Saturday 2nd February turned out to be a bright and sunny day, with a biting northerly wind. The turnout was excellent at the Community Hall in Marazion for Sig Lonegren’s talk on Labyrinths for the Trencrom Dowsers and visitors.
Sig was keen to clarify the distinction between mazes and labyrinths. Apparently mazes have high walls and are intended as puzzles for the left side of the brain, whereas labyrinths have low walls and are right brain problem solving devices. The way to navigate your way out of a maze was with a ball of yarn and the Anglo Saxon word for a ball of yarn is a ‘clew’. I say no more.
He then went on to explain the historical background to labyrinths showing how the classical Greek meander pattern is an extrapolated classical seven circuit labyrinth. This design has been found on a figurine in the Ukraine that dates back to between 18,000 and 15,000 BCE. Most pre-modern labyrinths are found in Scandinavia but the majority of the modern day ones are in the USA.
In the past Finnish fisherman would walk the labyrinth prior to setting off to sea, to ensure a fair wind, a good catch and to attract the trolls into the centre. Where upon the fisherman would rush out and set sail before the trolls could follow them.
Driving from the hall to the beach we were treated to a stunning sight of the Mount with the sun reflecting off the sea. It was tempting to stop a while but we had work to do! The first job was to dowse for the position of the labyrinth and then to dowse for the direction in which the entrance or ‘en-trance’ should face. John Moss, from Trencrom Dowsers, had whipped up a nifty piece of woodwork to act as a tool to mark out the labyrinth and it wasn’t long before volunteers were helping to mark it out in the sand.
Prior to leaving the hall Sig had handed out a sheet explaining how to walk the labyrinth. We were encouraged to think of a challenge we wanted to resolve or an ambition we wanted to achieve and then using the methods Sig had explained to us during his talk, we each walked the labyrinth.
Labyrinths can be used to help balance the brain and there is one at Harvard University for students to clear and calm their minds before attending lectures.
From the people I spoke to who did this walk and myself included, there was a consensus that it had a very calming effect no one was in a rush to leave despite the cold wind.
Such was the enthusiasm for this exercise I suspect that this part of Cornwall will soon be experiencing a new phenomena – labyrinth building!
Forthcoming Trencrom Dowser events can be found at their website http://www.trencromdowsers.org.uk
To learn more about labyrinths visit http://www.labyrinthsociety.org
Sig in an internationally acclaimed geomancer and more details can be found at http://www.geomancy.org