During the pause forced on us by the Covid 19 situation, I started drawing. The biggest problem for me with drawing is always “what” to draw. Looking for inspiration, I explored symbols of various nature until an old fascination of mine popped up, and I was completely sidetracked into the world of labyrinths.
A labyrinth is another great tool that can help reaching that liminal state I like so much – you know, the magical place where the mind quiets down, all is suspended, all is possible?
Usually people would walk a labyrinth as a moving meditation rich in symbolism: mindfully walking towards the center of the labyrinth supports the process of going inward towards our own center. There is only one path to follow, therefore there is no risk of getting lost like one would in a maze, and the winding trail eventually leads you where you need to be: here and now.
The same happens with a finger labyrinth, where instead of walking, you can mindfully trace the path with the index finger of your non dominant hand. Various researches show how the repetitive movement up/down, left/right can elicit a relaxation response helping lower stress levels and improve focus, concentration and the ability to solve problems.
Labyrinths are ancient symbols found all over the world. They come in different designs and usually feature only one path that leads towards the center: one need to walk or trace that path back to exit the labyrinth.
The design I chose for my finger labyrinths is different. Here is why.
When asked “where is your center?” (in your body) most people seem to point at the solar plexus, some others point to the heart.
I am drown lower, deeper, into the womb.
I’m sure I am not the only one. And I understand that the perception of where one’s center is can change, according to the circumstances. Still, the womb seems to better represent my center, most of the time.
So it came natural for me to chose for my embroideries the design of the Baltic Wheel Labyrinth – also known as the Goddess Labyrinth.
It is the only recorded labyrinth design which does not terminate in the center. Where most other labyrinths, with their Christian influence, are based on reaching the goal as the focal point and then tracing your steps back out; the Baltic Labyrinth goes to the center and seamlessly continues towards the exit.
The path itself is the goal.
One is led inward – to the center, the womb – and come out the other side, reborn.
Isn’t that beautiful?
My finger labyrinths are embroidered with thick linen thread, so to create the track to follow and are decorated with glass beads. I don’t use a template, but trace each labyrinth by hand on the fabric, so they all have their own story. They come in different sizes, can be folded, are easily portable and washable.
We can work together to custom make your labyrinth using your favorite colors and including symbols personal to you.