Edmonton Labyrinth Society


Labyrinths Available for Walking in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.

The Difference Between a Labyrinth and a Maze | An 11-page illustrated paper on the Labyrinth (in PDF format).

The Parts of a Labyrinth     |     Approaches to Walking a Labyrinth

Labyrinth Resources and Links     |     How to Draw, Build, or Buy a Labyrinth

A printable 7-circuit labyrinth for "walking" with your finger when you can't get to one to walk.


Our Mission is to promote the establishment and use of labyrinths as spiritual exercises. We encourage people to learn about the labyrinth and experience its powers for healing and spiritual growth. Through walking a labyrinth, we hope that you will experience the spiritual power of this rediscovered 12th Century mystical resource.

Labyrinth Events and News in the Edmonton Area

MONTHLY WALKS in the EDMONTON AREA

First Friday Evening Walk and Dance
Centre for Spiritual Living S.E. 7621-101 Ave.
hosts a labyrinth walk the first Friday of every month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
and a labyrinth dance from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Walks are not held during the months of July and August.
The labyrinth is an indoor 11-circuit Chartres replica 44 feet in diameter
and is permanently placed on the sanctuary floor. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Fourth Thursday Evening Meditation Walk
Place: Allen Gray Continuing Care Centre, 5005 - 28 Avenue in Millwoods (on the lower level)
Time: 6:30-8:30 (no cost)

Last Friday Evening Talk and Walk
St. Albert United Church at 20 Green Grove Dr. has a 7-circuit Chartres-style labyrinth painted in purple on a white 22-foot parachute. It is avaiable for walking on the last Friday of every month 7:00 -9:00. Call 780-458-8355 during a weekday to confirm. They also have an outdoor grass and brick labyrinth.

 

Portable Labyrinth for Walking
A Chartres (11-circuit) labyrinth has been painted in lavender on an olive drab 39ft diameter nylon parachute by folks at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church.
You can see something of what it is like in this photo.
If you are interested in renting the labyrinth and/or having a talk on labyrinths, please call Charles at 780-436-8774 or email him.

 

QUARTERLY WALKS
Riverdale Quarterly Walks - Sheryl Ackerman and Jean Ure set up a cloth Minoan labyrinth for walking periodically in Riverdale Community Hall, 9231-100 Avenue. It is a 7-circuit, Crete-style labyrinth made with golden beads on purple broadcloth that is 36 feet square. The usual months are January, April, July and October on a Saturday from 11 am until 2:00 pm. Open to all. Donation of $5-$10 appreciated to pay for hall rental. For more information call Sheryl at 424-6889 or Jean at 424-8339.

 

OUTDOOR LABYRINTHS AVAILABLE in the EDMONTON AREA

Louise McKinney Riverfront Park between the Shaw Convention Centre and the river. It is east of the Shaw Convention Center and south of the main parking lot. It is an aboriginal "Turtle Rock Effigy" labyrinth installed for The Works art festival some years ago. Complete with a stunning river valley view, it is especially pleasant at sunset.

Southminster-Steinhauer United Church has created an outdoor labyrinth north of its parking lot on 19th Avenue near 108 Street.
Providence Renewal Centre has an outdoor labyrinth behind its main building at 3005 - 119 Street.
Riverdale Community has an outdoor 8-circuit Minoan labyrinth at Riverdale Elementary School, 8901 - 101 Ave.
Belgravia Community has a 7-circuit outdoor labyrinth constructed of gray blocks with a grass path in the southeast corner of the Arts Park, 73 Avenue at 115 Street.
St. Andrew's United Church in Spruce Grove has a large outdoor, 11 circuit, Chartres-style labyrinth on the east side of their building at 1A Fieldstone Drive.
St. Albert United Church at 20 Green Grove Dr. has an outdoor grass and brick labyrinth.


Step by Step
by Shirley A. Serviss*

We enter the labyrinth--this sacred space--
not knowing our way, not knowing how the day
will unfold, what the outcome may be.
In the labyrinth we have nothing to fear;
the path will become clear as we take one step
after the other. All we need do is keep on going.
All we need ever do is continue to take
the next step to see where it takes us.

