It's rare that a book that claims to be "the complete guide" to anything lives up to that billing, but truly, after reading The Complete Guide to Labyrinths, I can't think of any unanswered questions I still have on labyrinths and their use in ritual.
The book begins by defining labyrinths in a historical context, and moves on to their structure and construction. While the author does indeed give detailed instructions on building a full-sized, permanent labyrinth that can be walked, she also gives suggestions for creating temporary labyrinths that are intended to be used for a specific ritual, as well as for making personal, miniature labyrinths that are portable and can be used whenever and wherever they are needed.
An especially noteworthy feature of the book is the number of meditations and rituals that are included. As might be expected, there are basic meditations and rituals that involve traveling to the center of the labyrinth to find an answer to a specific questions, but there are also rituals for healing, chakra work, working with the archangels and other topics that go far beyond the usual labyrinth associations.
Another interesting feature of the book is a guide to public labyrinths in North America, England and France. While the listing is not complete, it does give information on the better know labyrinths and would serve as a good jumping off place for those desiring to visit a large (and often historical) labyrinth. The author seems to have visited most of the labyrinths she has listed, and stories of her personal experiences at them are scattered through the book.
Labyrinths are clearly a passion for Ms. Eason, and the volume of information presented in this book can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. The best way to use the book in a practical sense may be to read through the introductory material, and then refer to the chapters on specific rituals and types of labyrinth work as needed. Highly recommended for those with a general interest in labyrinths as well as for those wishing to incorporate labyrinth work into their spiritual path.
~review by Jackie Gorman
Author: Cassandra Eason
The Crossing Press 2004
328 pages, $14.95