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Celebrate Peace on World Labyrinth Day: May 5

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Note: This is the 5th in a series of articles on Opednews about Labyrinths by Meryl Ann Butler. Previous articles are listed at the end of this article.


Chartres Labyrinth
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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World Labyrinth Day is an annual global event celebrated each year on the first Saturday in May. It is sponsored by The Labyrinth Society, an international organization founded in 1998.


Emily Nelson and friends walk the Adobe & Pines B & B Labyrinth, WLD, Taos NM
(Image by Louis Costabel)
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This year, the 4th annual World Labyrinth Day will be held on Saturday May 5, 2012 .

The Labyrinth Society invites the world to "Walk As One at 1," an opportunity to share in a wave of peaceful energy encircling the planet.   Participants are invited to walk a labyrinth at 1:00 p.m. in their local time zone.

Large group events are planned, and many are listed on the TLS Events Calendar at http://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day


Kermeen-Saward hay bale labyrinth, EarthWalk, Tucson AZ
(Image by Debi Kermeen)
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Individuals with no event nearby may take part by using a finger labyrinth. (Download a free printable one here: http://labyrinthsociety.org/download-a-labyrinth )


Exploring a finger labyrinth made by iSpiritual.
(Image by Debi Kermeen)
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In previous years, events have been held at over 100 locations worldwide, including the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., churches, and even a maximum-security women's prison. Countries joining the celebration included: the United States, Canada, England, the Bahamas, France, Spain, New Zealand, China, South Africa, and Australia. 


Flag labyrinth on the Capitol Lawn, 2001
(Image by Sue Anne Foster)
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Pinwheel Labyrinth for WLD by Debi Kermeen.
(Image by Debi Kermeen)
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Pinwheel detail
(Image by Debi Kermeen)
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While the date of the origin of the labyrinth design is debated, it is generally agreed that some examples may be at least 4,000 -- 5,000 years old.


Carpet labyrinth by Robert Ferre, The Franciscan Spiritual Center, Oregon.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Day of Peace Shoe Labyrinth, SueAnne Foster & Tricia Casey
(Image by Lonnie Winston)
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The World Wide Labyrinth Locator, http://www.labyrinthlocator.com , an online database, lists over 3400 labyrinths around the world. The most famous one is in the floor of Chartres Cathedral, France.

Nowadays, labyrinths are popular in schools, prisons, parks, hospitals, spas, churches, and retreat centers.


Earthwork labyrinth by Alex Champion
(Image by Alex Champion)
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Labyrinths have been walked for a variety of reasons: to enhance creative problem solving, conflict resolution, walking meditation, modern day pilgrimage, and stress management.   Walking a labyrinth is thought to enhance right brain activity.


Reflecting upon Sue Anne Foster's Ivy Labyrinth.
(Image by Sue Ann Foster)
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The American Cancer Society states that walking a labyrinth "may be helpful as a complementary method to decrease stress and create a state of relaxation."


Fatima Retreat House Labyrinth by Paxworks, Indianapolis, IN
(Image by John Ridder)
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Musicians Jeff Wolf and Mary Shapiro of Stillwaters Studios had a special reason for adding labyrinths to the grounds of their recording studio / bed & breakfast / retreat center in northern Virginia: they wanted to include the magic and mystery of the labyrinth in their wedding ceremony, coincidently planned for World Labyrinth Day.


Mary & Jeff take a break during building their labyrinths.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Because they had designed a wedding ceremony to include the balance of the "Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine" principals, they created two labyrinths that they and their guests could walk on this special day.


'Stumphenge' at Stillwaters Studios
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Mary works on the Divine Masculine labyrinth within "Stumphenge."


Mary Shapiro works on the Divine Masculine labyrinth.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Jeff smooths out the cement on the Divine Feminine labyrinth inside a drum circle enclosure.


Jeff smoothes out the cement.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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After their wedding, all guests of Stillwaters Studios will be invited to enjoy walking both permanent labyrinths.

The Labyrinth Society's website offers additional information and resources about WLD and labyrinths in general. The TLS annual, online fundraiser auction continues through May 13

LINKS:

World Labyrinth Day http://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day

Find a labyrinth near you: http://www.labyrinthlocator.com/

Download a finger labyrinth: http://labyrinthsociety.org/download-a-labyrinth

Walk a Virtual labyrinth: http://labyrinthsociety.org/virtual-labyrinth-walk

Activities for kids; http://labyrinthsociety.org/activities-for-kids

Make a 7-circuit labyrinth: http://labyrinthsociety.org/make-a-labyrinth

Make a Chartres-style labyrinth: http://labyrinthsociety.org/make-a-labyrinth

TLS online fundraiser auction (through May 13) http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action;jsessionid=qlnkag5oyCrrVG0qVHkI+w**.app4-i?auctionId=153281516

Previous articles in this series:

4. Walk as One at 1: World Labyrinth Day, May 7  (05.06.11)
click here

3. Walk the Pavement to A-Mazement: World Labyrinth Day, May 1   (04.28.10)
click here
 
2. Exploring Portland Labyrinths: An A-Mazing Journey  (10.28.09)
click here

1. May 2: First Annual World Labyrinth Day  (05.01.09) 
click here

 

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http://www.merylannbutler.com

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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