Where to begin? So many others have written about labyrinths, their history and modern revival, that rather than add to the writings, we have chosen to let others speak.
"Labyrinths are amazing tools. They can work real magic - moments that bring worlds together. Invented in the mists of prehistory by a culture that functioned on quite different levels of consciousness than we do today, these magical single-path mazes can enhance the possibility of bringing together our analytical or rational mode of consciousness with our intuitive or spiritual levels of consciousness."
~ Sig Lonegren in Labyrinths: Ancient Myths and Modern Uses
A short history of labyrinths and mazes by Jeff Saward
"Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, and encourage meditation, insight, self-reflection, stress reduction, and to discover innovation and celebration. They are open to all people as a non-denominational, cross-cultural blueprint for well-being. The practice of labyrinth walking integrates the body with the mind and the mind with the spirit. They can be found in medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, memorial parks, spas, cathedrals and retreat centers as well as in people's backyards."
~ Veriditas on Rediscovery of the Labyrinth
"The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.
Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.
There is no right way or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets what you need while being respectful of others walking. You may go directly to center to sit quietly - whatever meets your needs.
To prepare, you may want to sit quietly to reflect before walking the labyrinth. Some people come with questions, others just to slow down and take time out from a busy life. Some come to find strength to take the next step. Many come during times of grief and loss.
Children enjoy the labyrinth and we ask that parents supervise their young children so all may enjoy the meditative aspects of the walk.
There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul."
~ Veriditas on Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth