Ariadne, White Strings, and Labyrinths 1

I’m fascinated by the power of labyrinths. To wind your way back out you must rely on faith – or receive the aide of someone like the princess/priestess Ariadne. She provided Theseus with a thread to guide him out of the labyrinth in Knossos. He killed her brother the Minotaur and then fled Crete with a ship and a crew. Theseus took Ariadne with him, but abandoned her on Naxos. She had powers he couldn’t control and he was afraid.

I’m reminded of Ariadne and her string in the labyrinth each time I am in Laos. People use bracelets of white threads to keep them connected and safe. Before any big life event people go to the temple, and Buddhist priests tether the parts of their soul to place and persons, so the pieces don’t wander away and become lost. Uwe and I have been honored to witness the ceremony each time we’ve gone to Laos.

I wrote a post about the special event that’s read repeatedly, over and over, all around the world. I don’t know what element of this ceremony fascinates my readers so much, but with the exception of just one single month, somebody somewhere has viewed this post since it first published in April 2018.

As of this evening, here are the stats:

Tomorrow I’ll publish the original post again on its 5 year anniversary.

It remains my most viewed post ever.

NOTES: © Jadi Campbell 2023. Previously published as Laos White String Bracelets: The Baci Ceremony. Photos © Uwe Hartmann. To see more of Uwe’s photos and pics from our trips go to

To learn more about kwan and the Baci ceremony:

My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, Grounded, and The Trail Back Out

Broken In: A Novel in Stories was  semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award and Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories). Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. The Trail Back Out was American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist, and awarded a 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.

Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.

6 thoughts on “Ariadne, White Strings, and Labyrinths 1”

  1. Pingback: jadicampbell
  2. Have you ever seen the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” by Richard Strauss? It took a while to catch on, but lately it has become one of his more popular operas, after Salome, Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra.

  3. Greek mythology brings a very interesting story and Ariadne’s is one of them and the myth of the labyrinth arouses interest because it is a fascinating story. I will wait to read your very special article that you have regarding his ropes. Regards Jadi.

    1. If you ever get a chance go to Crete and visit Knossos. It’s fascinating to realize that the labyrinth was real and the story is based on fact!

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