In this post, I'm going to talk about how we actually built the labyrinth on campus, in the workshop. Hopefully this will be useful for anyone else who wants to do this, too!

**Beforehand:**

There was a bunch of preparation work that had to be done beforehand.

The first was deciding which labyrinth to build. I drew lots, and lots, and lots of labyrinths in my Book of Shadows. I wanted one that was long enough to be an interesting walk (and for people to be able to go into trance / have a worshipful experience while walking), but not too long.

Most of the labyrinth designs I saw were either too long and too big, or too short and too small.

I played with a bunch of different seed patterns, and eventually came up with a slightly non-standard seed pattern, which resulted in this six-circuit Cretan-style labyrinth:

6-circuit Cretan-style labyrinth |

(Note: click on any picture for a larger version.)

Next, using guidance from this page -- http://www.labyrinthos.net/layout.html -- I had to determine how wide I wanted the paths to be, and how much total space we would need.

With this labyrinth, by counting the paths across the labyrinth, I could see that the space we would need would be 11 times the width of the paths / aisles.

I wanted our paths to be three feet wide, so that people who use wheelchairs would be able to use the labyrinth, if their wheelchairs could accommodate whatever surface we'd be on and whatever slope it might have.

Therefore, we needed 33 feet of space.

Now to figure out how much rope or ribbon we needed as the guide for where the lines would go. The ribbon would need to be as long as the radius of the circle, or half the diameter of the circle. We've already established that the diameter would be 11 path widths, or 33 feet (see above). Half the diameter, or the radius, would be 5.5 path widths, or 16.5 feet. I decided I wanted an extra path width, so the person holding that end of the ribbon had some space. So:

6.5 paths x 3 ft / path = 19.5 ft of ribbon

Because I live in the UK and was buying ribbon in advance, I needed to know how many cm or m:

3 feet / path x 12 in / ft x 2.54 cm / in x 6.5 paths = 594 cm. I decided to buy 6 m.

(Kudos to unit analysis learned in chemistry!)

Supplies needed:

- tent stakes / tent pegs, to mark the points in the seed pattern
- a ribbon that is at about 6x the width of the aisles
- a marker to mark the ribbon
- a tape measure
- boundary marker

There are many materials you can use to mark the boundaries of your paths. The University where we were doing this wanted us to use field paint, so we did. (And it was a lot of fun!)

At this point, before I went any further, I wanted to make sure I really understood this process, and I want to make sure it worked.

I wrote myself a detailed, step-by-step instruction list.

Then Beloved Wife and I made scale models on paper in our living room. We took a piece of ribbon, marked it off in 3-inch intervals (1 inch for each foot), took a couple of magic markers, and laid out this labyrinth about three times on big paper on our living room floor. This was very helpful.

Those two activities together meant I had a very solid understanding of the process, and had the resources to repeat it in large scale and under pressure.

**Beforehand, on-site:**

Beloved Wife and I went to the site the Gathering Coordinator had picked, and did the following:

*Marked off the ribbon.*First we tied loops on either end of the ribbon, to go around a tent peg on one side, and for a ribbon-minder to hold on the other. Our paths were going to be three feet. So our first mark was 1.5 feet from the far end of loop (which I'll call Loop A); the second, 3 feet from the first; and all the rest, 3 feet from the one before it, until we had 7 marks on the ribbon.

*Determined the center of the space*so that we would know where the center tent peg was going to go. Luckily the four trees were nearly equally spaced around the circle, 90 degrees off from each other. We laid the ribbon down to give us roughly a straight line to follow, and we walked from one tree, heel to toe, across the circle to the one opposite, counting our steps. Then we walked back half the number of total steps and put a tent stake there. We did the same with the other two trees -- then had to jiggle a bit to get those two points to agree.

*Put tent pegs in the ground to anchor the seed pattern.*We used 17; we could have used 15, but marking all 17 points gave me additional confidence.

- We placed the center peg, marked here with arrows, at the center of the space, through Loop A on the ribbon.
- We put two pegs 1/2 path-width to either side of the center peg. This is the first marking on our ribbon.
- We put two more pegs to the left of the center peg, at 1-width intervals, using the ribbon to show us where.
- Turning the right angle counterclockwise, we placed three more pegs at 1-width intervals, using the ribbon to show us where.
- We went back to the center peg, this time turned the corner clockwise, and placed three more pegs at 1-width intervals after the corner, using the ribbon to show us where.
- We turned the next corner clockwise -- along the "bottom" of the square now -- and placed two pegs at 1-width intervals, using the ribbon to show us where.
- Next we used the ribbon to measure 1-width intervals to place the pegs in the center of the square.

*Now we got out the field paint and began marking the ground:*

-- The ground at the center peg (marked in this diagram with arrows). This is the peg the ribbon would be anchored to.

-- The ground at the four corner pegs.

