I am a master labyrinth designer and artist, writer, and poet. I became intrigued by labyrinths when my wife and I were thinking about moving to Asheville, North Carolina about 16 years ago. We camped outside the city and began to explore. We found a flyer for a labyrinth in the woods and went to walk it. We were intrigued and when we saw labyrinth workshop advertised, we decided to attend. The workshop gave a brief history of labyrinths and had finger labyrinths of classical Cretan, the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth, and others. I was surprised that all the labyrinths felt familiar to me almost as if I had played with them before.
This experience led me to read, to attend other workshops, and to begin to copy traditional designs and to play with them. At the workshops I went to and in what I read, I found myself asking or trying to answer the same question, “ What was the labyrinth designer’s intention or purpose in creating this labyrinth?” The pre-historic labyrinths, the classic 7, 3, and 11 circuit designs had no written history, and therefore no record of their designers’ intentions. For the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth, I read the official Catholic Church statement ( a symbolic journey to Jerusalem) but this wasn’t a statement by the designer. I asked various labyrinth authorities if they had a document that recorded the designer’s intention or purpose for the design. The answer was always the same; there was none. These answers left me dissatisfied.
Eventually, I put a classic seven circuit labyrinth in our apartment building’s backyard. Together, with our cat, Abby, I’d walk or sit or I’d write while sitting in the center or someplace else on the labyrinth about my experiences. At other times, I would just be with the labyrinth. I felt the energy of the labyrinth turning clockwise and then counter clockwise. I felt the energy spiral up and then down and then both directions at once. I felt the energy surround me above and seem to go into the earth below me. I felt all of these things at once. In this way, I began to experience the labyrinth’s energies.
At the same time, I was developing my skills and awareness as an energy body worker. As a long time teacher, I wished to give my clients “homework,” that is, some tool that would enable them more easily to maintain or recapture the energy and state of being that they experienced in our session. I thought that a small labyrinth would be a wonderful tool, but I paused and thought. I discovered that I felt uncomfortable with recommending a tool that I could not explain to my clients, that I couldn’t state, “This is the designer’s intention.” Or, “This is why the labyrinth was made.”
Since I couldn’t recommend the labyrinth designs that existed, I decided to create my own and to write an accompanying handbook for each design that would contain an essay explaining the labyrinth’s intention. Over the last fifteen years, I have created over 100 formal designs on canvas and an uncounted number of designs in notebooks that I have not made into a formal drawing or written a handbook.
My earliest designs include The Mourning and Loss Labyrinth, The Abundance Labyrinth, and The Moving with Change Labyrinth, and Embracing the Process: The Circle and Diamond Layered Labyrinth. These designs can be found in the gallery section of the website.
I continue to create designs based upon a variety of experiences. I like to write in coffee shops and when I do, I listen to the conversations around me. I am curious about what concerns people. I hear that many people are concerned about saying what they really mean. This led me to create The Speaking Your Truth Labyrinth. Or, I get curious about something I know and wonder how I can capture that energy in a labyrinth. This resulted in The Chakra Labyrinth Series, and The Cycle of Change, The Twelve Birth Month Series. Other labyrinths have been created because of conversations with my wife. For us safety or feeling safe is the foundation of relationships, of effective learning in classrooms, and of personal exploration and growth. These conversations resulted in The Stepping Into Safety: Our Foundation Labyrinth and The Seeds of Safety Labyrinth: A Couples Labyrinth. Still others have been created for special events like The Walking With Our Muse Labyrinth for the Clockhouse Writers Conference at Goddard College and The Flowers in The Field Labyrinth for a Connecticut Herb Festival.
As I have created new designs, I have also created new types of labyrinths. First, there were layered labyrinths, which are designs in which two labyrinths are superimposed upon each other, as in The Finding One’s Path, a Layered Labyrinth. Another type is the two handed labyrinths, in which both hands run the labyrinth beginning at separate entrances then meet and separate and meet again at the center, as in Beyond The Learned Limits: The Union of All That We Are With All That Is – The Seventh Chakra Labyrinth. I have also created intertwined labyrinths, which are composed of two or more labyrinths that can be run separately or together, as in In this Moment, In this Connection, In the Space Between This Moment and This Connection Lies Joy Labyrinth. My newest form of labyrinth is the Choice Point Labyrinth, in which there are points at which the user must make a choice about how to move through the labyrinth, as is The Crafting the Fabric of One’s Life Labyrinth. As I continue to work with labyrinths and the intentions that my clients and the world present me with, I am certain that there are new forms for me to discover.
Over these last fifteen years, I’ve taken my labyrinths into energy body work. As I explored my perception of energy, I began to see the energy system as a series of lines and geometric forms within my clients. I became able to gently move these energy lines within the body to assist individuals in working to create change within their lives. Eventually, I was sharing energy work with another energy body worker who asked me, “Do you see a labyrinth within me?” I considered her question and was able to answer yes. This question and the experience of finding labyrinths within others as I worked led me to develop what I call Intentional Labyrinth Energy Body Work. This is the union of what I experience as feng shui within the body, as I remind energy lines of their natural placement with labyrinths that I create. These labyrinths become other energy body workers as I place selected labyrinths on my client’s body and manipulate them in various ways.
For me labyrinth work is about play and discovery. Once I recognized my discomfort with historical labyrinths and began to define labyrinths as energy patterns that are translations of someone’s intention, I became free to play and discover. I continue to create new labyrinth designs, explore how labyrinths and patterns of energy appear in the world around me, and invite all of you to begin your exploration of labyrinths and the patterns of energy that are around and within us all.