Program Handbook

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Rights & Responsabilities

Parent Rights and Responsibilities

Parents of teens participating in Walking the Labyrinth have a right to:

  • Be treated with respect and honor.
  • Know where in the Labyrinth program their child is.
  • Meet with the Labyrinth Guides to discuss any questions, concerns or needs.
  • Be present at all ceremonies and group events.

They have a responsibility to:

  • Support and facilitate their child’s progress within the program.
  • Respect the authority of the Guides within the framework of the program.
  • Make sure that any fees are paid in a timely manner.
  • Assist with requested volunteer activities.


Walker Rights and Responsibilities

Teens participating in Walking the Labyrinth have a right to:

  • Be treated with respect and honor.
  • Be supported by parents and Guides in their journey.
  • Have every opportunity to explore and study.

They have a responsibility to:

  • Attend all group functions.
  • Respect the authority of the Guides.
  • Actively work towards meeting the requirements of each Gate.
  • Respect the others within the program.
  • Regularly check in with their Guides.


Guide Rights and Responsibilities

Guides of the Walking the Labyrinth program have a right to:

  • Be treated with respect and honor.
  • Expect reasonable parental assistance.
  • Meet with parents to discuss concerns.

They have a responsibility to:

  • Facilitate all group events.
  • Act as positive role models for the Walkers
  • Respect the authority of the parents in their role as caregivers.
  • Actively support the study of the Walkers.
  • Schedule events and gatherings in a timely manner

Participating in the Program

Although this is an independent study program, there are a few requirements for participation. The first is that Walkers are required to attend any scheduled group functions, such as Gate Passages, planning meetings, or other pre-scheduled activities that may come up. This is because we want Walkers to bond as a group, and be ready to support and celebrate each other.

Families may request a Leave of Absence at any time, for vacations, medical needs, school etc. A request is made in writing, detailing the need, and will be approved in writing as well. This formaility is to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is happening and expected.

Walkers are also required to commit to completing the first 3 Gates of the program. Why? Because a) the first two are very simple, and b) we feel that you cannot get a good feel for the program without participating in the first few Gates. After the 3rd Gate, Walkers are welcome to leave the program for any reason, although we would hope that any difficulties or conflicts could be resolved before withdrawing became necessary.

Any conflicts that arise regarding discipline, behavior or regular participation, will be handled by scheduling a conference with Guides, Walker and parents present. Any one of those three may request an impartial mediator. It is our hope that any issues can be resolved through communication and compromise. There are 2 reasons we will withdraw a teen from the program: • Physical aggression towards another. • Intolerant or harassing language or behavior. In these cases we will meet with the family, as soon as possible. If we can be given a reasonable assurance that the incident was isolated, a second chance will be given. Reoccurrence will result in the teen’s removal from the program. Under NO circumstances will we tolerate bigotry, harassment, intolerance or discrimination against any other human being, regardless of who they are, what they do, or what they believe. Lively debate of differences of opinion is one thing, personal attacks are quite another.


The Labyrinth Program

Walking the Labyrinth is comprised of several elements:

  • GATES:

The Gates are the symbolic representation of movement though the Labyrinth. Each of the Nine Gates has a different theme or focus, and the Gates must be done in order. Passage though the Gates is done by meeting the requirements for that Gate, and participating in a Passage ceremony. Each time you pass though a Gate, you are given the study requirements for the next Gate.

  • CHARMS:

The Charms are the representation of the lessons and skills learned. Some Gates require certain Charms be earned in order to pass, and each Charm has requirements to earn it.

  • STAFF:

Your Staff is the symbol of the journey through the Labyrinth. You will make your own Staff and decorate it. As you progress though the Labyrinth, special symbols, Charms, Gate tokens and other decorations will be added to the staff.

  • JOURNAL:

Your Journal is your personal diary, and reflections of your progression through the Labyrinth. This Journal is private to you, and it is a place to record events, rituals, divinations, impressions, and anything else about the Labyrinth you wish.

  • ROBES:

A robe is provided, and is a simple design that can be customized by you. The only requirement is that there be nothing blatantly offensive on it. Robes are worn to Gate ceremonies, and to any other gatherings we hold. Wearing it to other circles and rituals is fine, as well. You will have a belt that matches the gate you are currently at.

  • CEREMONIES:

Ceremonies called Gate Passages are held each time a Walker meets the requirements for a Gate. The first Passage, for the Gate of the First Step, is done with the group all at once, and will be scheduled soon after the Orientation. After that, each Walker has their own Passage ceremony.


THE GATES

  • 1st Gate: The Gate of the First Step

This Gate symbolizes the decision to begin the Labyrinth program. After parent orientation, the new Walker is asked to do the following things:

    • Make a staff
    • Choose a blank book to be their Labyrinth Journal.
    • Choose and make a token that symbolizes their faith or path.
    • Participate in the 1st Gate Passage
  • 2nd Gate: Gate of Initiation

Passing this Gate means that the Walker has started along the Labyrinth and has begun to learn about the world of magick and religion. Meditation, The Elements and Initiation are the focuses.

  • 3rd Gate: Gate of Coming of Age

This Gate focuses on the passage into adulthood and process of becoming a mature person. Part of the studies and exploration will be focused on the changes in your bodies and how you relate to people of both sexes.

  • 4th Gate: Gate of the Myriad

At this Gate we focus on the diversity of religious thought in the world, allowing the Walker to better understand what speaks to them.

  • 5th Gate: Gate of Becoming

Here we focus on the becoming not only an adult, but a pagan and a spiritual seeker, as well. The Charms for this gate are all electives, and there is a project that helps explore personal identity.

  • 6th Gate: Gate of Leadership

This gate begins to teach the skills needed for leading others. We explore leadership roles in paganism and group dynamics.

  • 7th Gate: Gate of Maturity

Here we learn about some of the responsibilities and perils of being ‘mature’. Mother and Fatherhood are the focus, not only in the biological sense, but also in the larger sense of nurturing, caring, protecting others.

  • 8th Gate: Gate of the Elder

At this gate we learn the power and mystery the elders in our life hold. We’ll explore cultural, societal and religious perceptions of old age, and learn what does and doesn’t make an “Elder”.

  • 9th Gate: Gate of Emergence

By this Gate, the Walker will have earned at least 23 Charms, and be nearly ready to leave the Labyrinth. You will design your own Passage ceremony; present a Thesis on the magickal topic of your choice

Earning Charms

Charms are divided into two types:

  • Archetype Charms, which deal with specific aspects, forms or roles
  • Topic Charms, which deal with magickal, spiritual and occult topics.

To earn a charm you must research the subject, and present it to your Guides. The presentation can take any form (an essay, a lecture, a display, etc.) and should demonstrate a basic competency of the subject. We encourage creative presentations, such as song, art, etc.

Once you have earned a charm, your Guide will record the name of the charm and the date you earned it into the Book of The Labyrinth. The Charms themselves will be attached to your staff at the Passage Ceremony for that Gate.

Your Guides are available for questions, discussion, bouncing ideas off of, mild arguing  We want you to be the leader in deciding which direction your study will go. We feel that things are learned more fully if they are approached from a position of interest and curiosity, then from the position of a necessary evil. Study groups are highly encouraged, either in person or though email, as is mentoring of new Walkers by Walkers further along in the program.

Parents are encouraged to share their views and knowledge, but are enjoined to create an environment of independent, critical thought. The path your child chooses to focus on may not be the one you are most familiar with, or even comfortable with. The only areas of study we will not support are ones that are obviously self destructive or dangerous, encourage disrespect or intolerance of others, or involve unprovoked aggression towards others.


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