“Maze, Solve the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle” by Christopher Manson

These pages contain a solution and walkthrough of the Maze.

Maze tools

A concordance of MAZE is linked here.

General notes

My main goal here is to maintain a compilation of the best Maze information, solutions, and possible solutions available, no matter who came up with the idea. So, I should say I did not figure out everything here myself. Many years ago I did figure out the path through the maze, but that was about as far as I got. Then in 2012 I was cleaning up my basement library and found this book, and I began this project. I found these internet resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAZE:_Solve_the_World's_Most_Challenging_Puzzle

http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbxroads/maze/

But they lacked a “total” solution with, for example, a walk-through of every page. So I invested some time in the maze myself, and eventually decided to make a web page. I did a lot but then put the book down in 2012 and a person who now goes by White Raven found my page and built from there. He set up a discussion website but did not publish the answers. He found most of what I missed, including the identity of the guide, confirmed by Manson. I had what I would now call partly assembled pieces of room solutions. Enough to find the right exit door, but not the complete picture. I picked the book up again in 2014 and picked up a couple of method hints from White Raven’s site, and I was off and running again, and found many things Raven had missed in the process, like the Raven poem hidden in the book, and the TRAP exit indicator in room 22. And also some elegant room-level or “uber” solutions like “Stare decisis” in room 1. Also I picked up small hints from people on his site, and one enormously useful hint from vswatkins, who noticed evidence of time-keeping in the Maze.

White Raven claims to have finished off 44 rooms, prior to my involvement with his site, although he has not shared, for the most part, to what degree his solutions match mine. From what I’ve seen sometimes my 2012 solutions were better than his, and sometimes my 2014 solution were better, but other times he cracked a nut I totally whiffed on.  In short, White Raven and I worked mostly independently but cribbed off each other a bit at times. We both solved most of the MAZE mostly on our own, but neither of us would have got there when we did without the other’s work, I think it is fair to say. White Raven keeps track of who solved what puzzles on his site, but in my opinion he under-credits me. He credits me with the room 26 solution in 2012, but nothing else. I went through his first 10 rooms as a sample and found 6 of 10 where I had made valuable door indicator observations in 2012 that are not credited on his site. However, to be fair, he is probably under-credited here as well, mostly because if I list somebody’s name on an idea I heard on Raven’s site, he generally already had that idea first, but was not saying, and also I know nothing about solutions he has not revealed.

Putting Raven’s work aside, I try to attribute important finds to the people who made them, so new contributions are welcome and I will credit your name if I use the contribution on my page. As for the stuff prior to 2012 that is harder to sort out, since often credit would be partial and the details are somewhat lost to me at this point. The sites above were available to me, so if something was there, I probably saw it there. I will say, however, that the riddle at the center of the maze, and the clue along the shortest path I owe to others (See links above), but then, even there, I added many more ways the clues could be found, at times. Significantly, almost everything relating to “Atlas” in room 26 with the exception of the basic “SALT + A” part, the Beethoven stuff near the back of the maze, pretty much all the tarot card references, and just about all the first round of shortest path clues for every room.

In any case, to reiterate, my main goal here is to maintain a compilation of the best Maze information, solutions, and possible solutions available. I like to believe I am open to good ideas no matter what their source. Contributions and comments can be sent to GentDave @ att.net (with spaces removed).

One final note – this site contains lots of answers. If you are looking for hints instead you might try White Raven’s site: http://www.intotheabyss.net/ If you browse the discussion you will find many answers as well, but Raven is publishing a hint book which will, obviously, contain hints, as well as methodological guidelines, and general information, and that may be a place to go, if you want hints without spoilers. Also, feel free to e-mail me and ask for a nudge with whatever room you are working on and I’ll try to give you a little, without giving away too much. There is an active discussion group at Raven’s site, so it may be redundant, but I have also set up an e-mail list. To join send an e-mail to:maze-cmanson-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Another group of Maze fans are working on a collaborative resource here:  http://themaze.tk/Main_Page

A bit about my background as it relates to MAZE is linked here.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

The main solution

The shortest path to the center of the maze is:

1, 26, 30, 42, 4, 29, 17, 45

The return path is:

45, 23, 8, 12, 39, 4, 15, 37, 20, 1

Clues that might lead one to find the correct path are discussed in the walkthrough of the individual rooms. Also, my map of the maze is linked here.

