Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer Solstice Peace Walk

From 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. on Thursday June 21st, 2018, the Labyrinth Committee will present a "Summer Solstice Peace Walk” at the Community Labyrinth in Carleton Place.

With this summer evening event, the Committee hopes to focus attention on the need for peace in the world and within ourselves. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools and have even been used for bringing peace and reconciliation between individuals in conflict.

"I believe that walking the path of the labyrinth can bring peace to those who seek it," says Stephanie Bray, a volunteer for The Labyrinth Committee of Carleton Place.

Join us for an evening labyrinth walk and help to collaboratively create a community dreamcatcher.   During the walk – the Rhythm and Song Community Choir directed by Jennifer Noxon – will sing songs with the theme of “Peace”.

All are welcome! You are invited to picnic in the garden beforehand.

Donations in support of the Labyrinth Commitee’s programming are gratefully accepted.

Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is located beside the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum, at 267 Edmund St.

For more information contact Christine at 613-859-2136

Friday, May 25, 2018

Preparing for a Pilgrimage Walk

As I prepare for "My Camino" - a 240 km walk from Ottawa to Montreal on the Chemin des Outaouais, I realize part of my preparation is capturing some reflections from a wonderful pilgrimage that I went on - in 2013.  This article is published here with permission from our trip leaders and fellow pilgrims.
We gather at a sacred site in Paris before starting our pilgrimage.
Women Walking: Purposeful Pilgrimage
By: MJ McGregor and Lisa Gidlow Moriarity 

Every year, we walk. A newly formed small band of women comes together in France with a single purpose: to traverse cities, villages, open fields, thick forests and waterways, following ancient routes from Paris to Chartres.
Our backpacks adorned with scallop shells, an ancient symbol of pilgrimage.
We all have different reasons for going. Some walk for exercise, some to experience life uncluttered. Some walk in memory, some in celebration and some for the challenge. Each walks to step outside the daily norm, to meet other women willing to adventure, to explore deeply and to learn about oneself.
We walk and talk for several days, immersed in the landscape.
Pilgrimage takes many forms. This annual journey follows familiar paths, from planning to arrival at the final destination. Yet no two pilgrimages are the same. Not unlike traversing the paths of a familiar labyrinth, it is a new experience each time we step onto the path. So we continue the walk, enjoying the challenge and delighting in how wise women of various ages join to share stories, laugh, know silence and support one another. We create the structure for wonder and opening to the beauty that surrounds us.
One day we have a spontaneous potluck picnic on the shores of the Eure River.
Women are nurturing, caring and hospitable creatures. Strap on a backpack, tie on some walking shoes and step out along ancient routes, and there is shared joy and excitement. Each year the route is revised. There is always discovery. As co-leaders, we learn how to improve and what to avoid. Each year is a new mix of personalities and abilities. All learn what is necessary to pack and how to lighten the load. Everyone also packs her own life experience - stories and spiritual gifts that are essential, yet add no weight.
Eventually we are on the final leg of our journey and can see Chartes Cathedral way off in the distance.
In shared pilgrimage we see the world through new eyes, listen with open hearts and move with compassion. We walk both individually and in community. We explore new landscapes, both exterior and interior, inviting them to become part of our lives. We become more conscious of what we carry and what we leave behind. When we set the intention of a spiritual pilgrimage, even the physical training becomes a sacred act, as does reading and emotional preparation. When the entire group gathers together for the first time in Paris, joyful anticipation overcomes trepidation. By the time we say our farewells a week later, friendships and shared experiences have bonded us. It is this marvel and delight that inspires us to keep walking every year, walking in wonder and holding space for awe.
Our final destination - the Chartres labyrinth - fills my heart.

MJ McGregor lives in Minneapolis and Lisa Gidlow Moriarty lives in Stillwater. They lead labyrinth events and walking pilgrimages.

There are no more openings in the Sixth Annual 2018 Women's Walking Pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres, France, a small circle of women on a spiritual pilgrimage of soul and sole. We will meet in Paris where we explore ancient pilgrimage sites, then walk for three days along ancient pilgrimage routes through the beautiful French countryside, staying in 4 star hotels along the route, arriving in Chartres midweek. We have three days/nights to explore the medieval town of Chartres, including private time in the crypt and a private candlelight labyrinth walk. Open to only six women plus two leaders each year. Assistance provided for equipment, packing, training, spiritual preparation.
The 2018 cost $1799 includes 7 nights lodging with breakfasts, arrival reception, farewell dinner, cathedral tours and experiences. Airfare not included. 

Contact Lisa Gidlow Moriarty by private FB Message or email to LabyrinthLady (at) for information about the next pilgrimage in 2019.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Creativity Inspired by Labyrinth Walking

In 2012, while walking the Bennett-Lindsay labyrinth in Burnstown, Ontario two simple messages came to me:
"Take time for creativity"
"Make time for creativity"

And to make room for new ideas and possibilities I first set about to finish various creative projects. 

