Circle of Peace design is a 7-circuit concentric circle labyrinth pattern
and is a contemporary design that blends elements of both the classical and
medieval patterns. It is most similar to a manuscript labyrinth drawn around
the year 1000 in Oxfordshire, England and attributed to an abbot of the Abingdon
Abbey. The manuscript labyrinth has six circuits. Adding another circuit between
the three outer paths with the three inner paths, symbolically connects the
labyrinth walkers outer self and inner, spiritual self.
In this new design, the number of paths totals seven, the most mystical number in many traditions. In my work with various groups and individuals, I have observed that for some the long sweeping full-circuit paths of the classical style labyrinths represent journey, while others preferred labyrinth experiences with frequent 180-degree turns found in medieval quadrant labyrinths such as at Chartres cathedral. The Circle of Peace design incorporates both and, thus has a wide appeal.
The alignment of the entrance paths creates a special area that can be used as an altar space or reflection place. This is a perfect location for a sculpture, plant, candle, cross, prayer basket, fountain, burning bowl or other ceremonial feature, and is approached from all directions during the walk. This space can also incorporate a stepping stone to provide a place to pause for reflection during the walk or for direct access between the entrance threshold and the center.
The quadrant designations incorporate divine symbols of a circle divided by a cross, found in Christianity as well as earlier spiritual practices and traditions. The division of the circle into four sections also provides a base for designs utilizing medicine wheel and the four elements of creation. In addition, the number of full 180 degree turns in the pattern is 14, making the Circle of Peace an excellent design for Stations of the Cross meditations.
The Circle of Peace is one of several contemporary 7-circuit labyrinth designs widely embraced by people drawn to the cathedral labyrinths, but requiring a smaller design. Other similar 7-circuit designs include the Santa Rosa Labyrinth© by Lea Goode-Harris, Ph.D. and the Petite Chartres by Robert Ferre of Labyrinth Enterprises.
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