Introduction: Draw Your Own Labyrinth.

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A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles, designed to vex the mind, but labyrinths are contemplative designs, designed to focus the mind.

It is an ancient design, found carved into churches, temples and tombs around the world.

They are also easy and fun to draw, once you have the key.

Step 1: The Key

The key is the simple pattern around which the labyrinth is constructed. Most are based on crosses, and it is the order in which the points are connected that creates the form of the paths.

Step 2: A Simple Key

The simplest key is a single cross plus four points (see the first image). If you join the points in the order they are numbered, you will produce the simplest unicursal ("single path") labyrinth - follow the path with your eye or finger, and you get to the centre. To get back, you re-trace your steps.

Step 3: The Common Key...

Most labyrinths start with a key like the one in the first image below. Following the numbered points also produces a simple unicursal labyrinth.

Step 4: ... Made Less Common.

Using the same keys, but re-ordering the points, produces more interesting labyrinths.

This is also unicursal, but with a twist. Try it to find out why (don't join a line to the point marked "X").

Step 5: Some Keys to Try.

The same basic key can be given more than one layer. Keys are also not restricted to simple crosses.

Try starting with the keys in the images below, experimenting with the ordering to see what happens to the path.

Step 6: Like Minds.

It turns out (thanks, Adam), that there are people dedicated to labyrinths as art, mathematics and mysticism.

Some of their ideas are a bit "new age" for my taste (the "Energy Keepers" need ti get a better grip on reality, I think), but there is still lots of useful stuff on their site: