Winter Solstice Celebration

A Place of Balance: integrating both the darkness and the light



The making of a labyrinth in inherently a humbling experience….. that’s me on my knees. Like an ant crawling around and around, not always knowing where I am going but purposeful and always with a reverential nod to those ancestors who came this way before me.

Geometry on my knees.
Geometry on my knees.

At the invitation of Pranashanti Yoga Centre, Vanessa Compton and I created a temporary labyrinth as the focal point for a celebration of the Winter Solstice. Things do not always go as planned and this was our experience in setting up the labyrinth for the Solstice. We had intended to make a round seven-circuit labyrinth but we found that with two posts in the middle of the room it would have been a challenging undertaking. So we resorted to geometry and decided to try making an octagonal seven-circuit labyrinth. Another first for us.

We began by making a square around the central pillars and then a second square on top of that on the diagonal. Are you following? With a vague memory of how to make an equal sided octagon we consulted Google. Ah yes, it was becoming clear. In essence we created a room-sized drawing, adding multiple parallel lines to create the paths of the labyrinth, then we swung the angles and went back and wove a labyrinth into the octagon paths.

It is fun when things finally came together, but the beginning is the tricky part. Once a series of decisions have been made, things start to fall into place.

On the evening of the actual winter solstice a nice crowd gathered on cushions around the room. Lea Longo came from Montreal to offer her particular blend of sacred Kirtan chant and her own inspired compositions. It was remarkable to be in the presence of so many people with a peaceful and loving intent expressed through voice and breath, connecting the whole room. In my opening remarks I suggested a parallel between the lines of geometry which underlie the structure of the labyrinth and go beyond the edges of the room and the sound waves of the chant going beyond the boundaries of the room and out into our lives, our communities and beyond.

With this idea in mind I made a drawing to further explore the concept and make it all that more real or visible.


An illunstation of hhe complex geometry that underlies the labyrinth.
An illunstation of hhe complex geometry that underlies the labyrinth.

After a while the room was imbued with a profound feeling of good will and well-being. In that moment it was hard to imagine what could possibly to be wrong in the world.


Peace and Good will to all.