Yesterday we discussed the fact that mystics, new agers and Wiccans practice walking a labyrinth. We asked the question, if walking a labyrinth has been practiced for 3500 years, by many pagan groups, (never by Christians), why should we bring this practice into our churches? Today were going to look at more belief systems that utilize walking a labyrinth.
Shamans walk labyrinths
Shamanism uses the labyrinth in the same way as most labyrinth walkers.
Native Americans walk labyrinths
Native Americans refer to the labyrinth as the medicine wheel as well as the man in the maze. Hopi Indians see the labyrinth as a symbol for Mother Earth and use the labyrinth in ceremonies.
Some Catholics walk labyrinths
A Catholic Church in France, the “Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres”, contains a labyrinth that is open to the public, regardless of their belief system, once a month. As I mentioned yesterday, many Catholics will pray the Rosary as they are walking the labyrinth. To my knowledge, to be fair, I have not seen any official endorsement of this practice by the Roman Catholic Church.
Those who practice the Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah, walk the labyrinth
In Kabbalah, the labyrinth is referred to as Solomon’s maze and is sometimes used in initiation rites.
The influential esoteric author, 33 degree Freemason Manly P. Hall says the labyrinth is symbolic of man’s search for Truth.
During the initiation of a new Freemason, the initiate is led through a series of stations where he is given an esoteric lesson. After journeying throughout the lodge room the initiate is taken to the center of the room where an alter is set up. The initiate is then asked “what is it that you seek”? They are then instructed to say they seek the light (illumination).
The Order of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is a Witchcraft based group that practices Theurgy, which is a ritual where one attempts to communicate with a god. New initiates, like the freemasons, would take a labyrinth like journey through their lodge.
The initiation into the Ancient Mystical Order of the Rosae Crusis has new members journey through a compass like design in a quest for unity and light.
New initiates must journey a labyrinth path through a large pentagram. The order of the Eastern Star calls this pentagram a labyrinth during the ritual.
Some “Christian” churches now practice walking labyrinths
I put the quotes around the Christian for a reason. Some of these churches are certainly questionable.
Rev. Jill Geoffrion, said “God is blessing the use of the labyrinth; many are being drawn closer to Jesus, experiencing healing and gaining spiritual clarity as they pray on its path.
Guys! We just looked at some of the different groups that walk labyrinths. All of these groups were walking labyrinths long before the church took the practice in. How can we possibly claim that God is blessing it?
Deu 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
From this Rev. Jill Geoffrion’s website she talks about how she dedicates new labyrinths. Jill tells everyone present to form a circle around the new labyrinth and extend “the energy that is in our hearts and minds through their hands towards the labyrinth.” Following this exercise is a meditative time where each person physically lays hands on the labyrinth and calls forth “the image of a loved one walking this labyrinth and receiving what is needed.” This is exactly the kind of new age/witchcraft type behavior you would expect when christening a new pagan labyrinth (don’t think I’m biased).
Join Youth Apologetics Training today as we learn more about detecting heresy in our churches. Tomorrow, we will look at how churches have taken in this pagan practice and are using it for worship.
For more information
Here’s the entire mp3 podcast series looking at Walking a Labyrinth, ready for download.
Or check out the Youth Apologetics Training Podcast Archive.