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Coming soon: The Labyrinth


Many thanks to Kathy Doore and her blog, Labyrinthina, for all this wonderful knowledge about labyrinths!

The Hopi Indians of North America had a symbol for Mother Earth known today as the "Classical Seven-Path Labyrinth." It was this symbol of the Mother which identified the sacred in nature - that spiraling form found throughout nature. Labyrinths were woven into objects to personify man's connection to his source and were often placed at sacred places in nature to remind him of this union. When one walks the labyrinth it is in recreating this very ancient expression of thanks and remembrance of the divine in all things.


Revelations from nature are a part of humankind's connection to the creative nature of the Universe. Nature can be thought of as a reflection of the laws of creation. In many cultures from ancient Europe to the Americas it was considered a rite of passage to have a vision quest - to spend time totally alone in nature, in a spot chosen by the elders as a sacred place. From this time of solitude and of humility would come a vision. This vision could occur in the form of a bird whose spirit would teach or from an animal, a rock, or even the wind and water. Although the guidance came from within their own being, often it was linked to a place in nature.



Our ancestors knew that the divine in nature was an extension of their own humanity and depended on this relationship to support their very existence. In remembering the lessons of old we can think of the earth as an extension of our own body. We realize we must care for our natural resources as an extension of ourselves. These lessons teach only to take what is needed and to always give back that which we can.


The Labyrinth is an extension of man's desire to co-create with nature. When man consecrates space in nature as sacred he heals a part of himself. The earth has the capacity to heal us just as we have this capacity to heal the earth, it is a symbiotic relationship. In ages past when people worked closely with the earth the first and best fruits of the harvest were always returned to the Mother in thanks for her many gifts.


The Labyrinth is a beautiful form of this gifting process between man and his environment -- a precious spiraling pathway uniting us with our natural habitat. The conscious intent of creating this Sacred Space originates in our awareness of the divine and how we use the universal language of color, sound, movement and form to heal and regenerate our land, ourselves. We reveal ourselves by what we do and say, how we build, paint, and sing. The joy of unveiling the true self freed of emotional restraints cannot be surpassed.

Caucasian Wooden Basket


Labyrinths are temples that enhance and balance and bring a sense of the sacred - a place where we can confirm our unity with the cosmos, awaken our vital force and elevate our consciousness. These structures are space/time temples where we can behold realities that oddly enough transcend space and time. The orientation, form and geometry of a labyrinth have symbolic as well as spatial importance. It is a mirror for the divine, a place to behold the beauty in nature.


Spiraling inward and out, this serpentine flow is the most generative form of subtle energy. The process of moving through the pathway unwinds this stored energy, releasing, magnifying, and ultimately harnessing the flow. Working directly in conjunction with the human energy fields this spiraling flow interacts with the kundalini energy coiled at the base of our spine converting the subtle energy into life force itself. This uncoiling of the kundalini vitalizes us through a process of unfolding both upwards and inwards, an exhalation and ingathering of energies known as the dance of creation.


Labyrinths are known as sacred gateways and have been found at the entrance of ancient sites around the world. Often located at the center of subtle 'earth energies' these temples enhance, balance, regenerate and confirm our unity with the cosmos.


A type of Labyrinth known as a Yantra was used as a meditation by Hindu midwives to assist in childbirth and served as a means of relaxation for the birth canal, another labyrinthine form.  

Hindu Yantra Labyrinth


The spiral is the most generative form of subtle energy. When its coil is unwound the stored energy is released. The areas where straight ley lines cross, or where underground water run are places to build sacred temples, labyrinths. These places are rich in both yin and yang (yin underground water crossing yang energy lines). The labyrinth resonates to this numinous spiral, the Phi ratio known as the 'Golden Mean' found in all of nature.

British Crop Circle- Julia Set

Labyrinths have always been associated with ancient pilgrimage routes and rituals of self-discovery. They were worn as a form of protection and ornamentation and were often found carved on doorways to bless a dwelling.


Labyrinths are time windows, portals, where time stands still. They are known to facilitate altered states of consciousness and have parallels with reincarnation, initiation, prosperity, and fertility rites. Ancient Scandinavian sailors believed the labyrinth had magical properties and when walked could control the weather and ensure a good catch.

