Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Bonfires and Labyrinths
I hope everyone had a great Halloween! :)
I celebrated with a bonfire, drumming, singing, tarot cards, parsnip and apple soup, pomegranates,and, best of all...walking a labyrinth.
The celebration I attended was held in a star-lit meadow surrounded by cedar trees. We had all walked through the damp forest by the light of lit pumpkins and pottery lanterns. The mist swirled and pooled atmospherically round our feet as we gathered at the labyrinth.
The pattern was created on the ground by thousands of oyster shells and must have taken a lot of effort to create. It was at least fifty feet across and the shells seemed to glow a brilliant white even without a moon.
We walked and meditated on those who have passed away in the past year, remembering our dead loved ones and our ancestors too. For one friend I came with whose mother passed away suddenly and recently, this was especially powerful.
We began in a circle around the labyrinth's edge and then one by one silently followed the maze's path. Following the glowing pathways in the dark, one began to feel almost disembodied. I thought of my grandmother, I thought of friends who I miss, I contemplated my own mortality. It was a very special way to walk and think.
With the mist swirling and our winter-cloaked figures silhouetted against the trees, we would have looked at home wandering in a gothic painting.
But, magical though it was, I really needed to warm up by the fire afterwards and quaff lots of hot apple cider. Communing with your ancestors is chilly work and I plan to wear thicker socks next time I celebrate Halloween outdoors.
This is a link to a virtual labyrinth..to give you an idea of the path.
P.S. As someone was curious about the image at the top of my post, it is a medieval labyrinth pattern I found on the internet, similar to the one I walked, but I'm not sure what the wolf and the fellow with the sword are up to. Hopefully, peaceful contemplation, but you should really leave your sword home for that sort of thing. :)