth is an ancient spiritual act. The origin of the labyrinth is not known, but is thought to be over 3500 years old. The labyrinth pictured here and the one in use at Arapaho United Methodist Church is a classical eleven-circuit labyrinth.
The most well known example of this type of labyrinth is found in the Chartres Cathedral in France. This classical design is often referred to as the Chartres Labyrinth.
There are many parts to this eleven-circuit labyrinth, each meaningful and significant. The Path lies in the eleven concentric circles with the twelfth being the center of the labyrinth. There are thirty-four turns within the path. The Rosette is the typical name given to the center of the labyrinth. The rose is often connected with Mary, mother of Jesus, who was called the Rose of Sharon. Mystical tradition sees the rose as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. It is also a universal symbol for love, both human and divine. It is speculated the six petals represent the six days of creation. There are ten Labyrs that form a cruciform from above. They are traditionally seen as symbols of feminine power and creativity. Lunations are the partial circles that form the outside of the design. made up of cusps and foils. Some believe the four quadrants of the labyrinth represent the four seasons of the calendar. There are 28 cusps in each quadrant, which would keep track of the 28-day lunar cycles and help the church keep track of the lunar feast of Easter.
While many attempt to understand the design of the classical labyrinth, most are not definitive.
The difference between a labyrinth and a maze might be confusing. Mazes are multi-cursal. They offer a variety of entrances, twist, turns, and dead-ends. A labyrinth is unicursal; offering only one path to the center and one path back out again. No decisions or choice to make, simply follow the path.
The labyrinth provides a resource to deepen our spiritual lives. It offers a wonderful metaphor for our journey of life. It provides both a spiritual and a literal path upon which to walk. By following the path to the center, one can use the labyrinth to quiet the mind and find peace at the center of ones being. As Christians, we know that at the center of everything is God. It is God towards whom we journey and God who walks with us on the path. The labyrinth is meant to be walked as a form of centering, prayer, and meditation. In the process our spirits can find healing and wholeness in its sacred space. The labyrinth is a place where the sacred meets the physical.
The labyrinth is also available for classes and groups. Please contact the church office at 972-231-1005 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.