Click for Enlarged Photo of Medallion

Labyrinth means "house of the double ax", deriving from "labrys", the sacred ax of ancient Crete. The form of the Labyrinth is to be found in many places and cultures; in the world of the ancient near east, it represented the soul's journey into the center of the uterine underworld and its return toward eventual rebirth. A labyrinth was not the same as a maze, as it had only one path, winding but without divisions or branches; a path that moved inevitably toward the center of the labyrinth, and then outwards again.

Although contemporary labyrinths now are to be seen in public places and churches, as well as many private sanctuaries, in the distant past they may have usually occurred in or around sacred caves, symbolizing a descent into the womb of Mother Earth, emerging again to the world of life, light and form. This ancient motif of the spiritual journey was later Christianized, and can be seen today on the floor plans of many early and Renaissance era churches and cathedrals, among them, the great Cathedral at Chartres.

Ancient Symbol Gallery | Back| Next

Medallion Gallery:
Alchemy | Ancient Symbols | Animal Spirits| Celtic | Heraldry
Mythical Beings
| Native American | Runes | US Military | Zodiac

HomeAbout | Schedule | Gallery Index | Order | Custom Work | Contact | Links

Copyright © 2004 Michael Stewart - Quick Silver Mint
Website Design by Lauren Raine and Creation-Designs