Sunday, June 27, 2010

Community Gathers Around the Labyrinth!

A big thank you to everyone that was drawn to attend the "Lure of the Labyrinth" event last night!  The weather cooperated and the skies cleared just in time for the setup.  Everyone found a seat around the firepit and we were honoured to be able to share in the blessing of a new drum.  The Sisters of the Drum formed a circle around the sister with the new drum.  A small pebble was placed at the centre and tobacco was spread carefully on top of the drum. The new drum owner turned slowly and stood at each direction, while the rest of the group drummed joyfully.  We could see the tobacco bouncing and dancing on the top of the drum.  What a beautiful ceremony and special way to open up the labyrinth for our Summer Solstice walk!

After a brief introduction everyone was invited to walk the labyrinth!  They were encouraged to carry a small stone with them - and on the walk in to think about "releasing" any stressful thoughts and taking this time to slow down and enjoy the walk.  They could let go of these thoughts at the centre - by symbolically leaving the stone there.  And then "return" back out to join the community gathering...

The new stones that  mark the entrance to the labyrinth were also "warmed", they make a perfect bench and a place to rest before or after your walk.  They are also a solid reminder of our commitment to have a permanent labyrinth built here!  We were thrilled to hear that $1,000 had been donated to our fundraising campaign bringing the new total to over $7,800!  We continue to be amazed at the power of positive thinking and very thankful for the community support.

 And finally as the evening was drawing to a close and dusk was setting in - our little votive candles came to life and lit the way!  In closing I have to say "Meegwetch", a First Nation way of saying much more than "thank you".  By saying "Meegwetch", a general feeling of happiness and gratitude over the existence of something or someone is expressed as well as a spiritual connection!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lure of the Labyrinth

Community Candlelight Walk June 26th Features 'Sisters of the Drum'

"Lure of the Labyrinth" is the theme for this summer's official opening of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth, a grass labyrinth located behind the Victoria School Museum on 267 Edmund Street in Carleton Place. The Labyrinth Committee (TLC), invites you to join the free festivities from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. on Saturday June 26th, as we celebrate the first week of summer solstice with an 'alluring' evening candlelit walk.

For this sixth public labyrinth event, hundreds of luminaries will be set up along the path, casting a warm glow and guiding the pathway for people of all ages. “This will be a high energy, fun gathering of old and new friends and families", says Christine Hume, a member of the Labyrinth Committee, who will provide an introduction to the labyrinth for participants.

An exciting feature of this year's event will be Sisters of the Drum, a traditional Algonquin hand drum group with members from across Eastern Ontario, who will accompany us on the walk. Sisters of the Drum share native culture and teachings to communities through storytelling and singing, as well as their magnificent drumming ceremonies.

For those new to the labyrinth experience, a labyrinth is a circular path, derived from an ancient spiral symbol. The path of a labyrinth is 'unicursal'- the path on which you enter, is the same path on which you exit. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth holds no tricks or dead ends. The walker can focus on a thought, a prayer, or simply enjoy the walk itself. Walking a labyrinth works through our senses, and can be helpful in supporting healing, meditation, and personal growth.

Don't miss a chance to walk our Community Labyrinth: an evening walk under a full moon, with flickering luminaries, the sounds of the drums, a roaring bonfire, and refreshments promises to satisfy all the senses!

For more information, including how to volunteer for this event contact:
Christine Hume: 613-859-2136 or

Photo Credit:  Hand drum image

Monday, June 7, 2010

Striking Stone Signage

On Tuesday May 25th, Carleton Place town staff erected these impressive stones at the community labyrinth site. The stones were donated by Allan Code and moved by the town to the site. I chose stones that I thought would make an impact but had no idea how wonderfully it would all come together...

What a powerful statement, not only as a signpost to announce "this is where the labyrinth is" but as well the striking sculpture is symbolic of our rock solid intention, commitment and determination to build the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth.

Walk the path

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Creating a Special Space at the Health & Wellness Show

How satisfying to have pushed myself out of my comfort zone!  Yesterday was the first time Marie-Chantale, Amanda and I got to practise doing the basic presentation we had learned in the Veriditas Labyrinth facilitator training. We introduced people at the Health & Wellness show in Ottawa to our temporary classical labyrinth "under the willow".  We all felt nervous and anxious about the day - but those feelings fell away as we started to tell the story about this ancient and powerful meditative tool!

The whole process has been very energizing.  From having the initial idea, planning the event and how to promote it, to building the labyrinth out of rope and garden stakes in less than 2 hours!  The moment I saw the suggested location for the labyrinth I knew it was perfect.  I could even see circles and a spiral pattern in the grass.  We only noticed yesterday as people were doing the first labyrinth walk - the lovely statue of Mary - that could be seen through the trees.  It seemed as if she was also pointing right to this spot!

After we finished building the labyrinth on the Friday evening - I stayed on - and was setting up the signage for the event...  A young family came by and were having fun lying on the grass watching a hot air balloon fly overhead.  Their young son saw the labyrinth and immediately leapt up and ran over to the entrance.  He skipped and ran joyfully to the centre and back out - while his family went on ahead.  Our labyrinth was officially opened and ready for more visitors the next morning!

Throughout the day people started to make their way to the labyrinth.  Some on their own, a family with young children, a mom and dad with their grown daughters, a group of young professionals, a couple that had travelled the world, girlfriends, and so on.  Many people didn't understand the difference between a maze and a labyrinth.  Everyone seemed to have time to have thoughtful, meaningful conversations. They all interacted with the labyrinth in their own individual ways - and came away feeling calmer, more centred, and grounded. 

We found that we were very energized by the day and many creative ideas for future labyrinth experiences and events were flowing!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Labyrinth at the Health & Wellness Show

Recent graduates from the Veriditas Facilitor Training Workshop (held at St. John’s Anglican Church and facilitated by Rev. Lauren Artress) will be creating a temporary Classical labyrinth at this year’s Health & Wellness Show. The show is being held this weekend - Saturday June 5th and Sunday June 6th - at St. Paul's University, 223 Main Street, Ottawa.

Four open walks will be held during the weekend:
Saturday June 5th: 
Opening walk - 10:00 - 11:30 am; Afternoon walk - 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Sunday June 6th:
Morning walk - 10:00 - 11:30 am; Closing walk - 2:00 - 3:30 pm

The objective will be to introduce people to the meditative, healing and stress-relieving aspects of labyrinth walking. Each walk will be presented by a different facilitator – who will provide a brief introduction about labyrinths – and coordinate the open labyrinth walk. There will be an opportunity to reflect on the walk afterwards through creative expression or journaling.

A freewill donation will be requested. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Children at Risk (a charity supported by the Health & Wellness show organizers ) and to help build a permanent labyrinth in Carleton Place.

For more information contact:
Christine Hume, Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator
613 859 2136,