Choose a labyrinth from the Bay Area using the following website: http://labyrinthlocator.com. To locate a labyrinth in your area, type in your zip code on the sidebar. You can choose any zip code that refers to an area you would like to explore, from the SJSU zip code to the northern Bay Area (such as San Francisco or beyond). This is a personal response paper, so make sure to choose a labyrinth in an area you can visit. You might want to take some time to consider the labyrinth environment; some labyrinths are in or near churches while others are affiliated with secular institutions. Some labyrinths are indoors while others are outside. Most of the labyrinths you will find on the site are based on Chartres Cathedral (see your class notes), but there are much older forms (from Crete for example) that are also represented on the website. More labyrinths are built every month, so you may be aware of labyrinths that are not on the website. If so, you are welcome to explore that labyrinth as well. Please do not choose a labyrinth located on someone’s private property.
Preparing your Paper:
Walk the labyrinth you have chosen. You may choose to do this more than once. You may want to sit down for a few minutes at the end of your journey and record your thoughts (this is actually quite helpful).
Writing your Paper:
Identify and describe the labyrinth you have chosen and its environment. Then, in an essay of about 3 pages, discuss your experience with this space and with the process of walking the labyrinth. Remember that you must walk both into AND out from the labyrinth; it is not a one-way journey. As part of your paper, you will be expected to:
1. draw on and show appropriate use of key terms and concepts we have discussed throughout the semester (such as liminal/liminality, pilgrimage, transformation, rite of passage, or vision quest) and
2. demonstrate a proficiency in their application
Be aware that you will experience the labyrinth as a personal journey and may or may not have a particular experience. This is okay; but you still need to deconstruct and discuss your experience (or non-experience) in a thoughtful manner. One way to approach your walk is to consider a goal to achieve and designate the center of the labyrinth as the place in which that goal is metaphorically fulfilled. The goal can be the answer to a question or a problem that you are considering.
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