earthweal weekly challenge: When to the center? and dVerse’ OLN

image of the Otfid labyrinth design

image:  The Otfrid labyrinth design, here the scene for the battle between Theseus and the Minotaur, in a late twelfth century manuscript from Regensburg, Germany.

 

Ten thousand collective steps
have gotten us to right here,
twisting and turning, each with,
moment by moment, myriad
steps of thinking, feeling,
receiving, transmitting, yet
within a context of one-way-in
one-way-out, as prescribed.
When will we reach the center
so we can step our ways back
to the beginning of things?

 

Labyrinths have fascinated me for quite awhile. A traveling Medieval/Chartres-style labyrinth, printed on a giant piece of vinyl/canvas/plastic (forgot now) was laid on the floor of the local community college gymnasium. Flowers, candles, and drummers outside of the circle did a wonderful job of calling in the spirits as one-by-one, with spaces in between walkers, we entered the labyrinth. I’ve been walking them ever since, all Medieval-style so far, trying to recapture the magic of that first experience. My opinion is that it’s better as a group, with the proper cultivation of calling the spirits in to join with the walkers.

The following comes from the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator website, which I would heartily encourage anyone who is interested in labyrinths to check out.

As our awareness of labyrinths expands, it becomes more and more important to keep our terminology consistent. … With this in mind, Jeff Saward and Sig Lonegren — with help from Alex Champion, Robert Ferré, Adrian Fisher, John Kraft and many others — have worked together over the years to create a classification of labyrinths…

Classical Labyrinths

The Classical Labyrinth
(also known as Cretan, Seven-path/circuit)

Existing for at least 3500 years, the archetypal labyrinth design consists of a single pathway that loops back and forth to form seven circuits, bounded by eight walls, surrounding the central goal. It is found in both circular and square forms. There are sub-categories of Baltic, Chakra Vyuha, seed patterns, Otfrid. The Otfrid was an important though short-lived labyrinth variety, the Otfrid is based on the classical seed pattern, but is drawn concentrically with an additional set of turns added to create an eleven-circuit labyrinth. First found in Christian manuscripts from the mid-ninth century CE, it probably provided the impetus for the development of the much more influential medieval design.

Other major classifications detailed at the site are Roman, Medieval, Contemporary, and Mazes.

–From the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator website, but taken from the text © Jeff Saward 2003 from Jeff’s study of historical labyrinths and mazes, published in the UK as Labyrinths & Mazes: The Definitive Guide to Ancient & Modern Traditions by Gaia Books, London, 2003.

The site is also home to The Labyrinth Society

 

 

Ingrid is today’s host for earthweal‘s weekly challenge.  Ingrid says:
For this week’s challenge, let’s examine the possibility of rhyming, or perhaps even dancing our way out of the Anthropocene labyrinth.

Bjorn is today’s host of dVerse’ (LIVE) Open Link Night.

41 Comments Add yours

  1. scotthastiepoet says:

    Yes.. yes… “when will we…” is always the essence of the labyrith experience, I think… Real or imagined. And great that you dug that out here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Scott.

      Like

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Labyrinth over maze, refrain over aimless meandering, yes. Nothing is truly linear, and simplification is both a sin and a misnomer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn thank you for your perceptions on the topic. I think we’ve made it way too complicated with too many choices. Maybe there’s a middle ground?

      Like

  3. memadtwo says:

    A wonderful analogy of the current human state. When is it really too much? That’s when we collectively turn around.
    And great song selection. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, I’m glad you got what I was getting at. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the song also.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Truedessa says:

    I find myself wondering when will we reach the center, as that is where the change will take place. Too many twists and turns lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brendan says:

    Thanks Lisa – the labyrinth is a vastly gripping riddle answered in turns of mind. Maybe its the centrifugal motion of constant or recurrent thought, but it sure is enduring! Thanks for sharing your excavations at earthweal …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You do have a way with words, Brendan. A “vastly gripping riddle” says so much. You are welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. merrildsmith says:

    I, too, wonder when, if, when we reach the center, and if we’ll turn around, or perhaps what we’ll meet?
    I had no idea there were so many types of labyrinths, or a society devoted to them. In a strange bit of synchrony, we’re re-watching Dexter, and in last night’s episode the bad guy Dexter was after would build mazes and wore a bull’s head as he would chase his victims through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I also wonder what we’ll meet in the center and what kind of essential transformative experience it will take to get us to turn around.

