The Seed Pattern in Labyrinths with Multiple Arms

The seed pattern is an extract of the axis of the labyrinth without the circuits. A seed pattern can also be drawn for labyrinths with multiple arms.

Figure 1. The Arms

Figure 1. The Arms

Fig. 1 shows this with a one-arm and a two-arm labyrinth compared. The one-arm labyrinth is of the Cretan type, the two-arm labyrinth is one of my own designs. For reasons of simplicity I chose the representation with the Ariadne’s Thread.

In labyrinths with multiple arms a separate seed pattern has to be extracted for each arm. Of course, these two parts belong together. This should become directly evident.

The seed pattern for the Ariadne’s Thread is drawn with an auxiliary line that delimits the layout of the seed pattern (see related posts below). This auxiliary line can be used to graphically connect the two part-seed patterns.

Figure 2. Connecting the Part-Seed Patterns

Figure 2. Connecting the Part-Seed Patterns

Figure 2 shows how we can prodeed for this. In one-arm labyrinths the center lies beyond the seed pattern. And, strictly speaking, it always has to be indicated, where the center of the labyrinth is situated. In labyrinths with two arms the seed pattern of the side-arm is situated beyond the center opposite to the seed pattern of the main axis of the labyrinth. In a seed pattern of a labyrinth with multiple arms, the center is fixed by the situation of the arms relative to each other. And thus it comes to lie within the seed pattern. With the auxiliary line the sub seed patterns for the Ariadne’s Thread can easily be connected in the shape of an “8”. This can be drawn freehand in one line. By doing so, we have performed a variation of the original circular or elliptic form to a petal-shaped form. This, however, is a minor variation and does not affect the seed pattern itself.

Figure 3. Completing the Seed Pattern for the Ariadne's Thread

Figure 3. Completing the Seed Pattern for the Ariadne’s Thread

As fig. 3 shows, the seed pattern of a multi-arm labyrinth is completed exactly the same way as a one-arm labyrinth seed pattern (see related posts). The ends of the seeds nearest to the centre are connected first. By this, the innermost circuit is generated. Next, the ends nearest to the first circuit are connected the same way, and so forth. And so, one circuit after another is added from the inside out. The only difference to a one-arm labyrinth is, that in a multiple-arm labyrinth multiple segments have to be generated for each circuit. In a two-arm seed pattern, for each circuit, four ends have to be connected with two sections of circuits between the two arms.

There are two notable differences in the shape of the seed pattern of the main axis and of the side arms.

  • The seed pattern of the main axis has two ends more than the seed patterns for the side arms. This is due to the fact that the entrance of the labyrinth and the access to the center lie on the main axis.
  • Usually we consider alternating labyrinths where the path does not traverse the main axis (although there are some notable exceptions). In these labyrinths it is indispensable that the path traverses the side arms. Otherwise it would not be possible to reach the area opposite the side-arm and it thus would be impossible to generate the side arm at all.
Figure 4. Completing the Seed Pattern for the Walls

Figure 4. Completing the Seed Pattern for the Walls

Of course, what is valid for the Ariadne’s Thread works with the walls of the labyrinth too. The seed pattern for the walls, however, looks more complicated and less elegant. The part-seed patterns of the two arms are not graphically connected, as the seed pattern for the walls traditionally is drawn without an auxiliary line. The Ariadne’s Thread is the simpler graphical representation of both, the labyrinth and the seed pattern of it.

Relatecd posts:

1 thought on “The Seed Pattern in Labyrinths with Multiple Arms

  1. Pingback: The Seed Pattern in Labyrinths with Multiple Arms (continued) | blogmymaze

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