The Labyrinth at New Hope

 

What is a Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are found in some form in nearly every ancient culture.  There are the famous ones like the one in which the Minotaur was imprisoned on the Ilse of Crete or the one in Notre Dame Cathedral.  Frequently the term labyrinth and maze are used interchangeably.  However, there is one significant difference: a maze’s path is unclear with many false paths, whereas a labyrinth has only one path that is easy to follow.  The focus is on the journey, not a mastery of the puzzle.  The one pictured above uses a design that is found throughout the world and is seen as representing a universal ancient symbolism for the divine.

 
 

 

 

The Shape and Symbolism

Most labyrinths are circular although some are square or are framed by a square.  Circles symbolize the eternalness of the divine and perfection.  Labyrinths utilize what is called ‘sacred geometry’.  This is geometry that is found in nature.

The rose, utilized in the center of the Chartres Labyrinth as well as other Christian art, symbolizes the feminine aspects of the divine and divine wisdom (Sophia).  There are four quadrants for the four seasons and 4 cardinal directions.

 
 

 

The Path

During the time of the crusades, it became too dangerous to take pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The labyrinth started to be used in Christianity as a form of pilgrimage.  There is only one way in and out.  The path is circuitous, but not difficult.  As you enter the labyrinth, you are moving from the outer world and its distractions towards God and the clarity given us by the Holy Spirit.  The center is a place to pause and rest in the Spirit before you are ready to reenter the world.  The path can also symbolize the journey from birth to new life or rebirth in Christ.  There is no right or wrong way to walk.  The labyrinth is merely a spiritual tool which you can use to grow closer to God.

 
 

 

 

 

Walking the Labyrinth at New Hope

The Labyrinth at New Hope is open every first Sunday of the month from 12-3pm. You may also contact Pastor Candace Worth if you have a specific event or a group that would like to walk the labyrinth at another time.