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Mazes and Labyrinths

8 9 A Renaissance publication, The Orchard and the Garden, written by Adam Islip in 1602 contains the maze shown opposite. A bold and arresting design with three square circuits, four circular, and one between which is six of one and half a dozen of the other, it also boasts four secret triangular islands to hide, cuddle or snuggle in, or possibly get lost around. The total number of circuits here is actually the octave, eight. The theme of this pattern may later have been used by William Waldorf Astor who in 1905 planted a hedge maze very similar to this design at Hever Castle in Kent. The maze is still there today and marks the place where Henry VIII once courted poor Anne Boleyn. A stone labyrinth, also based on this design, can be found at Pahaluoto in Finland. The design is one way of squaring a circle, where a circle representing Heaven and a square representing Earth are brought together in some intelligent manner. Here, various aspects of the circular heavens are explored, followed by a few corners of the earth, before a single choice is offered. One path leads to a dead end, the other to the Oasis. It should of course be remembered that, like so many things in life, no pictures, words or theories can ever really replace the experience of actually walking the path. ADAM iSlipS DESigN eight, square and circle
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