“The labyrinth is an apt symbol for peace at the turn of the millennium. It represents a union of states because it is found in most states and countries of the world. And it represents a union of states of being because it can bring inner peace. This union within people leads to a union among people, their families, friends, communities, and the world.”
Sandra Wasko-Flood’s “State of the Union” speech, House Rayburn Bldg., U.S. Capitol. Director: “Labyrinths for Peace: 2000:” first project of the International Labyrinth Society, labyrinth walking demonstration on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
The spirit behind Living Labyrinths for Peace, Inc. is artist, poet and teacher, Sandra Wasko-Flood. In 1991, she sat in the center of the Great Kiva Indian ceremonial center of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico having a visionary experience which led her to this book by Sig Lonegren: Labyrinths: Ancient Myths and Modern Uses. On the floor of the kiva, she imagined lighted faces of mummies, icons, people, and animals emerging from the earth in the shape of a labyrinth. She went on to create an interactive installation, “Dance of the Labyrinth,” symbolizing a peaceful dance of opposites for our times. Here visitors experience computer programmed light sequences: walk on light box images, see rotating wheels and pillars, and phosphorescent mulch glowing like moonlight.
Following a path into the collective unconscious of our times, Wasko-Flood became a part of the present Labyrinth Renaissance. She discovered the labyrinth to be an amazing symbol for life’s journey. These ancient designs of wisdom and peace were over four thousand years old and found in most cultures of the world. She knew that labyrinths could lead to inner peace. As the design emerged in churches, schools, museums, hospitals, parks and seats of government, she envisioned that labyrinths could also bridge the boundaries of institutions.
In 1994, Wasko-Flood exhibited “Dance of the Labyrinth” at Gallery 10 in Washington, D.C., where she realized that the labyrinth could unite people of all cultures. An environment where art, science, technology and nature enhanced each other could also help sustain the earth. She permanently installed the “Dance” in her studio at 57 N St. NW, Washington D.C. where from 1994-2012 it had been open to the public by appointment for individual and group walks, workshops and events.
In 1998, she joined a gathering of labyrinth aficionados in St. Louis to form of the International Labyrinth Society. Through the Washington Performing Arts Society (2005-2016) and the D.C. Commission on the Arts (2000-2005), she received grants to install labyrinths in local schools. As students together paint a canvas or playground labyrinth, place labyrinths designs from around the world on a timeline, and make peace wishes—she realized that labyrinths can unite disciplines.
As the first project of the International Labyrinth Society, she directed “Labyrinths for Peace: 2000,” a photo exhibit in the Cannon Rotunda of the U.S. House of Representatives and a labyrinth walking “demonstration for inner peace” on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Her vision of inner peace to world peace became clear.
In the spring of 2005, she proudly birthed Living Labyrinths for Peace, Inc., which creates interactive labyrinths using art, science, technology and nature for learning programs that lead the way from inner peace to world peace. In 2011 Wasko-Flood directed the Labyrinth Society’s annual gathering in Taos, and had published an article in Houston’s Teacher Education Yearbook relating the labyrinth to Howard Gardner’s Eight Intelligences and positing a ninth one, spirituality, because one of the students said: “The labyrinth told me what to do. It told me what to be.” Other labyrinth events included: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Labyrinths in the Schools SEAS programs (2000-04); Baltimore Office on Promotion in the Arts, Bright STARts, after school labyrinth program (2006-07); Co-Director, Labyrinth Prayer Vigil at the Washington Monument, Washington DC (2006-09); LL4P Peace Exhibit, Sub-basement Studios, Baltimore, MD with Peace Panel that included Coleman McCarthy, Director of Peace studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC. (2008-09); LL4P Workshop, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, Episcopal Ministries Conference, featuring art/tech “Rainbow Labyrinth of Peace” labyrinth; Labyrinth Sacred Spaces events Town of Taos with exhibit at Millicent Rogers Museum of “Labyrinths for Peace: 2000” exhibit at the U.S. Capitol and children’s labyrinth workshop at the Harwood Museum.
In 2012, she moved the LL4P Center to Taos, NM. On World Labyrinth Day, May 4, 2013, LL4P invited Ac Tah to the Washington DC Vietnam Memorial to build his Mirror of Orion Labyrinth for liberation and peace, based on the sacred geometry of the ancient pyramids. On Memorial Day weekend that year, LL4P collaborated with Virginia LoneSky of Peaceful Endeavors, Inc. to do a labyrinth program at the Angel Fire, NM Vietnam Memorial and also at the Taos LL4P Center. That year at the LL4P Center in Taos, Grandmother Standing Bear gave a presentation on the Medicine Wheel, and the Center had an Autumn Gratitude Celebration the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Director: World Labyrinth Day Events: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Wash. DC, & Memorial Day event at Vietnam Memorial, Angel Fire, NM (2013); Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD (2114), & a New Door Creative Art Gallery, featuring artist’s new labyrinth design, “Goddess of the Universe,” Baltimore, MD (2015).
Instructor: Grants Washington DC Performing Arts Society, & New Mexico Schools: Workshops (2002-16).
Presenter at the Labyrinth Society’s Annual Gathering, Houston (2016), and in Bainbridge, Washington (2017) Teacher: Taos Academy STEM program (2016).* Publication: The Labyrinth Path to Light and Peace, Art and Poetry by Sandra Wasko-Flood (2016).
2017 events include: built a temporary surveyor flag peace labyrinth for the Organization for Suicide Prevention in Kit Carson Park, Taos, NM; the Labyrinth Society’s Gathering in Bainbridge, Washington, presented: “Co-Creating Peace with Technology and Nature.” Art/Retrospective Catalog, Art/Technology and Labyrinths in the Schools Snap Books (2017).
2018 events include: Building a labyrinth for the Regeneration Festival, Kit Carson Park, Taos, NM.
Sandra’s events for her new book “The Labyrinth Path to Light and Peace” include presentations at the New Living Expo, San Mateo, California; AWP (Association of Writers and Writers Programs), Washington DC; Book signing and labyrinth walk at Schuter Library, Angel Fire, NM and SOMOS Books Taos.
Let Us Live Labyrinths for Peace!