But Minos's daughter Ariadne takes pity on Theseus, and Ariadne gives him a ball of twine, tied to a post at the entrance to the maze, and Ariadne gives him a sword to take into the maze. With the twine and the sword, Theseus goes into the maze, goes in and encounters the Minotaur, and slays him. Slays him and emerges from the maze, sword bloody, and takes ship for Athens, Ariadne beside him.
On the island of Naxos, they stop for water. Ariadne is on the beach, barefoot on the beach, looking out over the waves. The ship sails, or the wind blows it out to sea, or Poseidon in anger carries it away, with Theseus and his men, without Ariadne. When the ship arrives at Athens, it is flying the wrong sails, the black sails that mean failure and death, and seeing the sails Aegeus the King throws himself into the sea. Now Theseus is King.
On Naxos, Ariadne wanders alone into the hills. From out of the mist, or a cloud, or a cave, comes a man all in white, riding a mule, surrounded by dancing shouting maidens. This is Dionysus, Bacchus, the God of Wine. The maidens close ranks around Ariadne, Ariadne wandering barefoot and alone, and she approaches the God, who smiles and offers a cup.
A Reading: Theseus is the protagonist, is you. Athens is the mind, rationality, the Third Circuit, the forces of Order, control. You are sent by the forces of order out into the world, which is the Labyrinth; at the heart of the Labyrinth lies the Minotaur, the embodiment of Destructive Chaos, the Disorder that kills. You are sent unarmed.
Ariadne, the Goddess, takes pity on you. Her thread and Her sword are Her love and Her strength. Thus armed, you go into the world, into yourself, and confront Destructive Chaos, and emerge alive.
Now do you wish to return to Order, to Athens? Here Fate splits: you can return for whatever reason to the seat of Rationality, but having been touched by the Minotaur, you may be poison to it, or you may become its King. Or you can remain on Naxos, in the mists, and by the side of the barefoot Goddess you may meet Dionysus, the spirit of Constructive Chaos, and drink from his cup. Either way, Ariadne's smile will stay with you.
The Goddess is a mythical figure that we can use to focus our thoughts about the world. She smiles on everything; she is the world, and her self-love is great. Whatever happens, she smiles upon and approves of. She loves you, she loves your enemies. She smiles upon sin, and smiles upon us as we writhe in torment; all process is an expression of Her Love. This is paradox; the aspect of the Goddess which is paradox is also called The Liar. Ariadne is the smile; the Liar is the laugh.
Ariadne's universal approval is a code fit only for dieties. We are left to make up human moral codes ourselves; the Goddess smiles upon all of them, but in practice some of them work much better than others. She approves of our attempts to find the best one, and the knowledge of Her Love comforts us as we struggle onward.