Labyrinths in Britain Gathering 9 June 2018

What a pleasure it was to meet with friends old and new at the Labyrinths in Britain gathering in Wanstead near London yesterday. We heard from some excellent speakers: Lea Goode-Harris explained how the Santa Rosa Labyrinth design came to be, and her pleasure at seeing it spread around the world; Mark Willenbruch spoke about his journey to the labyrinth via his work with healing plants, and encouraged us all to use our heart and gut centres to help tune in to the wisdom of the plant world. He had brought copies of his lovely hand written and illustrated book for signing. Sally Welch then explained and demonstrated the intriguing art of making and using ‘labyrinth beads’, which enable the user to walk a virtual Chartres-style labyrinth on any piece of open ground. I had long looked forward to this and with a bit of help soon got the hang of it. After lunch and labyrinth walking indoors and out, Kimberly Saward read a message from the President of The Labyrinth Society, Kay Whipple, and spoke about the role of the TLS and Veriditas in furthering knowledge and experience of labyrinths around the world. Jim Buchanan delighted us with his artistic perspective on labyrinths large and small, with much discussion of the interplay between light and shadow in his beautiful projected ‘labyrinths of light’. I particularly enjoyed holding the tactile ceramic labyrinth balls, which feature a raised labyrinth overlaid on the surface, where the centre leads you through a hole in the centre of the ball and back to the start. Brilliant! I was too involved in soaking up the experience of the day to take many photos, but I did find a peaceful moment towards the end to take a photo of the grassy mown labyrinth in the garden of the meeting house. It was such a pleasure to walk it with bare feet on a warm and sunny afternoon. Thank you to Jan Sellers for hosting us at this lovely venue, her own Quaker Meeting House, and to Andy Wiggins and Jeff and Kimberly for all their excellent organisation. I hope to see some of the participants again at the Veriditas Summer Intensive in August, and we will certainly organise another gathering next summer – probably in Saffron Walden, to coincide with the Maze Festival, which we hope will run again next year.

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