Meryl Ann Butler's
Labyrinth Gallery

Shrine Labyrinth

A.R.E. Labyrinth (below)

Flowering of Love Labyrinth

Meryl Ann's major labyrinth installations include this 48-foot diameter Chartres-style labyrinth, formerly on the patio of the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment/Edgar Cayce Foundation) Headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA. With the assistance of a group of volunteers, she painted it on the A.R.E.'s terrazzo patio. Completed on April 30, 1998, this lovely labyrinth overlooked the Atlantic Ocean until late 2006.


Other permanent labyrinth installations include a teal-colored Chartres-style painted labyrinth at the A.R.E. Center in Houston, Texas, and a Classical/Cretan labyrinth made of rocks in a private collection in upstate New York.

Meryl Ann also built a temporary Chartres-style labyrinth, over 60 feet in diameter, in Red Rocks National Park for the Heal the Earth as One festival in 1996. She has created many labyrinths on cloth, canvas, and paper, including several that participants can walk during her workshops.

Since 1992 Meryl Ann has presented labyrinth-related workshops, lectures and events across the U.S. for such diverse audiences as: A.R.E. affiliated groups, The United Methodist Church, Women's Circle Full Moon events and The New England Women Ministers' Association. She also offers private consulting for individuals desiring to develop their own, meaningful labyrinth rituals. She has designed labyrinth experiences to honor rites of passage such as marriage, divorce, death, recovery from illness, entering adulthood, birthdays, graduations and other celebrations. She is a founding member of The Labyrinth Society at

That's Meryl Ann wearing her Hummingbird Dreamcoat, at the 7-o'clock position on the circle.



Meryl Ann Answers FAQS

Q -

What is the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?

A -

A maze has many paths to choose from, and has correct and incorrect paths, so it is a competitive game engaging logic and analytical processes, focused on achieving the goal. Because it is a game of skill, it usually has walls to obscure the views of the correct path. In the right brain-left brain model, walking a maze would be considered a left-brain experience. (There are some cut out of cornfields, called, of course, amazing maize mazes!)

A labyrinth is unicursal (having only one path), so there are no choices to be made. Therefore, there is no need for walls or hedges to obscure the view, and most labyrinths are flat, or at least relatively so. Walking the labyrinth engages the right brain, and is often characterized by right-brain qualities such as feelings of contentment, a sense of a meditative mood, or a creative, joyful and/or altered state. Some people walk the labyrinth slowly, some have crawled it on hands and knees, and others may dance it. Some think of it as meditation in motion or kinesthetic prayer. The labyrinth journey is an experience of the process, rather than a focus on the goal.

Q -

Why are labyrinths suddenly so popular?

A -

Most people who walk labyrinths report that they simply feel better after their experience. The feelings described range from a state of general well being, to a sense of profound joy, creative bliss, or a connection with Divinity. In her book
Labyrinths: What are They? Kay Torrez reports cases of wheelchair-bound MS patients who were eventually able to walk again after regularly using a labyrinth. Jean Houston and Joseph Campbell were early rediscoverers of the mysteries of the labyrinth as an archetypal image of the journey of life.

Q -

Do all labyrinths look the same?

A -

There are 4 different types of labyrinth designs:

  • Chartres: a medieval labyrinth design named for the French cathedral in which the most famous example is found. This labyrinth was built during the Middle Ages. Replicas can be found in many locations, including Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
  • Classical or Cretan: a labyrinth design found all over the world, but first discovered on ancient coins from Crete. A very similar design called "Man in the Maze" is found in traditional Native American culture. This design is believed to be over 4,000 years old.
  • Roman: found predominantly in mosaic designs in Rome, this design is characterized by traversing the path in quadrants.
  • Contemporary: these include original new designs such as the Santa Rosa Labyrinth and the Snoopy Labyrinth (created for the Charles M. Shultz Museum) both by Lea Goode-Harris, and others, such as Earthworks by Alex Champion.


Q -

This sounds like fun! How can I find a labyrinth to walk or a workshop to attend?

A -

Email Meryl Ann about scheduling a labyrinth workshop for your group or assisting you in creating your own labyrinth for your home or organization.

Find a public labyrinth near you on the Labyrinth Locator at

And you can get lots more information at the TLS website,

Email Meryl Ann about scheduling a labyrinth workshop for your group or assisting you in creating your own labyrinth for your home or organization.


Best wishes for wonderful labyrinthine journeys!

All artwork this page copyright Meryl Ann Butler 2003