Ariadne The Labyrinth Of The Soul  

Posted by Stella Clark

Ariadne The Labyrinth Of The Soul Image
Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the king of Crete. It so happened that Minos needed to settle a dispute with his brother and prayed to the sea god, Poseidon, to send him a bull as a sign that the throne rightly belonged to him. Minos promised that he would then sacrifice the animal to Poseidon. So, in response, Poseidon sent a magnificent white bull. The story goes that Minos liked the bull so much that he decided to keep it and instead sacrificed another bull...making Poseidon so angry that he cursed Ariadne's family, causing the Queen to have passionate feelings towards the bull. Well, eventually the Queen and the bull mated, and she became pregnant...giving birth to a boy with the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man, the Minotaur. Minos banished him into the labyrinth blackness below the palace. From thence on, Ariadne's half-brother was fed on sacrificial children sent from Athens every seven years. Heroic Theseus was one of the 14 youths sent to Crete to face death at the hands of the Minotaur.

When Theseus arrived to participate in the bull games. Ariadne too one look at him and her passions ignited. She devised a plan to help him to slay the minotaur and return safely ghrough the dark tunnels of the labyrinth. So, through the labyrinth he crawled, quietly, so as not to awaken the sleeping Minotaur. Wrapped around his wrist was a ball of yarn provided by Ariadne which he had tied to the pillar at the gate at the entrance to the maze so that he could find his way back to the outer world. For her complicity, Theseus promised that he would marry her and take her to Athens.

Theseus succeeds and that evening, he and Ariadne escaped...she having betrayed her family. The next night they reached the island of Nexos and, exhausted by travelling and passion, they collapsed into a deep, deep sleep. But, the next morning when Ariadne awakened, she discovered that her lover had vanished, and while standing at the edge of the shore she could make the sails of his ship in the distance. The ungrateful Theseus was pursuing his way home...without her. Ariadne, abandoned and betrayed, descended into her own complex world on the shores of Nexos.

Aphrodite, the goddess who had ignited her passions, those passions which led to her suffering, then appeared to Ariadne and revealed her true fate. Ariadne was to marry her real soul mate, the divine Dionysus who celebrated their sacred marriage by offering her the crown as the symbol of their intimacy and eternal union. Soon after their marriage, Ariadne gave birth to many famous children.

Ariadne is the one who chooses Theseus, finding him attractive and falling in love with him. She also sees him as a way to escape her father's home. Blinded by her own passions, Ariadne had been a willing participant in her abandonment. In betraying her family to follow Theseus, she had set the cycle of betrayal in motion. Alone, she was forced to connect with her internal world.

This myth portrays the heart's painful journey when connection to the inner self is severed and sacrificed to the lover. Ariadne chose to follow her lover's course rather than her own internal labyrinth journey, and lost her direction....thus, loosing contact with her own inner wisdom. Abandoned, she could no longer define herself exclusively through her partner paving the way for a more authentic sense of self to emerge. The painful process she went through of confronting her naive trust and blind faith in Theseus enabled her to find renewal and redemption allowing for a more divine sense of union.

Ariadne's story also teaches us that things may not always happen the way we expect or hope they will, but sometimes these unexpected turns on our paths can lead us to wonderful, new options that we hadn't even considered.

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This entry was posted on 10 March 2010 at Wednesday, March 10, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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