Labyrinth designs are found all around the world in many cultures and
civilizations. They are found carved in rock, ceramics, clay tablets,
mosaics, manuscripts, stone patterns, turf, hedges, and cathedral
pavements. The earliest known designs are over 3000 years old. The
significance of them for the various cultures they were part of and the
story of how they developed from one place to another (or simultaneously
appeared in several) is often mysterious and hard to fathom.
A labyrinth is a path for assisting mental focus and spiritual connection that has been used by many cultures and religions at different times throughout history. Labyrinths are considered by many to serve a holistic function, namely to further those who are on the path to a more balanced psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical well being. There is a strong connection between the labyrinth and earth energies, re-establishing a long-lost rapport with nature and with the feminine.
Unlike a maze, which has many dead ends and wrong choices designed to trick
the mind, a labyrinth is a design with a single, winding, unobstructed path
from the outside of itself to the centre. The labyrinth user makes no
choices in direction. Therefore, the labyrinth path naturally fosters
mental relaxation and introspection and is frequently viewed by it’s users
as a metaphor for our spiritual "life" journey. In other words, like life,
labyrinths contain many twists and turns but no dead ends.