A New Labyrinth in the Garden, An Ancient Design

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Where will soon be a new public outdoor labyrinth in St. Louis, based on an ancient design called the Jericho labyrinth. It will be installed on Sept. 7th and 8th at Central Reform Congregation in their garden in the Central West End. It will be created in a mindful, meditative noble silence, lead by Robert Fishbone. *Volunteers can help be part of this unique experience of creating public sacred space.

Labyrinths can be traced back for 3,000 years or more. They have been found throughout the world. There has been a resurgence of labyrinths in the United States and other countries in the last few decades. They have been used as relaxation, healing and spiritual experiences in religious, medical, educational and personal settings.

A walking labyrinth is a design on the ground, indoors or out, that encloses a path that goes from the outside to the inside center. People walk the path in a meditative mindful way. According to Fishbone, “people enter the labyrinth for all kinds of reasons.

Entering a labyrinth brings a separation of how you’ve been to what you want to be.” A labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey of life. The path of life circles around, sometimes going away from the center, sometimes getting closer, but always ending up in the center. A labyrinth path goes from outer world to inner center and then back out again.

Labyrinths are most often circular in design with one path that circles around the center, with twists and turns that eventually end up in the center. A labyrinth is different from a maze, which has multiple pathways requiring a decision to go one way or the other. You can get lost in a maze. In a labyrinth there is only one path, no choices are made. You can never get lost in a labyrinth.

There are numerous designs of labyrinths. The Jericho labyrinth is based on the story of Jericho’s walls. The city is depicted in a 1360’s bible painting with seven brick walls. According to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho, the city had to be circled seven times in order for the walls to come tumbling down and the promised land entered.

Walking the circular pathway of labyrinths can be seen as a way to break down the walls of what holds us back and keep us from going to the depth of our true selves. Take time to walk the path of a labyrinth. Labyrinth locations can be found on World Wide Labyrinth locator at www.labyrinthlocator.com

*To help install the Central Reform Congregation Jericho labyrinth, you must sign up for a time slot. Here is the link with more information and to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084baba728a2fe3-labyrinth.

Contact Rabbi Randy Fleisher at Randy@CentralReform.org with questions.
Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also a mandala artist and creativity workshop leader. Her blog and website are: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Her phone number is (314) 504-4266.