The Tangled Labyrinth

Mindfulness Tangled Labyrinth by Sadelle Wiltshire, CZT

Mindfulness Labyrinth

If you’ve ever walked a labyrinth path, then you know how meditative and soothing an experience it can be.  And if you’re reading this post you may already know about how relaxing and centering a Zentangle® practice is.

A couple of months ago, as I was both preparing to teach a Spiritual Retreat Day for CZTs and preparing to teach Zentangle at a large Quaker conference,  I found myself looking at the patterns in Labyrinths themselves.  To my delight, I also found references to ‘Finger Labyrinths’,  which compelled me to try drawing them myself.   Well of course, I had to also try adding some Zentangle to it!   I  began adding hand-drawn labyrinths to my journaling and  found that the act of drawing even a simple labyrinth alone is nearly as focused as drawing a Zentangle tile.

Labyrinths show up in many social and faith cultures (no they’re not just for pagans!) and you can find oodles of historical, social and faith references, discussions on sacred geometry and aspects of  design on the internet and at your local library.

3 circuit labyrinth seed

3 circuit labyrinth seed

Below you’ll find a sample step out for a simple labyrinth I shared at the Spirituality Retreat Day.  It’s based on a classic 3 circuit labyrinth that uses a starter “seed”.  7, 11 and 15 circuit labyrinths all work the same way, except there are extra “auras” within each quadrant.

Stepout for a Classic 3 Circuit Labyrinth

Stepout for a Classic 3 Circuit Labyrinth

Classic 7 circuit Labyrinth, c/o Wikipedia

The 3/7/11/etc circuit labyrinth is of the type where you enter and exit in the same spot.   So you follow the entrance all the way into the center, turn around and follow the same path out.   To draw it will take a bit of focus in how you connect the lines and dots.  Start with a the 3 circuit example above and then you might try more complicated 7 circuit or 11 circuit labyrinths.  Use a broad sweeping gesture as you draw out larger and larger.   Try drawing labyrinths alone before adding anything else to it.

7 circuit labyrinth seed11 circuit labyrinth seed15 circuit labyrinth seed
7, 11, 15 circuit ‘seeds’

Playing with labyrinths

I found that doubling my lines made a good string for adding tangles,  I also found it fun to overlap some of  the tangled labryinths…

Large filled labyrinth with white path left intact

Large filled labyrinth with white path left intact

Tangled labyrinths in Journal

Tangled labyrinths in Journal

Try drawing some labyrinths of your own, and make a labyrinth even larger and try combining it with one of your more quieting and focused tangles… not only do you get a double meditative experience in the creating, but you will have your own personal labyrinth to ‘walk’ your fingers or pen through when you can’t get outside for a physical labyrinth walk.

For those close enough to southern VT,  I’ll be offering another Tangled Labyrinth workshop later this winter complete with the pdf I developed.  Meanwhile, you might want to explore these resources:

Labyrinth Resources:

In Part II, I discuss the interesting effects you can get depending on your choice of tangle, plus more on the act of “following the path”…

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14 Responses to The Tangled Labyrinth

  1. Sandy Hunter says:

    that tangled labyrinth at the bottom is very cool! It makes the tangle even more interesting because there is more to see (and analyze/decode/discover) than the art itself.

    • Sadelle says:

      Thanks, Sandy… it’s funny, I have especially been discovering that effect is stronger depending on the tangle I choose to “follow the path” with! Stay tuned for part II… with that point better illustrated.

  2. hi there – looks great – it took me a minute to figure out that I needed to click on the post title in order to get to the Reply area. I missed this post on labyrinths earlier – glad to see it now – i’ll have to give it a try!

    • Sadelle says:

      Thanks, Elaine, Sandy! I’ll be adding a part II later this week as I’ve discovered a couple of other cool ‘effects’ that can happen when tangling these. And thanks for being my beta testers with the upgraded site!

  3. Suzy Shedd says:

    I used to walk a labyrinth in a meadow — the path made by using, as the owner put it, “the sacred dimension of the 16″ Lawn Boy.” Lovely post!

  4. Kip Kozlowski says:

    AHA! Got it. Still like the Labrynth post.

    • Sadelle says:

      lol… sorry to put you thru the ringer trying to comment. I’m trying to decide just how much that copy/paste password deal is deterring folks. Part of the webmaster’s dilemma ;-). Thanks for the comment!

  5. Alice says:

    I would never have thought to do a labyrinth. Pretty cool idea!

  6. Joy says:

    Love the labyrinth!
    Took a minute to find the comment click here but no problem after that!

  7. Pingback: Tangled Labyrinth Journal Workshop | Tangle Vermont

  8. Pingback: The Tangled Labyrinth, Part II | Tangle Vermont

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