Saturday, June 2, 2012

Journey Through a Totem Animal Labyrinth

A few weeks ago I took part in a very unique and beautiful spiritual experience. I walked through seven colorfully lit labyrinths at the Melville home of Christine Guardiano. Christine is an author, spiritual teacher, Reiki healer and channeler, and she's also a labyrinth builder. For over ten years, Christine has been creating indoor and outdoor labyrinths by using Christmas lights, black lights, string and crepe paper. The labyrinths measure between thirty-five and seventy-two feet in diameter. She enhances them with candles, music, pyramids, canopies, fire pits and altars. I have to say, it is a spectacular sight!  
Friend and paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto has been telling me for years that I had to attend, and I'm so glad I finally did. It gave me a chance to relax, to meditate and to connect with my animal spirit guide totems. We all have spirit guides and angels to help us along life's journey, and animal totems are believed to hold the power and knowledge that we can use to become one with nature. Animal totems have always been part of Native American culture. It is said that animal totems "awaken the natural balance with nature that you already possess." If you honor your animal totems, you can become not only healthier, but happier physically, spiritually and emotionally. 
So how does this all work? The power of labyrinths have been used by Spiritualists for centuries, and for more than 4,000 years labyrinths have been used in a spiritual manner. According to Christine's research, "Walking a labyrinth can create a heightened awareness within the human condition and aid in psychological and spiritual growth. Even those who say they are not spiritual are enlightened by walking the path." 
Many people confuse labyrinths with mazes. They are different. A labyrinth has one, unicursal path, and you enter and exit from the same place. A maze, on the other hand, has blind alleys, twists and turns and dead ends. You can't make a wrong turn in a labyrinth like you could in a maze, so it makes for a more relaxing experience. Perfect for me. I'm certainly not a big fan of Fall harvest corn mazes! The labyrinth...that I could handle.  
When I first arrived at Christine's I was amazed at the amount of people who were attending. She has definitely developed a following over the years. I was there with my husband and a friend, and Christine quickly came over to greet us. After handing out paperwork explaining labyrinths and animal totems, she lead us to a warm fire pit in a front section of her yard, which was tucked away by some beautiful landscaping. We familiarized ourselves with the handouts and spent a few moments gazing into the fire and meditating. After about ten minutes, we walked down a candlelit path towards the backyard where Christine told us we'd find a gazebo. One person was allowed in the gazebo at a time. In its center was a table and chair. I took a seat, and on top of the table was a very large tray with hundreds of plain white cards faced down. The tray was surrounded by votive candles and the gazebo was decorated with miniature lights. I was told to gently mix the cards up, and when I was ready, I was to pick seven cards out of the pile. On the other side of the card, the name of an animal or mystical creature appeared. The handout we were given contained pages where we were to write the name of the animal we chose. When all seven were written down, it was time for me to make my journey past a tranquil pond to where the labyrinths were set up.  
It was simply exquisite to see the labyrinth's against the dark night sky.  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white lit labyrinths were spread across Christine's expansive backyard. Each labyrinth coincided with a Chakra, which are the seven centers of spiritual power in the human body. Each Chakra represents something. For instance, the first Chakra, which is located at the base of the spine, gives strength to the physical body. It controls fear and helps to keep us grounded. As I meditated on that Chakra, I entered the first In the center was a chair and a small table containing a lantern. I made my way toward it, and sat down. I then concentrated on the first animal totem I picked up, which was a cheetah. The packets contained different questions and affirmations you could read when connecting with your totem. It was very peaceful. 
I sat for two to three minutes and then slowly walked back through the labyrinth and the next person entered. Everyone continued on in this fashion until all the labyrinths were completed. While you waited to go into the next labyrinth you could mediate and listen for information from your animal totems. I used some techniques I've learned from reputable mediums and applied my clairsentience, or my ability to "sense" information. Before long, I found myself writing things down. 
Once all the participants were through the seven labyrinths, Christine lead everyone in a silent group walk through each one again. At first, I wasn't too sure about this, but it turned out to be a remarkable experience. You could feel everyone's energy working together because we were all connected by holding hands. It was silent, except for the beautiful New Age music playing softly in the backyard. When the journey was complete, we formed a large circle where Christine lead us in a guided meditation. I couldn't believe how powerful it all was, and how wonderful I felt afterwards.  
No photographs were allowed to be taken until after the event, at which time we were encouraged to try to capture orb photos. Many of us did pick them up. 
It wasn't until a day or two later when I was at home doing research on the totems I had chosen, that I came to realize how accurate the totems really were. Not only did they match my personality and things I was going through, but much of what I had written down at each of the labyrinths matched what I had researched as well. I believe it's true that the totem chooses you!  
For more information on Christine's labyrinths, you can go to the Internet and check out the archives on my blogtalk radio show, "The Kerriann and Joe Show - Spirit Connection" where you can hear an interview we did with Christine last year.