The Classical Seven-Course Labyrinth on Silk

I’ve been painting some more bright, silky labyrinths and wanted to share the results with you. The one in these images is the classical seven-course labyrinth, which is constructed from 7 concentric circles around the centre point.

There’s an amazingly simple geometry behind this design which I may share with you in another post. It was fun to learn how to draw one free-hand although I did use a template to create these silky images.

A labyrinth is not the same thing as a maze. The beauty of this construction is that, when you walk the labyrinth path, it will lead you effortlessly to the central point and then back out again. Contrary to this, a maze is madeĀ  up of diverging paths and dead ends, which presents quite a challenge to those navigating one.

When you think of the Greek myth of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in the supposed complex labyrinth in Knossos, you might almost think they were referring to a maze….but who knows.

This classical labyrinth can be traced far back in history and has been unearthed on early coins in the fifth century BC. Examples of labyrinths have been found on sites all over the world on cave walls, on pottery, in churches, to name a few examples.

Walking a labyrinth offers a very meditative experience, as it completely slows you down, asking you to make several 180 degree turns, seemingly retracing your steps as you place one foot after the other on your inward journey. Once you have reached the innermost point, the journey slowly leads you back to the outer periphery.

This is an analogy for our life journey here on this planet. It asks us to completely trust in every step and allow ourselves to be led on the path laid out, changing direction again and again without knowing what lies ahead.

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember when I painted the Chartres Labyrinth on silk. I will post some images of it and share some stories around it in my next post.

It is certainly very meditative for me to paint these labyrinths on silk, and I love how each one has a face unique unto itself. If you would like to have a closer look at them, please visit my Etsy store for more details: Silkandart Etsy store

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