Mazes are more like a "Snakes and Ladders" puzzle with dead ends, twists and turns and no direct path in or out. They are usually made of tall hedges so that you cannot see from one circuit to the next. They were a favourite in Victorian times for young couples to meet. They would arrange to go separately into the maze and ... the rest is up to your imagination!
The aboriginal people understood that life was a journey. By walking mindfully into the center of the labyrinth they reached into the center of their lives "up to this point in time." Obviously their life was not completed. By doing this they were able to come to terms with the twists and turns that had brought them to this point. Once in the center they offered prayers and asked for blessing to help them continue their journey successfully. Once they exited the labyrinth they gave thanks for all their many blessing.
As you walk you are confronted with many turns and reversals, some walkers find it quite challenging, others are profoundly inspired.
Labyrinths are used by many religions as a stage for a virtual, or vicarious, pilgrimage.
Early Christians were asked to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in Islam the destination is Mecca. However the reality is that while some make make those journeys others have to stay at home and take care of the chores.
As an alternative a labyrinth was set up in the courtyard of the temple or church and this allowed you to make you journey with intent, and get home in time to milk the goats.
Unlike The Rainbow Serpent this labyrinth brings you back out exactly the same way you went to the center, and this replicates the pilgrimage in that you follow the same pathway home, you don't stay in Mecca or Jerusalem, you come home, so that some one else can make their journey while you tend the chores.
Labyrinths are designed to remind us to take time and discover the journey, the destination is there but you will leave it and get on with your life.
Just have faith in the path.
The other Labyrinth here at Rural Rootz is very different. It is Mother Nature's Labyrinth which is almost 7 kilometers of footpaths that wander out into The Hundread Acher Woulds. Some of the trails are more challenging than others, we opened these trails to the public in 1999 and we have not lost anybody ... so far ...
The trailworkers from The Bruce Trail told us that this property hosts the widest variety of ecologies in the smallest area of anywhere in the entire Bruce Trail system, and we are very blessed to be able to live here.
Just like the Bishop's Labyrinth our trail system brings you back to where you began your journey.