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Lauren Artress’ first single step

3 October 2009

From Artress’ website:

“Lauren Artress is a Canon of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and author of three books on the labyrinth. Her first book was instrumental in launching what is now known as The Labyrinth Movement.”

“She founded a non-profit named Veriditas, the World-Wide Labyrinth Project in 1996 to “pepper the planet with labyrinths”.”

From the opening section of Artress’ first book:

“Early in January 1991, I was in the midst of a transition. Although I enjoyed my role as Canon Pastor at Grace Cathedral, after five years I was exhausted by its demands. I had been invited to serve as Canon for Special Ministries and to continue to direct Quest, Grace Cathedral Canter for Spiritual Wholeness in San Francisco. In preparation, I needed time to go inward and attend to my restless uncertainty. I decided to return to a Mystery School seminar with Dr. Jean Houston, an internationally known, psychologist, scholar, and author whom I studied with in 1985.

Here I first encountered the labyrinth. In presenting this litte-known medieval pattern, Jean described a powerful spiritual tool whose path would lead each of us to our own center. My interest was piqued. I lined up with the hundred or so other participants to walk the forty-foot-wide circular pattern taped to the floor. I was hardly prepared for the force of my own reaction. As soon as I set foot into the labyrinth I was overcome with an almost violent anxiety. Some part of me seemed to know that in this ancient and mysterious archetype, I was encountering something that would change the course of my life. …

Returning up the snowy hill to my cabin that night, I wondered what response the encounter with the labyrinth would elicit from my unconscious. I got my answer the next morning, when I awoke, distressed from a dream of having had a heart attack…”

Something ain’t quite right here, folks. 

– Elder

Categories: Episcopal Labyrinths
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