Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘6-circuit labyrinth’

Recently I became aware of this illustration:

The Rauner Library from Hanover (USA) acquired recently a specially remarkable manuscript. The manuscript is a copy of the Taj Torah produced in Yemen c. 1400-1450. This is one of only three known Hebrew manuscripts with illustrated carpet pages.

The labyrinth in the Taj Torah

The labyrinth in the Taj Torah (Illustration with kind permission of © Rauner Library)

It is a 6 circuit Jericho labyrinth. The walls are drawn with a thick red line and with a black double line. The way into the middle (Ariadne’s thread) is indicated through a banner. With this the structure of the labyrinth is revealed very well. The entrance is on top.

In a great number of manuscripts the city of Jericho is shown as a labyrinth or in the center of a labyrinth. This tradition is proved in different cultural spheres from the 9th up to the 19th century. The labyrinth type used for the Jericho Labyrinth is from the Classical 7 circuit (Cretan) on to the Chartres labyrinth.

Under them are also some 6 circuit labyrinths with 7 walls which are probably based on the Jewish tradition of the seven walls around the city of Jericho. They show an advancement of the labyrinth form.

The oldest known Jericho labyrinth with the same alignment as in the Taj Torah can be seen on a page of a Hebrew Old Testament which was completed by Josef von Xanten in 1294.

That is the reason why Andreas Frei name this type as “von Xanten”.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in a Hebrew Bible

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in a Hebrew Bible from 1294 / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 225

In the book of Hermann Kern one can find other examples of this type. One is found in the Farhi Bible from the 14th century.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in the Farhi Bible

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in the Farhi Bible from 1366-1383 / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 227

On a Hebrew scroll from the 17th century is this drawing. Here, as well as in the upper labyrinth, the entrance is at the bottom. The first turn goes to the right.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) on a Hebrew scroll

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) on a Hebrew scroll from the 17th century / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 229

The essential of a labyrinth figure can be shown through a geometrical construction in  a drawing.

The Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

On the following drawings the labyrinth is mirrored, the path first turns to the left. The path sequence, numbered from the outside inwards (in green), is 0-3-4-5-2-1-6-7. If one numbers the paths from the inside outwardly (in blue) the path sequence will be 0-1-6-5-2-3-4-7.

The original Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The original Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

If one draws a labyrinth according to this order, one receives the dual labyrinth. This looks here differently than the original one. This shows that this type of labyrinth is not selfdual as for example the Cretan 7 circuit labyrinth. One obtains a new labyrinth with another structure.

For more information about that context I recommend the website of my co-author Andreas Frei about the pattern (in German). Link >

The dual Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The dual Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

Here is the alignment of the original Labyrinth depicted as a rectangular diagram:

The pattern of the Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) as diagram

The pattern of the Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) as diagram

In this diagram with the entrance below on the right, and the center on the top on the right too, the path structure can also be presented very nicely. It is simply Ariadne’s thread as an uninterrupted line in angular form. Andreas calls this the pattern, and shows it a little bit differently. However, the essential things are identical.

Related Posts

Further Links

Read Full Post »

I got the photos and most information in this article from Jagpreet Singh from Mumbai in India. I had like to say a big thank you to him.

He was on a religious trip to Nanded in February 2013.

Jagpreet Singh reported:

I visited nearly 10 – 12 historical Gurudwaras in and around Nanded. Most of the big Gurudwaras in India have geometrical designs in the Parikrama, like the Golden Temple in Amritsar. I was really intrigued when I discovered as many as 7 labyrinths during the Parikramas (the walk around) in the different Gurudwaras.

The commonality in many of these was that they were on the left hand side of the entrance of the Temples. However, all of them were of a different design and size in the center. While some labyrinths were approx. 6 feet by 6 feet, there was one which was approx. 20 feet by 20 feet – a person can actually do the labyrinths’ walk. There was one that was approx. 4 feet by 4 feet also.

As to the material used to make them: All have been made of marble of different colours.

Even though the Gurudwaras are approx. 300 years old, all of them have gone through a major renovation in 2007-2008, (just before the 300 year centenary of the 10th Guru of the Sikhs – Guru Gobind Singh). So I am not sure if the labyrinths are a new addition or have been there all along.

Click into a photo to open the carousel. By clicking the Esc key you can return.

All photos with kind permission of Jagpreet Singh. © by Jagpreet Singh.


On the photos I could identify five different labyrinths. Four follow the pattern shown below, only one deviates from it.

They are square, the entrance is situated on the first circuit which leads clockwise around the whole figure. In the four corners are convexities in angular or circular shapes. From the last circuit one reaches the middle which is a little bigger and is mostly still decorated with geometrical patterns.
The path sequence is: 0-1-4-3-2-5-6-7. One recognises in it the relationship with the classical 3 circuit labyrinth type Knossos.

6 circuit labyrinth with seed pattern

6 circuit labyrinth with seed pattern

The designers of the labyrinths are (still) unknown, also the intended purpose. Are they pure ornaments or, nevertheless, suited for rituals? Are they influenced by the western culture or from Indian origin?

Maybe somebody knows more about these labyrinths?
In the next Caerdroia Jeff Saward has intended a publication about this and other labyrinths in India. Maybe we get to know then more?

Further Links

Read Full Post »

On occasion of the labyrinth congress at Hofkirchen i. M. I participated in a workshop in the atelier of Prof. Gerhard Wünsche, described: “The creator of the art labyrinth of transformation invites in his extraordinary atelier. The participants form a finger labyrinth in casting technique (concrete) under his instructions.”
His introduction was essentially as follows: Art is nice, however, makes a lot of work, said already Karl Valentin. And: Just laugh, then make.
Of course he gave enough assistance by the manufacture of our “pieces of art”, he gripped himself to clay, gypsum and rolling pin. But we had to decide ourselves what kind of labyrinth we wanted to perform.

Picture 1

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 3

I wanted to make something else than the well-known 7 circuit classical labyrinth, and laboriously remembered the path sequence for the 6 circuit labyrinth which I had already described in this blog earlier (see related posts). Since only with the help of the path sequence 3-2-1-6-5-4-7 I could draw the layout of  the labyrinth.
We produced a gypsum negative from our clay model from which many unique pieces can be fabricated. Some weeks ago the ceramic artist Gabriele Schubert threw and burnt this tile by using my negative workpiece:
The workpiece

The workpiece

The artpiece

The artpiece

Related Posts

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: