The Labyrinth

History of the Labyrinth

The Labyrinth at St. Michael’s was dedicated and blessed by The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018. It is intended as a place of prayer and worship, discernment and discovery, healing and reconciliation, and celebration and thanksgiving for all who walk along its path. The labyrinth, constructed by parishioner Nathan Freyer and his all-volunteer crew, was Nathan’s Eagle Scout Project.

The Labyrinth is open to the public dawn to dusk and is located on the west lawn. To access it, park in the western portion of the paved lot (nearest the grove of Douglas fir and Western cedar). Walk up the steps toward the children’s play structure. Look for stepping stones to your right; the Labyrinth begins there.

We hope to have a signpost more clearly identifying the Labyrinth in place in early 2020.

Encountering the Labyrinth

To walk a labyrinth is to begin a journey. Labyrinths are examples of one of the oldest spiritual tools known to humankind, dating back at least four thousand years.

  • A labyrinth is not a maze, which has dead ends and paths which sometimes must be retraced to find a way out. The labyrinth has only one path, so there are no tricks to it, and no dead ends.
  • Walking a labyrinth is like going on a pilgrimage. It is a holy time to reflect, pray and listen to God.
  • There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth.
  • As you enter the sacred space of the labyrinth, just be yourself. Open your mind and your heart and receive the richness that may come from your journey on the labyrinth.
  • You may wish to set an intention or question for the walk. This could help focus your prayers and reflections.

In general, there are three stages to a labyrinth walk:

  1. From the beginning until the center of the labyrinth is a time for releasing, unburdening, letting go of the details of your life or to quietly reflect on a question. This tends to quiet the mind.
  2. The second stage is when you reach the center and linger there. The center is a place of meditation and prayer; stay there as long as you like.
  3. As you leave the center and retrace your steps back to the outside, sense your connection with God and the healing forces at work in your world.
  • As you walk the labyrinth, stay open to whatever presents itself: feelings, sensations, memories, or images.
  • Pause at any time to breathe, be with a memory, work with an image, or simply relax into the labyrinth.
  • If you are experiencing a difficult feeling – anger, grief, bitterness – you might have as your intention its healing and release.
  • If you are struggling with a problem, this could be a time to ask for insight and guidance.
  • If you have an illness, you may walk into the labyrinth simply asking to return to balance with yourself and life or to ask what you can learn from this experience.
  • You could also walk with the question: What part of my life am I neglecting that needs attention?

Walking the Labyrinth can:

  • Quiet the mind
  • Ground and center yourself.
  • Bring a sense of being healed.
  • Increase awareness of myself and my relationship to others and to God.
  • Be an opportunity for God’s voice to deepen my understanding of the mystery of ourselves and God.