It is with great pleasure that I introduce my friend and colleague Pauline Black, a Shamanic Homeopath based in West Sussex. Pauline spends part of her time living in Brittany, which is where we originally met. We are in a shamanic group ‘Earthkeepers’ together, where we meet to celebrate the earth calendar and have a yearly vision quest. An important part of Pauline’s work is with Labyrinths. Here is her story of how she created a portable labyrinth from old french linen sheets.
What’s the purpose of walking a labyrinth?
The first time I ever walked a labyrinth it felt like a deeply enriching experience, like it helped me connect to something bigger than myself. I have since walked them many times in different places in the world and it always feels like a special experience to me. After walking one in Brittany that a friend created, something quite extraordinary happened to me and my life shifted into a different gear. I just think they help to connect you to a greater potential and doors begin to open that were previously closed….
Can you tell me about the deepest experience you’ve had during or after walking a labyrinth?
I was walking a vast stone labyrinth in Brittany, which was based on the Chartres one, with a group of friends and also some complete strangers, as part of a ceremony on full moon. I felt like I had stepped into another dimension and was so completely one with this whole group of people, most of whom I didn’t even know. Love was so present for us all (we discovered in the sharing afterwards) and it just felt completely magical. However, what followed this and surrounded the whole experience was the real magic – dreams I had held for many, many years began to unfold and manifest – it was as if a door had opened and a world of infinite possibilities had opened themselves to me.
What made you decide to create your own Labyrinth?.
The magic continues to this day – so much so that I was determined to create a cloth labyrinth for us to use when we wanted to and to share it with others.
Firstly I brought the idea to our shamanic group Earth Keepers, we met as a group and drew the design onto the linen sheets after Julie Nicol designed the labyrinth n her computer. The separate sheets were then given to different people to embroider/embellish, each were told they could use whatever colours they wished . Finally after several months we all met and sewed all the seams together. So many synchronicities happened along the way to help it come out perfectly at the end but there were a few hiccups, like I sewed my part on the back rather than the front ! . It also took a long time to co-ordinate everyone together, the process was a bit chaotic at one point- like the experience of walking the labyrinth itself.
When was the first time people were able to walk the Labyrinth you created?
It was on the Winter Solstice 2013 at The River of Life Church in Worthing (we needed a large room with a spiritual feel to it, so this lovely Art Deco church was perfect). About 23 people came and walked it in a candle-lit church with Carolyn playing her Tibetan and crystal bowls to accompany the walk. We shared lunch/had refreshments in a separate room so anyone walking it was able to do so in an atmosphere of complete tranquility. Comments received were that it was a very moving and novel experience, like nothing they had experienced before and that it brought them into a place of peace and stillness.
Go to Pauline’s website here for more information about her practice or please contact Ali for her contact details if you would like Earthkeepers to create a Labyrinth in your area . Julie Nicol and Pauline Black also run fantastic Labyrinth workshops, why not give it a go? .