-- The lines of the seed pattern, as below:

- Using the ribbon as a guide, we painted from the first peg to the left of the center peg to the next peg "below" it, then from that peg out to the next peg on the right, making the right angle in the upper right corner, and also marking the ground at the base of the tent peg in the upper right corner.
- We did the same thing in the diagonally opposite corner, making the right angle in the lower left corner and marking the ground at base of lower left tent peg.
- Using the ribbon to guide us to a relatively straight line, we painted the diagonal connecting line between the two middle pegs of the right angles.
- We took the ribbon and put Loop A around the tent peg at the top left. Using the 1-width unit as a guide, we painted from the first peg to the right of it, to the first peg below it, making the curve at the upper left corner.
- Similarly, we took the ribbon and put Loop A around the tent peg at the bottom right. Using the 1-width unit as a guide, we painted from the first peg "above" it to the peg to its left, making the curve at the bottom right corner.

Now we had the seed pattern set and ready to build the labyrinth in the workshop.

We pulled up all the tent stakes (yes, some of them had field paint on them), and left.

**Building the labyrinth as a group:**

Now came the time for the group to build the labyrinth.

*Volunteers needed:*

- 2 volunteers to mind the ribbon, 1 at each end
- 6 volunteers to paint the lines (can be done with as few as 1, but it takes longer!)
- 4 peg minders, one at the center peg, and one at each of the two upper corners and the bottom right corner
- The person with the overall vision, directing things

(In reality, we had 3 painters at a time, because we had 3 cans of paint to work with.)

I put the stakes / pegs back in around the outside of the square, and put Loop A of the ribbon over the center tent peg (marked here with arrows).

*First swath:*

- One peg/ribbon minder at the center tent peg, to keep the peg from being pulled out of the ground and the ribbon from getting tangled.
- One peg minder at the top left corner.
- Three painters, one each starting from the bottom three pegs on the left-hand side of the square.
- End ribbon minder.

We started with the ribbon reaching counterclockwise from the center peg, around the top left peg, and down to the bottom left peg.

The end ribbon minder

*slowly*walked the ribbon clockwise, low to the ground, pulling it taut (but not too tight), from the bottom left corner to the top left corner. The painters followed their marks on the ribbon, spraying the paint on the ground. The director called for the ribbon to stop when the ribbon came even with the straight line at the top of the square. The peg minder at the top left corner was the backup person for recognizing when to call the stop.

Now it looked like this:

*Second swath:*

- Ribbon/peg minder at the center tent peg, to keep the peg from being pulled out of the ground and the ribbon from getting tangled.
- Peg minders at the top left corner and top right corner.
- Six painters.
- End ribbon minder.

The ribbon is stretched out to the left of the center peg.

Because we had three cans of paint, we did this stretch in two parts, the three inner, and the three outer.

The first time through, we had three painters at the first three pegs / first three marks on the ribbon from the center peg; the next time through, three painters at the second three marks on the ribbon, which lined up with where the first painting had left off.

The end ribbon minder

*slowly*walked the ribbon clockwise, low to the ground, pulling it taut (but not too tight), from the top left corner to the top right corner. The painters followed their marks on the ribbon, spraying the paint on the ground. The director called for the ribbon to stop when the ribbon came even again with the straight line at the top of the square. The peg minder at the top right corner was the backup person for recognizing when to call the stop.

Now it looked like this:

*Third swath:*

- Ribbon/peg minder at the center tent peg, to keep the peg from being pulled out of the ground and the ribbon from getting tangled.
- Peg minders at the top right corner and bottom right corner.
- Five painters.
- End ribbon minder.

The ribbon is stretched out to the right of the center peg.

Because we had three cans of paint, we did this stretch in two parts, the three inner, and the two outer.

The first time through, we had three painters at the second, third, and fourth marks on the ribbon from the center peg, which lined up with where the last painting had left off; the next time through, two painters at the next two marks on the ribbon, which lined up with where the last painting had left off.

The end ribbon minder

*slowly*walked the ribbon clockwise, low to the ground, pulling it taut (but not too tight), from the top right corner to the bottom right corner. The painters followed their marks on the ribbon, spraying the paint on the ground. The director called for the ribbon to stop when the ribbon came even again with the straight line on the side of the square. The peg minder at the bottom right corner was the backup person for recognizing when to call the stop.

Now it looked like this:

*Fourth swath:*

- Ribbon/peg minder at the center tent peg, to keep the peg from being pulled out of the ground and the ribbon from getting tangled.
- Peg minders at the top right corner and bottom right corner.
- Two painters.
- End ribbon minder.

The ribbon is stretched out to the right of the center peg, clockwise around the top right corner, and down the side of the square.

The painters start at the last two marks on the ribbon, painting from where the last painting swath left off.

The end ribbon minder

*slowly*walked the ribbon clockwise, low to the ground, pulling it taut (but not too tight), from the bottom right corner to the bottom left corner. The painters followed their marks on the ribbon, spraying the paint on the ground. The director called for the ribbon to stop when the ribbon came even again with the straight line on the side of the square. The painters were the backup people for recognizing when to call the stop, which was when their lines joined the ones already painted.

Now it looked like this:

*Final bits:*

We pulled up all the tent pegs and the ribbon and put them away.

Now our labyrinth was ready for us to walk!

Hopefully, this will be a useful aid for anyone else who wants to use the method of laying out a labyrinth detailed at http://www.labyrinthos.net/layout.html.

## No comments:

Post a Comment