Labyrinth Project

Think outside the maze ! The Labyrinth Project @ Wilson College will re-imagine the ancient theme of labyrinth within our college environment throughout the spring semester. The Labyrinth Project will have many different interpretations of the labyrinth theme and many ways for people to be involved. The purpose of this project is to provide intentional space and place for reflection, renewal and creativity as we journey through the semester and beyond.

Our quest, I feel, can be summarized as this single obligation: to switch from life-as-maze to life-as-labyrinth.  The transformation from maze to labyrinth requires us to dismiss much of our conditioning, to reevaluate our identity, and to apply a new context to our lives.  With life-as-labyrinth, we discover that all paths are part of the One Path, leading unfailingly to the center, where, despite appearances and differences, we will eventually all meet.  No one will be lost.  If we are alive, we are on the path."Helen Curry

Wilson College World Labyrinth Day Time-Lapse Video


Ongoing - 2013 edition of the Bottom Shelf Review will have a section of poems, fiction pieces, and essays entirely devoted to the concept of labyrinth. All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible as are all staff and faculty. To submit please email your piece to Dr. Michael G. Cornelius at no later than Monday March 25.

February 13 to April 3 - Lenten Worship series on the theme, “Pilgrimage” 12 noon.12.30am on Wednesdays from Feb 13-April 3. The Lenten series will include guest speaker the Rev. Marge Iddings on Feb 27.

March 2 - A Day of R.E.S.T. Retreat at Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. A journey of Reflection and Renewal. Event facilitated by Andrea Springer.  Transportation leaves campus 7.30am and returns by 6pm. Includes breakfast and lunch. Open to students, staff and faculty. Email to secure a spot.

March 22 
- Showing of Movie “The Way”, about a father walking the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage through France/Spain (shown simultaneous English/Spanish) - with Guest speaker who has just completed the El Camino de Santiago, with Spanish food. Movie will be shown at 4pm in Allen Audetorium. A Spanish-themed meal is to follow at 6pm in Patterson Lounge.

April 29 (Ongoing) - Creation of a stone labyrinth of the Main Green from April 29. Everyone in our community will be invited to paint a stone to place on the labyrinth to mark ‘the way.’ The temporary nature of the labyrinth will be a symbol of the ongoing nature of this project. This goes beyond building a labyrinth or even walking a labyrinth to “living the labyrinth”.  

May 4 - Art Invitational for students, staff and faculty on the theme “Labyrinth” for art exhibit in Lenfest Commons on World Labyrinth Day



What is a labyrinth?


A labyrinth is a symbol, a pattern that contains a single pathway that turns back on itself at least once.


Is a labyrinth different to a maze?


YES! Unlike mazes, the labyrinth offers one route to the center, one path that leads ever inwards to a central place. Mazes, on the other hand, have multiple paths and myriad choices, most of which lead nowhere. In a labyrinth there is no competition; we can relax and be present with the journey itself. The overarching difference is that "a maze is designed to lose your way, a labyrinth is designed to find your way."


Is there just one labyrinth pattern?


There are a great number of labyrinth patterns. Some are ancient; others have been created recently.

The Chartres labyrinth pattern, which comes from a medieval cathedral in France, and the Classical or Cretan seven circuit labyrinth pattern (above) )are the two patterns most readily recognized today.


What is the purpose of a labyrinth


There are many. Different purposes have surfaced throughout history including:

problem solving,
symbolic reminder of death and rebirth,
psychological exploration,

The possibilities goes on…..


What is the history of the labyrinth?


No one is certain of the entire history of the labyrinth. Clues that lead us towards its origins include: a labyrinth doodle on a Greek clay tablet dated 1200B.C.E.; the older Greek key pattern (also known as the Greek meander pattern) that can be stretched into a labyrinth; the orbit of Mercury as observed from Earth; and mythological stories such as the one involving Theseus and the Minotaur. We know that over time labyrinths of various shapes and sized have appeared on every inhabited continent.


Before using the labyrinth what does a person need to know?



Many suggest experiencing a labyrinth Is the best introduction possible.

Willingness to engage the pattern and be engaged by the pattern is all that is needed.


Why would someone use a labyrinth?


For many reasons:

To gain clarity.
To break old patterns.
To explore.
To connect with God.
To receive help.
To become more open.
To relax.
To find wisdom.
To celebrate.
To turn a new corner.
To pray.
To integrate inner and outer realities.
To heal.
To wonder.
To see if anything is going to happen.
To meditate.
To center

The purposes go on….