Nazca Spider labyrinth


Many Sacred Dances have taken place within the Labyrinth such as the "crane" dance recounted in the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. It is believed that the action of "dancing" a labyrinth magically activates its inherent powers!

Ancient Temples

As a universal symbol the Labyrinth appears throughout history dating some 4,500 years and appears cross-culturally over the face of our world throughout our known history.


Labyrinths date back to early Crete, Egypt, Peru and India and were used for ritual walking and spiritual contemplation. Often called "city of turns" labyrinths were equated with Holy cities such as Troy, Jericho, and Jerusalem.



Resonating to the vibration of "seven" the Classical Labyrinth has a direct correlation with the primary Chakras, Tones on the scale, and Colors of the Rainbow.

The Brain

Equated with the brain many cultures believed that the labyrinth could cure illness. Today the labyrinth is known to have a curative effect on certain ailments by producing a sense of well-being and balance through a type of vestibular stimulation, accessing both left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Hopi Labyrinth


Moving through a Labyrinth changes ordinary ways of perception connecting the inner and the outer, the right brain and the left brain, the involutional and the evolutional through a series of paths that represent the realms of the Gods and Goddesses. These realms are associated with planetary movement as a process that induces Union with the One.


Hopi Labyrinth

Oral Tradition of the Hopi Labyrinth

The Man in the Maze 

I?itoi or I?ithi is, in the tradition of the O'odham peoples, the mischievous creator god who resides in a cave just below the peak of Baboquivari Mountain, part of the Tohomo O’odham Nation. Visitors to the cave are asked to bring a gift to ensure their safe return from the depths. I'itoi is said to have brought the Hohokam people to this earth from the underworld, said to be ancestors of both the Tohono O'odham and the Pima. He is also responsible for the gift of the Himdag, a series of commandments guiding people to remain in balance with the world and interact with it as intended. 

The Pima also refer to I'itoi as Elder Brother, the term I?ithi is a dialectal variant used by the Hia Ced O’Odham. He is most often referred to as the Man in the Maze, a reference to a design appearing on native basketry and petroglyphs which positions him at the entry to a labyrinth. This labyrinth is believed by the Pima to be a floorplan of his house, and by the Tohono O'odham to be a map giving directions to his house. The Man in the Maze motif is used liberally in the American Southwest, most prominently by Hopi silversmiths in rings and jewelry to showcase the quality of their technique and by Pima basketweavers, with whom it has been a very popular pattern since the 1900s. Every basket pattern has a “mistake” (also known as a “dau”, or door) intentionally integrated into it's design so that the spirit of the basket can be released. 

According to O'odham oral history, the labyrinth design depicts experiences and choices we make in our journey through life. In the middle of the “maze”, a person finds their dreams and goals. When one reaches the center, we have one final opportunity (the last turn in the design) to look back upon our choices and path, before the Sun God greets us, blesses us and passes us into the next world. 

Oral History as told by Alfretta Antone: “Elder Brother lived in the maze ... and the reason why he lived in the maze was because ... I think how I'm gonna say this ... magician or oh, medicine man that can disappear, and that can do things, heal people and things like that ... that was Elder Brother ... Se:he ... they called him ... he lived in there ... but he had a lot of enemies so he made that, and to live in there people would go in there but they couldn't find him ... they would turn around and go back.” 

“But in real life ... when you look at the maze you start from the top and go into the maze ... your life, you go down and then you reach a place where you have to turn around ... maybe in your own life you fall, something happens in your home, you are sad, you pick yourself up and you go on through the maze ... you go on and on and on ... so many places in there you might ... maybe your child died ... or maybe somebody died, or you stop, you fall and you feel bad ... you get up, turn around and go again ... when you reach that middle of the maze ... that's when you see the Sun God and the Sun God blesses you and say you have made it ... that's where you die. The maze is a symbol of life ... happiness, sadness ... and you reach your goal ... there's a dream there, and you reach that dream when you get to the middle of the maze ... that's how I was told, my grandparents told me that's how the maze is.”


England rock carving

Establishing Sacred Space 
by Kathy Doore

As a dowser I feel the energetic quality of the Earth is germane to the establishment of sacred space. When establishing a labyrinth we dowse a site before any work begins then invite and work with the spirit of place before the temple is erected. A great deal of devic activity accompanies our work, we'll invariably have rainbows, shooting stars, many birds and animals, and unseen helping hands with us. Its always a wonder to see who'll make an appearance to build an earth temple.

