I’ve been reading an interesting book “Art and Spiritual Transformation” by Finley Eversole. Amongst other thought-provoking chapters, he has one dedicated to the underlying symbolism of the labyrinth. For example, did you know the distinction between mazes and labyrinths? As follows:
Maze: A series of underground tunnels and passages with intersecting paths that wander chaotically, winding back on themselves or terminating in dead ends.
Labyrinth: Seven circuits of one path which lead eventually – and only – to the centre.
Eversole goes on to discuss how the general ‘lost’ feeling of life is akin to wandering within a maze, however when one begins to focus on spiritual transformation this maze sublimates into a labyrinth. Of course, at the centre of the labyrinth who does one find but the Minotaur. The Minotaur is said to be representative of our animal nature; a creature in which the beast rules the intellect. This is indicated by the bull head atop a human form.
To be able to escape the labyrinth, therefore, it is said that we must defeat the Minotaur and thus symbolically defeat our animal nature. Only when the Minotaur is vanquished can we find our way from out the Labyrinth by following Ariadne’s silver thread. The silver thread is allegorical for our spiritual nature, always apart and yet nearby, should we choose to pursue it…