TriadCity Message of the Day

The Labyrinth is online, inside The Park NorthWest.

Our Labyrinth is a scaled-down analog to the classical design at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, which in turn follows that of Chartres. Dr. Lauren Artress writes in her book Walking a Sacred Path,

"The circular design of the Chartres labyrinth is from the tradition of the Knights Templar. Legend says that the design was part of King Solomon's temple and was carried to France by the Templars. This style of labyrinth is also associated with the Freemasons, the guilds that provided the expertise and the labor for the building of the Gothic cathedrals throughout Europe."

With differences. Most importantly, the medieval labyrinths were two-dimensional patterns on an open floor, meaning that walkers were able to see each other if they chose to. The TriadCity Labyrinth departs from this tradition via "walls" of trees and bushes which separate the circuits, and thus the walkers, from one another. In doing this, it probably owes something to the tradition of Renaissance hedge mazes of the 16th century and later.

Additionally, our Labyrinth is much, much smaller than the classical eleven-circuit design. Translating eleven circuits to TriadCity scale would have required approximately 800 moves to reach the center. While that would have been authentic... well, even we thought it was too much. With feedback from interested players, we've chosen a simple three-circuit course resulting in 72 moves from entrance to center. This is a lot of moves in Triad terms, and it does a reasonable job of capturing the characteristic back-and-forth course of the classical designs.

Note carefully that a labyrinth is not a maze. Dr. Artress writes,

"Labyrinths are unicursal. They have one well-defined path that leads us into the center and back out again. There are no tricks to it: no dead-ends or cul-de-sacs, no intersecting paths."

Walk it in peace.

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