Reflections on Labyrinths

Labyrinths come in many shapes and sizes. This spring and summer we’ve been busy re-designing and re-naming the 1080 Labyrinth.  Now the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth, it is five circuits and is honored in its center with a Bur Oak.  Phoenix because we burn the labyrinth every year to promote the prairie plants and Phoenix because from the ashes we re-designed a dual entry Harmony labyrinth in the Lisa Gidlow Moriarty tradition.

Also, I’ve hosted walks with the most recent being in Duluth, MN, at the Outdoor Writers Association of America annual conference.

Enjoy the photo albums and reflections.

2016 Labyrinths

One Candle

“It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark….” SONGWRITERS

A collection of labyrinths I visited and walked across the country in 2016.

All Saints’ Day Walk



We could not have asked for better weather, especially in November!  On the first several Pilgrims  walked the 1080 Laughing Labyrinth reflecting, soaking in the sun and warm air, and sharing experiences. Some left quietly. Others shared a hug and thoughtful remark.
Still others were obviously energized. That variety of experiences is a gift of labyrinths.

And the energy that builds as people share their walks is

Dousing Rods

The labyrinth revealed its energy as the dowsing rod spun around.

palpable and measurable.  Before the walk and before I “opened” the labyrinth, the dowsing rod swung around six times.  Low energy.  After I walked clockwise to open and welcome in healing energy, the rod swung  19 times. Then, I walked with gratitude and joy. The rod responded by spinning 31 times.  As pilgrims finished and before they left, I stood quietly for five minutes as the dowsing rod located the energy, swung fast then slower then faster 136 times around. I thanked the labyrinth and dowsing rod, closed the labyirnth by walking counter-clockwise and gratefully came inside.


Feeling the energy of the Magnolia Tree.

In this time of angst, consider walking a labyrinth physically or virtually. Several on-line designs can inspire “walkers”. And, The Labyrinth Society has a Labyrinth Locator where pilgrims can find a labyrinth near them to walk.

Eastern Iowa has many wonderful labyrinths to walk and simply sit near.  One of my favorites is at Regis Middle School. Set atop a knoll overlooking downtown Cedar Rapids, the seven circuit labyirnth, created for beloved teacher Jim Sells, soothes, stabilizes, and invigorates me each time I walk.

Consider grounding yourself as we move into and through thisPilgrim period of rapid change and preparation for the major holidays that many cultures celebrate in late fall through early winter.

May it be so.  Be at and of peace.

Indiana Labyrinths

Lutheran Deaconess Association

This lovely labyrinth is tucked among evergreens and surrounded by cool and calming plants. A treasure.

August was a time of travel East.  On the way to and from we took in labyrinths in towns just off I-80. South Bend and Valaparaiso, Indiana, both have lovely labyrinths.  The South Bend labyrinths are located on Ironwood Road, a major north-south route close to Notre Dame University. Both are at churches and one is especially well-named:  Saint Thérèse Little Flower Catholic Church. How cool is that!

Of the Valparaiso labyrinths, two are on Valparaiso University campus. The other is downtown at the First United Methodist Church.  Excellent all!  Read about them on 1080 Labyrinths.

North Country Sojourn

What fortune to have contacted Lisa Gidlow Moriarty who was constructing a labyirnth at Healing Waters Health Center in Hudson, WI. Rich and I joined the crew and after the lines were drawn using high technology of a bucket and rope and a tire iron to gouge the circuits, we placed rocks that had been hauled in.  The concentric circuits quickly asserted themselves and the labyirnth was completed in no time at all!  The day was cold, but the hearts and spirits warm.  What a fun experience.

Spotting birds

The children are quick to spot birds and squirrels.

Time with extended family in the Twin Cities was restful and hilarious as the children explored outside, spotted birds with “noculators”, and constructed wonderful toys from Legos.

Thanksgiving morning four of us walked a lovely labyrinth at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Plymouth, MN.  Set down in a barrow area, the labyrinth is formal, well-maintained and has a light feel to it.  While set apart, it is visible and still private.  Well done.





Tundra Swans

Along the Mississippi

Our drive back along the Mississippi River yielded a fabulous view of Tundra Swans near Minneiska, MN, and a really terrific lunch at a humble looking (on the outside) but spectacular on the inside creamery now restaurant, wine tasting stop and cheesery near Alma, WI. Pretty fabulous.  And, the countryside of The Driftless” area (NE Iowa, NW IL, SE MN and SW WI) is gorgeous even on grey November days.  Decorah, IA, boasts are pretty great coffee shop and small businesses.