(by Tony Christie)
The answer is inside – inside the labyrinth, and inside ourselves; for, this is where we find our wisdom. And, the Labyrinth Wisdom Cards are a tool for accessing our inner wisdom. The practice of walking the labyrinth, an ancient pattern with one path from the outside to the centre, quiets the mind, brings about a feeling of being balanced and centred. And, in this quietened state, a space is created where insights emerge and answers appear to the questions we carry with us.
The Labyrinth Wisdom Cards emerged from my interactions with the labyrinth. One way to walk a labyrinth is to ask a question prior to walking the labyrinth, and then allow the answer to seep through the walls of the overactive mind that slowly melt away as one walks. This approach inspired me to provide a similar and associated route to access our inner wisdom through the labyrinth. Seeking answers and guidance through the Labyrinth Wisdom Cards is an energising and insightful alternative.
The awareness that comes with using the labyrinth can be experienced on many levels. Initially your awareness may be only of yourself and your issues. Yet, entering deeper into the mystery that is the labyrinth brings awareness of our environment, of the cosmos, and leads invariably to a knowing of the interconnectedness of all of existence. The labyrinth is not only a symbol of oneness; but, is a tool for the understanding and the attainment of Oneness.
The labyrinth is also seen as a symbol of our journey in life, with its circuitous path wending its way to the centre representing our own life’s journey; at times we are in the flow and everything is running smoothly; then, our life takes a turn and we appear farther than ever from our goal or centre. The path through the labyrinth can represent our whole life’s journey, individual issues in our life, or even our multidimensional soul’s journey.
The deck of 48 cards contains illustrations of different labyrinths, various aspects of labyrinths, and associations and symbolism of labyrinths. Each card represents an aspect of our life, a stage on a journey, or an insight into an issue. For example, within the deck you will find a card for each of the seven circuits of the classical labyrinth associated with each of our seven main chakras. Also included are depictions of the six realms associated with the six petals of the rose centre of the Chartres labyrinth: Mineral, Plant, Animal, Human, Angelic and Divine. With words of guidance and further exploration of each card to be found in the handbook, you have a ready tool to explore your questions, and seek guidance on your journey in life.
The journey of creating the Labyrinth Wisdom Cards took over seven years: a journey with many twists and turns, some frustrating, some enlightening! The topics for the cards came early; while the writing of the associated pages in the handbook flowed so freely at times that I have no doubt that a force greater than me was at work.
The images in the cards have their story too. Believing that I could not paint, I sought out artists to illustrate for me the images that I was seeing for each card. This approach didn’t work; so, I tentatively took up a paintbrush and attempted my first painting – the aptly named “Simplicity”; a childlike painting where apparent imperfections were part of the desired result. After that it was just like walking a labyrinth, taking one step at a time and moving on to the next painting, and the next, until all the cards were illustrated. Not all of the paintings came easily, and some took several revisits and re-workings before I was happy with them. On the other hand, some paintings just flowed so easily and so perfectly that I knew I was just a vehicle for the imagery and wisdom that was coming through me.
There were many difficult times during the process of creating the cards. Yet, despite the frustrations, blocks, and other opportunities for growth on the journey, what kept me going was the sense, and at times the knowing, that if these cards were of help to even one person then the effort would be worthwhile. So I persevered; and, just as in ‘The Long Road’ card from the deck, I took a longer route than I expected to reach my goal! The labyrinth, and the Labyrinth Wisdom Cards, have been my companion throughout this time; helping me to access my inner wisdom, guiding me on my journey – a journey not only of accessing the wisdom, and of entering the wisdom; but, one of ever increasingly ‘becoming the wisdom’.
Tony Christie is a labyrinth author, artist, designer and consultant who works with the labyrinth to enhance his own and others personal and spiritual growth. He facilitates workshops, gives talks and lectures, and creates labyrinth images to inspire, teach, and present the labyrinth in new and interesting ways. www.labyrinthwisdom.com