We are each on our own journey,
can take our own time, move at our own pace.
The only race we´re in is the human one.
We are kin to all who walk this way,
searching for guidance in place of uncertainty,
hope in place of despair. Namaste-
our spirits greet each other as we meet on the path.

In the labyrinth, we move in circles, but are not lost.
We find our way through what appears to be a maze,
learning patience as it twists and turns, seemingly
taking too long, taking us further from our goal,
before it doubles back around, finally bringing us
to a place where all becomes clear.

Now we prepare to re-enter: our work, our world,
our lives. We make progress, only to regress--
no straight road to follow. We take comfort in the walking:
the meditative meandering of the labyrinth,
the guidance of the lines, the reassurance
we will find our way through the challenges we face
as we continue to place one foot in front of the other.

* © Shirley A. Serviss used with permission. Contact her to reproduce this poem.

Another poem from a walker of the Riverdale Labyrinth in Edmonton is here in an MSWord document.


ALBERTA WALKING OPPORTUNITIES
If you know of labyrinths in Alberta that we have not listed below, please email us the details for posting here.

North of Edmonton

Bonnyville - private outdoor labyrinths of several designs.
Location: 38 kilometers north of Bonnyville on Hwy 41, then east on Hwy 55, then north to Crane Lake
Access: call Kevin at 780-826-5746 to arrange a walk.

Grande Prairie - St. Paul's United Church has an 11-circuit, Chartres-style labyrinth painted on the floor in the basement. Special dates and walks offered, contact the churh office for more information - 780-532-2415.
Donelda Laing 780-539-7263 in G.P. offers workshops and special occasion walks on a portable 11-circuit, Chartres-style labyrinth of 36 ft in diameter.

In Edmonton

McDougall United Church - There is a Minoan labyrinth (unicursal, 7-circuit, painted on the floor) in the lower hall at McDougall United Church, 10086 McDonald Drive, Edmonton, which may be available. Call the office between 9:00AM and 4:00PM at 428-1818.


Christ Church (Anglican) - This unicursal 7-circuit labyrinth
painted on the floor of the hall at Christ Church,
at 12116 - 102 Avenue, Edmonton,
may be available Monday evening
and at other times by calling the office at 488-1118
between 10-12 & 1-3 weekdays.
 

Allen Gray Continuing Care Centre, 5005 - 28 Avenue in Millwoods, has a labyrinth permanently placed on the floor of their lower level. Call 469-2371 to confirm access times.

University Hospital - on the 4th floor, in the east atrium, there is a 7-circuit chartres labyrinth inlaid in the carpet. It is available at any time, but you may have to move a table and a few chairs to the side because folks who eat their brown bag meals there sometimes move tables and chairs out onto the labyrinth area of the carpet. There is a sign to coach you on walking a labyrith and another describing what a labyrinth is.

Providence Renewal Centre, 3005 - 119 Street, [Phone: 780-701-1853.]

Wetaskiwin Area

New Norway - Experience "The Willows" private retreat centre's Egyptian labyrinth located in an 1100 sq ft outdoor geodesic dome. RR#1, New Norway, Phone: (780) 855-2523, email

In Red Deer

Sunnybrook United Church - Visit the outdoor "Chartres" labyrinth in the north-east quadrant of the grounds of Sunnybrook United Church, south of 32nd Street East, off Springfield Street (across from the fire station) and at 12 Stanton Street (403-347-6073).

Gaetz Memorial United Church - Walk the indoor "Chartres" labyrinth painted on the floor of the fellowship hall of Gaetz Memorial, 4758 50th Street. Call for times when it is available 403-347-2244.

In Calgary

Church of the Good Shepherd (Anglican) - Visit the one on the front lawn of the Church of the Good Shepherd, 408 38 Street, SW Calgary. It is open and available for walking at any time. It is a 7-circuit Santa Rosa design laid out in old bricks and turf.

