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)

Please pick the flowers and herbs in the labyrinth

Yes, that’s an unusual invitation, I know, but… I’d love people to take a bit of UCV abundance home with them. The rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) makes a lovely bouquet to bring some sunshine indoors.

Here are some that I would really like to have picked. It saves me pruning and dead-heading:
Lavender (still quite nice but fading fast). It’s mainly on the outer ring on the east side.
Dandelions- of course – any time!
Mint – There are several kinds of mint – chocolate mint, pineapple mint, etc. Please do cut 6″ pieces or so to make tea or enjoy in salads etc.
Fennel – Nice for a bouquet and also nice with mint for tea, or infused water.
Any time —
Lambs ears – those lovely fuzzy leaves can be picked any time. Not edible (but not poisonous). Kids love to touch them.
Sage – on west side near a tree – pick a bit to take home – I love sage tea, or to flavour other foods.
Take up to 1/3 of…
The glorious rudbeckia/black-eyed Susan – Take the flowers that are in full bloom. I call this pre-emptive dead-heading. Cut the step right to the place where it connects with another stem, so it looks nice.
Please don’t pick without checking with me:
The echinacea was moved last year and just getting established, so I’d prefer it wasn’t picked yet. Leave it for the bees!!

 

Here are some excerpts and links about kids and flowers:

Some flowers, like the bright yellow dandelion, are very common and children should be encouraged to collect them by armfuls. Other flowers, like the yellow golden paintbrush, are endangered and should be left alone. Not all flowers are created equal but everyone (even kids!) can learn which flowers are good to pick, where to pick them and when to pick them. Learning about flowers and picking them is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect with nature together.

Walk a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East and a picnic

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance.

Weather permitting, I will be drawing a labyrinth August 31, 2019 and hosting a ‘walk’ from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia. from Les.
Please come if you can:
Cost: donation
For directions to the labyrinth, cut and paste the following link into your browser:
In the spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, please bring a gift to offer to the Sacred in Nature such as flowers, coffee beans, etc. These will be used to create a mandala in the centre of the labyrinth.

 

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 several of us are planning a picnic

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

Laurie, Mary are confirmed. We expect about 6-8 or so.(Best guess!)

 

 

A wish list for our labyrinths for 2039 or earlier

Here is Mary’s wish list for our labyrinths for 2039 (or sooner) from her homily presented July 7th.

I have a wish list for the future of our labyrinths.

I wish there was a big welcoming sign giving the basics of how and why to walk a labyrinth.
I wish more neighbours would regularly stop by to walk the labyrinth and that some of them would decide to check out what else happens here.

Bench with labyrinth at Xenia Retreat centre on Bowen Island

I wish there were benches for resting. And maybe a yellow Friendship bench indicating that someone sitting there would appreciate a conversation.
I wish that when you reach the centre of the courtyard labyrinth, you could actually able to walk into the centre area, not have your way blocked by a big tree root.

Some other wishes (there wasn’t time to list them all!) are

  • a late-night lantern walk on the labyrinth–perhaps for Hallowe’en/Samhain
  • until or unless we can move the shrubs around, a bird bath at the end of the courtyard labyrinth walk would be lovely
  • a labyrinth group who meet regularly for labyrinth walks, planning labyrinth walks ad tending the labyrinth.
  • more music on the labyrinth. Thank you to Tara for playing her harp on the labyrinth on May 4th – could we have more music? and poetry readings? or?
  • picnics on the labyrinth
  • a little free library – that includes books or handouts about the labyrinth. Little Free Labyrinth Library
  • wooden markers for the plants

Maybe you have wishes? Let us know your ideas!

Labyrinth Rabbit Hole

Curious about labyrinths?

Here are some of the links that Mary Bennett referred to at the service on July 9th about labyrinths and related ideas like eco-philosophy (or ecosophy) and gardening to live to be 100. Come down the rabbit hole (Maze?) to learn more about labyrinths!

Some references

UCV labyrinth web page vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth

Lauren Artress https://www.laurenartress.com/

St. Paul’s Labyrinth https://stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/site1/outreach-2/labyrinth/

Matthew Fox http://www.matthewfox.org/

Stephan Harding on Becoming Indigenous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwG746L3dDg

Schumacher College https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/

James Lovelock http://www.jameslovelock.org/

350.org https://350.org/

Dan Buettner: TED talk on How to Live to be 100

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100?language=en

Small is Beautiful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful

World wide labyrinth locator https://labyrinthlocator.com/

World Labyrinth Day (First Saturday in May) https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day

Veriditas https://www.veriditas.org/

How to draw a labyrinth youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyEwgGuWzCI

Here are some links to other Canadian Unitarian congregations with labyrinths.

Ottawa First also have a labyrinth but no web page as yet.

If you know of others, please send an email to unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com and we’ll update this page.

Walking a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East

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 East 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 several of us are planning a picnic dinner at 5:30pm.

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

Come and enjoy a picnic with some of us who are going to walk the solstice labyrinth at Spanish Banks.

Eva, Mary and Angela are confirmed. We expect about a dozen or so.(Best guess!)

RSVP here very helpful:

https://spanish-banks-picnic.eventbrite.ca

 

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.