Three years in the making, the Fellowship's Labyrinth is a place to meditate, clear the mind, and connect with your spirit. In other words, walking the Labyrinth is a spiritual expedition in and of itself.
The slide show at right begins with the first placement of bricks, includes photogs of our grand opening in June of 2011, and ends with the Labyrinth as it is today (well, depending on the season, of course!).
Spiral Web hosts a monthly Labyrinth Walk at 4pm on the fourth Sunday of the month, weather permitting, as well as special events. However, the Labyrinth is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, except for Sunday mornings during services.
How to walk The Labyrinth
The Entrance: Relax. Take a moment to reflect and set an intention for your journey. Let go of expectations.
The Path Inward: Find your own pace. As you walk, let go of any inner barriers to growth or healing - stress, grief, loss, worries, to-do-lists, self-doubt, judgment.
The Center: The center is a place for contemplation and renewal. Be ready to let in new and transformative ideas and energy.
The Path Outward: The journey back is a time to integrate any insights and create a plan of action, if called for, to apply these insights to your life.
People walk Labyrinths at their own pace, It’s okay to pass or be passed. The path is wide enough to allow for this. Simply pay attention and be courteous to your fellow travelers.
What is a Labyrinth?
It’s not just a movie with David Bowie. While entertaining, some might consider the movie to be miss-titled, as the so-called labyrinth is actually a maze.
Although “labyrinth” and “maze” are often used interchangeably, a maze is multicursal, with multiple paths and dead ends. A maze is a puzzle.
In contrast, a labyrinth is unicursal, with a single path leading in and out, though the path may be quite intricate, with many switchbacks that encourage focus.
According to some sources, the oldest mention of a labyrinth in recorded history is from Herodotus, who wrote of his visit to the now lost Egyptian Labyrinth in the 5th Century B.C. But labyrinths (and mazes) have mentions even more ancient than that, figuring prominently in Greek mythology.
Evidence of labyrinths exists not just in Greece and Egypt, but throughout the world, including Africa, the Americas, Australia, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Russia. Labyrinth patterns have been found on ancient coins, pottery and baskets and carved on the walls of caves.
In medieval times, labyrinths found their way onto the walls, floors and grounds of cathedrals and churches. At the same time, turf mazes became popular in the British Isles, and myriad stone labyrinths were built in coastal Scandavia.
No one is really sure what labyrinths were used for, but speculation includes that they were patterns for sacred dances used in ancient rituals, and, in the case of coastal labyrinths, that they were traps for evil spirits, who could get in but not out again.
Why build a Labyrinth here?
In 2007, members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie began the Big Backyard Project with the goal of making the most of the Fellowship’s big backyard. Almost immediately, the dream of a labyrinth began to take shape.
We saw The Labyrinth not just as a natural expansion of our spiritual space, but also as a service we could provide to the community at large. Walking The Labyrinth can be a profound experience. It is an excellent tool for:
Dealing with grief and/or loss
Enhance feeling of well-being
Rites of Passage
The journey of the Labyrinth is a metaphor for life’s journeys. Feel free to find your own use for such a journey.
Find out more about labyrinths at the Labyrinth Society's website by clicking here. On that website there is a worldwide Labyrinth Locator, where we are proud to say you will find our Labyrinth.