Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.
-Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
In 2015, after much research into the history and symbolism of labyrinths, we decided to create the nine circuit Baltic “wheel”. The Baltic pattern is the oldest and only recorded design that does not terminate in the center. Most other labyrinths have strong Christian influence and are based on reaching the goal as the focal point (such as Heaven or overcoming Satan).
However, the Baltic (or sometimes known as the Goddess pattern) reaches a center that seamlessly continues towards the exit. There is no backtracking to get out. The path becomes and contains the goal without retracing one’s steps…but gives the illusion of retracing your steps. The Baltic labyrinth is also likened to a womb, with the path walker being the seed for conception that effortlessly exits towards birth.
A labyrinth is not a maze; a maze involves choices, analysis, and decisions. You can get lost in a maze. There have been many variations of recorded labyrinth designs over the last 5,000 years, but the basic designs stem from a single path that involves no choices, only awareness of the moment and oneself. If you have never walked a labyrinth it is oddly transformative; sometimes likened to walking meditation.
The Sage Mountain labyrinth is one of the larger labyrinths at a diameter of 90’ and a ¼ mile long. Most labyrinths are about 30’ diameter. We chose to use local materials of beetle killed Lodge pole pine, dirt, and sand. Vegetation will eventually grow around the logs as they decompose, forming a living, evolving design. Before we finished laying the logs, ants were already making their homes underneath them and vegetation was sprouting.
Each labyrinth has a “seed pattern” or code that enables the architect to conceive, draw, and execute the layout of the pattern. Without the seed pattern, it’s extremely difficult to draw the pattern, let alone lay it out over the earth.
We invite you to give it a try and see what you think! Walk the labyrinth by appointment only.