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The Labyrinth

What is a Labyrinth?

A Labyrinth is a walking path used for reflection, meditation, and prayer. It is a sacred space that brings a feeling of well being and positive energy. It is an ancient pattern found in many cultures and spiritual traditions in various forms around the world — think Aboriginal petroglyphs in Australia or the famous design of Chartres Cathedral in France. 

It represents the journey of life, a universal symbol of an internal pathway and an archetypal metaphor for the healing journey. As the stresses and distractions of daily life rapidly increase in times of crisis, the labyrinth is a powerful tool to quiet the mind, refresh the spirit and relax the body. By walking a labyrinth, you are rediscovering a long-forgotten mystical tradition.

Labyrinth designs are found on pottery, tablets and tiles dating as far back as 4000 years with patterns based on spirals from Nature.  In Native American culture it is called the Medicine Wheel and Man in the Maze. The Celts described it as the Never-Ending Circle. It is also called the Kabala in mystical Judaism. One feature they all share is that they are all paths which wind in a circuitous way to the center. 

3 Stages of a Labyrinth Walk

  1. Releasing – a letting go of the details of your life as you walk toward the middle. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
  2. Receiving – when you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer.  Observe what is there for you to receive.
  3. Returning – as you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining the healing forces at work in the world.

Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul is reaching for.

About Our Labyrinth

The Innisfree labyrinth was drawn by Meg Hansen CVLF (Certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator). It is a classical design seven-path circuit built on hard sand. It was dug and planted next to the woods and pond with the help of many friends over a weekend in 2009 to celebrate the summer solstice, and it is the largest labyrinth on Vancouver Island.

The paths are intentionally wide to allow wheelchairs or other mobility support—we have had therapists use the labyrinth walking beside their clients the whole way. Originally bordered by Blue Fescue grass, we decided in 2015 to change to a border of oyster shells from the Salish Sea to help reduce weeding. 

It is a spectacular walk, particularly in the moonlight. 

Open to the Public – Seasonally on Weekends

The Labyrinth at Innisfree is publicly accessible when our botanic gardens and café are open or by arrangement -please email us at  or call 250-336-8768 to inquire.

The Labyrinth is also used during workshops and celebratory gatherings during the year—you can book your event at Innisfree and use the labyrinth.

Enjoy the Labyrinth and support the community work of Gardens without Borders to maintain the Botanic Garden.