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Path of Peace and Magic: World Labyrinth Day, May 4

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Debi Kermeen dancing the Nature-Inspired painted canvas labyrinth by Labyrinths in Stone, used with permission

Note: This is the sixth in a series of Opednews articles about labyrinths by Meryl Ann Butler.  Previous articles are listed at the end of this article.

May 4th, 2013 is the fifth annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD)  and  people around the world will participate by walking labyrinths. An initiative of The Labyrinth Society (TLS), World Labyrinth Day is celebrated every year on the first Saturday in May.

TLS World Labyrinth Day Coordinator, Carol House, encourages participants to "Walk as One at 1" by walking the labyrinth at 1 pm in local time zones in order to "be part of a rolling wave of peaceful energy" around the Earth.

A variety of events during past WLDs have been held at locations around the world, including the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., public parks, churches, a maximum-security women's prison, and at many private labyrinths in the United States, Canada, England, the Bahamas, France, Spain, New Zealand, China, South Africa, and Australia, among others.

Two labyrinth styles by Meryl Ann Butler

Two main styles of labyrinths are the classical (or Cretan) and Chartres (Medieval).

17-month-old Judah romps in Alex Champion's labyrinth at Huntington Gardens. by Photo Credit: Darin Mark
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People of all ages enjoy walking the magical labyrinth. 17-month-old Judah romps in Alex Champion's Earthworks labyrinth at Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA.  Judah's dad said, "thank you, Alex. My boy truly loved his time in your labyrinth."

Alex Champion's labyrinth at Huntington Gardens, 1999 by Alex Champion

I asked Jeff and Kimberly Saward of Thundersley, England, co-directors of Labyrinthos: the Labyrinth Resource Centre, Photo Library and Archive,  to share some basic information with us about labyrinths.

Jeff is a world authority on the history and development of labyrinths and mazes, the author of Magical Paths and Labyrinths & Mazes, and editor of Caerdroia -- the Journal of Mazes and Labyrinths.

Magical Paths by Jeff Saward by Jeff Saward
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MAB: Jeff, thank you for joining us! Can you share with us the difference between a maze and a labyrinth, and tell us how long they have been in use?

JS: Yes, thanks for inviting me! Labyrinths have a history that is as circuitous as their designs might suggest, and although they are often confused with mazes, their forms hide an important difference:

Mazes invariably have choices in their pathways, and often contain dead-ends. These multi-cursal (many-path) creations first appeared around 500-600 years ago for the express purpose of perplexing visitors, and are familiar as traditional hedge mazes, and more modern installations created from a variety of materials in parks, gardens and other attractions.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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Again, Meryl Ann, thank you for reminidng me of th... by Cynthia Piano on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:25:05 AM
is great, but it does not have to be a big constru... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:36:42 AM
for this beautiful article Meryl Ann, and for all ... by Amy Schreiner on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:26:01 AM
Check the previous articles for a step-by-step dia... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 1:57:21 PM
Excellent, interesting, newsworthy article, Ms But... by Mary Shapiro on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 12:35:34 PM
Hope you get to walk one on WLD! Even if it's just... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 1:58:40 PM
Wonderful article. There is a labyrinth at Boston ... by Sheila Parks on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 2:02:56 PM
If you go between 1 and 2 pm  I bet you will ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:17:16 PM
I'm on a wooded property with lots of aspens aroun... by Burl Hall on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 4:01:18 PM
a friend of mine cut one with a riding mower on he... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:20:00 PM
"The Labyrinth and its healing powers for Alzheime... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 4:33:46 AM
I'll check this out more fully!... by Burl Hall on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 3:59:58 PM
Thank-you Meryl!! My younger boys and I have just ... by Tsara Shelton on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:20:42 PM
and I'll be interested to hear how your walks went... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:21:24 PM
I'm learning so muchAnd the idea that simply traci... by Joan Brunwasser on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:06:24 PM
tracing a paper labyrinth also seems to assist in ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:25:11 PM
Joan, I walked the Chartres labyrinth with my fing... by Sheila Parks on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5:44:17 AM
While a kid...didn't call them labyrinth....but th... by Burl Hall on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 4:01:48 PM
MAB, does walking a labyrinth heal autism too? I m... by Sheila Parks on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5:58:43 AM
basically doing art therapy, and we did many diffe... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 8:23:39 AM
Dear Meryl, These labyrinths may be on to som... by Theresa Paulfranz on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 7:22:32 AM
The labyirnth always feel so full of mystery when ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 8:29:22 AM