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Even though we do not grasp precisely how the ancients used Labyrinths, we are now beginning to understand how they may serve people in our time. I am a labyrinth designer, and have marked out over 140 permanent ones in North America, Canada, Brazil, and South Africa. Their owners and friends often send me stories of experiences they are having. Some people report a sensation of total well being, a deeper understanding of themselves, and a clarity of thinking, a heightened sense of smell, richer perception of depth and color, disappearance of aches and pains, and relief from stress. Women in their late forties are being freed of confusion and hot flashes during change of life by walking the labyrinth on a regular basis. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder are able to relax and focus after running a labyrinth.
I personally saw a man with Parkinson�s disease slowly shuffle in to the center of a small seven-path labyrinth and walk out with a vibrant, secure stride and an expression of joy on his face. Some years ago, I built a labyrinth with a number of special education students in Somerville, MA. One young boy, about 13 years old, had never spoken a full sentence in his life and everyone assumed he was unable to think clearly. After we blessed the labyrinth and walked it together he was able to yell up the street to his teacher and say � I would like to come back after lunch but I have health class.� Everyone stopped in surprise. That afternoon the whole health class came down to walk it for themselves.
The origin of the labyrinth is obscured by the span of time. They have been found around the world, created by diverse cultures and honored by centuries of use. By studying early examples it is apparent that the ancient people were very careful to place their labyrinths over specific beneficial earth vibrations. Native Americans did not visibly mark permanent labyrinths considering them to be too �sacred� to leave unattended. Instead they wove them into their spiritual practices and taught their children how to walk them without markings as soon as they were able to learn.
It is important that we also treat them with great respect and place them with care. For this is not merely a pretty pattern, a game or even a New Age craze. There have been some reports of unwanted effects from building labyrinths. At one National Dowsers Convention in Vermont a women shared that her basement was full of water since she put a labyrinth in her back yard. I asked her if she had dowsed its location. She had not. It has become clear that a flow of underground water is part of the energy system supplied by the Earth to amplify the form. If you build a labyrinth the Earth will do everything she can to supply all that is needed for it to function. For her, this is a top priority, and if you fail to ask for the most appropriate location, water will be delivered even if it has to fill your cellar or withdraw from your well to do so.
Geomancers (masters of the art of placement much like Eastern Feng Shui masters) have for centuries worked to avoid building anything over �dragon� lines that are detrimental to human beings. Today in America, much of the work done by Geomancers is to either divert or transform these lines into beneficial vibrations. Little is known in the building trade about the dangers associated with these Earth gridlines. People who spend a lot of time over them are coming down with headaches, sleep deprivation, stress related diseases, psychological disorders and even cancer, and MS. There are houses in Germany built over this detrimental pulse called Cancer Houses. Everyone who lived in one for a number of years came down with Cancer. This is serious business.
You will find labyrinths located in back yards, gardens, healing centers, hospitals, churches, playgrounds, parks, cemeteries, almost anywhere. If one were to unknowingly place a labyrinth over detrimental vibrations the consequence could be quite alarming. Many people are going to labyrinths for healing and they like you may be sensitive to subtle vibrations. No one deserves to collide with detrimental energy. Temporary canvas labyrinths are being put down in churches many of which were wisely sited for a beneficial placement but even temporary labyrinths aught to be dowsed for the most appropriate placement and the most beneficial positioning of the entrance for anyone who shall come to walk it. If this is not done, the Earth may not be able to supply the proper support for this sacred pathway and it will be at best a pretty pattern or at worst an uncomfortable place to be.
If you are able to dowse, always ask if it is in your highest good to walk each labyrinth before you enter. For those of you who do not yet dowse, I advise that if you feel uneasy about walking a particular labyrinth please trust your intuition and stay out. Labyrinths are powerful tools for life changing experiences and if you are not ready it could be a difficult journey. The entire range of emotion can be triggered. It might be blissful, upsetting, or simply pleasant. In any event it is wise to be open for anything and trusting of your innate intuition. There is only one decision to make in a labyrinth and that is either to enter or not. Enter only if you feel good about it.