Labyrinths of British Columbia: A Guide for Your Journey
by Aryana Rayne

Labyrinth Circle Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-981-14121-3.
Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore
Posted on 11/08/2010

Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment

Aryana Rayne has filled her comprehensive guide to British Columbia labyrinths with many descriptions, locations and photographs of labyrinths. Who knew there were so many in one province? Rayne also includes general information about labyrinths, labyrinth events, ways to make labyrinths and world labyrinth organizations. Her history of the labyrinth reminds readers that the labyrinth is not a puzzle, like a maze; it has "one single, visible path leading to the center and out again."

British Columbia, on Canada's west coast, has so much to offer and is definitely a province to add to your travel destinations. Now you can find all the labyrinths in delightful areas of the province. The book is sure to entice you to also look into your own area to find the labyrinths. It includes illustrations of labyrinth designs such as the classical seven-circuit labyrinth, also known as the Cretan labyrinth, and the eleven-circuit Chartes Cathedral design with its six-petalled "rosette" in the center.

Dr. Lauren Artress is credited with having a "global impact" on the popularity of the labyrinth in our time. "The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to become agents of transformation. The ancient labyrinth symbol relates to wholeness," Dr. Artress has said.

Maps in the book are a helpful addition to show the locations of the labyrinths in British Columbia: on the mainland, Vancouver Island, and other Gulf Islands. Rayne has included some "bonus labyrinths" including a couple in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and on Whidbey Island, Washington. The labyrinth settings vary from a winery, churches, retreat centres, a yoga centre, bed and breakfasts, a lavender farm, a herb farm, public gardens and private residences. (It is suggested that readers should call private residences before visiting their labyrinths.)

The materials used to build the labyrinths are as varied as the locations. One I've visited at Honeymoon Bay Lodge & Retreat on Vancouver Island is planted with dwarf English boxwood in a six-circuit Chalice design with cedar mulch paths. I look forward to visiting many more including an 80-foot classical labyrinth of upright driftwood embedded in concrete at Ocean Resort in Oyster Bay, also on Vancouver Island.

Canada's first permanent indoor labyrinth is a Chartres Cathedral replica at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver's West End. The hall is wheel-transport accessible. Rayne has noted accessibility, or lack of it, on the other labyrinth pages which is a very useful aspect of the descriptions.

The labyrinth activities included, such as drawing a labyrinth, are ways to become engaged before you walk a labyrinth. Rayne has followed her passion to produce a book that offers many ways to approach the labyrinth as a path of consciousness.

Aryana Rayne is an author and labyrinth project co-ordinator living in Victoria, British Columbia. She offers labyrinth presentations and collaborates on labyrinths projects for adults and children of all abilities. She will be offering a tour of labyrinths in the spring of 2011. Visit her website.

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