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. :)


blackcrag said...

I didn’t do anything for Halloween, Spider, except take a walk and a couple pictures. (Remind me to put both back later…) But I did think of you.

Wriju said...

Fascinating even to read about what you did for Halloween. But what's that picture all about?

angel, jr. said...

That sounds like something out of Harry Potter. Is there a particular reason that oyster shells are used, or is it an asthetic one?

Spider Girl said...

The picture is a medieval labyrinth pattern though I'm not sure what they're up to.

And yep, oyster shells are great for glow-in-the-dark aesthetic purposes, and readily available where I am on the West Coast of B.C. :)

Kazza said...

Sounds beautiful and appropriate. Very right, my loved ones who have passed were on my mind as well and I took time to reflect. I would have liked to have lit some candles and done something a little more formal, but it wasn't to be as I had a nasty headache as the night wore on.

bitsandgiggles said...

Sounds like a MUCH better way to spend the day than I did - bemoaning the lack of trick-or-treaters while eating all the left-over candy.