Category: Labyrinth

News about the two labyrinths on the church grounds. We do a 3x/year e-newsletter to labyrinth enthusiasts beyond UCV which draws on these articles. (subset of Earth Spirit)

Walking a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance. For summer solstice, Les will draw a Chartres-style labyrinth in the sand at Spanish Banks on June 22. Come and walk any time between 3:30-5:30 pm.

Click here for the meetup event.

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and would welcome interest in a picnic dinner at 5:30pm.

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

Painting with Pat on the Labyrinth

Pat MacBain will be painting on the labyrinth again this year. And available to coach kids at 3pm.

We’ll have crayons and pastels for kids and others to use to create labyrinth art. You can create an art piece of the scene, a flower or learn to draw the labyrinth pattern.

Here are some photos from 2018 World Labyrinth Day.

A painting begins. And then the light shifted….

painting, walking, running.
Hawk was very interested in learning about oil painting from Pat.
Several people joined at 3pm through Jane’s Walk advertising.

Make a Flower Crown for May Day/Beltane

Flower Crowns

Our plans for the flower crown activity on Sat. May 4 (4-5:30pm) and then at the Earth Spirit circle on Tuesday, May 7th are evolving.
Sandy brought in some ivy that had been twisted to form a base.
Mary was given some white wool. We did a walk around the gardens to see which flowering shrubs could benefit from a bit of judicious pruning and which flowers will be so plentiful they could be given over to this project. The cranesbill geraniums are just coming into bloom and will be plentiful.
Here’s a good link if you want to make these at home.
We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, laurel, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.

Herbal Tea from the UCV Gardens

From World Labyrinth Day (May 2018), photo of Sandy serving her herbal teas to an enthusiastic group. Sandy makes a ginger-sugar syrup and uses apple mint for the tea.

Herbal teas

We’ll have several craft activities for kids and others for World Labyrinth Day, but of course you’re welcome to just walk the labyrinths and… have a sip of herbal tea. Served around 2:30 pm.

So, if you’re not into decorating a tree or making a flower crown, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up. Please bring your own mug!

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Mint Tea

Most people have tried mint tea, and we have a growing selection of mints at the west side of the garden path labyrinth – in pots! pineapple mint, chocolate mint and “ordinary” mint. Really you can just take some, crush it a bit to release the flavour and scent, and add to hot water. Or you can make a mix and try it out.

Here are some recipes from Sandy.

Recipes for teas

From Sandy Riecken

Ginger syrup recipe – makes 1 litre/ quart

¼ cup cane sugar

3 ¾ cups water

1/3 c. (approx.) thin sliced fresh ginger root, unpeeled

Put all ingredients into a pot and heat for 3-5 minutes or until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, stir and let cool. If possible leave overnight to cool and then remove ginger pieces.

Put one slice of lemon into the bottom of the jar or container for ginger syrup. *

Mint tea – for 6 litre / large container

Cut garden mint the day before. About 6 – 8 cups before washing, sorting and trimming. Choose stems with the largest leaves.

Cut stems to remove roots, discard any damaged or yellowed or too small leaves or stems. Cut stems short enough to fit into the salad spinner or the large glass container that will hold the tea.

Place bunches of stems into a salad spinner after all the stems have been soaked in a large container completely covered in water for 20 – 30 minutes.

When the bunches of mint have been processed lay them in the bottom of the large tea jar until the container is ¼ to 1/3 full. Boil water and pour over  leaves until the container is more than half full or double the depth of the layers of mint. Can be up to 2/3 full of water. Leave overnight to cool with the mint in place.

Remove all the stems of mint once it has completely cooled in the morning. Add ice to the container before serving if you wish to have the tea chilled.

Other teas and herbs:

Black Tea – Sandy uses Murchie’s Golden Jubilee, the rest of the pot for tea I made for my morning bed tea. I like this one as it doesn’t get strong and acid like some black teas do.

Peppermint – from tea bags. I used 5 or 6 tea bags in about 1 litre of boiling water and then left it to cool overnight.*

Save some of the processed mint stems with leaves and place into a jar with water.*

Cut some lemon balm stems as well. Wash and place them in a jar. *

To serve tea:

Place lemon balm leaf into bottom of the cup, pour in a tsp or so of the ginger syrup and then fill up with the mint tea.

* Refrigerate these overnight

Tea Recipes from Sandy

For Sandy’s tips and recipes for tea, click here.TeaRecipes

What’s in the garden labyrinth?

Pick some fresh herbs to make or add to tea as you walk. A pinch of this; a pinch of that.

The following are available.

  • sage
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • calendula
  • mints and lemon balm (in pots on west side of labyrinth)

To find suggestions and health benefits, just google “sage tea benefits” etc.

Last year we enjoyed a herbal workshop with staff from Gaia Gardens.

If there’s interest, we could do again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish Tree for May

Jodie Miller will be on site for World Labyrinth Day and encouraging you to write a wish and hang from our trees.

