Creating and Walking the Labyrinths at the Avalon Cauldron Gathering

Creating and Walking the Labyrinths at the Avalon Cauldron Gathering

This year I was excited and honoured to have been asked by Bee to organise a labyrinth walk for our Avalon Cauldron Gathering.

Each one of the labyrinths I do is very different, they all have different energies and aspects and in that I am often guided by Cerridwen.

I wondered about using scarves to create the labyrinth – I knew it was important for everyone to have a way to include their own energy into the labyrinth we would walk.

A couple of weeks before the event, we realised there would be up to 60 people attending and that was way more scarves than I had!  So the decision was made – two labyrinths would be needed for 60 folk to get to walk them in around an hour… and I have two painted cloths with labyrinths – one a Cretan design (the Crete design is the labyrinth symbol most people know) and one a Chartres design (based on the labyrinth at the centre of Chartres cathedral).

I meditated and pondered with Cerridwen and was told to re-create the ‘chase’ with one of the labyrinths.  I spent days searching the web and finally found the most beautiful otter and a ‘Wimsey’ (remember those?) figurine of the salmon.  I bought a bird-scarer hawk – plastic but with the most intense eyes!  And just a few days before travelling down I found the perfect bronze of a greyhound bitch…. So many were ‘male’ dogs or racing figurines wearing racing vests!  This particular bronze was in a charity shop in Stafford, so was on the way to Glastonbury and I arranged to collect it en route.  I already had a black hen ornament and I bought some corn.

Finally, I bought a small bird ornament for the wren, and took a moon gazing hare, as I couldn’t find a running hare anywhere (I’m still looking!). 

In Glastonbury I struggled to think what I could use to weigh down the bird scarer ‘hawk’, then realised bird seed was great – and I was able to scatter it for our wild birds after the event took place.

So… that was one labyrinth sorted, but what about the other?  I was led to have a very balanced, calm labyrinth – with a statue of the God and Goddess, and a red glass lotus flower candle holder.  Very simple.

Finally, in both labyrinths I wanted to place oracle cards.  I had one set which were perfect, in that each card has a complete message on the front.  I could split them between the two labyrinths, but ideally it would be great to have a separate pack for each.  On the afternoon of the event, I was drawn to a set of Animal Oracle cards in a shop window in Glastonbury.  I walked past twice, but then had to go and buy them.  I didn’t look inside until I got back to my holiday flat, and was so pleased (but not surprised, thank you Cerridwen!) to find that they (rarely!) also had messages on the front of each card.  Perfect!  As each person reached the centre of the labyrinth, they would take an oracle card and receive a message from the Goddess, just for them.

So… we were ready to go.  In the evening I passed out candles (electric due to fire risk) to everyone.  I told people about the history of the labyrinth and how I had been called to them by Cerridwen one night.  I explained that this was a labyrinth walk for peace and asked everyone to make a vow to actively work in their own way to create peace and whisper the vow into their candle, which they then laid on the labyrinth in front of them.  This way the labyrinths were full of the energy of those present.

I asked Priestess Jules to be labyrinth guardian of the calmer, Chartres labyrinth, whilst I was guardian for the Cretan (the chase) labyrinth, with the animals from Cerridwen’s chase placed around the labyrinth, the black hen and corn in the centre.  Like myself, Jules sounded a bell/drum to give the signal for each person to walk the labyrinth.  I also asked that, as in life, when people cross our paths on the labyrinth, they hug.  This led to some wide smiles.  There is something so healing in a hug and in meeting someone in friendship, as in our everyday lives.  Wouldn’t it be magickal if we hugged everyone (or at least those we like the look of!) who crossed our paths out in the towns?  My heart breaks at the amount of elderly folk/single folk who are starved of the physical contact of a human hug, heart to heart!

As each person came out of the labyrinth I told them “welcome back” and gave them a hug, and the smiles showed that some had really benefitted from the healing energies that labyrinths bring. Then each of us collected a peace candle from the labyrinth to bring home with us.

Labyrinths are sometimes used in Hospices, as the gentle energies from this ‘meditation walk’ can be very healing.

Sometimes walking a labyrinth will give you a great insight and sometimes it’s just a pleasant walk with friends.  At the centre of the labyrinth is a ‘time out of time and place out of place’ – a liminal space where the veil is thin, and that is where we are supposed to be closest to whichever deity we honour – in our case, the Great Mother, Cerridwen or for some folk the Universal Spirit of Love.

If you have never walked a labyrinth and would like to create one, or even a finger labyrinth if your mobility is poor, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I would be happy to help you learn to draw one.  If you are within travelling distance, I am also happy to come and host a labyrinth walk. 

If you are near Wirral in the North West UK, I often host beach labyrinth walks on or near the sabbats.  Get in touch if you’d like to join us.  There is something very special about a beach labyrinth, where the tides take away all trace afterwards.

Blessings on your path.

Karen Grainger


Read Karen’s previous article about Labyrinths: ‘Labyrinth – a Spiral Dance’


Karen Grainger – North West, UK

Karen Grainger

“Karen Grainger lives in the North West of the UK and is a Priestess of Nemetona, ‘Daughter of Brigid’ and Priestess of Cerridwen in training, currently training with course leader, Bee Helygen.

Karen’s work is creating sacred space for others, whether that be hosting a women’s circle, death cafe, being celebrant for a handfasting or other special occasion.  She is also co-founder (with Willow Moon) of Wirral Pathways Festival, which runs bi-annual online and in-person events with national and international speakers from the world of Paganism.  For details see the Facebook page WirralPathwaysFestival.

Karen is owned by a white chihuahua and black cat – very yin and yang!

To contact her and details on celebrant work, see her Facebook page Cariad Seren.

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