So I had myself going on an impromptu camping holiday for a week. It was a surprise trip organised by my beloved to celebrate his Birthday. Mother Nature is our favorite way of recharging our over-worked life batteries.
This was my first ever camping experience in the woodlands of Oxford, England and I could not have asked for any better. I had the most amazing holiday. It made me experience all the beauty in the simplicity of life.
We cooked in the bon-fire every day just like the ancient days. We walked bare feet getting dirty in the rain just like the childhood days. We kissed watching the brightly shining full moon and starlight sky and even caught sight of few shooting stars.
River was less than 5 mins walking distance. We were surrounded by gorgeous orchards of plums, pears and apples!
Our host was a humble retired priest and we loved him sharing his spiritual wisdom with us. He also treated us with freshly hatched eggs. The entire experience was so divine.
I consider myself a deeply spiritual woman i.e. someone who needs to commune with the divine and feel a connection to something bigger and better than I am on a regular basis.
So, before we began our journey, as usual, I zoned into my rituals and pulled up a goddess guidance oracle card. Guess what – Celtic Goddess Nemetona showed up.
She has been showing up for me quite a few times in the last year and one of the invitations of this goddess is to ‘walk a labyrinth’.
In the teachings of the divine feminine, I had learnt about the labyrinth but could not find a good one around my London home to experience it.
So of course, I added ‘walking the labyrinth’ to my desire-list last year.
One of the other meanings of this Goddess Oracle Card is – ‘You need a quiet place of refuge and retreat for yourself.’
I took this an encouraging message from Goddess Nemetona, packed my sage, my journal and set off for this trip.
On our last day, we were sharing with the host that how grateful we were for his hospitality and that the trip gave us way more than what we had expected. Our host, Philip began to share his profound wisdom of how we can restore faith in this world and mentioned about his labyrinth.
Yes! He and his wife had a built a labyrinth out of the willow trees as place to meditate several years ago, which was fenced in a secluded area literally right next to our camp.
Guess what .. we walked the labyrinth.
So, what is a labyrinth and what has it got to do with the Great Goddess?
A labyrinth is an ancient tool for self-discovery, healing and spiritual enlightenment found in many ancient cultures. Ancient labyrinths can still be found in Europe, Asia as well as South America. The labyrinth can be used for meditation, relaxation, healing, spiritual guidance, communing with the inner self and the spirit world, awakening creativity, self-empowerment, enriching one’s spirituality, commemorating or celebrating an event, or just for the fun of it.
The labyrinth can be viewed as a metaphor for life’s journey – the path inward represents creation; the centre is the place of enlightenment, transformation, or the evolution of spirit into matter; and the journey out represents the integration of the new self with the old.
Some people mistake a labyrinth with a maze garden but they are not the same. A maze is a place where people get lost because there are multiple pathways to the same destination. But a labyrinth has only one path to the centre. Despite the twists and turns, there is one path in, which is also the path out. Just like life.
In the teachings of the divine feminine, a labyrinth can be experienced as the birthing womb of the Great Goddess. It is a symbolic pilgrimage out of the small self or busy mind, back Home to the Divine and is considered an initiation in which one awakens the knowledge encoded within their DNA.
Yes! The labyrinth is an ancient symbol of the feminine archetype with its spiralling circle into the centre (the womb). The many turns to the left and the right along the path stimulate all the dualities in our being and facilitate an integration of body, mind, and spirit to engender a sense of wholeness.
My profound experience of walking the labyrinth:
So, my husband and I read the labyrinth guidebook created by our host to make the most of our labyrinth walk and off we went.
As I started my walk, the green willow trees were nicely paved smelling fresh after the last night rain. But then the path became wilder. They became kind of narrower as the willow trees had over grown in some areas and were filled with spider webs and wasps. I kept walking with my arms paving the way forward. Further along I found wildly grown nettles around which pricked like hell and at times I began to walk faster with my hands protecting my face and eyes closed. At times, I couldn’t even see the way forward and had to get on my knees to crawl forward. But I kept on moving.
I got so dirty! Guess what.. life gets messy at times!
I also found the labyrinth as a perfect metaphor of the feminine virtues of trust and surrender as well as the masculine virtues of direction and focus.
The Great Goddess whispered in my ears – if you keep your hands too clean, you will not experience the freedom in the messiness!
It was beginning to make sense that how in life we stay closed or shut down to our desires. We live in the mundane and somehow settle for less. But as someone very clever once said – magic happens outside of the comfort zones!
This is the moment tears filled my heart! It reminded me of my warrior goddess archetype. It reminded me exactly how I have been living my life. My life was definitely a bed of roses at times and a bed of nettles many other times but I kept faith in my desires and moved forward.
The labyrinth journey began to activate some kind of releasing within me where I was invoked to let go of the beliefs that had been sabotaging my desires.
There were 11 prayer points in this labyrinth where I stopped, kneeled and prayed for my heart’s desires and asked for assistance in letting go all of those thoughts and beliefs that is not aligned with my heart’s desires and my sacred purpose.
When walking the circuits of that labyrinth, there were moments when I was certain I was coming very close to the centre, what I have perceived to be my destination, when suddenly an unexpected turn takes me out to the most distant reaches – as far from the centre as it is possible to be. But the labyrinth taught me once crucial life lesson – stay on my path and keep moving towards my inner centre i.e. my womb for my inner knowing.
The obstacles of the willow trees hitting my face felt like kisses from Mother Nature. This was yet another profound metaphor of how I could perceive the challenges in my life. Because I know one thing for sure – life will give me everything I require to grow in my consciousness in order to receive my desires.
Towards the end of the labyrinth walk I experienced a bright opening with gorgeous pink wild flowers in the willow trees that reminded me of the beauty in the chaos of life and inviting me to go out and shine my beauty in the world.
This labyrinth walk in to the womb of the Great Goddess was around 20 minutes and I came out of it rejuvenated in my sacred purpose.
Here’s a short video that I made inside the green willow labyrinth after I finished my walk and my meditation, to share some momentarily insights and also to give you a sense of my experience –
I would highly recommend you find a labyrinth around you and gift yourself a deep spiritual experience. Here’s a cool website that I found which can help you find a labyrinth around you – https://labyrinthlocator.com/
I would love to hear from you.
Have your walked a labyrinth? If yes, what was your experience?
If not, did I intrigue you to consider gifting yourself this experience?