We’ve decided on the vine maples in the courtyard. We considered the tree/s in the centre of the garden path labyrinth, or the two at either entrance, the cherry blossom at south entrance or the vine maples in the courtyard or our orchard of 14 apple trees. We especially liked that it’s easy to get to and visible to all. It’ll be easy to invite kids and all others to “make a wish” on Saturday, May 4. Watch this space for the transformation.
We will let the wishes fly for a while and then collect and bury them (as Yoko Ono does). So we’ll have to decide on a nice spot for the burial as well. Ono buries them at the Peace Tower in Iceland. Suggestions for UCV are welcome! (This is our first year doing this, but we already expect it will be the first annual).
Suggested colours are:
  • gold to symbolize prosperity
  • blue for courage
  • white for fidelity
  • pink for tenderness
  • green for good health.

Here’s a description of Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree Ongoing Installation.

And the instructions:

Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree. Ask your friends to do the same. Keep wishing. Until the branches are covered with wishes.[2]

Yoko Ono’s comment:

  • As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.[1]
Here’s a good news story about making a public wishing tree. (I love good news stories). Traci Bunkers is the artist involved with a kids art camp and guerrilla art group.
A search of google reveals that wish trees are becoming popular for weddings and baby showers.

Herbal teas

If you’re not into decorating a tree at all, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up.

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Flower Crowns

We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on. If you have “floral tape” or “floral wire” and can bring along, please do.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.

April on the Garden Path Labyrinth

The grape hyacinths are in abundance. Snowdrops and crocuses have now gone back underground.

We have a few daffodils lingering on and the tulips are blooming.

The primulas are in full bloom or coming into their own. Thanks to Hanno for the pale pink perennial primulas. Last fall I divided some of them up so they’re spread around a bit.

We lost the Huntington’s carpet rosemary over the winter, but the other two rosemary plants at entrance on south side are doing fine. (Yes,you can pinch a sprig if you wish.)

Around the courtyard labyrinth, 3 of the 5 new lavender are healthy. A 4th looks like it’s alive — barely, and the 5th might well be dead. But perhaps only sleeping?

I’m watching for calendula sprouts. We’ve usually had lots of calendula but I haven’t spotted a sprout as yet.

I divided up some echinacea and rudbeckia from other parts of the grounds and planted around the perimeter. They won’t bloom for months yet.

Did you buy some tulips or daffodils in a pot and don’t need them any more? Bring to the labyrinth. They say they don’t bloom again, but they will. Maybe not this year, but the following year and we have lots of space. Or are you the kind of gardener who digs up everything as the season progresses. All “old unwanted” bulbs are very welcome. Just contact us if you want to leave them somewhere if we’re not around.

Thanks to Keith Wilkinson for these photos.

Herbs and Four Directions

Altar set up for a summer solstice celebration with noisemakers, colours and herbs representing the four directions/ elements.

In our earth spirit gatherings, we call the four directions (or elements), a metaphor for bringing into our awareness various qualities that provide balance in our lives and relationships.

In our earth spirit circles we often include baskets of the following herbs – available for enjoying – and taking a sprig of each home with you.

  • East – Air – Lavender
  • South – Fire – Rosemary / Bay Leaf
  • West – Water – Thyme
  • North – Earth – Sage

We also sometimes include sound to correspond to the 4 elements/directions:

  • East – Tin flute – Yellow
  • South – String instrument – Red
  • West – Rainstick – Blue
  • North – Drum – Green

For added fun, we have “bubble wands” in the four colours. Kids enjoy walking/running the labyrinth spreading joy and happiness with bubbles!

 

 

Painting with Jackie on the Labyrinth

Jackie Conradi-Robertson with her finished painting. She said: I kept seeing more and more that I wanted to include.

Jackie Conradi-Robertson beginning her painting.

 

 

 

Third Thursdays – Make It a One-Day Retreat

This month you could plan a one-day spiritual retreat at UCV.

Come by 11 am for circle dancing; stay for contemplative collage; and then participate in Patrick’s Rhythm Meditation workshop 7 – 9 pm. Third Thursdays always include the first two events, and several people attend both.

First there was GLAD with an hour of circle dance because Darlene and Mary wanted to dance more–and share circle dance more.

Then Laurie and Mary added “contemplative collage” from 2-4pm. So, of course, a few people found they liked both events so some of us brought lunch or bought sushi from across the street. And Mairy who’d joined the GLAD team often stayed for lunch and then gardened.

So by July 2018 (three years after GLAD began), there are a few of us who spend most of the day at UCV with focused but flexible activities.

We danced all nine of the World Circle Dance Day link up dances from 2016, 2017 and 2018. All nine within just over an hour.

GLAD (Gathering for Labyrinth, Art and Dance) includes art and labyrinth walking as well as circle dance.

All welcome to all or any of these events:

11am – 1 pm GLAD

1-2pm – informal lunch with whoever’s there

We placed our rainbow rocks in the inner courtyard labyrinth. Two corners down. Two to go! #prepareforpride

2-4pm – collage with Laurie and sometimes Mary (in the summer Mary tends to stop to say “hi” and then go outside to tend the gardens

Beautiful centre to celebrate World Circle Dance Day. Wild Women cards from Elizabeth MacLeod by way of Karen B.