That, in itself, was immensely satisfying.

To do so - I simply booked "creativity time" on my Outlook calendar - a half hour or hour here and there during the week - and a couple of hours on either Saturday or Sunday on the weekend.

I was amazed - as I started to finish projects - how new ideas started to flow! Here is the story of one of the new projects - creating an octagonal labyrinth mosaic.

First I was given a cool octagonal frame, and then I made this fun fused heart at Current Works of Glass.
Fused heart made from scraps of glass.
Then I stumbled upon this "Squaring the Circle" labyrinth wisdom card (created by Tony Christie) - and just knew that the octagonal labyrinth should be part of the mosaic design.
"Squaring the Circle" Labyrinth Wisdom Card (Tony Christie)
A web search for octagonal labyrinths resulted in me finding this labyrinth - from Rome Palatine
Italy - Imperial Palace on the Palatine, dating ca. 75. This 8 sided polygon labyrinth was 20 meters in width giving 1 meter wide lanes to be walked to get to a fountain in the centre. How fascinating!
Ancient octagonal labyrinth from the Imperial Palace on the Palatine, Italy (ca. 75 AD)
It also occured to me to incorporate the seven chakra colours - starting with red, orange and yellow at the heart centre.
Further inspiration - include the chakra colours!
Pulling the ideas together - just start!
Everything flows together as I start to create the mosaic.
The completed mosaic - grouted and ready to hang! This piece feels extra-special to me.
Octagonal labyrinth mosaic finished and ready to hang!
What a cool creative process this has been! It makes my heart sing.
Start consistently making art!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Earth Day Walk

Mother Nature cooperated! We had a lovely sunny day for the official opening of the Carleton Place Community labyrinth on Sunday April 22nd, 2018.  Spring has seemed to be a long time coming this year - and our Earth Day walk was definitely a celebration of Spring's arrival!
Earth Day labyrinth walkers were encouraged to take part in a Spring Scavenger hunt.
Hello everyone –
Welcome to the Community Labyrinth.
Today is Earth Day. 

This is a day where we celebrate the environment, and where we raise awareness for the care of our planet.

It was first started in 1970 – so we’re coming up on almost 50 years.The founder of Earth Day was Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin. After witnessing the ravages of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara California in 1969, he came up with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment.

He was inspired by the peace movements of that era. He realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Within 10 years, this movement spread to Canada as well as many other countries.  Today, millions of people take part in activities on Earth Day. It is celebrated in 193 countries around the world.

The importance of Earth Day lies in first creating awareness, and from awareness, we can create change. For 2018, the theme for the International Earth Day Network is “End Plastic Pollution”.  The goal is to inspire a fundamental change in attitudes towards the use of plastics.

The goal of the Earth Day Network in Canada for 2018 is to support outdoor play for kids – with proper engagement, outdoor play can help build resilience, self-confidence and well-being.

So if you combine those two goals it’s: consume less, play more.

So with that in mind, please feel free to be playful in the labyrinth.
Consume less, play more!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Life Well-Lived

We would like to commemorate memories of a dear friend of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth and a long-time committee member, Julia Heathcote on this page today.

Julia loved the labyrinth - and felt the call to volunteer and help bring the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth to life back in 2009.  We actually attended our first committee meeting together.

 Following are some photos from special times on the labyrinth.
Julia showing us the Peace flag she created from  messages created after a labyrinth walk for peace.

Festive gathering of the ladies of the labyrinth 2017. Back left to right: Stephanie, Mary, Monika, Connie and Christine.
Front: Debby and Julia
World Labyrinth Day 2015. Julia is on the far left.
Labyrinth Fest 2010 - officially opening the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth. Committee members from left to right: Ronette; Christine; Debby; Heather; Julia; Karen and Deb.
Unveiling the labyrinth sign, May 2013. Committee members from left to right: Karen; Phyl;
Julia, Christine and Debby.

 I begin
a sacred walk
into the labyrinth
circle within circle
flowing quietly toward
answers I may be seeking
It is there I find inner peace
blessed truth just waiting
for me to carry back into
the world to share with
those who cross
my path.

Ellen Schettling Whitehead, Mancelona, Michigan, USA

If you have a photo of Julia you would like added to this page, please contact:
Christine Hume at

Monday, March 19, 2018

Community Labyrinth Events for 2018

It is time to come out of hibernation and look forward to the coming of Spring and all of the beauty and joy that it brings!  As the snow starts to melt the path of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth also begins to emerge - promising some peaceful, meditative walks and time for reflection.

Flock of hearts, created by Siobhan Allen
Once again - we have a series of special events planned for the coming year. And the labyrinth is open anytime for personal walks. We look forward to seeing you on path!

