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Ariadne by ThaliaTook Ariadne by ThaliaTook
Ariadne by ThaliaTook (print image)

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Ariadne, Whose name means 'The Utterly Pure', is the Cretan Mistress of the Labyrinth. In later Greek myth She is depicted as a mortal princess, but it's pretty clear Her origins are divine.

In the Greek legend She was the daughter of King Minos of Crete; Her half-brother was the monstrous half-man, half-bull Minotaur imprisoned within the labyrinth. When Theseus came, as part of the tribute of youths and maidens fed to the monster, She fell in love with him and helped him to defeat the Minotaur, in part by giving him a ball of string to unwind and then rewind so he could find his way back.

Theseus, being a git, abandoned Her the first chance he got; but here Her divine origins shine through a bit, as the God Dionysos then found Her and fell in love with Her, and They were married. She was, most likely, already His wife.

As a Goddess then Ariadne has Underworld and even shamanic attributes, as the labyrinth represents the journey into the dark and the subsequent return to the light.

She is also associated with stars; the constellation of the Corona Borealis is said to have been Her marriage crown. (This constellation is also associated with the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod.) The Minotaur was also sometimes known by the name Asterios, meaning Star.

I have shown Her here untangling the ball of thread with which the labyrinth is navigated.
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Submitted on
August 27, 2012
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