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Labyrinths


Abramelin

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It seems in the Minoan culture at least the Labyrinth was a sort of ritual dance path and of religious significance, as Ariadne from Greek mythology started out as a goddess called the "Mistress of the Labyrinth" in Linear B.

Since the element of the labyrinth being a dancing path built for Ariadne also survives in the myth of Perseus we could speculate what this means in relation to the Minotaur and the sacrifice of the young Athenians there.

Can you elaborate how these ornaments were/are used in Hopi and old Scandinavian culture?

In general elements can just be really old. Look at how many similar elements in relation to many myths are similarly widespread, such as eating food from an Otherworld (often the Udnerworld) binding you to that place which is found in both Europe and Japan. Or elements of somebody retrieving soil from beneath the sea to create the Earth which is a very global theme (a spear being involved in some way being more rare but also found in places as far flung as Eastern Europe and Japan)

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Catholically speaking, the labyrinth is used as a meditative exercise, a space within a space where you are alone in your own head, no matter what the surrounding space is used for within the labyrinth you are alone and to be left alone. Ideally, at each turn you either remove a “thought focus” in order to reach mindful stillness or offer a different viewpoint on whatever you’re mulling over while travelling the labyrinth (travelling, incidentally, not walking, when you travel you go to a place, either of mindful stillness or realisation). 

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1 hour ago, Abramelin said:

I have been thinking about labyrinths showing up over much of this rock.

It's a complicated figure, and not a thing you will create while 'doodling'.

But somehow you find very similar labyrinths from Greece to England and Scandinavia, and to the Americas.

Some examples:

Nazca.thumb.jpg.2f1c694872ab47ecef3ea64c22004b1a.jpg

Nazca.

 

Denmark.thumb.jpg.52a7bfa8093c8439f21cb70c7e263412.jpg

Denmark.

 

Hopi.jpg.052607015d214e735f467ba1e692cee5.jpg

Hopi.

 

Classical_7-Circuit_Labyrinth_svg.png.0e86b77b0800f0e4a7c1beb62c73c48b.png

Crete.

 

3184.jpg?v=1636971301

Crete

 

I can give more examples, but this will do.

 

Who were the people that spread this figure around the globe? Or was it something people would eventually create independently? If so, why?

 

Shoot.

I think that first you need to identify which people are responsible or which particular labyrinth -- and the time period in which the artifact was found.  Patterns show up better when you can answer "when" and "by whom" and "are there any written records?"

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I’d argue that Labyrinths are universal symbols b3cause they dead easy to create with a finger and some mud. It’s a doodle that ascended to theological and anthropological importance.

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Hi Rob

My thought it's some archaic description of marriage written by men..I could be wrong though.:whistle::lol:

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7 hours ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

I’d argue that Labyrinths are universal symbols b3cause they dead easy to create with a finger and some mud. It’s a doodle that ascended to theological and anthropological importance.

No, the typical labyrinth pattern is quite difficult, yet we see them the same form all over. I practised for ages to be able to draw one freehand…can you easily doodle it? 
The legend of Theseus and the Minotaur…the dance path of Ariadne, it’s almost like a woven pattern that takes you to the inner core, of something…(your mind, danger) always intriguing is the labyrinth.

The name, like labrys, means a double edged axe…we use a phrase similar today, a double edged sword…it means you cannot win.

seems something like this is involved…no one expected Theseus to come out alive and he probably wouldn’t have, except for the cheating of his weaver lover Ariadne who knew how to navigate it. Like a spider web. It’s possibly a symbol to represent “against all odds”, when you needed motivation. 

Edited by The Puzzler
Ariadne had typo’ed to Arachne
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10 hours ago, Abramelin said:

I have been thinking about labyrinths showing up over much of this rock.

It's a complicated figure, and not a thing you will create while 'doodling'.

But somehow you find very similar labyrinths from Greece to England and Scandinavia, and to the Americas.

Some examples:

Nazca.thumb.jpg.2f1c694872ab47ecef3ea64c22004b1a.jpg

Nazca.

 

Okay, just look at the first one...  It is made from a single cord.  This is key to the purpose and design ( tho it actually bears a striking similarity to an elaborate heating element).  Much of what the ancients did had its origins in the thinking behind the first "industrial revolution" of humanity, namely the invention of string and woven cords.

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5 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

Okay, just look at the first one...  It is made from a single cord.  This is key to the purpose and design ( tho it actually bears a striking similarity to an elaborate heating element).  Much of what the ancients did had its origins in the thinking behind the first "industrial revolution" of humanity, namely the invention of string and woven cords.

