Stone Labyrinths


A small symbolic labyrinth of stones in Val Taro, which I built some time ago in an old abandoned quarry near Roccamurata.

The labyrinth is a beautiful, almost hypnotic, very ancient and very powerful symbol, it represents a journey to the center of oneself, a metaphorical journey into the depths of our mind: we get lost, we reach the centre, we find the exit, and you come back improved and stronger


"You don't get lost in the labyrinth, you find yourself in the labyrinth. In the labyrinth you don't meet the Minotaur, in the labyrinth you meet yourself"  

- H.Kern -

I will now tell you a short story that happened to me a few springs ago, in June 2001. It all began in the first days of the month when I ordered, through a catalogue, some books that dealt with ancient enigmas and past civilizations, topics that have always fascinated me.

A few days later I take advantage of a week's holiday to go to the mountains for a nice walk, here in the Parma area, in our Apennines. In the very early afternoon I leave, with a bit of laziness and without too much enthusiasm; when I get to high altitude it's very cold, the sun comes and goes and an annoying and icy wind blows, just enough to give the final blow to my already low motivation, so I give up on the excursion and go back to the car, but I didn't want to throw away so the day went, so I lingered on the road back, taking small and winding alternative roads that I had never taken, just to see something new.

It is now late afternoon when, I am in the vicinity of Passo del Cirone, I lazily walk along the winding road that cuts halfway up the slope of the mountain towards the Passo del Silara, and then descend into Val Baganza, on the right the forest descends, on the left there is there are rocky outcrops and, higher up, still the forest. Like a glow, like a flash, suddenly, while I'm driving, something strange strikes my distracted attention, a drawing, a shape in the rock, I don't immediately realize it and I continue without giving too much importance to that impression, but the more I go on and on I keep thinking about that thing, I decide to stop, I can't go on, I have to go and see: I turn the car around and go back. I arrive where the crumbling coast of the mountain lays bare some rocky layers, I pull over and go down to see up close that strange pattern which the grazing light of the late afternoon highlights even more; like a sudden apparition, shaking the monotony of a boring day, like a stone thrown into the pond, this unusual and curious imprint appears on the rock


Looking at it up close it almost seems like a footprint left by some animal crawling on the mud, which then fossilized, but its geometry makes me discard this hypothesis, it doesn't look like the mark left by a wandering animal, it doesn't seem to have a direction, it would be quite strange, both as an imprint and as an animal shape. This is not a drawing or a graffiti, because the spirals of this what looks like a labyrinth are in relief, and are made of rock, they are an integral part of the rock itself, it is something made inside the rock; whatever it was, it must have moved in the rock when it was still in its plastic state. If it were an artificial drawing or bas-relief, it would be very ancient, to say the least, given that it came from within the rock layers! None of these hypotheses convince me, however I take my trusty camera and take some images home.

A few days pass and the doorbell rings, it's the postman who has come to deliver the books I had ordered a few days before. As soon as the door is closed, I open the package with great curiosity and take those long-awaited books in my hand, unwrap them and immediately leaf through them quickly just to take a quick look at the inside pages, and suddenly two images appear that left me speechless to say the least. disconcerted:

The similarity with what I had photographed in the mountains just a few days earlier is surprising, and equally surprising is the concatenation of these coincidences: it was by chance that I took that mountain road that led me to that meeting, I had no idea when I ordered those books to find these drawings, just as it is strange that by casually opening one of the three ordered volumes, the page opened right in front of these images, Jung with his theory of the synchronicity of events, maintained that nothing happens by chance!

I don't have the necessary skills to draw conclusions about what happened and what was found, I remain simply fascinated by all this, and curiosity was also born in me about the labyrinths and their meanings, I thus discovered that these drawings have and above all have had in history has a great symbolic value, the labyrinth certainly has a great and mysterious charm, its meanders closely resemble the handwriting of the convolutions of our brain, and symbolically they can represent a path that enters the dark corridors of our mind, a path to search for the exit, for liberation. I also found, by reading and browsing online, symbolic connections between 7-level labyrinths and the 7 chakras which, in Eastern philosophies, represent the 7 energy centers present within our body. And the labyrinths reproduced on the coins depicted above, although they do not come from the East, are seven-spiral labyrinths!

Subsequently I searched in various places, very carefully, full of strange rocks, looking for something similar to what was photographed that day: animal footprints in the mud, signs on the rocks, fossil footprints, and some rocks with labyrinth-like or worm-like traces. , I found them (see following photo), but nothing comparable to that strange "thing".

Some time ago I also showed the photograph to some experts in geology and archaeology, and in their opinion, the footprint is of natural origin. Could the ancients have been inspired by these natural forms to develop their labyrinths?

The labyrinth is however a fascinating form and enigma, if only because our cerebral convolutions themselves have a labyrinthine shape. It's a curious and evocative little story