The First Labyrinth I’ve not Been Able to Finish

Labyrinth at Joshua Tree Retreat CenterNancy Smeltzer, MFA

I’ve walked many different labyrinths and loved them all. They’ve ranged from stone paths in the Catskills of New York State to a copy of the layout of the path at Chartres, France painted on a canvas rolled out in a hotel ballroom. All of them have had their unique characteristics and blessings for my heart and soul. However, the one at the Joshua Retreat Center in southern California is the first that I’ve not been able to finish walking the length of it.

Known as the Rose Labyrinth, it’s a seven circuit labyrinth that is built on top of many of the energy vortices on the property. The paths, laid out in the desert sand, are lined with natural local rocks, At some points along the way, people have left additional rocks with various markings on them, some of which are obvious and recognizable, and some of which have meaning only to the person who left it. Other little power objects that have are tucked in along the edges of the paths. In the center of the labyrinth there now is a fountain, like you would find in a garden, inside of which people have left a wide variety of objects such as broken pieces of glass to religious objects. I imagine that each had meaning to the person who left it, but a small, plastic elephant is was one of the things that I was left to speculate as to its meaning, Still, there was no doubt in my mind that I was in a sacred place and that all that was placed there had been done so reverently.

When I arrived at the entrance, there was another man stretching and doing some exercises before he entered the labyrinth. He was a composer from New York City, and was there with another group that was at the Retreat Center the same time I was. I let him enter and waited for him to move around the first curve, in order not to crowd his space, and then I began my own circuit around the courses.

As I moved around the curves, I stopped to touch some of the painted rocks that people had left behind. I find that once I get about 1/4 of the way through a labyrinth, I start to lose myself in the walking. My take is that it’s the bi-pedal left, right, left, right movements that get wired into us when we’re still in utero and small enough to slosh around in our mother’s womb that lulls us into a State of Grace. Even though I’m way taller than the rocks lining the paths and I can see all the way across the circle, I always am surprised at how the paths are unfurling before me. It seems that I should be going this way rather than the way that is beneath my feet, and I have to surrender to following the path in front of me rather than try and figure out which way to go next.

I made it to the center of the circle and admired what people had left as offerings to their experience in the fountain. However, as I started to circle back out from the center, huge waves of energy began to overcome me. This labyrinth is built on top of one of the 18 vortices on the property and this is one of the most powerful. An energy vortex concentrates that which is surrounding the planet, becoming in effect, and energy amplifier. The night before, on the Winter Solstice, I had stood in the powerful column of energy coming from the moon and had been overwhelmed by its impact on me. Now, as I was heading out of the labyrinth, I again felt the same overwhelming energy. The pressure on my chest was so great, that it was hard to breathe, so instead of continuing the circular path out of the labyrinth, I stepped over the sides and went to sit down on a bench to catch my breath.

Yes, it was 11 am under  the winter desert sun, but I don’t feel that that was what was causing the extreme sensation of overwhelm and the inability to breathe deeply. I feel that the energy overload from the whole weekend that I had been experiencing at Joshua Tree  was starting to get to me, and the Universe was telling me to slow down. My human wiring that I came with to the retreat had not yet caught up to the upgraded version that I was going to need after the visit to Joshua Tree. I obviously then and still need to do more work in order to vibrate easily at my new higher frequency. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of time since December to work on my new energy upgrades without doing too much damage to myself.

Even though I didn’t “finish” walking the length of this labyrinth, I know that what I felt  was perfect for me, and I am grateful for having had the chance to experience what I did. I hope that I get a chance to revisit the site and see what that new opportunity would have for me, as I know I only began to scratch the surface of that magical retreat center.

Which  experiences have you had in your life that were perhaps not as complete as you thought they “should” have been? Have you been able to reflect on them, and see how they were just perfect for what you needed and were capable of being with at the time?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute and fill out the form below and share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate learning about our inner selves and the intricacies of healing work. We’d love to hear from you! Also PLEASE tell like-minded souls about this blog. We’d love to have them join us, too.

You can find out more about my healing work at, about my artwork on my web site at (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals), Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies),  and Twitter.

About Nancy Smeltzer

I'm passionate about long distance spiritual and alternative healing, having had a successful practice now for over ten years. My clients work with me over the phone and on Skype from all over the USA and Canada, as well as Switzerland, Russia, and Australia. I specialize in helping people heal their negative repeating patterns of behavior and remove the stuck energy in their unconscious minds. By doing that, they can quit going round and round in circles,. repeating the same mistakes, and move forward to having the life of their dreams. Besides my holistic healing practice, I've also been professionally creating art quilts and other fiber arts for over 30 years. My specialty is contemporary beaded art quilts. On my web site, I bill myself as the "Self Proclaimed Button and Bead Queen of Maryland (USA)." My recent works have images that are based on what I see when I tap into a person's energy field and are called Meditation Gardens. These visionary art pieces are the perfect place for that person to play and meditate. In my spare time, I'm a rabid, avid "dirty nails" gardener, composing scenes with plants. Sometimes, I come inside so dirty that my clothes have to go straight into the washing machine; they're too dirty for the dirty clothes hamper! -The Official Google + site for Nancy Smeltzer
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3 Responses to The First Labyrinth I’ve not Been Able to Finish

  1. Cecy uribe says:

    This is awesome… I’m actually at the retreat now! You are absolutely correct… The energy here is indescribable! Plus it’s a blood moon! #namaste

  2. Donna Hill says:

    This is one of the most beautiful retreat centers I’ve seen , I hope that I will visit him soon

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