St Paul’s Labyrinth Dedicated October 23rd 2011
St. Paul’s may be walked from dawn to dusk each day.
After years of planning and preparation, the labyrinth bricks were gently placed on the space prepared for them.
It took hard work to prepare the site. The crew removed the boulders hiding beneath the beneath the grass – as if the crew was pulling molars out of a dinosaur’s jaw! They had not been moved since glaciers formed the islands. Next a foundation of sand and gravel created a bed for the bricks.
The dedication and placement of the final brick took
place in October 2011. This was a joyful event in spite
of the light rain. In spring of 2012 a border created
from stones removed to create the space for the
labyrinth was added. Landscaping to enhance this
sacred space will occur in phases over the next
St Paul’s listing on the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator
General Information and suggestions for walking
The labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in religious traditions in various forms around the world. The one located at St Paul’s Put-in-Bay is a replica of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in France. This labyrinth was placed in the floor of the cathedral about 1220. It was brought back into use and incorporated into the spiritual life of Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco in the 1980s. They have helped others rediscover this long-forgotten tradition of walking the labyrinth.
The labyrinth has only one path so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. The path winds throughout and has been described as a mirror or a metaphor for where we are in our lives. For many, the labyrinth touches our sorrows and releases our joys. We invite you to walk with an open mind and an open heart.
Three stages of the walk
- Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
- Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
- Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work for which you feel your soul is reaching.
- Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath.
- Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go.
- The path is two ways. Those going in will meet those coming out. You may “pass” people or let others step around you. Do what feels natural.