I am reluctant to leave the gentle formless, colourful, floating stage of Bliss, or even the resting in the darkness of the Void but just as it is in life we are ever pushed to move forward…and there is some beautiful wisdom and play to be found in this stage too. For me personally I LOVE delving into my dreams and creating dream mandalas as well as making and walking the labyrinth to see what pearl of wisdom lies within in this stage.
The Labyrinth, stage 3 of the Great Round of Mandala represents early spring, energy rising, brave new growth…an excitement and enthusiasm for a new beginning. It also represents late pregnancy, the umbilical cord, being born and taking the first breath of fresh air (Fincher).
When we are ‘turning toward the journey’ we have a sense of growing, without any detailed plans. We are listening to our intuition. It is as if we are a new born baby with that will to thrive, an urge to grow, an urge to demand what is nourishing(Fincher).
We have within us a desire to live out our potential, to s-t-r-e-t-c-h- after being still and get things done (Gibbons). The life force within us is strong, opportunities arise, we can feel pulled in many directions and we need to be guided by our inner wisdom (Gibbons). It is the ideal time to start something new, as in this stage, you feel alert, intuitive and focused and yet you may also feel there is no clear direction (Fincher).
Change can be so rapid in this stage it can feel dizzying with shifting moods and an ever-changing sense of identity (Fincher). Ego boundaries are diffuse, as our identity is just beginning to form (Fincher).
It can be really powerful in this stage to create a mandala that celebrates your birth or illustrates what you know of your own birth. Just make sure you have lots of support around you as you do this.
This stage is all about ‘Bringing yourself into being’. It is knowing that this is an important journey even if the destination is as yet unknown (Fincher).
Different Levels Of Consciousness / Dreams
In stage 3 we begin the journey from Universal Consciousness to Individual consciousness (Fincher). We become aware of the different states of consciousness. Now is a good time to go on a shamanic journey. We tune in to our dreams; messages from the unconscious (Gibbons). Dreams can give us useful knowledge, especially mandala dreams, to soothe, balance and integrate the unconscious with the conscious mind if we are receptive to the sacred message within dreams (Fincher).
All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together. Jack Kerouac
It can be so powerful in this stage to create dream catchers and draw and interpret your dreams in mandalas. Setting an intention before sleep each night to remember your dreams and writing them down when you first wake up can bring powerful insights from your unconscious mind into your conscious mind. The dream mandalas I created still evoke powerful emotion; just looking at them brings back the feeling and the insight from the dream.
‘The human mind always makes progress, but it is a progress in spirals.’ Madame de Stael
We can relate to spirals in Mother Earth and her circling of the sun, our weather and currents and with our own umbilical cord (Fincher). Spirals represent exciting possibilities, different directions, twisting and turning, focusing on the process and not the outcome (Fincher). Spirals can represent our own journey as we spiral through layers of growth; coming back to tackle issues from slightly different angles. It can be great fun to create spiral mandalas in stage 3.
The labyrinth…’offers a sacred and stable place to focus the attention and listen to the longing of the soul.’ Rev Dr Lauren Artess
The labyrinth is a great metaphor for life and for this stage of our journey. It is about turning toward the journey even though we can’t see where we are headed. It’s about rapid change as there is lots to see, learn and discover on the way (Fincher).
The Labyrinth is about important turning points as life expands and contracts, goes in a different directions….it’s about being flexible, adaptable, and having endurance (Fincher). One step at a time and you will arrive…there are no wrong turns. (Fincher)
‘Trust in the unfolding process of life’ and
‘The path to the centre is trustworthy’ Fincher
Some consider the labyrinth is a magical sacred circuit that holds unique energies as it receives you as an individual and supports you to integrate your body, spirit and psyche (Gibbons).
The labyrinth is the gateway between the conscious and unconscious; it is a way of connecting your body and mind (Gibbons). It is an open invitation to begin the journey, to trust we will arrive where we need to be, to honour our soul wisdom with each turn (Gibbons). There is only ever one path to follow.
Each time you walk the labyrinth you can hold a question or intention in your heart and soul before you start and while you walk to the centre. When you reach the centre you can pause to see what answers are there within your heart and soul and ask how you can bring those answers into being in the real world. Reflect on these answers as you walk out and then pause at the entry / exit of the labyrinth to give thanks for the experience and any answers that came to you.
Each time you walk a labyrinth your experience can be unique and different.
‘Our path to healing isn’t a straight one- there will be twists and turns – toing and froing’ Julie Gibbons
When I created and walked a labyrinth on the beach yesterday there were so many insights. I realised how in life we are constantly toing and froing, we are on a path we like or don’t like, we feel close to the centre or far away, we are on an easy path or hard path…and yet it ALL leads to the centre, it is by living ALL of these paths that we find balance, that we find our centre. We can’t skip or shortcut the bits we don’t like…it is ALL one path, all leading to the centre, all important, even when we can’t see the destination.
This was so good for me to realise as I was LOVING the path I was on in February yet I have been finding the path I am on in March overwhelming and stressful and there is a tendency to wish that I could go back to how things were. Instead I can see that I need to keep moving forward, keep trusting the path I am on, keep putting one foot in front of the other. There is an element of accepting this path that I am on….while making wise efforts to change it as I trust that it is moving me towards where I need to be.
I realised as I walked the labyrinth that sometimes it feels like the turning points we are presented with in life are divinely given, they seem to fall out of the sky….synchronicity, serendipity…other times it feels like we work so hard to change to create a new turning point…and both of these can lead to surprising outcomes….not always wanted but always bringing growth and momentum forward.
We are on the right path even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when we don’t know where we are going!
Some reflection questions:
How do you feel about moving into the Labyrinth?
What parts of this stage appeal to you or ring true for where you are at now?
What dream messages are coming through that may give you a clue to important aspects of your unconscious mind?
What are some key turning points in your life that have brought you here?
Are you liking the path that you are on?
What aspects of your life can you s-t-r-e-t-c-h and grow in and what areas of your life is there a NEW beginning?
Resources for this blog: The Mandala Workbook by Susanne F. Fincher & Mandala Magic 2017 by Julie Gibbons
Stage 3 Labyrinth Inspiration: