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The Mystical Significance of the Cretan Labyrinth and Its Link to the Earth

The Classical or Cretan Labyrinth is one of the oldest known to man. Its meaning is shrouded in the mysteries of prehistory. But when and where it was drawn leads archaeologists to believe that it was somehow related to the worship of Earth Goddess.

One thing people often don't realise about a labyrinth is that it is not a maze. When you walk a labyrinth path you cannot get lost. There are no dead ends or divided pathways. There is only one way to get into the centre and the same way to get out again. No matter how complicated a design might look, all labyrinths are sublimely simple. All paths are one.

When you set out to draw a Classical Labyrinth, as even the graffiti artists of ancient Pompeii did, you begin with the 'seed'. This is the central starting point from which you work outward.
This seed consists of a cross with lines of equal length- often called the 'cross of matter'- representing physical existence. The horizontal line stands for the earth (horizon) and the 'feminine', while the vertical line symbolises the sky (lightning shooting down) and the 'male' energies.

Into each right angled space created by the cross is another right angle that forms parallel lines to the original. There are four of these and signify the 'four corners of the earth'.
The last ingredients in the 'seed' are the dots placed at each empty corner of the shape, as if marking out the borders of a big square that holds all the parts of the seed within it. These dots symbolise the four seasons.
From this description you can see how walking the Cretan labyrinth might be seen as a symbolic way to 'become one' with Mother Earth or Gaia. For many, the journey through the 7 levels that form the fully drawn labyrinth is like moving into the very depths of our connection to the Earth, embracing both the ecstasy of life and the terror of death.

It is not surprising that Labyrinths have experienced resurgence in recent years as environmental issues force us to once more consider our connection to the planet that sustains us.
It is said that every time a labyrinth is drawn and walked, the planet is healed in some way. Each year on May 1 people all over the world walk labyrinths 'As One at One'. This is a celebration of this healing and connection.

There are as many designs of labyrinths as there are ways to use them. But valuing the Earth, and our link to Her and each other, is one way to stay grounded in the ever increasing stress of modern day life. It is also a way of opening us to the possibilities of working with nature rather than against it.
Nhys Glover is an Aussie teacher, author and creator of the 'Psyche's Key' range of unique and powerful tools designed for insight, healing and support in difficult times. Find out more about Nhys and get her free Ebook the 'Tao of DeClutter' at [] so you can start to clear your physical space in readiness for improving your life.
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