From old Swedish legends we've found a method of using our intention to provide clear weather for outdoor events. In fact, there have been times when we've been the only dry ground for miles. This ability to work with the elements was gleaned from legendary accounts of ancient Swedish sailors who would build their labyrinths near the sea in order to capture and control the winds. As a sailor myself and former owner of a wooden Swedish sailboat, I'm happy to report this method still works. 

Multidimensional Perception

Best known as a tool for transformation the Classical Seven-Path Labyrinth is known to facilitate non-ordinary states of perception. Based on the Universal Law,energy follows thought, alternate realities are actualized through induced states of intent; this is the key to manifestation.

The ancient wise women of Great Britain used the labyrinth to initiate states of high perception by continuously running the finger through a carved stone labyrinthine tablet while inducing sacred harmonics to initiate the higher state. The template would be seen, felt, and physically activated until the desired state became manifest. Indeed, it is possible to recreate these states of consciousness today. 

If you have modeling clay you can construct a tablet labyrinth with finger canals, or simply use construction paper to create a paper diagram adhered to a strong backing. Find a comfortable place for meditation where you won't be interrupted, then ground and center yourself and begin with voiced clear intent and prayer. 

Holding the labyrinth in one hand on your lap, use your other hand to run the pattern. Take your index finger and lightly follow the pathway all the way in and out again. Continue this spiraling movement until it becomes a continuous even flow. When you feel comfortable with the movement and know the pathway intimately, then close your eyes and continue the journey.

In the beginning you will want to consciously access light (color), frequency (harmonic), energy (chakras) as you make your way through the labyrinth. The route begins on the third pathway and continues as follows 2, 1, 4, 7, 6, 5, and center, returning in the same reverse fashion.

The corresponding frequencies are as follows:

Path Color Note Chakra

3 - yellow - E - Solar Plexus

2 - orange - D - Sacral Plexus

1 - red - C - Root

4 - green - F - Heart

7 - violet - B - Crown

6 - indigo - A - Brow

5 - blue - G - Throat

Center - Oneness

To initiate an interdimensional doorway hold the image of light and spiritual emergence firmly in your mind. Begin moving conscious energy to the various chakra centers corresponding to the Path. This may be felt in a number of ways including physical and or emotional manifestation. Pay attention to the subtleties but don't dwell on the phenomena, make a mental note of your experience and continue on your way. When you have some degree of mastery over the above, notice your emotions, thoughts, and any physical manifestation in your body such as an electrical feeling or vibration.

As you become comfortable with the movement and layering of imagery begin letting go of conscious thinking. You may continue the harmonic toning if you're comfortable with this. Become aware of the feel of energy moving through your body which may manifest as tingling throughout your body in your hands, feet, and legs.

As you enter the area of separation from the physical and unification with the divine you may sense a rarefied atmosphere, hear tonal frequencies, and notice energy sensations run through various parts of your body. Relax. You have successfully initiated a state of altered consciousness enabling access to various levels of shamanic journey. The next step is Intention. Do you know where you are going from here? Intuit it wisely.

Walking the Rainbow Path

Each path has a number that corresponds to the chakras, 
working with the frequency of each contemplate your question
as you enter, and recieve the solution as you exit. 

1: Base Chakra 
2: sacral chakra 
3: Solar plexus 
4: Heart Chakra 
5: throat chakra 
6: third eye 
7: Crown Chakra 

Enter on Path 3 - 2 - 1 - 4 - 7 - 6 - 5 - Center 

At the opening of the labyrinth take the time to relax and to clarify your question. Begin your sacred walk on the third path (3) Yellow, Solar Plexus. Here you contemplate your path in life. As you turn onto the second path (2)Orange, Sacral Plexus, intuit your feelings and how you react to your tests or difficulties, and how this impacts your health, and prosperity. Turn on to the first path (1) Red, Base Chakra, the origin of your foundation, your physical world and grounding to the Earth. You continue on to the fourth path (4)Green, Heart Chakra, your analytical side connecting you to your spirituality. Turn on to the seventh path (7)Violet, Crown Chakra connecting with Source (god or goddess) activating the right hemisphere of your brain, intuition, and sacred images. Continue on to the sixth path (6) Indigo, Brow/Third Eye quietly listening to your inner voice for guidence. Turn on to the fifth path (5) Blue, Throat Chakra, your spiritual inner voice. Finally arriving at the CENTER Oneness. RETURN along the same path exiting on the fifth path without judgement, sixth path seeing your truth, seventh path thanking source in your life, fourth with an open receiving heart, first path grounding back into the material world, second path connecting to your physical self, third path fully transformed empowered self.

