Mandala Monday – Labyrinths as Mandalas – Guest Post by Epouna

Labyrinths, just like mandalas, have been used by people around the world to find one’s center through a spiritual journey. Although the oldest labyrinth that has been found to date is in Crete, this type of Sacred Geometry has been a longtime part of cultures such as America’s Hopi Tribes and Australian Aboriginal natives. Designs such as these have also been found in European cathedrals and even as a rock etching in England.

Although many people assume that all labyrinth are mazes, they’re not. Mazes are a part of the labyrinth family but labyrinths don’t offer any obstructions the way that mazes do. This means that you always have a clear path to the center without having to backtrack your journey.

Labyrinths have quite a long history. In fact, the clay tablet found in Greece, inspired the Classical Labyrinth and it dates back all the way to 1,200 BCE. If you have ever been in a European church, you may have found a Medieval Labyrinth on the floor. This variety is constructed with Sacred Geometry and offers four symbolic quadrants.

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As you follow the circle inward, the labyrinth helps you find your own center. You will notice that the closer that you get to the center of the labyrinth, there are certain energies that become prevalent. As you journey to discover your relationship with your gods, the Earth and the universe, egos are pushed aside as you enter deeper into a meditative state.

Every labyrinth journey is different for each individual. There are no right or wrong rituals. The Journey of Life is a common ritual that takes on a journey to find your destiny once you arrive at the center. During this ritual you must pay attention to sounds and sights around you and envision your goals. As you make one turn after the other, some parts may be more difficult as they represent turning points and struggles in your personal life.

 

The Three Fold Path ritual is a Christian example. You signify Purgation as you release your inhibitions walking through the labyrinth. Insight and clarity are gained when you reach the center which signifies illumination. The path out is just as important as the journey in, this is where you use the insight that has been received to send into the world which represents Union.

Chartres Cathedral in France offers one of the world’s most famous labyrinths, for hundreds of years, pilgrims made the long journey here. Total enlightenment through God is achieved by using this prayer tool. Similar to a mandala, labyrinths can be used in many ways. Dance, crawl or pray silently along your journey, it doesn’t matter as long as it helps you reach your center.

A cross formation represents the eleven circuits which has four quadrants and a rosette center. This symbolizes the four regions. The cross where Christ died is a representation of this type of symbolic Sacred Geometry.

The Divine which you are trying to better understand or worship becomes more accessible to you as you open your soul, heart and mind by using labyrinths as mandalas. Meditation helps you achieve a clean slate and cleanses you inside as it brings you near the Divine. Along your journey, pray, meditate and think and once you reach the center, you will realize who you are and what your future holds.

 

Article by Epouna
www.meaningofmandalas.com

Images from Wikimedia Commons

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