Sunday, September 03, 2006
Volcanic Witch Project
Visiting the Volcanic Witch Project
Sibley National Preserve 2006
Sibley Park is located high in the San Francisco East Bay Hills and offers a spectacular wilderness view. Hillsides and cliffs are wrapped in mysterious gray fog. Glimmering blue clouds touch the tips of black pines and flaming banks of poison oak ignite quarries of volcanic rock. Winds blow up suddenly catching both humans and birds by surprise. Mysterious walking paths conceal the hidden labyrinths of the Volcanic Witch Project and the pagans that design them. It takes a sharp eye and intuition to find these modern yet ancient retreats from the everyday world.
I first discovered the heart shaped "Mother Labyrinth" as it was called by locals in the 1980's and had no idea who had created it or why. I later discovered that the original maze was created by the labyrinth master; Alex Champion in the 1970's. In the 1980's, I also had the pleasure of discovering remnants of a far older Sibley Labyrinth created perhaps in the 1940's. Its history remains hidden and now lost forever. This summer the park service did fire prevention work in the area as it is chaparral (burn zone) and I fear the last of the original stones have been displaced.
Who are the caretakers of the mysterious labyrinths? No one knows for sure but it is suspected they are projects of local covens. The rocks have to be carried miles and refurbished each spring as rain washes them away in the winter.
People of many faiths practice this ancient tradition of meditative walking. The Sibley Labyrinths offer a unique spiritual opportunity to convene with higher powers in a radiant, natural wilderness environment.
The sun was warm and the air crisp as I began my annual pilgrimage to the Mother Labyrinth. The scent of bay laurel, eucalyptus and dried underbrush permeated the air with the particular fragrance known by the Oracle of Delphi. My deepest appreciation and thanks to the souls who protect and care take the labyrinths.
Others have photos and tales to tell about the Sibley Mazes.