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The Symbolism of the Labyrinth

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the symbolism of the labyrinth

The shape of the Labyrinth is similar to the combination of the circle and the spiral. However, it is a maze with no dead ends, making the Labyrinth unique. 

The symbolism of Labyrinth tells us a deeper story about our life and spiritual journey.

I read several books and articles on the topic and will share my understanding with you today.

Don’t forget to check my previous article on spiral symbolism

What did Labyrinth initially mean?

The Labyrinth comes from the Greek word “laburinthos.” It was designed in Cretan by the great artificer Daedalus in ancient Greek mythology.

A Labyrinth originally meant a maze with a single entry with no dead ends. The access is also the exit from the maze.

This represents the path of human life. It reminds us that after many twists and turns, we return to the place from where we came.

Labyrinth has different meanings from different perspectives. Later in the article, I will be discussing in more detail the Greek Labyrinth.

For now, let’s correctly understand the actual meaning of Labyrinth:

Celtic Labyrinth meaning

Labyrinth is seldom mentioned in Celtic cultures. But a little mention has a deep meaning of the Labyrinth.

The Celtic Labyrinth is a branchless maze leading to the center from the start point. It represents the soul’s journey to the center of the uterine underworld – the soul’s return toward rebirth.

Glastonbury Tor – Ynis Witrin – has a maze similar to Cretan’s Labyrinth. It was mainly designed for ritual purposes. Later the druids use the maze for their initiation ceremonies.

Meaning of pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke is an excellent dark fairytale.

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you purchase the book and read it. After reading the book, you may ask, what does Pan’s Labyrinth mean?

The pan’s Labyrinth says there is no place for innocence in the war between good and evil. Instead, it tells a dark story about war’s trauma and after-effects.

I will not spoil the books for you by going into the details. However, it’s a book worth reading, and you will understand more about the Labyrinth once you read it. 

Meaning of Labyrinth in Christianity

The Labyrinth has always been seen positively in Christianity. It is a path of life between birth to death.

The first Christian Labyrinth was designed around 324 A.D., on the floor of St. Basilica of Reparatus in Algeria. It is a symbol of hope that tells the church is always there for the wanderer of Labyrinth’s path. 

However, the Labyrinth in the French Chartres Cathedral is most popular among Christians. It was built around 1230 AD and had 11 circuits counted from the outside to the center.

It has a 6-petal rosette in the center, representing six different kingdoms, including angelic, animal, divine, human, mineral, and plant.

The rosette also symbolizes healing and the flowering union of feminine and masculine power.

Entering into the Labyrinth clears your mind and improves your focus on God. It frees you from earthly attachments.

But does the Bible mention the Labyrinth?

Meaning of Labyrinth in the Bible

I did not find any bible verse that mentions Labyrinth. But a few verses had similar meanings.

One of such Bible verses is:

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

(Corinthians 5:7)

When we enter the Labyrinth, we step forward with faith. Our eyes will not help us to find the way out. It’s all faith.

What is a Labyrinth used for?

After knowing about the basic meanings of the Labyrinth, you may want to know the use of Labyrinth.

A Labyrinth is used for several purposes to help you with personal growth, psychological improvement, and spiritual transformation.

Some of the most popular uses of the Labyrinth are:

  • Labyrinth walking: Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice. You can do this by entering a Labyrinth and walking slowly. It provides a unique spiritual experience as it gives you a more profound feeling of being on a spiritual journey. The path of a spiritual journey is unknown and full of surprises, and a Labyrinth offers you the same experience.
  • Meditation: Many people also enter the Labyrinth to do the meditation uniquely. You can stand still, sit or lie down to do meditation.
  • Rituals and ceremonies: People in ancient times used to do many rituals in the Labyrinth. Its unique structure is a great place to take vows at the wedding.

What does a Labyrinth symbolize?

A Labyrinth symbolizes hope, fear, life, path, spiritual journey, hell, redemption, and wholeness.

People often fear they will be lost in the maze. But some people also know they can find a way out.

One can also use the Labyrinth to symbolize the journey of life. Our life has a start point; we go through some exciting experiences before the end. A Labyrinth gives you the same experience.

The Labyrinth is hard to navigate, and that’s why it is also called hell sometimes. However, it is also seen as a source of wisdom, and a journey through the Labyrinth makes you whole.

However, the Labyrinth symbolism mainly originates from Greek mythology. So, let’s learn more about Labyrinth symbolism:

What does the Labyrinth symbolize in Greek mythology?

The Cretan Labyrinth is one of the most ancient symbols known to humankind. It was built to capture the half-human, half-bull beast Minotaur.

The Labyrinth sometimes means “the house of the double ax.” In Crete, the double ax is an assistance to the goddesses.

What does the Labyrinth symbolize in Theseus and the Minotaur?

The story of Theseus and the Minotaur in Greek mythology is fascinating.

According to the legend, Minotaur was an offspring of the wife of the King Minos of Crete.

The king sent the Minotaur into the Labyrinth and sent numbers of Athenian virgins and young warriors to fight the beast.

Eventually, Theseus defeated Minotaur and found a way out of the maze that the Minotaur couldn’t find in years.

What is the spiritual meaning of a Labyrinth?

A Labyrinth makes your spiritual self whole through the ups and downs.

When journeying in a Labyrinth, sometimes you become excited about making the right decision, and the other time you are hopeless about making the wrong decision.

Labyrinth’s spiritual meaning tells you there is always a way out. It has no dead ends, which means your spiritual journey is full of progress if you know your path.

Chartres Labyrinth’s spiritual meaning

The Chartres Labyrinth is a symbol of pilgrims. In addition, this site is the home of the Virgin Mary’s tunic during Christ’s birth.

The spiritual meaning of Chartres Labyrinth means the start of your spiritual journey.

What is the spiritual significance of a Labyrinth?

A journey to the Labyrinth is a journey from life to spiritual awakening to death. Therefore, it is essential for every human being to go on a spiritual journey.

The Labyrinth awakes your spiritual self. Walk in the Labyrinth or meditate to find your inner self.

Conclusion

The Labyrinth may seem confusing, but we are never lost in it. Sometimes we are close to the center and sometimes far away.

So take a step into the Labyrinth to make yourself whole.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so, you can pin it to your Ancient Wisdom Board!

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