Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The History of the Labyrinth...

...And Why You Should Care

I am delighted to welcome Paranormal Romance author, Erin Moore onto my blog today. Her latest - Awakened by The Minotaur - will keep you turning the pages, absorbed in the adventure and romance, that has its roots in the distant past, spanning many diverse cultures. Here, she tells us about a key symbol from her story - the labyrinth. It's a fascinating tale in itself. Over to you, Erin:

Most of us think of labyrinths as something from ancient Greece. And they are well represented there. But did you know that this symbol also appears in ancient Indian texts, as well as Native American histories and symbols? Even in ancient Egypt, we know of an amazingly complex labyrinth that Herodotus says surpassed the pyramids themselves in their complexity and awesomeness:

It has twelve covered courts — six in a row facing north, six south — the gates of the one range exactly fronting the gates of the other. Inside, the building is of two storeys and contains three thousand rooms…The roof of every chamber, courtyard, and gallery is, like the walls, of stone. The walls are covered with carved figures, and each court is exquisitely built of white marble and surrounded by a colonnade.[20]

Wouldn’t that have been amazing to see? 

The Hopi of the Southwest, too, have a history with the labyrinth. They believe that it represents the life cycle of man/woman, from birth through to death, following an umbilical cord. It also represents the connection between Mother Earth and her children. Other South American cultures also have a history of the labyrinth and the labyrinth symbol. 

(The author’s own picture. Labyrinth symbols amongst Hopi hieroglyphs in Arizona.)

This ancient pattern is still used today in churches and secular buildings for quiet contemplation or group exercises.  Why would these labyrinths have endured so long, and more, what can it tell us of the ancient cultures that used it? 

We know for sure that this pattern has been associated with the Mother and our own journey through life, and that future generations may have connected to this unknowingly, as a patriarchal and monotheistic religion gradually took over most cultures. We may also infer that the mythical minotaur was in fact a symbol of our inner demons, something that must be faced down before we can continue to the next stage (or turn of the labyrinth) of our lives. 

However we choose to think of labyrinths, I always find them fascinating. What do you think? Do you think that each of these cultures came up with the labyrinth on their own, or that this is an imprint from our original “ur-culture”?

Lara Castille always plays it safe in both love and life. But when she arrives on vacation in Crete, she is determined to enjoy herself. Old habits die hard, though. Drawn to her tour guide, the enigmatic and sexy Teo Lambros, she cannot let down her guard—until she takes part in the ancient and sensual rites at the ruins of Knossos. She dreams of the minotaur who takes her upon the altar, and wonders if it could be Teo who brought her to ecstasy.

A gray haze clouds Teo’s memory of the rites; he knows only that the bull has chosen him for his own. He fears that the land will once again need a sacrifice, as it did when it claimed his fiancée the year before. Though he cannot deny his need for Lara, he knows that protecting her from his desire is the only way to keep her safe.

As the island’s magic demands everything they have, Lara and Teo must discover what’s real and what’s imagined if they’re to survive the passionate sexuality that draws them together…

 You can buy Awakened By The Minotaur here:


  About the Author

Erin’s most recent paranormal romance features both a minotaur and a labyrinth. A regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers, she is sadly neglectful of her own blog.

She lives in Atlanta with two little paranormal beings and one unruly husband. Find her on Twitter and Facebook. Her free short story, To Love a Shaman, is available on her website. She's also giving away a critique of a first chapter with a subscription to her newsletter


  1. How lovely to see the other Mz Moore here! AND with such an interesting post too.

    1. I agree, Shey. And the more you look into it, the more labyrinths keep turning up throughout history, and right up to the present day, they seem to resonate far into our consciousness.

  2. I'm heading right off to buy this one! Sounds wonderful. Good luck Erin. Thanks Antonia.

    1. It does look like a great book, doesn't it, Noelle? Erin's a fantastic storyteller