Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Labyrinth

  • Kelly Murphy MasonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_383
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The labyrinth is an archetypal form found in disparate cultures across eras spanning from prehistory to the present day, when it has experienced resurgence in popularity due to interest in its psychospiritual applications. Regardless of how it is styled, a labyrinth is marked by a shape, usually a symmetrical one, containing a unicursal path to or through a center point. This distinguishes it from a maze, which is multicursal and contains dead ends. Following the path of the labyrinth, the traveler is eventually and inevitably brought to the center and then back out again. While travelers may not know where exactly they are on this labyrinthine path, they are never lost, but rather, somewhere along the way they need to travel. As a result, the labyrinth has become common both as a metaphor and as a symbol of the human pilgrimage through life. A great deal of conjecture exists about its history, origins, and purposes, suggesting that the labyrinth has proven fertile ground for the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychotherapy and Spirituality InstituteNew YorkUSA