FCJ Christian Life Centre has an outdoor garden labyrinth at 219 - 19 Av SW. Call 403-228-4215. It is a 7-circuit Classic labyrinth about 50 feet in diameter, suitable for large groups and /or wheelchair accessibility.

Knox United Church, 506 4 St. SW - Labyrinth Self-Guided walk. The Labyrinth is open Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm for personal walking meditation; for workshops please call 266-6450. Take this opportunity to explore this ancient, yet modern tool for spiritual growth. Nurture your spiritual journey and walk this pilgrimage with other pilgrims who have walked this path since the Middle Ages. This is a 7-circuit Chartres design painted in period colours on the hardwood floor of the Labyrinth Room.

McDougall United Church, 8516 Athabasca Street S.E. Call 403-252-1620 to confirm availability [9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Thursday; 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Friday. Closed during lunch hour.]

Email our Calgary contact and two parachute labyrinths.

In High River

 
High River United Church, 123 Macleod Trail
has a Chartres-type labyrinth on their floor for weekday walking [Monday 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (closed over lunch) , Tuesday mornings 9:00-noon; Wed-Friday 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (closed over lunch).
For additional workshops/walks and facilitated evenings once a month, please check our website - www.highriverunitedchurch.org or contact the church office at 1-403-652-3168.

 

In Turner Valley

 
Lewis Memorial United Church
has a Chartres-type labyrinth design painted on the basement floor.
This labyrinth is available for scheduled walks and special events.
<-----
Email Dianne King for more details and access time.
Turner Valley is in the foothills of the Rockies, a 40-minute drive west of Calgary.

 

In Lethbridge

McKillop United Church

Visit the indoor labyrinth painted on the floor of the Upper Hall
2329 15th Avenue South,
phone: (403) 328-2703 to make arrangements to walk it.

Southminster United Church, 1011 Fourth Avenue South, has a labyrinth. Call (403) 327-3404 or (403)327-5294 for information on when it is available for walking.

Finger and Outdoor Labyrinth construction consultants are in Carbon, AB.


Within the circles of our lives
We dance the circles of the years
The circles of the seasons...
Again, again we come and go, changed, changing.
Hands join, unjoin in love and fear, grief and joy.
The circles turn, each giving into each, into all.
Wendell Berry, from "Song (4)", Collected Poems, 1957-1982 (New York North Point Press, 1984) p. 264.


Other CANADIAN Labyrinths
If you know of labyrinths in Canada that we have not listed below, please email us the details for posting here.

In British Columbia: St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver and the Xenia Creative Development Centre, RR 1 N-59 Bowen Island, BC has one indoors and one outdoors and there are labyrinths elsewhere in BC.

In Saskatchewan: Prairie View south of Saskatoon, and at Two Spirit Ranch near Regina and Buffalo Stone Labyrinth Bed and Breakfast near Glentworth, south west of Assiniboia.
Chesterfield - near Eatonia - R.M. of Chesterfield No. 261 there is a 600ft circumference 7-circuit Minoan style labyrinth on farmland from May to October or snow. Call 403-565-2288 to confirm availability. Opening Sunday May 3, 2014 at 12pm to meet and greet then walk at 1pm and hotdog roast to follow.

In Manitoba, there is a Manitoba Labyrinth Network with lists of indoor and outdoor labyriths available for walking.
The Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth in Winnipeg is constructed in the Minoan form.

In Ontario, there is the Labyrinth Community Network which contains a Directory of Ontario Labyrinths - public and private, listed alphabetically by owner name. To locate one near you, click on "A" and search (Edit-Find in This Page) for the major city closest to you; repeat for "J", and "R" - the three directory screens.
St. Thomas has an outdoor garden labyrinth at Waterworks Park, on South Edgeware Street.
In Toronto, West Hill United Church has an outdoor labyrinth always available.

For a complete listing of labyrinths world-wide click here.


LABYRINTHS

Labyrinths are ancient devices used in many cultures to bring about a transformation in consciousness. As a symbolic tool, it represented the feminine aspect of the divine, worshipped in ancient times as the birther and giver of life. Its emergence in our time is serving as a bridge in the culture between established institutional practices and those elements that have been lost, most notably the use of the body in worship, a veneration of the feminine, and an intimate relationship betwween the spirit world and the land.

