We acknowledge with gratitude that this labyrinth is situated on the land of the lək̓ʷəŋən People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
“The labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in all religious traditions in various forms around the world…Walking the labyrinth is a spiritual discipline that invites us to trust the path, to surrender to the many turns our lives take, and to walk through the confusion, the fear, the anger, and grief that we cannot avoid experiencing as we live our earthly lives.” Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress
Whatever your spiritual tradition, you are warmly welcomed to walk this special Labyrinth at the corner of Richmond and Richardson.
The labyrinth is an ancient meditation and prayer tool. Labyrinths are universal symbols known to go back at least 3500 years. The earliest known use of a labyrinth in a Christian church is from 350ce in Algeria. There are surviving medieval labyrinths on the floor of some of Europe’s Cathedrals, such as the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres outside of Paris, France. It is believed that the labyrinth was used by those who were unable to make a longer physical pilgrimage due to health or finances.
A labyrinth is a place for walking, prayer, meditation and relaxation. A labyrinth is not a maze - there is just one way in and one way out and so you can't get lost! There is no one ‘correct’ way to walk a labyrinth and as we begin we are invited to remember that this is holy ground and sacred earth. · As you start you might stand quietly at the entrance to the labyrinth. You may wish to state an intention or pray about a matter or take some space of silence to listen at the beginning of your journey. · There is only one entrance, with one path to the centre and out again. Follow the one path to the centre at your own pace. · You may carefully and respectfully pass others who are moving more slowly and allow others to pass you. · Feel free to spend some time at the centre. Relax, pray, breathe, feel your feet rooted in creation… Follow the same path back out again. · At the exit, you might wish to say a concluding prayer or give thanks for the time you have had and anything that has emerged for you.
And yet ... a labyrinth is for each of us to discover ... we note joyfully that young folk take a straightforward, direct approach to the labyrinth. They may race, skip, hop their way in and out. This is a safe and welcoming spot for all!
You may have noticed the Dragonfly that graces the beginning step and our stone benches. The dragonfly is the symbol of our wider church family the Diocese of Islands and Inlets. The dragonfly has become a symbol of our hope of transformation. "In 2015, when the Diocesan Vision Team had completed its work in articulating what God was calling us as a diocese to, it was gifted with what we now know as our vision statement, Renewed Hearts, Renewed Spirits, Renewed People. At the working group’s final gathering there was a collective sense of God’s word being spoken and heard in the crafting of that vision statement. This was powerfully reinforced when, in the midst of the gathered circle, a dragonfly appeared and hovered over the group for several minutes before flying off. Later, we would learn that for the First Peoples, the dragonfly is a powerful symbol of change. Since then, we have been on a journey of truth-telling, reconciliation and healing."
The Labyrinth is part of the grounds of St Matthias, which has worshipped on this site since 1957 and in this neighbourhood for well over 100 years. Please feel free to be in touch with us by emailing email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the worshipping community. We welcome community use of this space, as well as the courtyard behind you. Please use it at your own risk.
This labyrinth, the benches and signage have been made possible by a generous grant from the City of Victoria’s My Great Neighbourhood Grant Program and with assistance from the wonderful folk at St. Matthias Anglican Church, The AbbeyChurch, The Emmaus Community and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.