Why use different colors and shapes for the beads? By combining sizes and colors you can make a bead counter (similar to a rosary or prayer bead system) to walk a labyrinth in any space.
What do the sizes mean? In the picture on the left you can see the photo of the beads. The design uses plastic pony beads. The small regular pony beads represent the smaller turns that take up a quarter of the circle. The larger beads with shapes, represent the paths that walk half the circle before turning.
What do the colors mean? There is a meaning to each color bead. Each bead is color coded to the compass direction that the quarter or half turn ends at. There are several traditions that honor the four compass directions and have a color designated for each one. Traditions such as Native American, Chinese Shamanic, and Wicca use: yellow=east, south=red, west=blue, north=green. In the picture on the right, you can see these colors in the letters for each of the compass directions. You may have noticed that the picture on the right is a 12 circuit Chartres labyrinth, rotated counter-clockwise 90 degrees from how it is normally viewed. This is because often the opening path faces east (which is a symbol for new beginnings). In order to show the color beads coordinated to the proper directions, it made it easier to rotate the labyrinth.
On the left is the bead pattern. On the right is the 12 circuit Chartres design color coordinated to match the beads. To follow the bead pattern start at the top and follow the beads clockwise. The yellow bead at the top shows that you start in the East.
If you are creating this bead pattern, and the beads don’t have an orientation for direction, you may want to select the first be to be something different. In this example, I turned all the shapes to follow the pattern clockwise. I wish I would have put a penny in the picture to show the size of this bead pattern. It is about 3-4 inches across in diameter. This makes it highly portable.