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Web of Life Labyrinth

Sacred gateway for the Bay Area Peoples’ Tribunal on the Rights of Nature

The Web of Life Labyrinth was designed to serve as a sacred gateway into the Bay Area Peoples’ Tribunal on Rights of Nature.  The intention was for participants to individually and collectively experience a sense of presence.  To take pause and connect with the Web of Life as a portal to the Tribunal event and the bigger work we share.  Walking the labyrinth serves as a gateway for connecting to the depth of our reality, into a new way of being as an Earth Community.

Walk a moment with the village heart
by Jeff Conant
Before we were humans
we were the earth’s flowering abundance.
We were the infinity of sky
and the variegated wild waters.We were all creatures, once.
How many of us have gone?

During the time you walk this labyrinth,
how many species will vanish?

How many languages, how many stories?
How many peoples?”

We cannot know because they are numberless.

The species, the stories, the peoples lost —
they are numberless.
So as you walk this labyrinth,
hold them in your heart.Walk with them a moment.Because this village,
this global village,
— all of her —
has one heart.

Because it is our heart.
Walk with this a moment.

Labyrinth at Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal Photo by Suzanne York

Photo by Suzanne York

children in the labyrinthcrp

Photo by Suzanne York

Photo by Suzanne York

A double spiral design for the labyrinth path allowed separate entry and exit points so that people could enter and exit in a continual single direction flow.  Traditional labyrinths use the same path to enter and exit.  The single direction path was chosen to facilitate a large number of people walking the labyrinth during a condensed window of time.

The labyrinth represents the sacred pathway for cultivating harmony and relationship with our Earth Community.  The winding pattern of any labyrinth also represents the circulation of vital energies within our human bodies and collective cosmic bodies.  Spirals are seen in many forms in nature.  They traditionally represent life, nature, balance, change, awareness, connectivity, and fertility. The double spiral labyrinth especially represents connection and flow.

Each person selected a Web of Life Labyrinth – Extinction Card  card with a description of a member of our Earth Community whose life is threatened or who has become extinct because of fossil fuels.  The Web of Life Labyrinth – Poem by Jeff Conant is inscribed on each card.  As people walk the labyrinth, they reflected on the impacted life and the powerful act to Walk a moment with the village heart.

web of life cards in labyrinth for Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal

Photo by Suzanne York

The Web of Life Connection cards capture the essence of what we are about as a movement. The labyrinth led to the living tree altar.  Altar lines and prayer flag strings allow people to clip their cards to with a blessing.

With a blessing of the village heart, participants entered the Bay Area People’s Tribunal for the Rights of Nature.

 

double spiral with distancesLabyrinth design = double spiral within each other

The distance between the lines of the spiral can vary depending on the size of the labyrinth you which to create.   The length of the spiral lines will determine the length of the walking path.  For a larger, longer labyrinth lengthen the spiral lines.

Defining the labyrinth:

  1. Identify the center space for the labyrinth.
  2. On either side of the center mark two starting  points which are 18 to 24 inches apart.
  3. From point 2a. layout a spiral with 36 to 48 inches distance between the spiral lines.
  4. From point 2b. layout a second spiral within the first spiral such that the radius between the lines of the first and second spiral are 18 to 24 inches.
  5. If using rope or cord, anchor the cord with clear tape at various points within the labyrinth.  Stones at each end of the spiral cords will further anchor the design as well as add natural elements.
  6. Outline segments of the lines  or frame the overall labyrinth using natural materials such as stones, shells, greenery or fibers.

Labyrinth construction

Labyrinth yarnSkeins of 1/2 inch rope or cords of natural fibers are recommended as a simple material to define the labyrinth flow that can be layout and removed easily and cleanly.  For the Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal Web of Life Labyrinth, a recycled, knobby threaded Berber  carpet was purchased from the Habitat for Humanities Restore. The carpet was unraveled and dyed shapes of green, blue and orange.  Strands of 4 – 5 threads were wrapped and tied together to create spools of rope.

For more information on labyrinths and labyrinth designs, visit

Labyrinths at www.labyrinths.org