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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The Chartres-style labyrinth at Saffron Walden Maze Festival 2013

The Chartres-style labyrinth at Saffron Walden Maze Festival 2013

Maze Festival visitors walking the cloth Chartres-style labyrinth in the Saffron Walden Friends’ Meeting House, 17th August 2013. The labyrinth was kindly loaned by the University of Kent and the photo was taken by Saffron Walden Camera Club. For more about the Festival do read the Maze Festival page on this blog – and visit http://www.saffronwaldenmazefestival.co.uk

Chartres in Saffron Walden, Radwinter School Maze Day and more!

Chartres Labyrinth Walk: on Saturday 17th August I will be facilitating an open labyrinth walk of a full sized canvas Chartres labyrinth, on temporary loan from the University of Kent. You will find me in the Friends Meeting House in Saffron Walden between 10 and 4.  The labyrinth walk is part of a larger event, the Saffron Walden Maze Festival, which will be celebrating the town’s unique heritage of the wonderful – and very large – turf labyrinth on the Common, and the recently restored Victorian hedge maze (the sort you can get lost in!) in Bridge End Gardens.

 There are all kinds of labyrinth and maze related activities planned between Friday 16th and Monday 19th August. For more details, keep an eye on the maze festival website, www.saffronwaldenmazefestival.com.uk  and do come and join in. It is sure to be an excellent weekend.

 Looking a bit further ahead, there will be some labyrinth-related happenings during Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s ‘Mental Health Resilience Week’, between 7th and 12th October. These will include the cloth ‘pebble’ labyrinth in the Chapel (please email to check precise times) some beautiful, locally-made finger labyrinths; and a walkable labyrinth on a grander scale outdoors.

 Finally, here are some pictures from the recent Maze Day at Radwinter Primary School, near Saffron Walden. We all had a very busy day with some lovely quiet, reflective moments too. Thanks to Emma Horton for having the idea, and to Mrs Hockley and all the staff for making it happen. Photos and examples of the pupils’ fantastic, creative work will be on display in the Court House, Saffron Walden, during the Maze Festival weekend – where you will also find interactive games for all ages and the ‘giant tilting maze’.

If you would like to have a similar labyrinth-themed day at your local school or other community or group, do contact me for availability, information and ideas.

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