Wondering which major to choose? Which path to follow? What job to pursue? When and where to go abroad? How to make sense of an experience or relationship? Come walk the labyrinth. Use this ancient symbol as an opportunity to reflect on the transitions and decisions of your life. Goucher has two labyrinths - a permanent one located between the Haebler Memorial Chapel and Mary Fisher Hall, as well as a portable canvas one. Contact Chaplain Cynthia Terry (cynthia.terry@goucher.edu or x6048) if you have any questions.

Labyrinths are ancient human symbols known to go back at least 3,500 years. They appeared on most inhabited continents in prehistory, with examples known from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. The labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the 12th and 13th centuries.

A labyrinth is not a maze, but rather a walking meditation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. There are no tricks, choices, or dead ends in a labyrinth. The same path is used to return to the outside. Combining a number of even older symbols, including the circle, spiral, and meander, the labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back out into the everyday world.

Walking a labyrinth is a right-brain activity (creative, intuitive, imaginative) and can induce or enhance a contemplative or meditative state of mind. It is a tool that can clear the mind, calm our anxieties during periods of transition and stress, guide healing, deepen self-knowledge, enhance creativity, allow for reconciliation, restore feelings of belonging to a community, and lead to personal and spiritual growth.

For many walkers, the labyrinth becomes a metaphor for the journey of life: Each of us is on a single path through his or her life, and yet each person's journey is a separate and distinct qualitative experience, full of twists and turns. In walking labyrinths, modern seekers are emulating and recapturing the pilgrimage tradition of many ancient faiths.

Labyrinth Resources

Finger-walking a personal labyrinth (instructions)

On-line, labyrinth