The Labyrinth

Twisting paths, corners which lead nowhere, dead ends and blocked entrances – being lost in a labyrinth can be an intensely frustrating and anxiety-inducing experience. Yet not all labyrinths are mazes designed to deceive – some are not mazes at all but winding continuous paths which do lead to a calm and peaceful center, designed for meditation and reflection.

The Labyrinth card represents both these types – from the impossible labyrinth maze built by Daedalus to imprison the fearsome minotaur, to the soothing, calming, meditative labyrinths built by medieval monks.

Walking a meditative labyrinth is a positive solitary experience, designed for the solo seeker who is deep in thought. The Labyrinth card therefore symbolizes solitude – which is not at all the same as loneliness. However, being imprisoned by a claustrophobic maze is a very different and isolating experience; hence this card also speaks to enforced, painful isolation.

As non-maze labyrinths demonstrate, sometimes when we think we are lost, we are not really lost at all. We simply need to trust, to keep walking, and eventually we will arrive at the chosen destination. Conversely, as the most complex maze soon teaches us, sometimes we think we know where we’re going, only to make a wrong turn and end up hopelessly lost.

Both types of labyrinth are puzzles, in their own way. Both can be solved and navigated through careful thought, which is why the Labyrinth card shows up when we face a major problem. There may be many options for solving it but knowing which path to choose is always a headache. This card promotes a logical approach to the situation – just as Theseus navigated the minotaur’s Labyrinth by following string, so you too can find a workable solution. Work out what tools you need to navigate your way out of trouble.

When the Labyrinth cards turns up in your reading, ask yourself the following questions: which type of Labyrinth are you facing? Are you really lost, or not? Are you sure you know where you’re going, or have you long since abandoned the route and you’re making it up as you go along? Are you isolated and in need of help, or are you simply enjoying your solitude? How can you best solve the puzzle of the Labyrinth?

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