Sunday April 22 Earth Day Walk 2 pm
Labyrinth opening ceremony and
family walk

Saturday May 5 World Labyrinth Day 1 pm

Thursday June 21 "Summer Solstice Walk
for Peace" 7 pm

Friday Sept 7 "Light up the Labyrinth"
Your help needed!
Set up 6:30 pm/Walk 7:30 pm

Monday Sept 24 Full Moon Walk 8 pm

For more information, contact Christine Hume, 613.859.2136 or

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Canada 150 Commemorative Event - a Recap

The Carleton Place Community Labyrinth has now wrapped up our commemorative event for Canada 150 - and we decided to check in with the other labyrinths that participated to see how their events went. A brief report follows...

377 Labyrinth Walks
for Canada 150!

Bennett-Lindsay Labyrinth located in Burnstown, Ontario beside the Bittersweet Gallery at 5 Leckie Lane, for more info contact Kathryn Lindsay at
Aerial view of the Bennet-Lindsay Labyrinth (Photo: Hoverwolf Aerial Photography)
Our Canada 150 event started with the Anne-Marie Chagnon's 10th annual spring launch and trunk show A Collection as Strong as the Wind” at Bittersweet Gallery on Saturday June 10th, 2017 and concluded on the last day of Richard Gill’s 45th fall show “Canadian Icons” on Thanksgiving Monday, October 9th 2017.

It turned out to be challenging to keep track of who walked the labyrinth as participation was not highly structured and the registration sheet that was kept in the Gallery went missing and had to be replaced part way along.

Our estimate is that about 50 people participated, some multiple times including our 2017 labyrinth keeper, Pete Bresnahan. Some notable occasions when the labyrinth was walked included the Summer Solstice (June 21st ), the total eclipse of the sun (Aug 21st ), a “To Hell with the Bell” retirement party (Sept 5), the Fall Equinox (Sept 21) and a Harvest moon night walk (Oct 6).
Observing the total eclipse of the sun from the Bennett-Lindsay labyrinth.
Carleton Place Community Labyrinth  located in Carleton Place, Ontario

Whenever someone walked the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth during the period from April 10th – September 8th in 2017, they were encouraged to register their walk at the labyrinth.

We are pleased to report that we exceeded our goal of 150 labyrinth walks – we reached over 170 walks (registered either on our event poster or in the journal at the labyrinth).

We exceeded our goal of 150 labyrinths walks - we reached over 170 walks!
We celebrated our combined achievement during our annual “Light up the Labyrinth” event on Friday, September 8th - with a festive Canada 150 cake donated by our local Independent grocery store.
We celebrated our achievement - with a festive Canada 150 cake.
A wee labyrinth walker registers her walk and helps us to meet our goal.

Castlegar & District Recreation Complex Labyrinth located in Castlegar, British Columbia at 2101 6th Avenue

The Castlegar & District Community Complex recorded 37 walks during our 150 Labyrinth Walks Event. We know that there were many others who walked our labyrinth - especially children who attended the summer day camp program. All in all, it was a successful event and we thank the Carlton Place Community Labyrinth for inviting us to Trust the Path!

Joan Alexander, Labyrinth Facilitator, Castlegar, B.C.
Fleetwood Park Labyrinth located in Surrey, British Columbia at 15802 – 80th Avenue –
Report to come

St. Luke's Anglican Church Labyrinth located in Ottawa, Ontario at  760 Somerset Street

The St. Luke’s labyrinth community enjoyed two monthly evening walks to commemorate Canada 150. The labyrinth was lit up with over 100 tealights, and we had two monthly themes – in May, World Labyrinth Day and in June, Adventure! 

On June 21st, our labyrinth community also celebrated with a Summer Solstice walk at Galilee Centre in Arnprior, complete with labyrinth walkers playing different instruments, such as chimes and hand drums as they walked. In total 120 labyrinth walks were taken during our Canada 150 event. It was an honour to be able to participate in Canada 150 by walking the labyrinth for our communities and country.
St. Luke's labyrinth, illuminated by more than 100 tealights,  hosted special events to celebrate Canada 150.
A Canada 150 Summer Solstice walk (accompanied by chimes and hand drumming) held at the Galilee Centre in Arnprior.

The Toronto Public Labyrinth at Trinity Park Square located in Toronto, Ontario

Congratulations to the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth on your 150th initiative. You reached across Canada with the unifying message that we have a beacon of a country here, and that labyrinths are a sterling way to focus our awareness on that and to stand on guard for the future.

On our website, we posted your initiative and asked that people register their walks with you. It is exciting to hear you had such an active response.

One of our members, Brenda Wivell, was touched by the potential your initiative had not only to unite labyrinth walkers but to encourage the use of the labyrinth in offering prayers for wise leadership.

Jo Ann Stevenson
Labyrinth Community Network chair

Tigh Shee Labyrinth located in North Lancaster, Ontario -
Report to come