Posts Tagged ‘Man-in-the-Maze style’

Labyrinths With Multiple Arms

Until now, almost exclusively labyrinths of the basic type (Cretan type) have been implemented in the Man-in-the-Maze style. All one-arm labyrinths can be drawn in this style (see related posts 2, below). But is this also possible in labyrinths with multiple arms? I have tried this out with the most famous labyrinth with multiple arms, the Chartres type labyrinth. And it works. I have already shown the result in January (see related posts 1). In order to arrive there, a prolonged process was needed. In the following I will describe the detailed steps.

Jacques Hébert† has shown on his website (see further links 1, below), that a one-arm labyrinth exists, which has the same seed pattern as the main axis of the Chartres type labyrinth. He had derived this from the enigmatic labyrinth drawing (fig. 1) contained in a medieval manuscript.

Figure 1. Enigmatic Labyrinth Drawing from a Manuscript Compiled 860-862 by Heiric of Auxerre

For this, he had deleted the hand drawn figures indicating the side-arms and closed the gaps where the walls delimiting the pathway were left interrupted. He had named the labyrinth after learned Benedictine monk Heiric of Auxerre who had compiled this manuscript in about 860 – 862.

Figure 2. Labyrinth Named after Heiric of Auxerre by Jacques Hébert

The website of Hébert is no longer active any more. Thanks to a note by Samuel Verbiese we can now find it again in The Internet Archive (see further links 2). Erwin also has introduced this type of labyrinth in this blog (see related posts 3).

The Heiric of Auxerre labyrinth is ideally suited as a starting point. It is quasi the Chartres type as a one-arm labyrinth. So let us first transform this labyrinth into the MiM-style (fig. 3).

Figure 3. The Heiric of Auxerre Labyrinth in the MiM Style

The seed pattern of this labyrinth has 24 ends as have all seed patterns of labyrinths with 11 circuits. So we need an auxiliary figure with 24 spokes for the transformation into the MiM-style.

Next, the side-arms have to be included. A first attempt can be made by retrieving the barriers. This can be achieved by inserting 3 additional spokes for each side-arm as shown in fig. 4.

Figure 4. Insertion of the Side Arms

Thus, the auxiliary figure is extended from 24 to 33 spokes. The result is shown in fig. 5.

Figure 5. Labyrinth of the Chartres Type…

This now looks quite decently like a MiM labyrinth. However, upon a closer view it reveals as unsatisfactory. Fig. 6 shows the reasons why.

Figure 6. … in a Hybrid Style

This labyrinth is of a hybrid style. While the main axis is formed in the MiM-style, the side-arms, however, are in the concentric style. The turning points of the pathway (red arcs in the figure) on the main axis are aligned along the circles of the auxiliary figure. On the side-arms, however, they are aligned along the spokes. What is characteristic for the MiM-style is the seed pattern of the main axis. The figure looks much like a labyrinth in the MiM-style because the main axis with it’s 24 of 33 spokes dominates the whole picture.

Therefore, if we want to implement a labyrinth with multiple arms in the MiM-style, we must also transform the side-arms into the MiM-style. For this it is necessary to really understand and consequently adopt

  • how the seed pattern is organised in the MiM-style
  • and correspondingly, how the pieces of the pathway traversing the arms have to be designed.

More about this in following posts.

Related posts:

  1. Our Best Wishes for 2018
  2. How to Draw a Man-in-the-Maze Labyrinth
  3. Does the Chartres Labyrinth hide a Troy Town….

Further Links:

  1. Website by Jacques Hébert
  2. The Internet Archive



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In the last post I have introduced the eleven-circuit Cakra Vyuh Labyrinth. Even though the seed pattern has a central cross and also can be easily drawn freehand, it is not a labyrinth in the Classical style. In fig. 1 I show the seed pattern in different variants.


Figure 1. Variants of the Seed Pattern

Image a shows the original seed pattern, image b the seed pattern in the Classical style, image c in the Concentric style, and image d in the Man-in-the-Maze style.

This figure clearly shows that the original seed pattern deviates from the Classical style. It is true that this seed pattern has a central cross as for instance the Cretan labyrinth also. However in the Cakra Vyuh seed pattern, from this cross further junctions branch off.

This is different in the Classical style. The Classical style consists of verticals, horizontals, ankles and dots. For this, no central cross is required. This page illustrates well, what I mean (left figure of each pair). If a seed pattern includes ankles these lie between the cross arms and do not branch off from them.

The four images in fig. 1 in part look quite different one from each other. So how do I come to the assertion that they are four variants of the same seed pattern? Let us remember that these figures show seed patterns for the walls delimiting the pathway. Now let us inscribe the seed patterns for the Ariadne’s Thread into these figures (fig. 2).


Figure 2. With the Seed Pattern for the Ariadne’s Thread Inscribed

At first glance this looks even more complex. However, if we focus on the red figures, we will soon see what they have in common.


Figure 3. Seed Pattern for the Ariadne’s Thread

The seed pattern represents a section of the entire labyrinth. More exactly, it is the section along the axis of the labyrinth. The turning points of the pathway align to the axis. This can be better seen on the seed pattern for the Ariadne’s Thread compared with the seed pattern for the walls delimiting the pathway.

In all four seed patterns, turns of the pathway with single arcs interchange with turns made-up of two nested arcs. This constitutes the manner and sequence of the turns and is the basic information contained in the seed pattern. In the four seed patterns shown, the alignment of the turns may vary from circular (image a, image d) to longisch, vertical, slim (image b, image c). The shape of the arcs is adapted to the shape of the walls delimiting the pathway. However in all images it is a single turn in alternation with two nested turns.

Related posts:

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