The riddle at the center of the maze is traditionally either:

“What house will all live in?” or “In what house will all live?”, but I believe it is “In what House will some live?” both because it is plausible given the way clues work in the MAZE and the help given by the publisher, and because Manson never confirmed it was perfect, and because it ties in with the riddle of the guide and clues to escape from the TRAP. In 2014 I tried “In what House will one live?” and Mr. Manson said I very nearly had the Riddle right, so I changed it to “some” which works well too.

These were the additional clues that could be received from the publisher at the time of the contest (borrowed from the pages linked above). Each of the additional clues below applies to one word of the riddle to be found in room #45 of MAZE:

 

    1.) I'll tip my hat if the two of you can solve this.

 

    2.) You can get into these two shoes only if you don't go anywhere.

 

    3.) You will find two names on the table, and they go together like doughnut and hole.

 

    4.) You must choose between two pictures.

 

    5.) There are no two ways you can read this sign.

 

    6.) You can see that another two pictures demonstrate their own kind of symmetry.

 

These clues lead to the riddle as follows:
 
WHAT = the W (2 of U) + HAT (the picture of the hat). The hat groups with the ? because it is near it, and they group with the Hat by being opposed directly. 
 
HOUSE = the SHOE and the horseshoe U around the table leg next to it (SHOEU is an anagram of HOUSE). And they are visually grouped.
 
WILL = "IAM", "SHAKE SPEAR", "WOOD ROW", "SUN" -- all of the objects on the table. The missing syllable WILL makes "William Shakespeare" and "Woodrow Wilson." Again this is a visual grouping.
 
ALL = the picture of the AWL. (Not the picture of the nun = none, which in is opposed to in the picture). All is given in the text, so this could be a clue it is right, but in all other cases in MAZE you combine pictures. The clue says choose “BETWEEN”, and this means something between all and none, I believe. “Some” seems to be the best overall answer. This fits in with room 11, where “Live!” instructs us to avoid the Trap, and room 19. Room 22 tells us we will find hope for escape from the trap in 19, and 19 tells us roughly we can avoid the tomb and “live” by exiting into the world and hints at how to do it, and this is what we can do in room 6 by looking into Raven’s eye, and crossing between worlds. The riddle of the guide tells us “I measure man by a sole truth”, and I think this truth may just be the answer to the riddle of the Maze – “Some will live in the World”.
 
LIVE = the sign reading "ELVI" -- an anagram of LIVE. Note: In the links above someone points out that there are many anagrams for this sign but only one of them can be pronounced two ways – live. Also if you are not “live” you are dead, in which case you
Can’t read the sign. Also “live” is in the text. But I think where the publisher clue was trying to go was this: No two specific ways you can read it does not mean “one way to read it” as you initially think but “many” ways to read it. All they are doing in convoluted syntax is telling you to find the best anagram of the many possible ones. 
 
IN = EYE (I) + "N" spells "IN" (and “in” is in the text). Their “own kind of symmetry” might be “object and observer”, and the long Z is just to make it hard to see as an “N”, I think.
 

The clue to the answer is found along the shortest path:

"Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders"
 
Room 01 = LIKE. The word LIKE is painted on a scrap of paper on the left.
 
Room 26 = ATLAS. SALT A is ATLAS spelled backwards. 
Also note: Saturn has a moon called Atlas, discovered in 1980, and both Saturn and a large moon can be found in this room. (The reason for the moon being large is discussed in the walkthrough). The moon is an “A-ring” shepherd. And the room contains both the letter “A” and a bell (which rings).
The devils are emerging from the stage in 3 stages = 3 stage Atlas rocket.
In the text we have “tidy” and “light in”. Together you have “Titan” and Atlas was a Titan. The narrator also asks, “Which way now?” and to answer that, one might consult an atlas. (see more in room 26)
 
Room 30 = YOU. There is an O and a U, but the text says "why 'O' and 'U'?"
Y, O and U spells YOU. (The O and the U also have another function discussed in the walkthrough).
 
Room 42 = BEAR. A BEAR (stuffed).
Also note bare bear feet on the poster and the 4 boots = another clue to the word “bear”. Also in room 25 the door to the room is marked with a crown and the man about has a “bare crown”. See the walkthrough for more on this. Also, in room 37 the door to this room is a completely “bare” space.
 