The various patterns represent the flow of water, the two halves of the brain, the regenerative snake, a spider's web, the dance of atoms, and the path of the planets in their orbits. The path, or paths, are formed using principles of sacred geometry, the pattern of numbers inherent in nature whereby spirit infuses matter and brings the cosmos into form. [Show me some sample patterns.]

In all cultures, the labyrinth represents the three-fold path of nature, that of Life, Death and Rebirth. Following such a pattern is a dance that engages us on a cellular level, returning us to a felt sense of the body walking the path of life. It is a pattern to be experienced and encountered as we seek wholeness in an increasingly fragmented world.

LABYRINTHS IN CHURCHES IN FRANCE

Chartres Cathedral - 11-circuits, circular, 42ft in diameter, 16inch path, inlaid in the stone floor, 6-petal centre, and usually covered with chairs

Amiens Cathedral, and Sainte-Quentin Parish Church - 11-circuits, within an octagonal shape

Poitiers Cathedral - organic curved path which reaches a fork at the centre; taking either fork will bring you back to the centre and then back out (unless you take the other fork which will also bring you back to the cental 3-way intersection). This one at Poitiers is a drawing on the wall, not a walkable one on the floor.


Artwork by Elizabeth Bryant from http://www.artnet.com/ag/fineartthumbnails.asp?gid=1144&aid=3246

Three other cathedrals had labyrinths, but they are now lost:
Sens Cathedral - 11-circuit, circular, plain circle centre
Abbey of Sainte Bertin, Sainte-Omer - square with rectangular path with too many twists to round circuits.
Rheims Cathedral of Notre-Dame (Champagne)


Labyrinth Resources

Talks and Workshops in Edmonton Area

Joanne Graham, 780-453-6775 or 780-266-1449(cell), offers a 2-3 hour workshop which includes a talk, a walk on her portable 5-circuit labyrinth which is 14ft square, and making a fabric finger labyrinth to take home.

Eva Nolan, provides a portable labyrinth along with an introductory talk and walking opportunity.
Her Chartres design, 11-circuit, rainbow labyrinth is on a single piece of canvas 24ft wide; it weighs 25lbs and can be shipped.

Other Labyrinth Reference Sites

Earth Symbols Labyrinths, mazes and other geometric symbols - how they are designed and created

Grace Cathedral's labyrinth in San Francisco

Labyrinthos - Caerdroia's Labyrinth Site in the UK.

Labyrinth Enterprises - Links

The Labyrinth Society an international organization with many links

Mid-Atlantic Geomancy's Labyrinth Site

Unicursal Mazes and Labyrinths in Europe

Useful collection of articles on the 7-circuit labyrinth

Making Your Own Labyrinth

Simple finger labyrinth to trace on screen or print off.

Drawing a Minoan 7-circuit one in chalk on concrete or in turf paint in a lawn or playground. The lawn version can then be mowed to make it last beyond a rain storm.

Step-by-step procedure for drawing of a unicursal 7-circuit labyrinth.

Making a 7-circuit labyrinth using masking tape

Making a Chartres 11-circuit labyrinth using tape on a floor.

Building a permanent outdoor labyrinth

  You can make a smaller 7-circuit Chartres-type labyrinth.
  Here is a photo of one from Labyrinth Enterprises sewn in nylon
  (but you could paint one on canvas).
  Although we have not found a pattern for one yet,
  it is possible to see how it was designed from the photo
  and there is no need to paint it as this one is coloured.

Labyrinths for Purchase

Wooden "Finger" Labyrinth Boards (Chartres pattern) from Gilbert Giesbrecht in Carbon, AB, Canada. Call 403-572-3545.

Labyrinth Enterprises made-to-order and in-stock labyrinths from the US.


Our Photo Album - Show me the pictures.

Show me the PowerPointPresentation - Walking A Sacred Path


This site was created by and is maintained by Charles Bidwell.