Mermaid ship’s masthead, by Jan Reichard

Mermaid ship’s masthead, by Jan Reichard

The Mermaid

Stories of the Mer-Folk, especially Mermaids, exist in nearly every culture around the world where there are oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers or streams. Human-like, except for their iridescent, scaly tails, Mermaids and Mermen have fascinated humans for thousands of years. Because the largest of these mystical beings exist in the oceans, most people are not aware that smaller versions of the Mer-Folk live in inland rivers, streams, marshes, and large or small waterfalls. There are many regional names for Mermaids: La Sirene in the Caribbean, Rusalka in Russia, Mami Wata in Africa, Undine in Europe, Selkie in the British Isles, Merrow in Scotland, and Lorelei in Germany.  Like many other magical, mythological beings, the Mermaids travel easily between this world and the astral planes, appearing only to those who truly seek to know them and to learn their ancient powers.Long before computers and the Internet, before the written word, before agriculture, before even simple village life, we were a spiritual people. It is clear that ritual, ceremony, rites of passage, and personal vision quests, are more than simple symbolic acts, but are a gateway into the deep connection of universal kinship with Spirit.

The Labyrnith

The unicursal path of the labyrinth is what differentiates it and sets it apart as a magnificent spiritual tool. The labyrinth does not engage our thinking minds, but invites our intuitive, pattern-seeking symbolic mind to come forth. It presents us with only one profound choice. To enter the labyrinth is to choose to walk a sacred path.

A labyrinth is different from a maze; there are no tricks to it, no dead ends or cul de sacs; no intersecting paths. Labyrinths have one well-defined path that leads us to the center and back out again. The truth-seeker and pilgrim alike will be amazed to find that the labyrinth is an all-encompassing metaphor, with its twists and turns, reflecting life’s path. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the spiritual journey.

A sense of community forms within us during the labyrinth walk, and we discover our own internal rhythm. Honoring the body’s tempo helps open our intuitive channels. The creative process joins the imagery moving between the surface of our everyday minds to the thoughtful parts of our rational minds. To walk the labyrinth is an act of praise and thanksgiving. It is a tool to guide healing, to deepen self-knowledge, and empower creativity.img.other.labyrinth

We become aware, and feel grateful, while walking the labyrinth path, that we are all part of the same dance, that everything around us is part of a divine plan. Discovering our connection to the sacred whole empowers our seeking. When we see our lives from the perspective of wholeness, we appreciate that our actions have a greater impact on the world than we may have ever imagined, or thought possible.

The labyrinth serves as a blueprint for transformation, developing new human capacities, restoring ancient ones, and discovering new potentials within us; allowing us to experience our inner world. The labyrinth awaits our discovery, for it will guide us through the troubles of our lives to the grand mysterious patterns that form the web of creation. It will lead us toward the source and will eventually guide us home.

As we proceed in the new millennium, there is a quickening of the world pulse. The beginning of a new thousand-year cycle is always a time of prophecy and hope, a time to prepare for the next cycle of life, to celebrate, to reconnect to the sacred through self-reflection, and to take a more active role in creating the world of tomorrow. Walking the labyrinth is a quest, a way in which we can all realize our goals, and discover how our individual spirits touch the Soul of the world, and how this World Soul envelops us, and extends the sacred circle.