Create a 48' Pavement Labyrinth for Under $10 
by Kathy Doore

If you're working on a limited budget try making a labyrinth out of chalk on a concrete surface of at least 50' diameter. It shouldn't cost more than $10! You will need a stick (broom will do), 50' of string, a compass to find the cardinal directions, a bucket, sponge, water, and lots of chalk. We realize that not everyone is comfortable dowsing, so our suggestion is to simply trust your instinct and place the labyrinth in the best spot suited to your needs.

We prefer working outside in nature, and dowse for the correct placement of the Labyrinth, including orientation. It's a left/right brain exercise. The good news is that once you're actually using the labyrinth, it will stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, inducing cerebral balance, as proven in recent medical studies.

Begin by identifying the center of your labyrinth and the opening, known as the mouth. Use your compass to determine the cardinal directions so you will know which direction you have oriented the Labyrinth (it need not be according to the cardinal directions). Have someone hold the stick firmly in the center tied to a string. Stretch the string out 8 - l0 feet. This will give you a 16' - 20' center area which is necessary if you are working with groups. Invariably, everyone will end up in the center at the same time, so we make the center large.

Begin by walking in a circle drawing your first ring on the cement. Repeat this seven more times, each time pulling the string out another 2 feet or so. This will give you a 24" wide pathway, enough room for individuals to pass one another.

You now have 8 concentric circles including the center circle. The size will be approximately 48 feet in diameter. If you are working with a children's group you might want to color the paths with bright chaulk. Make a Rainbow labyrinth by beginning with red on the outer band, and work toward the center as follows, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and white in the center.

You should now be ready to create the turns, the entrance, and the opening at the mouth of the labyrinth. 

Draw a straight line from the center down the lower half of the diagram to the mouth. The turns end up on each side of this line as you can clearly see in the diagram. Be sure to lightly rub or sponge any areas of chalk that you no longer need, with a little damp cloth you can quickly correct your mistakes. 

You can also create the diagram on grass with "temporary marking paint" which will wash off with the first rainfall. Temporary marking paint can be obtained in spray bottles at any hardware store. It shouldn't take more than a few hours to complete the design. Spend the rest of the day enjoying your newly birthed labyrinth!

Drawing the Cretan Style Classical Seven-Path Labyrinth

Along the Pilgrim's Path to Machu Picchu

By Kathy Doore

River Rock Labyrinth, Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco, Peru

Spring 1997 -- we traveled to Urubamba by way of Pachatusan Mountain, Peru, on March 23, 1997, during the lunar eclipse with comet Hale-Bopp overhead, to build a labyrinth for Chaska Sanctuary. That night I had a dream at the base of the holy pilgrimage site of Senor de Huanca, and returned directly to Urubamba the next day as described in my dream. Here I met the owners of a newly opened resort, and was awarded a commission to install two labyrinth meditation gardens for the Incaland Hotel. A few days earlier I'd discovered an obscure 16-rayed Star Petroglyph at Machu Picchu, which subsequently led me deeper into the Divine Mysteries, with the revelation of an ancient stone marker denoting a doorway embedded in the sacred sanctuary of the Incas, Machu Picchu. The story is featured in my new book, Markawasi: Peru's Inexplicable Stone Forest.


90' Grand Turf Labyrinth - Sacred Valley of the Incas
Fire altar in center adjacent to the riverfront.


The Incaland Resort is located at the base of the sacred mountain, Yawar Maki, facing the El Chicon glacier, a 45 minute drive from Cusco in the village of Urubamba situated along the old pilgrim's route to Machu Picchu. I placed the smaller of the two labyrinths measuring 45 feet in diameter, near the pool area. It is entirely made of river rock from the nearby Urubamba River. As you enter the labyrinth the magnificent El Chicon glacier meets your gaze. The second labyrinth deemed the "Grande Laberinto" measures a massive 90 feet, and was placed within feet of the river's edge in a wooded grove on the outskirts of the hotel grounds. It is positioned facing east, aligned with the rising sun. The location of the two labyrinths was established by dowsing the land, asking for the most optimum placement. My Quechua crew began clearing the land in the traditional manner with plows and hand tools. Truckloads of river rock were brought up from the rivers edge to create the paths. The two newly birthed labyrinths took three weeks to complete.

An additonal finger labyrinth was painted on a huge stone oddly sandwiched up high between two large Eucalyptus limbs. It has the appearance of somehow falling from the sky. The crew erected a stone base as a platform where guests could climb up and "finger walk" the labyrinth, making it a perfect location for reading and afternoon meditation.

A workshop, and evening walking meditation for the public, initiated the labyrinth. The local folklorist group arrived in traditional dress and performed for the 100+ guests. The grand affair included a traditional walk through each labyrinth to the sound of pan pipes. A bonfire blazed at the center of the Grande Labyrinth while modern day pilgrims and their Quechua hosts made offerings to the Pachamama in thanks for her many gifts.

As descendants of the Inca the Quechua laborers were delighted
to build temples in the Sacred Valley of their ancestors.

One evening, after the completion of the River Rock labyrinth, the hotel owners joined me for a short ceremony to initiate the labyrinth. We made our offerings uttering our prayers, that the labyrinths would serve the many spiritual pilgrims on their journey. We gazed upward toward the sacred peak, Yawar Maki, where a newly risen Southern Cross had appeared as if sitting on the very crest of the mountain itself. The constellation was soon accompanied by another celestial body -- a massive, brilliantly lit, white body of light, the size of two soccar fields. It rose suddenly behind the mountain, momentarily obscuring the constellation and stopped briefly. Then shot upward at tremendous velocity, until it was out of sight. The sudden appearance of the stunning body of light confirmed our intent, blessings bestowed. A similar scenario would take place two years later in the stone forest of Markawasi. In both cases, guidence was received in remembrance of the ancient sacred journey. 

The Incaland Resort Labyrinths

Near the bustling village of Urubamba located in the very heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Incaland Resort has become a tribute to the Labyrinth. Spiritually oriented groups stop in frequently to walk the meditation gardens. Located an hour from Cusco on the route to Machu Picchu in the Andean sub-tropics of the Urubamba Valley, the Incaland resort is a peaceful base for one of the most important travel adventures in the world according to the resort's owner, Nick Asheshov, a retired Brit and newspaper journalist. For the Incas, the Sacred Valley was the reflection of the Milky Way and literally meant "heaven on Earth". Travelers seeking something new will find there is no better place anywhere to ponder the past and to forget the future than among the great temple-universities of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Each of these marvels is just a short distance from the resort and from Machu Picchu, an hour and a half by train.

Visitors here join the Apus - the Gods of the Andes, watching their Quechua neighbors till their fields with ox-drawn wooden ploughs. This has, after all, for thousands of years been one of the most fertile valleys in the Americas. Daily fiestas, processions and markets enliven the snow-peaks and ancient terraces of this Andean Shangrila. A magical labyrinth by the river is a restful stop on the way through this natural, gentle power center. In the Sacred Valley the mystical and exotic are everyday.

Kathy in Labyrinth

Kathy Doore hosts a yearly pilgrimage to the ancient Andean sites of the Pachamama. Fifteen years ago while on a sacred solo-pilgrimage to Machu Picchu, Kathy experienced a sudden and profound awakening during a late night visit within the inner sanctum of Machu Picchu, bringing her into the work she does today. Utilizing the geomantic elements of the ancients, and sensing the natural telluric flows of the earth, she has been led to work with the ancient libraries and doorways of the Divine-- places rich in Spirit. Both a natural intuitive and an accomplished facilitator for journeys of the inner and the outer landscape, Kathy invites you to join her in Peru.

Magic of Labyrinths

The Magic of Labyrinths examines the phenomena of mazes and labyrinths, looking at their historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. Profiles several pioneers of the modern labyrinth genre, including Kathy Doore's story entitled, The Hero's Journey. Highly Recommended. 


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