TLS Members e-Newsletter

Members eNewsletter
At least four times a year, TLS members are rewarded at their inboxes with a copy of the Labyrinth Society e-newsletter. It serves as a means of direct communication with the membership and provides an historical record of the Society.

Come on! Join in the Fun...

We're getting excited here at The Labyrinth Society as we look forward to the Delray Beach Gathering, happening in Florida in less than two months. The beautiful surroundings and great hospitality at the Duncan Conference Center will definitely be a treat. There are many ways to participate in this Gathering even if you cannot attend in person. Participate in Jim Buchanan’s project, send photos for the Labyrinth Images or items for the Silent Auction, or join in other member activities outlined in these articles. 

It's the people, and all they (you, me, all of us) bring to it, that make a TLS Gathering great. We've been checking in with some of our scheduled presenters and keynote speakers, and their enthusiasm is just infectious! Our tribal elder and cultural trailblazer, Sig Lonegren, whose talk, "The Liminal Nature of Sacred Space," is the opening keynote on Friday night, says,

After an absence of too many years, I am excited to be with my TLS family again!  I live and work in Glastonbury, England, but have also been looking at, walking, and building labyrinths in Holland. I am especially interested to explore the word “liminal” – occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.  The mouth of a labyrinth is a liminal portal, a gateway to the other side. I’ve been working at experiencing that portal for over forty years and look forward to sharing some suggestions that might help others to cross into the spiritual realms.

Sig Lonegren, keynote speaker

That spirit of sharing an adventure inspires both the pre-Gathering workshops. Karin Schlüter Lonegren's Thursday morning event, "The Soulful Labyrinth," invites us to explore the safety of the labyrinth container and unfold into a deep sense of inner freedom and peace:

While being safely held by the ‘arms’ of the Labyrinth, we walk to the goal, gently peeling seven layers off our being. Glimpsing, finding our inner being, seeing our clear light inside. The paths become trails of non-judgment, not to self, nor to others, setting us free to sense freedom in every moment. Encounter seven ‘liminal’ places, portals to enter and experience deep peace. We prepare ourselves for this experience through a Seven Layer exercise we engage in with each other. 

Thursday afternoon, incandescent young artist and certifiable Wild Woman Maia Scott (and her one-dog gang, Fiddler) asks us to create with all of our senses “between the lines of the labyrinth:"

Maia Scott logo

What happens when you find yourself in a room for two hours with a recreation therapist / bodyworker / Masters of Fine Arts graduate from a Hippy-dippy institute in San Francisco? You can let your imagination run wild or you can see what happens first hand during a pre-gathering playshop in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida.

Jumpstart your gathering experience with a quick-paced collage of inspiration-inducing processes from writing prompts and collage to creating a movement mantra circle dance. Oh, and did we mention everything involves labyrinths? You may be asked to rip up someone else's art, put words into another's mouth, trace labyrinths in thin air...with your tongue?... All of this will happen in a safe and joyful environment.

You will leave with a pocket full of low-cost, eco-friendly creative whims to enhance your current treasure trove of labyrinth activities. Workshop coordinator, Maia Scott, believes that “Creativity is much more than making pretty things; it's about play, exploration, healing, and sometimes failing in the name of discovery. This in mind, anything can happen when you create between the lines of the labyrinth.

Maia just made another visit to SCRAP, a resource for recycled materials from local businesses, to gather paper and materials for the playshop. “I want to use repurposed stuff in the name of creativity and making good of what's already there.” Maia scored a big box of blank address labels and immediately came up with something to make with them. “I won't say what it is because it's easier just to do it... So, come do it.”

In addition to these wonderful pre-Gathering events, there are also a wide range of workshops scheduled in the main Gathering. The variety of labyrinth-centered learning opportunities in one place is astounding. For example: are you interested in the more esoteric by-ways of scholarly research? The Labyrinth Society's Research Group has fostered ground-breaking inquiry in which we, as a community, should take immense pride. The Gathering is an opportunity for researchers in the fields of health sciences, higher education, design, architecture, fine arts, humanities and social sciences to present their work, often for the first time. This year we'll have the chance to take in Jodi Lorimer's third and culminating piece of research on the Minotaur, that mysterious yet persistently powerful symbol of the cultural Shadow:

The Minotaur is a monster, one mostly ignored by those who walk the labyrinth as a spiritual meditation.  Yet they are inseparably intertwined in myth and legend as it comes to us from ancient Crete. How did this come to be? An exploration through their elegant art will consider five iconic ideas of Minoan ecstatic religion; the labyrinth, the bull, the Great Goddess, the ‘Horns of Consecration’ and the labrys, and how the confluence of these elements reveal the true nature of the original Minotaur. Borrowing from ancient Egypt and Near Eastern countries, the Minoans created a sun-centered cosmology  that endured for over 2,000 years, flowering to its peak after the eruption of Thera and conquest by the Greeks as the magnificent Bronze Age came to a sudden and dramatic end. New research as to why that happened carries a significant message for our modern world.

Burne-Jones. Theseus in the Labyrinth.1862

Burne-Jones. Theseus in the Labyrinth.1862

There is such a wealth of opportunity that the organising team is anticipating the annual collective groan, "There's so much to choose from! What am I gonna do?" Thankfully, one of the most useful Member Benefits is the on-line access to presentation abstracts after the event.

Even if you find you cannot be there in person,  you can participate in the energy and creativity of the gathering! Elsewhere in this eNewsletter, there are invitations to be part of Jim Buchanan's art project, to add to the image collection of labyrinths of the world (with pictures of your creation, however ephemeral), to support the scholarship fund by making a donation to the Silent Auction, by purchasing an ad, or sponsoring a goody bag. Your absence will be felt, but your contribution will be much appreciated!