Home > Episcopal Labyrinths, Occult, Wisteria-Ohio > Wisteria, Ohio – Part II – Questions for DSO Episcopalians

Wisteria, Ohio – Part II – Questions for DSO Episcopalians

12 October 2009

There is a lot of material to cover, so I’ll be upfront about the questions I’m exploring here, in order to avoid confusion and / or boredom. 

The questions boil down to these:

Given that the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio has a prolific community of pagans in their own back yard, and given that this community incorporates the use of labyrinths in their rituals, and given that the stated purposes of their labyrinth usage is strikingly similar to the stated use by the author of the Episcopal labyrinth fad, and given that DSO youth are being encouraged to use labyrinths,

a)  how is our use of labyrinths discernably different from the pagan usage, and;

b)  what effort, if any, is being made to educate our youth about the dangers of pagan rituals, and;

c)  if the effort in (b) is lacking,

– (1) how do we account for the lack thereof, and

– (2) what will be done to rectify the lack of effort?

d)  Ultimately, is it remotely possible for naive Christians to be enticed into the occult (briefly or for a long period of time), in part, because of their familiarity with labyrinth usage, taught to them within the context of the Church?

Again, there is a LOT of material to cover.  These will be our focal points as we assimilate the data. 

In one (or more?) of the forthcoming articles, we’ll explore whether there is warrant for DSO Episcopalians to not be aware of the Wisteria community. 

– Elder

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  1. EmilyH
    13 October 2009 at 1:16 PM

    I have taken the following from a web site discussing the most famous labyrinth I know of, the one on the floor of Chatres Cathedral: ” The Middle Ages showed a renewed interest in labyrinths and a design more complex than the classical seven-circuit labyrinth became popular.

    This was an eleven-circuit design divided into four quadrants. It was often found in Gothic Cathedrals but over time many of these eleven-circuit designs were destroyed or intentionally removed.

    The most famous of these remaining labyrinths is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200 and is laid into the floor in a style sometimes referred to as a pavement maze. The original center piece has been removed and other areas of the labyrinth have been restored.

    This labyrinth was meant to be walked but is reported to be infrequently used today. In the past it could be walked as a pilgrimage and/or for repentance. As a pilgrimage it was a questing, searching journey with the hope of becoming closer to God. When used for repentance the pilgrims would walk on their knees. Sometimes this eleven-circuit labyrinth would serve as a substitute for an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem and as a result came to be called the “Chemin de Jerusalem” or Road of Jerusalem.

    In walking the Chartres style labyrinth the walker meanders through each of the four quadrants several times before reaching the goal. An expectancy is created as to when the center will be reached. At the center is a rosette design which has a rich symbolic value including that of enlightenment. The four arms of the cross are readily visible and provide significant Christian symbolism. “

    • Elder Oyster
      13 October 2009 at 1:57 PM

      Hi EmilyH,

      Thanks for stopping by. Good point.

      I am aware of the Church’s use of the labyrinth in the Middle Ages, as a means of allowing people (perhaps, who had made rash oaths) to go on “pilgimages,” in lieu of traveling to the Holy Land. The thing is, the Medieval usage bears no resemblence to the contemporary usage in the Church; and the latter is most definitely similar to the contemporary Pagan usage. It begs the question, “Why are we doing this, and why aren’t we at least stressing the dangers so as to avoid confusing our young people?”

      Again, there’s lots to discuss, and it’s difficult to lay down all the bases all at once.

      – Elder

  2. Dave
    13 October 2009 at 5:49 PM

    One of the problems with the “modern” use of labyrinths is that they really lead nowhere and at the center you find yourself. As it is used it is a postmodern tool for self-worship and actualization. A maze on the otherhand has a goal, an entrance and an exit.

    • Elder Oyster
      14 October 2009 at 1:52 AM

      I still haven’t come up with an over-arching category of what people are after when they use labyrinths. Sometimes it seems like a mish-mash of agnosticized 12-step creeds and Jungian psychology; sometimes it’s pseudo-sacremental; sometimes .. I dunno. One concern I do have, and I’ve hit on this in the article, “When Symbols aren’t Symbolic” (it’s under the labyrinths category) is that in the heavy-duty world of the Occult, they don’t use symbols the same way that everyone else uses them. Some occult symbols are part of conjuring rituals.

      The thing is, everyone, from Lauren Atress to the Episcopal parish that has its own labyrinth, to witches and pagans, refer to the labyrinth as a “symbol.” It makes me wonder what everyone is thinking when they refer to it as a symbol.

      Kinda creepy.

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