A weavers pattern? 

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Just now, The Puzzler said:

A weavers pattern? 

I call it "coilwork" for want of a better description.  Consider what happens when you pinch a rope in the middle and twist it to form a flat circle, in the middle you will form a "yin-yang" symbol.  Here is what I mean rendered with wire:

th-1444429660.jpg.d87635eaa1fba94102ec1a726dcdc656.jpg

I suspect that many early symbols were a result of coilwork, and later evolved into knotwork.  There is a whole science devoted to knots, and another related discipline related to origami, both of which are being tackled by mathematicians.

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20 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

I call it "coilwork" for want of a better description.  Consider what happens when you pinch a rope in the middle and twist it to form a flat circle, in the middle you will form a "yin-yang" symbol.  Here is what I mean rendered with wire:

th-1444429660.jpg.d87635eaa1fba94102ec1a726dcdc656.jpg

I suspect that many early symbols were a result of coilwork, and later evolved into knotwork.  There is a whole science devoted to knots, and another related discipline related to origami, both of which are being tackled by mathematicians.

OK, that’s good food for thought, I’ll try a macrame knot later tonight using the labyrinth knot, I do see this in many areas, Celtic knot patterns, weaving goddesses, the Gordian knot, what exactly was the knot Alexander slashed through that allowed him to take all of Asia, rather than untie it? I think you’re onto something there.

Edited by The Puzzler
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11 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

It seems in the Minoan culture at least the Labyrinth was a sort of ritual dance path and of religious significance, as Ariadne from Greek mythology started out as a goddess called the "Mistress of the Labyrinth" in Linear B.

Since the element of the labyrinth being a dancing path built for Ariadne also survives in the myth of Perseus we could speculate what this means in relation to the Minotaur and the sacrifice of the young Athenians there.

Can you elaborate how these ornaments were/are used in Hopi and old Scandinavian culture?

In general elements can just be really old. Look at how many similar elements in relation to many myths are similarly widespread, such as eating food from an Otherworld (often the Udnerworld) binding you to that place which is found in both Europe and Japan. Or elements of somebody retrieving soil from beneath the sea to create the Earth which is a very global theme (a spear being involved in some way being more rare but also found in places as far flung as Eastern Europe and Japan)

Yes.

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1 hour ago, The Puzzler said:

OK, that’s good food for thought, I’ll try a macrame knot later tonight using the labyrinth knot, I do see this in many areas, Celtic knot patterns, weaving goddesses, the Gordian knot, what exactly was the knot Alexander slashed through that allowed him to take all of Asia, rather than untie it? I think you’re onto something there.

While we're on the subject of ropes and labyrinths, remember that Theseus uses a cord to navigate the Minotaur's labyrinth as well.  That isn't an accident I suspect. 

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33 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

While we're on the subject of ropes and labyrinths, remember that Theseus uses a cord to navigate the Minotaur's labyrinth as well.  That isn't an accident I suspect. 

It didn’t escape me…I said “The legend of Theseus and the Minotaur…the dance path of Ariadne, it’s almost like a woven pattern that takes you to the inner core, of something…(your mind, danger) always intriguing is the labyrinth.”

Ariadne with the cord saved him, he didn’t think of it himself…it’s the pattern of a weaver. Thats why I understand what you’re saying.

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3 hours ago, The Puzzler said:

It didn’t escape me…I said “The legend of Theseus and the Minotaur…the dance path of Ariadne, it’s almost like a woven pattern that takes you to the inner core, of something…(your mind, danger) always intriguing is the labyrinth.”

Ariadne with the cord saved him, he didn’t think of it himself…it’s the pattern of a weaver. Thats why I understand what you’re saying.

Well, in some ways the warp and weft of the loom does create a shifting grid onto which a labyrinth can be expressed... But that is stretching it I fear, no pun intended.

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19 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

Can you elaborate how these ornaments were/are used in Hopi and old Scandinavian culture?

I have no idea.

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8 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

I call it "coilwork" for want of a better description.  Consider what happens when you pinch a rope in the middle and twist it to form a flat circle, in the middle you will form a "yin-yang" symbol.  Here is what I mean rendered with wire:

th-1444429660.jpg.d87635eaa1fba94102ec1a726dcdc656.jpg

I suspect that many early symbols were a result of coilwork, and later evolved into knotwork.  There is a whole science devoted to knots, and another related discipline related to origami, both of which are being tackled by mathematicians.

