Sophialinus Labyrinth

My Labyrinth - What Why When Where

It all started one night, sometime in early 1999, at the

    Moon Path CUUPS study group 

     Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft Lauderdale,

               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