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Karen's bridge labyrinth

Karen's flaming chalice labyrinth

Karen's compressed half Chartres labyrinth

Model railroad maze

Zipped Chartres labyrinth

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This section of my website is not meant to be a comprehensive look at labyrinths. For the best labyrinth page on the Internet, I recommend Jo Edkins' Maze Page. The Labyrinth Society's page is good too. [Update] I recently discovered this excellent site: All Things Labyrinth My labyrinth pages are meant to be a few new ideas about how to make labyrinths that you can use at home.

Simple designs for a small space

The Bridge Labyrinth and Model Railroad Maze

String labyrinths

Walk the labyrinth anywhere using beads, etc.

How to draw some traditional labyrinths

Photos of some beach labyrinths

Fr. Paul Edwards' Church Pew Labyrinth

For centuries people have walked labyrinths as a form of meditation. Labyrinths were cut into turf on village greens, and laid out in tiles on the floors of cathedrals. Recently there's been a resurgence of interest in labyrinth walking. A popular design is taken from the cathedral in Chartres, France. It is often printed on a very large canvas, which is then laid out in a church sanctuary for special occasions, or even built out of concrete or stone.

Unfortunately, large labyrinths can be difficult and expensive to lay out, and may be inaccessible to many people. I see several possible solutions. One is to draw a labyrinth in the snow or on a sandy beach or with sidewalk chalk. Another is to use a small design that you can draw on a sheet or dropcloth. A third is to use string or yarn to lay out simple designs on a floor or in your yard. A fourth is to let go of the physical labyrinth, and use some mnemonic device to allow you to walk it anywhere. I will describe a way to do this with beads and with a pattern book, and also a way to do it from memory.

A simple solution many people use is to trace a pattern on paper or wood with their fingers. You can buy some beautiful finger labyrinths. I don't sell anything myself, but the free web host I use puts related advertising on my pages, and you may see some helpful sites there. If you would like to make your own finger labyrinth, I suggest printing up one from the Internet. You can use the one I've drawn above, or find a much better one without much trouble. To make it tactile, glue heavy string along the pathway. Put a bead of glue along a short section of the path and press the string onto it, holding it until it begins to stick, then put glue on the next section of the path, and so on. Don't try to put glue on the whole path at once. Once the glue is dry, let your finger follow the string. At the bottom of this page is a finger labyrinth you already have with you: it's in the palm of your hand.

If you would like to make labyrinths you can actually walk, click on one of the links at the top of the page.

A classical labyrinth in the palm of your hand.

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On my prayer beads page, after lots of exposition and thinking out loud, I eventually came up with a universal rosary you could recreate on your fingers. That got me to thinking about whether you could use your hand to make a labyrinth. There are several lines in the palm of your hand. Two that go across horizontally are sometimes called the "head line" and the "heart line". Two that go up the middle of your palm are sometimes called the "fate line" and the "life line". Using these lines, as well as the creases on your fingers, you can trace the seven-circuit classical labyrinth on your palm and fingers. (You can see the seven-circuit classical labyrinth on my "How to Draw Labyrinths" page.)

Begin by going out your thumb. Then weave across your fingers, using the creases as a guideline, starting with the segments closest to your palm and working out. Come around along the outside, across the heel of your hand, then up between your fate line and life line. Zig-zag back between your head line and heart line, and across the fleshy part below your fingers. Double back along this part, and loop into the center of the palm. This pattern recreates the path you would take on the seven-circuit classical labyrinth.

hand labyrinth

copyright 2006 by Karen Deal Robinson

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Continental Divide, Colorado

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