The labyrinth was both an important symbol and ground marking to the ancient Camunni; and also to other peoples. The Labyrinth Society website has a Labyrinth Locator where you may try to find one in your area. I actually found a ground labyrinth last year, made of stones, on the edge of private property near a nearby public trail. Finding it was quite a surprise, as it was sort've hidden just off the beaten path. When I am able to visit, I always clean it up a bit. As you can imagine, I'm not in a big hurry to make everyone aware of this location.
Prehistoric labyrinths are believed to have served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances. In medieval times, the labyrinth symbolized a hard path to God with a clearly defined center (God) and one entrance (birth). In their cross-cultural study of signs and symbols, Patterns that Connect, Carl Schuster and Edmund Carpenter present various forms of the labyrinth and suggest various possible meanings, including not only a sacred path to the home of a sacred ancestor, but also, perhaps, a representation of the ancestor him/herself: "...many [New World] Indians who make the labyrinth regard it as a sacred symbol, a beneficial ancestor, a deity. In this they may be preserving its original meaning: the ultimate ancestor, here evoked by two continuous lines joining its twelve primary joints."
One can think of labyrinths as symbolic of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later, the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence.
Many newly made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Modern mystics use labyrinths to help them achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind. The Labyrinth Society provides a locator for modern labyrinths all over the world.
In addition, the labyrinth can serve as a metaphor for situations that are difficult to be extricated from, as an image that suggests getting lost in a subterranean dungeon-like world. Octavio Paz titled his book on Mexican identity The Labyrinth of Solitude, describing the Mexican condition as orphaned and lost.
Hermeticism, Alchemy, and Western Ceremonial Magic--apparently, largely all the same thing--is a subject which has been covered here often. I can't seem to find an image which I can say is the authentic Emerald Tablet, as there are many replicas. Perhaps the name is more of a concept name, rather than an actual piece.
The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of Hermetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition.
Below is one of the many translations, by English physicist, mathematician, and Alchemist Isaac Newton. I'm surprised that the tablet has fourteen points, rather than that ever-present number thirteen. There is a relationship between Hermeticism/Alchemy and Freemasonry/Rosicrucianism; although I do not know if this nexus is deep, or more casual. I'm guessing it's the former.
A translation by Isaac Newton is found among his alchemical papers that are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University.
1. Tis true without lying, certain and most true.
2. That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing....
3. And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
4. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
5. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
6. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
7. Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven and again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior.
9. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world....
10. And thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
11. Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
12. So was the world created.
13. From this are and do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world....
14. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.
Meditation bad for you?
I came across the following article last week. I doubt that it's actually bad for you, but I think that a person can sometimes just be too spiritual... too many rules to live by. Often projects or problems have messy solutions. Evolutionary struggle must be part of life's equation.
'The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims'
The Number Nine
Although this video comes from an Odinic path, the number "9" is also a very important number in European witchcraft.
In the legend of the Holy Strega we encounter a set of nine scrolls, and in this number we find lunar symbolism. Nine is a triple form of the number three, and three represents the triformis goddess of witchcraft: Hecate, Diana, and Proserpina. Therefore the nine scrolls, as a mystical element of Aradia's legend, represent the teachings of the lunar cult. --Raven Grimassi, 'The Book of the Holy Strega
9 Laws of magic
Nikola Tesla, the greatest scientist of modern times, stated that the
numbers three, six, and nine are the key to the universe; almost as a natural amendment to the Pythagoras statement that number rules the universe.
Nikola Tesla 3 6 9
Tomb of Dracula
The Tomb of Dracula is a horror comic book series published by Marvel Comics from April 1972 to August 1979. The 70-issue series featured a group of vampire hunters who fought Count Dracula and other supernatural menaces.
In the 70s, my father would rent a camper every year--as he had a six-week summer vacation--and we would drive to the Midwest from California to visit relatives. I recall that this was my favorite comic book. Comics were huge then, and were all in color, and inexpensive. This comic series led to the Blade and van Helsing movies years later.
If it's possible for a comic book to provoke strong emotion and mystery, then 'The Tomb of Dracula' did just that. It's wasn't really "for kids," as there was a lot of violence and killing. In 2010 the entire series, with many hundreds of pages, became available in book form with several improved-full-color volumes.