Do Labyrinths Have a Design Flaw?
By Madis Senner
Labyrinths are a great way to connect with Mother Earth, get insights and heal. Unfortunately the twisting and turning path of most labyrinths disrupts the flow of prana, the life force, and disturbs the proper functioning of Mother Earth’s subtle body. This design flaw prevents labyrinths from realizing their full potential as a spiritual resource.
For a labyrinth to be used for spiritual purposes and to be in sync with Mother Earth it should have a vortex or spiral design, or pattern, which mimics the movement of an energy vortex with a constant steady clockwise movement inwards. The creation of an energy vortex is one of Mother Earth’s first responses to humankind’s spiritual overtures. In other words, the creation of a vortex is a natural response by Mother Earth to a site where much prayer/meditation has occurred and marks a union with humankind. The formation of such an energy vortex within a labyrinth significantly increases the spiritual experience of the labyrinth walkers and provides a boost to Mother Earth as well.
Our energy trail
Our subtle body dynamically interacts with our surrounding environment 24/7. There is a constant exchange of essences, energy and consciousness between us and our immediate environment. We are influencing our immediate environment and it is influencing us. In the process there is an exchange of subtle matter, as little bits of us rub off wherever we go and we pick up a little bit of our surrounding environment. So when we move about we are de facto creating an energy trail that maps out our movements.
It is this human energy trail left behind by labyrinth walkers that creates problems for Mother Earth. Over time the cumulative affect of human energy trails left behind by labyrinth walkers becomes a powerful presence that embeds itself on the labyrinth path. Basically it becomes an energy overlay on the twisting and turning labyrinth path. This overlay of the human energy trail conflicts with and often blocks the movement of prana, the life force. The life force, or prana, sustains everything in the physical plane. It is said that the heart may stop beating, but as long as we have prana we are alive.
To understand how an energy overlay blocks the flow of prana we need to understand how prana moves in the ether around us. The ether is filled with unseen essences, forces and energies creating what can be called an energy field, or a field. Within the field there are a variety of pranas, moving in various directions, but always in a straight line unless its path is blocked, or disrupted. Prana descends from the ether above and is released by ducts on the ground and is pulled towards the closest earth chakra in a straight line. When its path is blocked its movement becomes fragmented and its potency is reduced. The energy trail of the labyrinth walkers creates a major block for the movement of prana. To learn more about the flow of prana read: Understanding Prana/chi/qi and how Flows.
Our world is filled with paths from roads, to sidewalks, to railroad tracks that have energy overlays on them that can block the flow of prana. What distinguishes the energy overlay on a labyrinth is the intensity, focus and deliberate movement of the labyrinth walkers, which gives added strength to the energy trail. For example, labyrinth walkers follow a very specific and often narrow path, whereas on a sidewalk people move in different directions or on different parts of the sidewalk. Further just because much of world is damaging Mother Earth’s subtle body it is not a justification for labyrinths to have a design that is not in balance with Mother Earth.
A Joint Effort
We have a dynamic relationship with Mother Earth and our spiritual evolution and development is intimately intertwined with her. She responds to our spiritual overtures. Dowsers such as Sig Lonegren who focus on geomancy have noted how various energies of Mother Earth can be drawn to a sacred site, or labyrinth:
“There have been other dowsers who have also noticed the apparent ability of new labyrinths that were used regularly, to draw water to them - John Wayne Blassingame and Marty Cain, both good dowsers in the US - to mention two. Here at Benton, was the first time I had seen that energy leys were also drawn to the newly constructed space.”“The Gathering Earth Energies: An Interim Report”; Sig Lonegren; Mid-Atlantic Geomancy
Mother Earth also responds to our spiritual endeavors in the ether as well. When we pray, meditate or do ceremony at one place with great intensity an energy vortex will eventually form there over time. This occurs because, as Vedanta (Hinduism) teaches us that our thoughts have a whirling vortex like motion to them, what they call vritti(s.) Our thoughts also attach to, or remain at a location. By continually meditating in the same place we give added strength to the seed thought of meditation that is planted there. Eventually the whirlpool motion of the meditator’s thoughts becomes so strong that they begin to exert a mild pull on prana that passes nearby. Continued meditation/prayer will create an energy vortex at the location drawing the life force into it. Meditation and spiritual exercises in particular draw the highest form of Prana that has the highest consciousness component, that I call Cosmic Prana. To learn more about energy vortices go to: Energy Vortices.
