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Charlotte, NC

Creative Photographer Creativity SoulCollage Labyrinth Mixed Media

Metaphor and Archetype SC and labyrinth

If we wish to outline an architecture that
conforms to the structure of our soul,
it would have to be conceived in the image of the labyrinth.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Some of you may not be familiar with the labyrinth. So let’s talk a little about labyrinths.

The labyrinth is both an ancient pattern and a three-dimensional archetype that you can physically experience. An archetype is a master pattern, and the labyrinth is unique in that it allows us to have a direct experience with the energy of its archetypal pattern as we walk it.

The spiral path of the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey of life, the inner pilgrimage or spiritual journey. The journey to the center of the labyrinth is symbolic of the journey to discover the inner self.

The labyrinth has a unicursal path meaning that there is only one path to follow which takes you from the entrance to the center and back out of the labyrinth again. You do not have to choose between different paths. In this way it is different from a maze which has wrong turns and dead ends.

So if we look at our life in terms of the metaphor of the labyrinth we are encouraged to trust the path we are on, and know that it will lead us where we are meant to go, even though the twists and turns of the labyrinth path often seem to be taking us away from our destination rather than leading us towards it. Walking a labyrinth regularly teaches us to trust the path we are walking, and brings us balance and perspective. It reminds us that even though we can’t see a direct path to where we are going, we know we are on the path, and all we need to do is continue to put one foot in front of another to reach our destination.

Archetypal patterns awaken in us our own divine potential.
— Caroline Myss

The way in which you walk the labyrinth can also be a metaphor for where you are in your life right now.

Pay attention to your body as you walk. What is it saying to you? Listen to what it has to say. 

  • Are your shoulders heavy and stooped?
  • Are your steps light or does each step feel heavy?
  • Are you rushing through the labyrinth so you can mark it “done” on your to-do list?
  • Do you feel lost on the labyrinth even though it is not a maze?

In addition, everything that happens to you on the labyrinth can be considered in the light of metaphor so become fully aware of your senses as you walk. These sensory experiences can trigger memories or be symbolic of an insight that might be helpful for you in your life.

  • Do you see anything unusual?
  • What do you hear?
  • Are there any smells that remind you of a memory?
Aristotle once said that the highest form
of brain function is metaphoric thinking.
When we are thinking metaphorically the microcosm reflects the macrocosm.
Our experience becomes a way of teaching us about the bigger picture.
— Lauren Artress

Synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences - which also play an important role in the SoulCollage® process - are constant companions on the labyrinth path, provided you are fully present as you walk and open to recognizing these synchronistic happenings. Once you begin to live with more awareness you will become cognizant of just how connected you actually are to the web of life.

SoulCollage® is a creative process which supports this journey of self-discovery by working with the unconscious mind through images, imagination and intuition. The SoulCollage® cards which we make following a labyrinth walk help us integrate emotions and feelings which arise as we walk the labyrinth. I have found the SoulCollage® process to be an empowering process of getting to know myself through all my multi-faceted parts.

SoulCollage® can be thought of as a form of visual dreaming. We let our imagination, intuition and creativity direct the process as we choose images and collage a card. Seena Frost explains how this process connects us to our unconscious with these words:

“This is a powerful way of letting what is hidden within our depths bubble up,
sometimes from our personal unconscious, and sometimes from that deeper layer in us
that Jung called the collective unconscious.”