Sacred Oak Grove Labyrinth, continued.
Photographer in oak tree
The fourth symbol is that of the Celtic Christian Cross. The cross represents Christ, death, resurrection and rebirth. The ring,, a symbol of Irish Christianity, stands for the feminine and the sun or eternity.
The Star and Crescent in the fifth symbol is believed originally to have signified the waxing moon and once associated with the goddess Diana. The crescent was adopted as a symbol of Islam in the 14th century. The star, a symbol of sovereignty and divinity, was added later. By adding the heart and wings, it becomes the symbol of Sufism, a mystical branch whose goal is to commune with The One, the Beloved of the Heart.
The sixth petal is the symbol for the great Om, (pronounced A-U-M) representing Hinduism. It is thought to be the one eternal syllable, the "seed" of all mantras, divine and powerful words or sounds. The sound in which the past, present and future exists, the hum of the universe. These six petals form a rose, another symbol for Mary. The first five represent the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and angelic kingdoms. The sixth petal represents the unknown.
THE STORY OF SACRED OAK GROVE
The vision of this labyrinth came to Clarice in response to her prayer and mission statement. "To create, improvise and nurture a sacred transformational environment in order to remember, validate and illuminate our divine connection." She wanted to bridge the diversity of beliefs and gather the family of God/Goddess in order to have a common spiritual experience.
The labyrinth is constructed of 32 tons of sandstone, is sixty feet in diameter and is about one fourth of a mile long from the beginning to its center. Construction was started in March of 1997 and finished in Oct. that year. It is patterned after the eleven circuit labyrinth constructed in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France in 1201.
The stones came from southern Illinois near Garden of the Gods, and Creek Run in Muhlenburg County, Kentucky. The design was formed and the stone selected by artist, Gary Bielefeld. The stones were set by Clarice and Restoration Biologist, Joyce Fitzgerald. Lighting by Ron Mayhew.
The path itself is symbolic of life’s journey with the attendant ups and downs and multiple turns one can expect to encounter in a lifetime. It is a metaphor for the spiritual life with all the jerky starts and unexpected bumps and stops that occur in our daily lives.
Dedicated to the Divine Mother, the labyrinth has a wild, yet feminine voice and is as sturdy as the oaks that serve as sentinels. Spirit grew them in a circle preparing this protected spot for the labyrinth. These trees are the volunteer offspring of the ancient grandmother tree below the green shed.
The oak is often associated with the thunder gods and is sacred to the earth mother. In China it represents fragile strength since it does not bend in the wind and so breaks. To Christians it is a symbol of Christ’s steadfastness, while in Judaism it is a symbol of the divine presence. In the Celtic tradition, the oak is the king of trees, the most sacred, and stands for heroism.
The oak is often associated with the thunder gods and is sacred to the earth mother. In China it represents fragile strength since it does not bend in the wind and so breaks. To Christians it is a symbol of Christ’s steadfastness, while in Judaism it is a symbol of the divine presence. In the Celtic tradition the oak is the king of trees, the most sacred, and stands for heroism.
The popularity of labyrinths today is due in part to the rise of feminine energy in both men and women and our need to express this energy. As you stand with your feet on this labyrinth be aware that you become connected in a biological sense with the millennia. This stone was being formed millions of years before any humans appeared on earth. Yet today you inhale the very molecules of oxygen associated with the gaseous vapor of those same ancient seas that formed these stones--giving you breath in the present.
As you exhale water and carbon dioxide with your breath you continue this process of energy transformation. The chloroplasts within the leaves of the oaks surrounding the labyrinth convert your breath into oxygen, water, and sugar--continuing the invisible yet mighty process science calls the hydrologic and respiratory cycles of life.
The Altar is built on the flat surface of the mound where bodies were buried in the eighteen hundreds. Indian relics have been found here and we believe that the Native Americans came to this hill when the plains this side of the Green River flooded in the Spring. We need to relocate the deep awareness our tribal ancestors had of the sacredness of the earth and all its living parts; their sense of oneness and interdependence with the earth, and each other. We are divine beings learning to co-create through our humanity.
When our hearts are open, magic happens. Intuitive wisdom comes calling, creativity flows, our presence becomes a force for healing, and the very air we breath becomes charged with possibility. Expect miracles and feel their reality.