The Power Place
It is the continual praying, meditating or performing ritual at a place that gives it spiritual strength, or a vibe. The thoughts, intentions, aspirations and hopes of people that have been there before act as a foundation for those that follow. This is one of the reasons we are told to meditate in the same place because we are further reinforcing the process of meditation begun there. This is the strength of the beauty of a labyrinth. When you are walking its path you are tapping into the cumulative thoughts of those that have come before you which aids your quest. I call the thoughts that attach to a place geographic samskaras
The natural progression of a spiritual place as it gains strength from continual prayer/meditation is the creation of an energy vortex. Most sacred sites, whether they be in some far off land or your local place of worship often have vortexes that have formed from continual spiritual exercises. Places where healings take place also form vortices. Unfortunately, the energy overlay created by labyrinth walkers on labyrinths prevents the creation of a vortex and stalls this joint effort between Mother Earth and humankind.
Energy vortices perform a lovely healing and enlightening function. The vortex pulls in prana into it bathing anyone within it with an increased dose of the life force. For meditators or spiritual aspirants this means an increased dose to enhance their spiritual experience and raise their consciousness.
The life force not only nurtures and sustains us, but is critical for our spiritual development. Tantric Hinduism holds that the divine energy in our base chakra, what they call kundalini, must unite with our individual consciousness in our heart chakra, to achieve enlightenment. Similarly the energy in the environment, the life force, needs to unite with our consciousness for enlightenment. The increased flow of the life force (prana) from an energy vortex facilitates this process.
Even without a vortex design labyrinths provide benefits. The insight that labyrinths should have a vortex design came to me while walking the labyrinth at the Foundation of Light in Ithaca, NY which has a Chartes design. ( To read my review of the FOL.) The cumulative thoughts of the labyrinth walkers, while out of sync Mother Earth, can still be palpable.
A vortex (spiral) design, or pattern, has a clockwise (counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) path turning steadily to the right in a slow circular manner. It has a spiraling clock-wise movement inwards. The path should not be so narrow that it would restrict movement of the walker to a very tight path. It may also have a circle in its center, providing it is not too large, where people can reflect or meditate afterwards. The idea is for the labyrinth walkers to mimic the movement of an energy vortex with its spiraling movement inwards in order to help jump start the creation of an energy vortex.
All the great mystics have taught us to look within. The labyrinth does this with the physical movement of labyrinth walkers moving inwards. It is this inward searching combined with the reinforcing action of walking inwards that gives added strength to the ritual. The vortex design reinforces this further through its steady clockwise movement and does not distract from the introspection by having walkers twist and turn as they walk. Eventually the energy overlay created by a vortex design should lead to the creation of an energy vortex.
A natural vortex of prana within a labyrinth would nourish walkers with an increased dose of the life force. This would enhance their spiritual experience and help raise their consciousness. It would also increase the chances for epiphanies, insights and revelations. Over time other divine aspects of Mother Earth would manifest from continued spiritual endeavors. Anything and everything is possible if we are in balance with and work with Mother Earth.
Madis Senner is sentient of Mother Earth and her various energies and essences. He maintains a listing of sacred sites and a detailed cosmology of Mother Earth at Mother Earth Prayers. His book The Way Home—Making Heaven on Earth (O Books) explains our dynamic relationship with Mother Earth and how our thoughts affect her mind body balance.