Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: a labyrinth

a labyrinth


I have often wished to visit some of the labyrinths found in different parts of the world.

Strangely, the very first labyrinth I ever did walk on was just a two days ago right here in the Vancouver area. One early morning we went looking for a new painted labyrinth that we read about in a newspaper. Painted on a parking lot of a church, off a rather busy road, my first impression was of a little disappointment. But as I slowly walked around the twists and turns, I did feel my mood become meditative.


With its rose in the centre, It appears to be similar to some that are painted inside modern churches. Yet, according to the brochure, available nearby, this one is "a replica of the 11-circuit labyrinth of Chartres Cahtedral in France. This pattern, once central ot cathredral culture, was inlaid in the stone floor in 1201." Interesting...

But I still feel drawn to the ancient stone labyrinths, just like I'm drawn to ancient cave art.


Taltiomasi labyrintti muistuttaa kivisokkeloa, jolle on suomen kielessä oma nimikin: jatulintarha. Lisätietoa löytyy tuolta --->

You might want to read Larry's Party, by Carol Shields.

Hei Viides rooli! Kiiots mainiosta linkistä! Pitäisi päästä näkemään. Oletko käynyt?

Peter, thanks. I read it and enjoyed it some years ago.

Brother Bartleby's been building a labyrinth for ages...
They should paint them on school playgrounds, I think.

En ole vielä kertaakaan onnistunut vaeltamaan jatulintarhassa, vaikka se on ollut useinkin mielessäni. Se on mielestäni kaunis kuvio, salaperäinen ja houkuttelee kulkemaan hitaasti, omia pieniä ja maailman suuria aatoksia pohtien.

Lucy - is Brother Bartleby's labyrinth viewable online? I'd love to hear more about it - how about a blog post?

Viides rooli, ajattelen aivan samaa jatulintarhasta! Nuo vanhat kiviset vetää minua samalla tavalla kun esi isien kivitaide.

Dear ML, nothing about Bro Bartleby is *viewable* on line, except in in one's own imagination! His blog never contains pictures, and indeed nothing about his labyrinth, monastery, companions may be viewable in the real world either, but may simply be an amazing conceit, a castle(or monastery) in the virtual air! I have long tried to penetrate the mystery, but it seems only ever to lead back on itself, like a labyrinth in fact, so now I simply enjoy the mystery.
But you could try asking him...

Lucy, that's fascinating and mysterious! I think it would be quite a project to build a labyrinth out of stones. Hmmm...I'm thinking right now of something on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, a place which is like a spiritual retreat for me.

I saw a TV prog once about the health benefits of mazes, even using a finger to trace the path of a small maze on paper can help to unravel the spaghetti of our modern minds...
I may draw a few as my first attempt at art!

Meanwhile can I ask what that lovely Finnish means? And do you have a nice Finnish quote that I could 'borrow' for my blog please???

Thank you

I'm with you, painted on a parking lot doesn't have quite the same feel as the stonework. On the other hand, I like Lucy's idea of painting them on playgrounds — I'd have loved that as a child.

Hi Mouse! Yes, I can imagine that it would have a health benefit with its calming effect. And a great art project! Gosh, my Finnish is rusty but I understand the gist of it, so here goes:
"The labyrinth you write of reminds me of a rock maze, which in Finnish has it's own name jatuli's** garden."

(**I don't know what jatuli means)

And the rest is a link to a Finnish site - do check that for the image of a rock labyrinth. The rocks are about the size of a man's head, and though called a maze, one cannot get lost in it, instead just spiralling in and out.

I'll try to find a quote for you somehow - I don't have a source unfortunately, so it may take a while. Keep reminding me!

MB - yes, children do like any kind of mazes and puzzles, so labyrinths would be great for them too! I must remember to take my grand-daughters to this one sometime.

Hello Marja-Leena and Mouse, jatulit can be translated to english as "the giant people". So the word jatulintarha means the garden of the giants.

The word probably comes originally from the old scandinavian word jotun, which means giant. The legend says that the jatulis were living on the north side of the earth long, long before lappish people. Who knows?

Viides rooli - thanks for the translation! I suspected that's what it meant but even my big WSOY dictionary didn't have it and the online ones are very poor. Anyway, I love this name and the myth and mystery of it.

By the way, VR, can you recommend a good Finnish quote for Mouse, who loves Finland and Lapland/Sapmi?

Ryhdyn heti miettimään hauskoja,ytimekkäitä Suomeen/Lappiin/saamelaisiin liittyviä sanontoja!

Ja hauskaa, kun puhuttelit minua bloginimeni lyhenteellä VR. Taisi olla Medis, joka käytti sitä ensi kerran, SusuPetalin hän lyhensi muotoon SP. Olimme kerran yhtäaikaa kommentoimassa Mediksen lootassa, Suomen Pankki ja Valtion Rautatiet, kuten lyhenteet voidaan myös tulkita :)

Kiitos VR. Hauska että lyhennys ei haita. Blogistanissa tapahtuu paljon varsinkin pitkille nimille, minähän olen ML. Valtion Rautatiet - heheh.

Just home from celebrating 10th anniversary of labyrinth at St. Paul Anglican Church in the West End, Vancouver, the first indoor labyrinth in what they really need is at least a photo/card of their beautiful Chartres replica (wooden floor, and sun light at this time of year in the evening creates beautiful patterns on the patterns). Here we are again, Marja, connecting with these ancient arts of light on earth.....Can you create an art piece on this? Linda

Hi Linda, what a coincidence that you wrote. I've been thinking of you and your husband after reading two newspaper articles about his fantastic recycling leadership in your housing complex - such a great example for everyone!

I did not know about St. Paul's labyrinth! Thanks for that info. As for creating an art piece on this - it may just appear sometime as these things go into my mental image library and gel in there and emerge on their own sometime. I'm certainly going to try to keep it in the front of my mind - it's so inspiring and ancient a concept.