Creating a Labyrinth

This workshop is part of the summer celebration series: Healing Earth


Sunday July 23 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Classical or Cretan Labyrinth Pattern

The labyrinth has a long and complex history, spanning diverse cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Labyrinth designs have been found in archeological excavations, as well as on pottery and tiles, many of which date back as far as five millennia. Patterns are often based on spirals and circles that occur in nature. A feature that labyrinths have in common is that they have one path that winds in a circuitous way to the center. Unlike the maze, labyrinths are designed so that you cannot lose your way. There are not dead ends or false turns. Labyrinths are for finding ourselves, not for being lost.

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in labyrinth work. Labyrinths are often created as spiritual tools, or as a means of engaging a community or group, and as art installations, both temporary and permanent. The design and creation of a labyrinth at Wintergreen will serve all of these purposes.

Participants will work together to design, measure, and create a labyrinth. Then, with the guidance of workshop leader, Barbara Brown, we will walk the labyrinth, and celebrate Wintergreen’s 10th year. Because our workshop will take place at the time of the New Moon, there will also be opportunities for individual participants to plan and seed their future intentions. And — symbolically, at least — we will plan and seed the next 10 years for Wintergreen.

Grass mowed labyrinth in Eastern Canada

The Wintergreen labyrinth will be comprised of a mowed path in one of our sprawling meadows, lined with straw to make the walking surface smooth and inviting. Using straw not only makes for a soft path (and keeps down the weeds), it is also of special importance to Wintergreen, as our lodge is built with straw bales. We intend to create a large center area, so that groups may gather there. We might even plant a tree.

This workshop is for you if you’re curious about learning how to create a labyrinth — perhaps in your own backyard when the workshop is over. The workshop is also for you if you’ve always wanted to know more about the history of the form and the teachings that it offers.

Join us for the day. Create. Learn. Walk the labyrinth. Seed your intentions.

About Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown trained as a visual artist and has extensive experience as a horticultural therapist working in long term care. As a visual artist, her practice extends to every aspect of working with the labyrinth, from creating temporary and permanent structures, to developing workshop experiences to support the creative well-being of participants. Barbara took a leadership role in establishing the Labyrinth at Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa and hosts retreats and monthly ‘Labyrinth as Sanctuary’ events. She introduced the labyrinth at the Perley Rideau and hosted adapted evening meditations for the frail elderly and those with dementia. Her focus is on human relationships with the natural world, and developing an awareness of the interconnectivity of all aspects of life through the creative process.