Last night, I facilitated an indoor Dark Moon Labyrinth Walk at the UUCF. Indoor walks are beautiful in a different way than outdoor ones. The environment is more controlled–the temperature is even, the light consistent, there are fewer distractions. The sanctuary where we roll out the canvas Chartres Labyrinth is acoustically bouncy, so the music we play is very haunting and echo-y in the stillness. Indoor walks there are a bit like falling into a pool of peace and stillness.
Yesterday’s walk was particularly interesting for me due to the transition in my state of mind over the course of the evening. You see, I arrived angry. Furious, actually. I have pretty decent control over what shows and what doesn’t, so I don’t think anyone helping set up noticed. But inside, I was one enraged, roiling pot of flames and fury.
Some wonderful folks helped to pull the chairs to the borders of the sanctuary and we rolled out the Labyrinth. I put on my prayer shawl and stood at the entrance to the Labyrinth to welcome people to their walk.
And a funny thing happened.
You see, I was concentrating on putting out the right energy for a Labyrinth walk. I wasn’t really thinking about my anger. It was just sitting there in the back of my mind, simmering away. But as people entered the pattern and began to walk, the flames went down. As I stood there, my back to the flickering tealights, purple Labyrinth and walkers, the pieces of the day I was so angry about turned around inside my head, showing how different they looked from another perspective. Showing how my point of view had gotten in the way. How my jump to anger had then made it impossible for me to listen, or to see things from a different vantage. How holding to rage silenced compassion.
All the anger I was carrying fell away like so many stones tumbling down a hill. I almost laughed at one point. I hadn’t even *walked* the Labyrinth yet! The effect of a Labyrinth on me is, at this point, so strong that I can’t even stand near one without the quiet energy of that Sigil going to work on the inside of my head. By about 10 minutes into the walk, I was balanced again, if feeling a bit rueful about the mistakes I made during the day.
One of the gentlemen attending the walk was gracious enough to take over my post at the entrance of the Labyrinth so I could walk as well. As I did, I focused on releasing all the blocks that tripped me up that day. Judgement. Single-mindedness. A lack of compassion. Not listening. Anger.
The temper that used to get me into barfights is obviously still present, just changed in form. Something else to work on as I walk this winding path. And good to know–I had been pretending that I’m better with my anger now since I don’t hit people anymore. Granted, the symptoms are less severe, but the root cause is definitely still there.
I carried the peace of the Center with me as I walked back out of the Labyrinth. I gently touched the shoulder of the man who had taken over as Guardian for me to thank him for my opportunity to walk. He emerged, startled, from a deep place. I hadn’t realized how far he’d gone within–in retrospect, I should have brought him out more gently. Anyway. I thanked him for the opportunity to walk. He thanked me as well, saying he hadn’t realized how cool it was to stand at the entrance of a Labyrinth as facilitator. I realized he was right about that. It’s a different way of experiencing the energy of a walk. But still potent. After all, my own proximity to other walkers, to the Labyrinth, was what brought me back down so I could actually see what went wrong earlier in the day.
Another beautiful walk, and another affirmation of my favorite quote about the Labyrinth: “The Labyrinth meets you where you are, gives you what you need, and nurtures a web of interpersonal connections.”
The Labyrinth met me angry.
The Labyrinth gave me peace.
We all hugged and bid each other safe travels we left. The web, you see.
I apologized when I got home.