      About Dexter, I’m rewatching also, in prep for season 9. (Now I just have to find a way to get Showtime in order to watch it!) That was a danged scary episode! That guy was one bad hombre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        He was–although not the brightest bulb. 😀
        My husband never watched it before, so it’s all new to him, and I’ve forgotten a lot of the details.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Agreed on the “brute” and the way he was portrayed, killing again and again yet the justice system ill-equipped to hold him accountable. I agree on being refreshed on so many details this time through. I also noticed that I’m different in my perceptions of events and characters. I really grew to dislike Rita the first time through, but this time I appreciate her so much more. Also I had forgotten how truly evil the character played by Lithgow was! Probably a purposeful forgetting…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. merrildsmith says:

            Perhaps so, since he’s such a good actor. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for writing this inspiring piece, Lisa! When will we reach the centre indeed? I love that you linked to the Labyrinth Society site. I was interested to learn that their vision ‘is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.’
    Just what this challenge is all about! The labyrinth must be a truly fascinating figure to have haunted our imaginations through milennia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re very welcome, and I appreciated the prompt. I think there is a power in them we have got to re-learn to harness. I think so much ancient knowledge has been lost along the way…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The way out is clear, but we choose not to see it. I suppose we’ll just hunker down in the middle and let things go to hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hedgewitch says:

    Every labyrinth has a monster at its heart, and when we get there, perhaps we always find that it is, like the Minotaur, the living embodiment of our biggest mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I have made so many big mistakes I couldn’t even begin to imagine what the biggest one is. Collectively, electricity is probably our biggest mistake.

      Like

  10. writingwhatnots says:

    Thought-provoking write Lisa. Your poem causes me to wonder what are we expecting to find? Thank you for the fascinating background on labyrinths.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Marion, I only began to wonder that very thing after writing the poem. What is it that we will find and what will it have to be to turn us around. You are very welcome. That site is a wealth of info on labyrinths. What I think I like best about it is that it is a database for every labyrinth out there. You might be surprised at how many are very close to where you are and you didn’t even know it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. writingwhatnots says:

        You’re right. I’ve just had a look. There’s one twenty miles away from me!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          🙂 I have to ask…. do you think you will visit it?

          Like

          1. writingwhatnots says:

            I shall put it on my ever-growing list of places to check out. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  11. robtkistner says:

    This is wonderful Lisa. I enjoyed the journey… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob, thank you 🙂

      Like

  12. Gillena Cox says:

    Nice one. You question of the end line is a labryinth in itself.

    Much💖love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gillena, thank you very much.

      Like

  13. sanaarizvi says:

    A brilliant analogy, Lisa! I especially like; “myriad steps of thinking,” .. there are so many ways in which the human mind works and perceives. 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Sanaa 🙂

      Like

  14. Sherry Marr says:

    I love those closing lines. That is what I keep wondering too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Sherry.

      Like

  15. We have to care with our hearts to get to the center! Then we will find the ingenuity out of the labyrinth! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Tricia, I like your hypothesis! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Maybe the worst monster in the labyrinth is the one that takes us right back to the beginning… as a Sisyphean nightmare…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      May be! If we choose to keep walking towards the monster… I hope it’s a chance to start again, going in another direction…

      Like

  17. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Cool website…and of course song.
    My favorite one is the hedge Labyrinth in the Shining. I’m not sure if that was real or made up for the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Whoever thought of setting that scene in there was a genius. I don’t normally think of snow as menacing, but it sure took on a life of its own in that scene. The ice crystals on him, his frosty breath, etc…

      Like

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