during an assembly of druids a few years ago, moonfox suggested that we build a labyrinth. i was surprised. i had wanted to build one ever since reading about them in touchstone a few months earlier. i’d kept coming across references to labyrinths without even looking for them and my appetite was truly whetted. i’d looked about for suitable sites and had narrowed it down to two, and had a fairly clear idea of what its size, shape and appearance would be. someday i’ll research labyrinths and see if i can design one, i promised myself, but i’d never got around to it. so moonfox’s idea hit all the right buttons. i had intended to propose the idea to the assembled obodies but it was late in the weekend and there were other things going on, and nearly everyone had left before i had a chance.
but moonfox, who was staying an extra day, returned to the idea after everyone had gone, and having done all the necessary research, confidently took charge. i knew for sure it had all the right magic driving it when without any prompting he went straight to one of my two possible sites and suggested it would be ideal. it was flat, roundish, and strewn with white stones with few bushes or tussocks. i had almost rejected it because there was a small hole not quite in the middle of it with a mound of dirt beside it remaining from an attempt i had made years before to plant a tree, but i’d had to abandon it because i’d hit bedrock only six inches below the surface, and i’d never returned to it to fill it in. now dry, shrivelled, black moss lined the hole waiting for winter rains to turn its fronds vivid green again, and spear grass matted the little mound beside it. i suggested filling it in, but moonfox seemed delighted with it. in fact he was a-buzz with enthusiasm and totally possessed by the spirit of the thing, so i let him work his own magic, and away he went.
first he drew a ten metre diameter outer ring, the first of seven concentric rings about a foot apart, and within them a small spiral into what had naturally and logically now become the ‘centre’ – the hole i had thought unsightly, now a pleasingly off-centre focal point of the maze. a large weathered belichened old limestone rock immediately found its way – i honestly can’t remember how! – to the top of the small mound of earth beside the hole, making an ideal residence for the spirit of the labyrinth, and the spiral led with a smoothly flowing sweep right into the little mossy hollow as naturally as a snake to her hole or the rabbit to his burrow. it was already beautiful.
next we worked out an entry point, in the south, and then marked out the rings and spiral with small stones. moonfox and i both felt a powerful feng shui current running into the circle from the west north west to the south west, about a metre and a half wide with a strong drag to it. moonfox placed a complex double turn in the outer circuit at the place where it entered, and at once it seemed to staunch the flow, redirecting its powerful energies into the labyrinth itself, where it became part of the labyrinth’s own energy system, it’s life force. without any foreknowledge on the part of either of its builders, the labyrinth had located itself right on a vital and inexhaustible supply of nourishment and power, which in its raw undirected form had been wreaking energetic havoc in one corner of the wyeuro gardens, where the trees were embattled and nothing would grow among them. it had found and captured its own dragon!
other turns were dictated by tussocks of grass growing in the pathways – these we respected, building them in. we added others to balance the whole, and we began to fill in the outline with larger stones, about as big as an orange on average, some smaller, some larger.
by then the labyrinth was alive and raring to go. we performed an impromptu ritual to invoke the deva of labyrinths, the goddess, and the powers of earth, and to give thanks for the great gift of the labyrinth and all its blessings, and then we each took a turn to walk it. already it was powerful experience. at each turn there was a new feeling, whole new attitudes, new ways of thinking; turn again and there’s a new way of feeling time flow; turn again, and feel the shapes of thoughts in a whole new way. peace in one section, laughter in another, rapid thought further in, vitality and healing all the way. in places your mind is filled with animal thoughts, elsewhere, you are hyper-aware of the subtle scents of the earth and grasses and the flow of animal bodies along their habitual tracks.
when you spiral into the centre it all speeds up and you go almost spinning into the mossy hollow to confront the rock in which the spirit dwells. it’s an intensely personal connection.
moonfox had to leave, so i kept filling the lines with buckets and wheelbarrows full of stones. when stormwolf arrived after lugnasadh i’d completed only three of the outer rings. over the next couple of days we filled in another three. stormwolf was the third person to walk the labyrinth. now that it was gaining coherence with successive walkings and the filling out of the rings, we were both noticing significant psychical effects. stormwolf saw me in the maze as a small child, and i saw shackles being removed from her feet and swallowed up by the hollow in which she stood facing the spirit rock.
it’s quietly alive. kangaroos with their joeys are drawn to it. one of my cats goes straight to the centre and sits there, communing with the rock. i’m often drawn there at sunset, to walk the maze in the most meditative time of the day.
it is a gift, not just to wyeuro, but to all beings. i am thankful to be a part of it.