The photo you posted only superficially looks like a labyrinth. It just a spiral.

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18 hours ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

Catholically speaking, the labyrinth is used as a meditative exercise, a space within a space where you are alone in your own head, no matter what the surrounding space is used for within the labyrinth you are alone and to be left alone. Ideally, at each turn you either remove a “thought focus” in order to reach mindful stillness or offer a different viewpoint on whatever you’re mulling over while travelling the labyrinth (travelling, incidentally, not walking, when you travel you go to a place, either of mindful stillness or realisation). 

But why exactly thìs shape?

Your interpretation is a medieval one. The labyrinths I posted are much more ancient. However, I don't know about the Hopi one.

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16 hours ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

I’d argue that Labyrinths are universal symbols b3cause they dead easy to create with a finger and some mud. It’s a doodle that ascended to theological and anthropological importance.

Dead easy to create?

url(79).thumb.jpg.69357dd91c3547727c36184a1283db45.jpgurl(79).thumb.jpg.69357dd91c3547727c36184a1283db45.jpg

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Although maybe from a sensationalist site, here another list of labyrinths;

https://listverse.com/2017/02/26/10-mysterious-ancient-labyrinths/

10-Bolshoi-Zayatsky-labyrinth.jpg.fb750a6d74c0f586df25fb32fae3f6fd.jpg

Quote:

The Russian White Sea is home to the highest concentration of Neolithic labyrinths in the world. The Solovetsky Islands alone contain 35. Dated to 3,000 years ago, they are known as vavilons (“Babylons”) by locals.

Bolshoi Zayatsky Island holds the archipelago’s most famous labyrinths. Fourteen structures cluster in an area under 0.5 square kilometers (0.2 mi2). Rows of rocks form spirals resembling serpents with their heads in the center. The largest structure is over 25 meters (82 ft) in diameter, while the smallest is around 6 meters (20 ft) in diameter.

All of Bolshoi Zayatsky’s labyrinths are located on the west side of the island. The eastern side has many rock formations, but none can be called labyrinths.

In the 1970s, Russian researchers proposed that the labyrinths had served as fish traps when the sea levels were significantly higher 5,000 years ago. Others disagree, suggesting that the labyrinths tracked the orbits of the Sun and Moon and acted as calendars.

 

Edited by Abramelin
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https://budovskiy.livejournal.com/748753.html

…The idea of the labyrinth could appear in ancient people’s minds while watching shaman’s movement during the funeral ceremony. It was always a movement around the fire, shaman would do circles or… Spirals. While moving in ritual dance, shaman would show the way to the Lower World for the souls of the dead. Trajectory of that movement – the simplest round-spiral labyrinth -- first got into people’s minds and later was imprinted in the stone. “

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12 hours ago, Abramelin said:

Dead easy to create?

url(79).thumb.jpg.69357dd91c3547727c36184a1283db45.jpgurl(79).thumb.jpg.69357dd91c3547727c36184a1283db45.jpg

I concur, they are not “dead easy” to create, took me a while to be able to draw one freehand…and it’s not just one continuous line, you have to take your pen off and start a second line.

Edited by The Puzzler
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On 7/25/2023 at 2:28 AM, Abramelin said:

Although maybe from a sensationalist site, here another list of labyrinths;

https://listverse.com/2017/02/26/10-mysterious-ancient-labyrinths/

10-Bolshoi-Zayatsky-labyrinth.jpg.fb750a6d74c0f586df25fb32fae3f6fd.jpg

Quote:

The Russian White Sea is home to the highest concentration of Neolithic labyrinths in the world. The Solovetsky Islands alone contain 35. Dated to 3,000 years ago, they are known as vavilons (“Babylons”) by locals.

Bolshoi Zayatsky Island holds the archipelago’s most famous labyrinths. Fourteen structures cluster in an area under 0.5 square kilometers (0.2 mi2). Rows of rocks form spirals resembling serpents with their heads in the center. The largest structure is over 25 meters (82 ft) in diameter, while the smallest is around 6 meters (20 ft) in diameter.

All of Bolshoi Zayatsky’s labyrinths are located on the west side of the island. The eastern side has many rock formations, but none can be called labyrinths.

In the 1970s, Russian researchers proposed that the labyrinths had served as fish traps when the sea levels were significantly higher 5,000 years ago. Others disagree, suggesting that the labyrinths tracked the orbits of the Sun and Moon and acted as calendars.

 

Babylon…fish traps…who woulda thought. Intriguing aspects.

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