A co-creation by Jack Wale and Sahar Farmanfarmaian
There are no wrong turns on the way to the center
Sahar Farmanfarmaian is a wonderful soul who came to co-create with Zūnya in a creative residency program, with the purpose of planting deep seeds of intention and creating a Labyrinth Altar.
Sahar specializes in the curation of sacred spaces, and the creation of altars and events. The idea for this project at Zūnya was to create an installation altar, a space that would be long lasting and used by all who felt the calling to share the space. And thus it was decided that a Labyrinth would be made as a complement to the central Altar.
Jack Wale, a collaborator at Zūnya, had the privilege of working with Sahar in this project, in bringing this vision of the Labyrinth Altar to life, in this special co-creation.
A labyrinth is a pattern of walkways that weave around a central point, which guides the walker toward the center. It is not meant to confuse the walker, but instead invites them on a path of meditation, and is an ancient form of prayer.
In the center of the Labyrinth is the Altar. The act of walking the pathways of the Labyrinth to its powerful center is symbolic of life, of the walk we have all embarked on to journey towards our heart, as we strive to be who we are at our very center.
The intention is that walking this Labyrinth Altar holds the potential to be a powerful process of healing, as we carry our deepest prayers and wishes to the center.
East to West Alignment
The circular labyrinth has only one entrance—which also serves as the exit upon completion of the cycle. The entrance opens into the circle as a straight line, pointing at the center. But this line was also designed to point West, towards the setting sun.
According to some beliefs, aligning with the cardinal West held strong values. It is believed that it symbolized turning toward the wisdom of the elders and that, although it represented the setting sun (and the coming darkness), it was the threshold between life and the next transformation of our soul.
Shamanic practices include the West as an essential part of the vision quest—a place to purify oneself, heal and surrender to our highest calling.
This Labyrinth was aligned due West with the intention of connecting to our highest purpose and helping us realize and remember what we are trying to achieve, in full connection with ourselves.
The alignment West also serves as a portal to the source energy, or as some have called it the Great Spirit, or God. So that any pure wishes and/or prayers are facilitated and manifested more rapidly through this connection and space.
The employment of 3 Guardians (mi-zaru, kika-zaru, iwa-zaru)
There is an old Japanese proverb and protective charm which helps in manifesting purity. It is believed that if one maintained purity over the senses, one would be protected from evil. These guardians depict 3 actions which are known as “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
The message behind this is to be careful of what you choose to sense (to see, hear or say).
There are 3 lines in the Labyrinth that extend from the center outwards and divide the circle into three equal parts. A guardian was placed at each of these points, on the outer perimeter of the labyrinth, but also each acting as a stone in the completion of the circle. These guardians were placed to protect the purity of the Labyrinth Altar, and all energy and frequencies moving through this space, manifesting the highest frequencies.
Sacred numerology woven into the labyrinth
Special attention was given to the design aspects of the Altar and Labyrinth. The distance from the center to each of the concentric circles was created using sacred numerology and intention.
After these points were carefully drawn out on site, the placement of rocks and cement in the making of the Labyrinth and Altar was done with precision to ensure these sacred intentions would be further realized and assist in the process of manifestation.
The heart of the Labyrinth, the Altar
The creation of the Labyrinth was in a way the foundation of the central Altar. And its purpose was to complement and give life to the beating heart that is the Altar. There are a few special moments of the Altar creation that are worth sharing.
The Altar was cast in a white cement circle that is level with the ground. White symbolizes the purity of this sacred space. Before this cement was cast, all the written intentions and prayers from the people who partook in the creation of this Labyrinth were buried in the ground below the Altar. They were blessed and buried with tobacco and sage, pushing the prayers for a collective Zūnya forward. The white cement was then cast on top, to seal all of these wishes, planting the seeds and new beginnings for Zūnya.
As an added touch, and a personal offering from Sahar, a large purple amethyst crystal was cast into the center of the cement. Amethyst is a type of quartz that is known to be one of the most powerful protective stones. It also has very strong healing capabilities. It represents the crown chakra.
Also, within the cement surface, 13 circular mirrors have been placed to indicate the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West), and also to symbolize the 13 cycles of the moon that occur every year.
Lastly, a ring of life was planted on the outer circle of the altar, comprising of 22 green succulents, to give life to this new beginning.
The Altar was activated by Sahar and a few of her sisters at sunset on March 2nd, 2022 which was a very particular and auspicious moment.
The reason that Sahar chose this day to activate and open the portal is that it was a new moon in Pisces, and also a new moon crossing with Shivatri, which honors the Shiva, a very powerful Deity.
The activation was held as a ceremony where both Sahar and her friend Saskia (who is a member of the Pachamama Eco-Community) blessed the creation and opened it in time and space. Together they walked through the Labyrinth, blessing with Copal and prayer song, and smoking the Chanupa pipe from the moon dance people. Whilst they made their way to the altar, high-frequency melodies were played on the crystal harp and crystal bowl, in support and blessing for the special moment.
Upon arrival at the Altar, a powerful blessing was given to the 7 directions. These directions were North, South, East, West, up to the skies, downwards to Mother Earth, and, finally, to the heart, the Altar.
Once the Labyrinth Alter had been activated and opened, the first to walk their prayers to the center was taken by Diego and Flaviu, the founders of Zūnya. It was a beautiful moment in this creation, and this Labyrinth Altar is now open to anyone who wishes to connect to the heart and manifest their prayers.
“This opportunity was a joy and an honor, and it is a privilege to create this space in such an amazing magical sanctuary that I consider Zūnya to be. I loved the co- creation where people came together to gather and place stones, and also their prayers and intentions. It feels like this is the beginning of many creations and adventures.”
Instagram account: @life.is.an.altar