Dedication of The Dancing Woman™ Labyrinth

by Genevieve Munoz

Labyrinth Dedication and WalkAt the end of September, I hosted a public dedication in my back yard for my Dancing Woman™ Labyrinth.

Sometimes a small gathering can be incredibly powerful, but I’ll share with you that after receiving ten RSVPs, I ended up having just ONE attendee.

No matter.  It was very different with having only one guest, BUT I proceeded as if I had all 10 people.

I’ll set the scenario for you: The labyrinth was stretched out in my back yard on top of a very large tarp. I had an altar with symbols of the four elements – Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.   For fire I used the candle that I received from Lauren Artress while training as a Labyrinth Facilitator with Verditas in San Fransisco. For water, I used water I had collected from Lake Superior.  For air – an eagle’s feather that my neighbor had found on a walk. For earth – one of my beautiful woman vases filled with flowers. I had my singing bowl with mallet that was struck at various times; its sound reverberating for what seemed an eternity. I had some lovely harp music playing from the CD, “Portal” by Christine Tulis.

I gave a brief introduction about labyrinths, then spoke specifically about The Dancing Woman Labyrinth(TM), its symbolism and how I intend to use it. This was followed by the Labyrinth Dedication which included an opening and closing prayer/blessing, a lovely “Celebrant/Community round of calls and responses,” and the reading of a poem entitled “Labyrinth,” by Scott Schumacher (my web designer).  I then spoke about the three stages of a labyrinth walk, how you’ll know when a labyrinth walk works, and some basic guidelines for its use. This was very helpful to my guest who had never done a labyrinth walk.

She went first, as my job was simply to observe and hold sacred space. She commented, “Hmmmm…that was interesting!”

Then I took my walk. I went slowly and breathed in every step. As I entered the center I stood still, then did my “gratefulness” movements, all with eyes closed. The tears fell and apparently a “mist” rolled in as my arms were outstretched over my head. With peace-filled heart I then made my way back out of the labyrinth.

My guest, Nancy, was the one who told me about the “mist” that came and then quickly left. I find that very exciting!

I asked Nancy if she wanted to do a second walk, this time, choosing one of the “Heart Meditation” cards that I have. This second time, she walked more slowly and when she returned, she told me how she felt a peaceful sense of place.

“I really could have used a place like this to relax and unwind this summer. It was so busy, hurried and stressful!”

To which I replied, “Nancy, why don’t you relax and lie down on the lounge chair. I’ll cover you with a blanket, turn the music down softly. You can just lie there as long as you like, smell the herbs from the herb pot next to you,  and come back into the house when you’re ready.”

When Nancy took her first walk, she was stiff, giggly and said she didn’t really feel anything different. The Meditation card she chose and carried with her on her second walk was the word “Meditation -hold me as I melt into thee.”

I didn’t say anything to her about her relaxed state of being after her second walk, nor did I say anything when she realized and spoke about being so busy, stressed and hurried this past summer and now was feeling the comfort and peacefulness of being in this place. What I DID say was to pay attention to the feelings and thoughts that may come up for her. It may be a few days, weeks or months from now that she will have some kind of a revelation about what transpired.  I really believe that individuals must come up with this on their own and that it would be a great disservice to them for me to  interpret their experience for them “in the now.”

My most wonderful moment actually came the day before. I had a friend help me unfold and stake the huge tarp. We laid the labyrinth out so that I could use it for the first time. I told him I would knock on his door when I was ready to fold it back up to put away.  Folding up my Dancing Woman with the same friend gave me a sense of beauty and completion for this dedication.

You see, the day prior to this event was actually MY first walk on the Dancing Woman™ Labyrinth.  And even for me, it was so was powerful!!! The tears were just flowing, releasing tension, worry, doubt, years of being so strong and brave, the hard work and joy of my Celebrant studies and graduation, and how I want to use this labyrinth to enhance the experience of those in my ceremonies, and that it might bring them healing and joy. I then lay down on my labyrinth and looked up into the sky. Such a sunny, warm, glorious day it was! I don’t even know how long I was there, but when I was ready, I got up and slowly found my way back out with a grateful heart, a soft smile and my hand over my heart. For me, this was an an affirmation of how truly powerful this wonderful labyrinth is.