Lighting the Labyrinth

Project Name: Lighting the Labyrinth

Artist Name: Old Man Dale

Description of Project

"Last year, 3 Old Men received funding to create fabric walls for our labyrinth, upgrading from our original rope and tent stakes. This year, we want to light your path with LED strips threaded through the walls. If we get our maximum budget, the lighting will be dynamic and responsive; otherwise, it will be simply a gentle white glow.
The 3 Old Men provide a 4-path labyrinth of fabric and tent stakes, an octagon 40 feet in diameter with a 10 foot ritual space around it. Based on a 15th-century design, it has four outer entrances and four entrances to the center. Therefore participants are able to choose their exit as well as their entrance.
The labyrinth is open for exploration/meditation 24/7, but several times a day the 3 Old Men perform their ritual: they strip, apply white kaolin to their bodies, and walk the labyrinth themselves to their appointed space. There they don their ritual skirts and take up their staves.
The 3 Old Men—the officiants—then stand at three of the four entrances of the labyrinth. Each officiant offers a different gesture/agon to an exiting Burner (who need not accept it):
• bless the participant
• ask to be blessed by the participant
• offer to struggle with the participant
At the fourth entrance there is no agon, i.e., no blessing and no struggle.
In the center is a temple bell and an altar upon which Burners may leave or take items that are meaningful to them.
We leave the meaning of this experience open for each participant. We welcome the participation of drummers and other musicians in support of the participants’ journeys. We also provide a space for contemplation and discussion before and after participation, with a group journal for people to record their thoughts."

Community Involvement

"We found that the labyrinth and the 3 Old Men provide a contemplative space for the Burners at Alchemy and Euphoria—even when we are parked across from Incendia! More than one participant has expressed gratitude that we gave them a space to “go inside” for a moment.
Since we are an Immediacy camp, we do not prescribe the meaning of the experience to any of the participants. Neither do we generally explain what the project is, other than to say that it’s a labyrinth, and that you may choose to enter by any of the four paths. In other words, we offer them a way in and allow them to find the experience on their own. This can range from the silly/playful to the profound. (Stories upon request...)
In addition, we are looking to form a Soul Village with other contemplative camps."

Other: We invite the participation of other Old Men, either by camping with us or joining us as "ad hoc" officiants. FAQ at

Final Funding: $416.56



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