November 11, 2013

A Labyrinth to Walk

So now I have a labyrinth.

The text by the entrance reads, "For the Mistress of the Labyrinth, honey," which is taken from a random fragment of Minoan text.

I've been meaning to do this for a long time, and I finally have. After thinking about labyrinth work for myself, there were a couple of friends who wanted a bit of a Samhain ritual, and hey, labyrinths can be good for those, and it's always easier for me to get a project done for someone else than for myself. So I set aside a day, pulled out my ridiculously wide muslin (96", I think; some of it had already gone to wrap the Ancestor Masks, and there's still some left now, but most of it went to this), and spent most of a day laying out and painting a labyrinth. It's quite small, since it has to fit into the room, with stuff all around it. It has four "turnings," which were all I could get into the space. The paths are only 9" wide. It's something of a physical challenge to negotiate.

But it gets the job done. It serves its purpose. I'd love to have a bigger one, wider, with a far longer path, even with (probably very low) walls or barriers. When I have more land, I want to do as my friend Sherry did at her former home, Sidhehaven, and lay one out in stone to walk. (I have some grand and probably unrealistic plans for When I Have More Land. Sherry pulled off a lot of hers, but she's better at getting community together to help with those things than I am. But my plans make me happy.)

This one will do for now, though. And there's something about having a textile labyrinth that pleases me. The first time I laid out a labyrinth to walk in ritual, which was many years ago and an even smaller labyrinth with only three turnings, I did it in yarn, which I stuck to the carpet with short straight pins. And now this.

Other than once at Sidhehaven, it had been a long time since I walked a labyrinth. Ten or twelve years, at least, since I last seriously explored those twisting mysteries, I realized once I'd finished with the painting.

And I must admit, while keeping regular observations has improved certain things for me, I'm not currently in the best shape for doing deep work. I'm badly depressed, and dealing with a lot of very stressful shit. It's distracting, and this is work from which I ought not be distracted.

So for now, I am merely familiarizing myself with the shape of the labyrinth. Physically, I walk it, in and out, every morning, as part of my morning rituals and observances. Lustration, tarot study, labyrinth walk, light a candle as part of the <a href=>Forty Days of Ritual for Reproductive Justice (almost over now, less than ten days), do some spinning. (Admittedly, both tarot study and cotton spinning have been skimped on lately. I've been sick and distracted. Time to get back to both.) Mentally, I read and reread stories and myths, and mull over what I know.

Labyrinths are appearing in things I'm reading for fun, too. The intentionally labyrinthine city of Tai-Tastigon and the Maze, home of its master-thief Penari, in God Stalk by PC Hodgell. Mentions here and there online. It hasn't taken over yet, but the labyrinth is slowly looming larger. I know that at some point, it will open up before me, and I'll have no choice but to enter it, however I plan my rituals and work.

I should start doing some spinning for Ariadne.