Ariadne Speaks

Who was the mistress of the labyrinth?
Who was my lunar bull, that the initiates danced with?
Whose bloody hands held the sacrificial knife?
Who gave her name to the King’s first-born?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ariadne by Herbert James Draper

Dutiful daughter I, adept in the art of the spindle and the loom
Like Clothos I spun the new thread, birthed in scarlet
Like Lachesis I made its measure, to fit the greater weaving
Like Atropos I cut the thread, dyed scarlet

Priestess of the Labyrinth, walker in the deep dark places
Only comfort to my bull-brother Asterion
Sacrifices bound in red thread, down into the dark
I cut the thread, with knife in scarlet

There in the deep places, in the winding places
There with my sacred bull, blood like wine
My love crowned me with nine flames
Married in deathly dark, doomed flesh, incandescent spirit
I chose immortality

Theseus came, after too many years
Dreaming of a hero’s victory, a hero’s reward
I gave him the bloody thread of the sacrifice
I used him to give my weary brother release
As he thought he used me to gain a throne

We sailed away, me feckless hero and I
To Naxos we came, The Immortal Gods parted us
My roaring bull, with wine like blood, claimed me
My mortal clay entombed, my immortality re-born in flames of ecstasy
My nine-jeweled wedding crown enshrined in the stars

My husband and I roam the earth
We bring the place that is both center and edge
We bring the place where the chains of life fall away
My wine-stained maids, my bloody-handed students
Our dance is not safe, but it is so, so alive

The Invisible Labyrinth is my palace, I stand at the door and the center
With knife and thread, with crown and veil
Come to me, children of Earth and Starry Heaven
I will teach you of the weave and the dance of winding ways
I will teach you that to die is to marry immortality

About Ashley Sarver

Ashley Sarver is a queer, nonbinary trans femme, polytheist, gamer, and disability caregiver living in the San Francisco Bay Area. View all posts by Ashley Sarver

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