Joseph Hakim Anderson

Soul Cartography: Making a Personal Labyrinth

After completing a Personal Mandala in the first Soul Cartography class session, and using the intervening time (typically two weeks) to create a Life Inventory, the second class activity is creating a Personal Labyrinth - mapping important life events to a spontaneously created line.

  1. Using a pen or pencil, draw a single line that travels by an indirect route from one corner of a blank sheet of drawing paper to the opposite corner.
  2. You might think of your line as a free-form labyrinth, a bar crawl, a walking tour, a scavenger hunt - but don't think too much about it. Let your hand and paper have the conversation - your job is to stay relaxed and watch the line unfold.
  3. Put into the line as many wiggles, angles and recursions as feel necessary.
  4. Avoid having the line cross over itself.
  5. Do your best to make your line cover most of the sheet of paper, but leave some room for labelling (and possibly drawings).
  6. With the completed line in front of you, reflect for a moment on an aspect of your life you wish to explore in more depth. Focus on something that's important to you, something about which you have questions, a lot of emotional energy, confusion or intensity. Trust your intuition.
  7. Starting at either end of the line, begin to label its segments with relevant events or activities from your life (make use of your life inventory if you want).
  8. Work your way along the line, spacing out your labels so that events from your life cover the entire length of the line, from one end to the other. Find a level of depth and detail that will work with the length and shapes of the line.
  9. Put the events in chronological sequence, but don't worry about maintaining an accurate scale - what's important is to capture the rhythm of events as they felt to you then, or feel to you now. You may find yourself zooming in and zooming out during different life phases.
  10. Making a nice big mess is just fine. This is a discovery exercise, not a work of art!
  11. Notice how life events interact with the shapes of the line: where are the fluid parts? the sharp corners? What are the rhythms?