The Labyrinth at Old Joe’s Kaia was planned and laid-out early in 2010. This was a natural progression of the removal of invasive and alien plant species from the bottom of the garden. With the help of the Working for Water (WfW) programme (an initiative by the Department of Water Affairs) the eradication of species such as Lantana, Guava, Seringa and Jacaranda was initiated by both mechanical and chemical methods. The most suitable area was allocated for positioning the Labyrinth.
An average of five jobs (additional to the Old Joe’s Kaia staffing) were created for a period of 4 months.
The Labyrinth is now enclosed by some beautiful specimens of indigenous trees and shrubbery, typical of the area. We have noted the joy and peaceful calm of the area since ‘the clearing of the clutter’ has taken place. There seems to be a sigh of relief...
What is a Labyrinth?
Labyrinths have been used for centuries as areas where prayer and transformation can take place during dedicated private time. It has furthermore been used for sacred occasions, celebrations, farewells and times of gratitude. They are normally in a central area of cathedrals or places of worship, the most famous being the marbled Labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France.
The circuits of the labyrinth are carefully designed to intertwine in a mathematical way, always ending in the centre and leading out by the same way. Walking a Labyrinth is often compared to walking one’s path of destiny, a reflective journey of one’s spirit, finding answers and reaching conclusion during troubled times.
The difference between a Labyrinth and a Maze
A maze challenges the explorer through various options of pathways and high fences (thereby visually blocking off escape routes) to find one or more alternative exits through careful navigation, memory and visual /spatial ability.
A Labyrinth is entered in one place, walked along one path to the centre or final destination, and is exited by following the exact same pathway out. There is no challenge to the process as there are no alternative routes.
The OLD JOE’S KAIA Labyrinth
The design is based on the Classical 7-circuit Labyrinth, the oldest of all designs, dating back more than 5000 years. It has a slightly flattened oval or kidney shape and is not completely symmetrical.
The Old Joe’s Kaia design was adapted to accommodate prominent indigenous trees to become features, rather than being removed for the sake of the design. The centre was also enlarged to accommodate a group of people instead of just one individual, making this an ideal venue for events such as weddings, birthday celebrations, etc.
The Labyrinth is entered from the left-hand-side and the walking distance from the entrance back to the exit is 620 metres. The widest part stretches 28 metres.
The circuits or pathways are gravel, covered with leaves from the natural surroundings. Flowerbeds of indigenous plants separate the circuits, resulting in an interesting garden. A natural stream, originating at the fountain eye in the Log Cabin forest, flows freely through the Labyrinth, adding the element of Water.
We invite you to meander through this special space
and find the peace and tranquillity you have come here for.