It all started one night, sometime in early 1999, at the
3970 NW 21st Avenue, Oakland Park, Fl 33309,
The exact date is lost to antiquity.
The study topic for the evening was Labyrinths and a video was played.
That's all it took for me to get hooked. For some reason I was fascinated.
I brought the tape home and made a copy of it.
Then I decided we needed to build one on the grounds of he UU Church.
As a group we discussed building a labyrinth. We walked the grounds to find the
perfect location. Spelcastor, who is our gatekeeper for the UU Church, said he
would check with the powers that be at the Church and see if we could get permission
to build one. We got our permission but we could only build a temporary one since
the grounds keepers would have to mow the grass where we wanted to build the
labyrinth. So we put our heads together for a brainstorming and came up with the
idea to use the plastic yellow caution tape for the rope and wood pegs to hold it
onto the ground. The yellow tape and pegs would hold up in case it rained from the
time we built it to the time we had to take it down and we could then reuse the
pegs. We also found out we could reuse the tape. One of our members made the wood
pegs to stake the tape to the ground and another made some longer ones to lay out
the 7 circuit seed pattern we were using.
With lots of help and work the first three labyrinths were layed out on the ground and
built in 1999 for Beltain, Mabon (Pagan Pride Day), and Samhain/Witches Ball.
I also learned how to move the layout on the ground in various directions by 3 to 4 feet
when we would discover the layout to be in the wrong place.
We used 500 tea lights on the Labyrinth at Samhain/Witches Ball. Since the Witches Ball and Ritual
was at night we thought it would be wonderful to have a lighted labyrinth.
The wind kept blowing out the candles faster then we could keep them lit.
We did have a reporter there who managed to take a picture and I was surprised
to see how many lit candles she got in the picture.
I decided to buy strings of small lights (outdoor Christmas tree lights) to use
instead of candles for our next lighted labyrinth. By this time I had seen pictures
of the square labyrinths which were on ancient reliefs and coins. Using the square
design would make it a lot easier to build the labyrinth and string the lights. So
the square design has been used to build our labyrinth since Imbolc 2000.
The Labyrinth has been built for Beltain, Mabon (Pagan Pride Day),
Samhain, Yule, and Imbolc.
We have a dedication ritual each time we build a new labyrinth. We set up an alter
in the center and invite the Goddesses and Gods and Elemental Attributes to
watch over and protect the labyrinth and everyone who enters the labyrinth.
We also thank the Goddess and Gods before we take it up. We created our
own dedication verse which we use upon entering the labyrinth. The labyrinth
area is our sacred ground. Most people feel the positive energy from this area.
We started talking about making a permanent labyrinth since putting it down and
taking it up was becoming a chore and a bore. Spelcastor navigated and negotiated
us through all the church politics and before we knew it we had permission to have a
permanent one in our labyrinth location. Now we had to decide on what and how to
build our permanent labyrinth so it would be maintenance free for the grounds
keepers. After taking a field trip in December 2001 and viewing the various
permanent labyrinths in the area we decided to use rocks, instead of the yellow
tape, and mulch, for the paths instead of the grass and weeds which have to be mowed.
So as of now, February 2002, the labyrinth area has been laid out to cover an area
from north to south of 48 feet and from east to west of 51 feet with a center of
6 feet x 18 feet. This allows for 3 feet wide paths. The center is now complete
with the mulch on the ground. The outside edges and other paths have their rocks
placed on the ground. There will be approximately 1800 rocks when completed.
Spelcastor and I have conducted workshops and built the labyrinth in St Petersburg
at the Florida Pagan Gathering for both the Samhain and Beltain gathering since
Samhain 1999. During the 2000 Samhain gathering Spelcastor discovered we had access
to electric near the labyrinth area. So in 2001 for both Beltain and Samhain we
also had the lighted labyrinth which stayed lit from sundown till sunrise.
Sophialinus The Drum Lioness