Kamala Retreat House | Labyrinth
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Labyrinth Installations

Master builder Terry de Vries has built more than 300 labyrinths since 1997, both locally and abroad. She loves to travel and spread her passion for labyrinths.

Labyrinth Ceremonies

Whatever the reason to walk a labyrinth, it will start a process where powerful changes are possible. Labyrinth guru Terry de Vries facilitates several ceremonies to help you walk the path of your soul.

What is a labyrinth?

It is a single winding path that leads you from the entrance to the centre and on the
same path back out again. It is an ancient universal archetypal pattern that has been
found in almost all cultures all over the world. The history of labyrinths dates back
more than 7000 years.


It offers one of the oldest contemplative tools known to humankind that is used for
personal and spiritual growth. It is a blueprint of transformation. Mirroring your
journey through life. Your journey towards the centre of your deepest true self. You
initiate the journey from the outside and conclude it in the inside: the answer lies
within. In the centre of the labyrinth. In the wisdom of your heart.

What type of labyrinths are there?

There are two archetypal labyrinths, the Classical 7-circuit and the Medieval 11-
circuit. Then there are a few versions of these two archetypal ones as well as several
contemporary ones, of which the Reconciliation Labyrinth, a unique South African
design, is an example.


The best known example of a Medieval 11-circuit labyrinth is the one in Chartres
Cathedral, France, built in 1201.

Why do people walk a labyrinth?

It is an ancient practice that is used as a way to calm the mind, still the thoughts,
receive guidance, find insights, solve problems and reconnect with ourselves and the

world of spirit. It can be walked to connect with nature, let go of the hectic pace of
life, to get rid of stress, to find inner peace, to live more consciously, to increase
productivity or to become more creative. It helps the mind to come into a meditative
state, stimulate the imagination, enhances intuition and opens up spontaneous


It is a tool without dogma and thus offers a neutral meeting ground for people of
diverse backgrounds and beliefs. It is open to anyone at any stage, on any spiritual
path and from any religious tradition. It is a symbol open to your intentions.
It is a symbolic pilgrimage to still the mind so that the heart can open and you can
return to the world with a deeper understanding of who you are. Like with all
journeys, it begins with a single step.
It provides a safe space where you can reconnect with your authentic self, access
your inner creativity and innate wisdom, and connect with the Divine.

Short History

The oldest known graphic representation of a labyrinth is carved on a piece of
mammoth ivory, found in a Paleolithic tomb in Siberia 5000 BC. Other early
recordings of classical labyrinths are ancient rock carvings in Spain (2000 BC), Italy
(750 BC) and Marocco (500 BC). Examples of such simple labyrinths were also
found on ancient Greek coins from Crete (300 BC).
During the Roman Empire square mosaic labyrinths were built with more intricate
patterns. Some examples can still be seen today at museums throughout Europe,
such as in Vienna and Pamplona.


From the early 9 th century Christian manuscripts began depicting classical labyrinths
named Jericho. During the Middle Ages the classical pattern was transformed to
incorporate Christian symbology (ie the cross) and the 11-circuit labyrinth was born.
Labyrinths were then walked as a substitute for the long and arduous pilgrimage to
Jerusalem and became known as the Road to Jerusalem. Of the 80 cathedrals in
France and Italy during that time, 22 had labyrinths.


The first known Christian labyrinth was built in Algeria in the Basilica of Reparatus in
Orleansville, dating from the year 328. The first known European church labyrinth is
in the Church of St. Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, dating from the 6 th century.
Today the oldest existing walking-size labyrinth in the world is the one in Chartres
Cathedral. It is only open on Fridays to walk though.
During the 1970s a worldwide labyrinth revival has birthed labyrinths in public parks,
universities, schools, churches, hospitals and prisons.