Ariadne of the winding way, wise one
who knows the shortest path may not be the best,
daughter of old Crete, you have seen the fall of cities,
you have seen the death and the resurrection of faith,
you have lived many lives and begun many journeys.
Clever girl, your wit and wile break open any
mystery, solve any puzzle, answer any riddle.
Best beloved of wine-soaked Dionysos,
you lead the maenads in their dance, ever circling,
ever inward; you face the unknown with no fear,
knowing that whatever may be, you are its equal.
Ariadne, you lead at once with head and heart,
you open your whole self to what may come. Goddess,
I thank you for your blessings and your many gifts.
Clever Ariadne, child of seagirt Crete,
wise and cunning one whose agile mind finds purchase
on the frailest of notions, the slightest of signs,
goddess who turns, and turns, and turns again
until the way is clear. Ariadne, goddess,
I am blinded by expectation, shackled
by experience, bound to the proven and the known.
Open my mind to all that is possible,
light for me the paths long abandoned, long unknown.
Gloried Ariadne, pure one, ancient one,
whose feet trod the ground of old and storied Crete,
mistress of the labyrinth, mistress of the serpent:
to every riddle there is an answer,
to every puzzle a solution, to every trap
a sweet release. Ariadne, you know the ways
of the tangled wood, you know of complexities,
and intricacies; where others see knots and snarls
you see the patterns of the world. Ariadne,
gracious one, I am confused, I fear to move,
I cannot find my way. I pray to you, goddess,
open my eyes to the path before me, guide me
on my journey, grant me steady footing, reveal
to me my missteps, bring me to a resolution.
Clever Ariadne, fairest daughter of Crete,
wise one, passionate one, goddess who knows much
of the heart and its demands, who woke all alone
on the white shores of Naxos, who was borne away
by wild-haired Dionysos to the high-reaching
halls of Olympos, to be his shining bride.
Graceful Ariadne, free-hearted one who dances
on the sand and in the temple, who knows the way
through any maze, who knows the way through any trouble.
Mistress of puzzles, mistress of answers, with wit
and with reflection you find the way to the self;
you find the way to the center and back again.
I call to Ariadne, daughter of noble Minos
and shining Pasiphae, grandchild of bright Helios,
beloved bride of ivy-wreathed Dionysos
who bore you to Olympos and made you his wife,
by Zeus’ hand deathless and forevermore young,
to stand in the company of the blessed gods.
On ancient Crete were you born, Ariadne,
there did you take your first breath; on Naxos’ shore
did you begin your true existence at Bacchus’ side;
with him were you honored with feasts and processions,
with him did you join the dance of maenad and satyr.
In days still older, Ariadne, days so bygone
their stories shift like sand in the surf, in those days too
were you lauded, did you receive gifts of sweet honey.
Ariadne, full-hearted and wise, I call to you.
Ariadne, clever one, impassioned one,
venturesome one of whom great tales are told,
daughter of Crete, of Minos and Pasiphae,
dear grandchild of Helios who sees all things,
beloved of dark-eyed Dionysos,
I praise you. Fair Ariadne, wise one,
comely one, whose graceful, certain feet
trace patterns in the sand as you dance,
whose companions are the free-hearted maenads,
who takes joy in all the sweet things of the world.
Ariadne, ancient one, noble one,
firm of step, true of course, clear of mind.
Through any labyrinth you make your way,
in any intricacy you see design.
Ariadne, whose keen eye sees what is,
whose open heart embraces what may be,
Ariadne, I praise and honor you.