The 2009 Labyrinth Society Gathering


11th Annual
International Labyrinth Society Gathering Retrospective

by Lea Goode-Harris, Ph.D.
Into the Labyrinth: Creating Space for Spirit
October 8-10, 2009
at McMenamins Edgefield Lodge Portland, Oregon

Stephen Shibley and the fantastic Labyrinth Network Northwest created a beautiful space at the legendary McMenamins Resort to host the 2009 TLS Gathering. Our opening ceremony was led by Judith Tripp as we made sound from water filled bottles from McMenamins’ home brewery and wove our way through the seven-circuit outdoor meander-spiral labyrinth. 



The large Blackberry Hall held the vendors, silent auction, and space for our main speakers, workshops, and TLS annual meeting. We also viewed the soon to be released beautiful TLS Labyrinth DVD, member images, and pictures from the first World Labyrinth Day. The surrounding classrooms beckoned us to explore the labyrinth through a variety of mediums from a host of exceptional workshops which included: story; lecture; guided imagery; artistic expression; ceremony; sound; silence; and movement; as well as practical applications for creating space and building labyrinths. The outside meadow offered three different labyrinths to walk by day and illumination by night.


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Other labyrinths were scattered over the beautiful bird and flowered filled grounds of Edgefield, surprising and beckoning you to enter, slowing down to drink deeply of that very moment. The music of Infinitia Art Ensemble and One Root brought us into dance and deep contemplation. And for those adventurous souls… there was even a scavenger hunt throughout the Edgefield halls and amazing murals.

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I was honored to be one of the featured speakers this year (Spirit Sightings) along with Jim Buchanan (Connecting Spirit and Creativity) from Scotland and Ronald Esquivel (Geometries and Energies) from Costa Rica. Jim gave us the opportunity to go inside the labyrinth from our left and right brain in his pre-gathering workshop, entitled Drawing Down the Sky.



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Jim Buchanan and participants

Ronald gave us a workshop-lesson where compasses and colored pencils twirled in the discovery of “Feeling the Energy of Sacred Geometry.


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two photos of Ronald Esquival's beautiful labyrinth designs
and sacred geometry


My pre-gathering workshop offered Co-creating a Poetree Labyrinth to Express the Spirit of the Seasons, which we donated to the TLS Silent Auction.




Post Gathering activities included the beloved workshop “Creating Your Own Personal Prayer Labyrinth" with Kimberly Saward and Lisa Moriarty. There was also a tour of the Columbia Gorge and waterfalls, with our last stop at a beautiful retreat center with two labyrinths, one of stone and the other mowed into a large expanse of grass.


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On Sunday a group of us experienced five of the beautiful labyrinths in the Portland area at a school, hospital, spiritual center, church, and private garden. 

You can read all about that tour and see pictures from the artfull OpEdNews article written by TLS Founding Member Meryl Ann Butler: 

Exploring Portland Labyrinths: An A-Mazing Journey

Throughout the entire gathering, there were many opportunities to be active, renewing friendships, making new ones, networking, learning, teaching, and to just relax and enjoy the company of other labyrinthers from all directions. In closing, Eve Hogan led us in song and farewells until next time, when we will gather once again to connect in wonder and discovery as we share the paths we walk in the labyrinth of life.




Please enjoy here a few more photos from the TLS Gathering!

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