Room 04 = IT. The chair = "sit," the hammer and nail = "hit," the pieces
in the picture = "fit," the candle = (can be) "lit," the wood = "split".  That's five verbs ending in "IT". The wall sconces represent binary “bits” too, it seems.
Also note: The candle and hammer together can spell “IT”. And the puzzle could be part of an Intelligence Test (IT).
 
Room 29 = UPON. It's written on the blind man's sign.
 
Room 17 = YOUR. "Why, oh _ You are _" is printed on a sign.  This is Y-O-U-R.
 
The word SHOULDERS is spelled out of order on the way out.
Note in Room 23 the word “shoulder” can be found in the text, providing a clue to the word for which the next rooms will provide the letters. I believe the letters are given in an obvious way once OR, they are given in a hidden way twice so that they reinforce each other. Manson seems quite aware that the more hidden something is, the more times it has to be given to make it clearly intentional. 
 
Also along the path there are several things associated with Masonic images. 39 is notable. The Masonic Secret word is revealed to members one letter at a time traditionally. 
 
Room 23 “nothing” gives us a hidden “O”.
 
Room 08 = S (obvious), but also “E” hidden in table legs.
 
Room 12 = U, D (obvious)
 
Room 39 = R (obvious), “O” hidden as tire, “L” hidden in the two tubes.
 
Room 04 = L.  In the diagram of the maze posted to a wall, the word ELL is spelled out. (hidden).
 
Room 15 = H.  7 major objects start with H: HEART, HARE, HATS (x2), HOUSE, HEROES, HELMET. (This is a hidden one).
 
Room 37 = E.  All of the objects end with "E" -- Eye, Table, Sphere, Bottle, Vase, Cone, Dice (or die), rope. (The text gives the clue to look at things from all sides). (This is a hidden one). But then the room level solution to 37 is “H20” and I believe you need to find that there to resolve the conflicting indicators in that room. So we have another hidden “H”.  
 
Room 20 = S.  You might think there are two S's here, but no; one of the S's is "extra!" (obvious “S”)
 
World, Globe, or Earth were acceptable overall answers to the puzzle. 
 

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

Christopher (Manson) puzzles

It initially (in 2012) appeared to me that the author had scattered his name throughout the maze. However, I wrote to Christopher Manson and he kindly replied. He said in part:

…while I dislike to go into much detail about what is or isn't there, I do want to say that I have really only put my name in once on purpose, and besides a couple of references (nun, pair-o'-dice) used for their word value, I did not intend to incorporate any particularly Christian ideas, messages or doctrines. My first name is entirely coincidental to the book, and was not my doing in the first place.
    I hesitate to say anything about the book usually…

He also elaborated that when he said his name was not his doing he meant that his mother chose it, not him. For a time I thought the Christopher’s might related to St. Christopher. Christopher means “Christ bearer” and in the story he is an enormous man who takes a child across a river and the child seems unbearably heavy. Afterwards the child tells him, “You not only bore the weight of the entire world on your shoulders, but also the one who made it, for I am Christ, your King.” Once St. Christopher is seen in this light, it provides additional clues to the answer to the whole puzzle. But in 2014 the clues I thought led to “Christ bearer” led somewhere else. Although, it turns out, there is probably one real one of these which involves the door from 42 to 25.

So, now, I am sure of one “Christopher Manson” in room 3 where it plays a role in a larger puzzle. In room 4 there is a Man with a face, and we are told to pay no attention to the foolish face. While not part of the puzzle I wonder if this was Manson poking fun at himself. Or Maybe we should take it as his “evil alter ego Sun-man” who gives false leads. (See room 19). In room 19 it is very tempting to see the artist as Manson in contrast to the Sun-man. Perhaps he meant he only put his full name in the book once (in room 3) and maybe that that was the only place you needed it as part of a puzzle. I do still have a few other Christopher’s listed as well. These are “ghosts” not intentional in the puzzle, but some are just fun, and may draw attention to unsolved text, or whatever. I was not entirely unbounded in what I was looking for, I was looking for two word phases I could get from the room that would give all the letters for “Christopher” with letters that were missing filled in by the first letters of unused things in the room. Actually rather challenging to do, but a complete rabbit hole it turned out.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

Time in the Maze

This is complicated enough to merit its own discussion. On page 30 there is a clock. If the other hand were on it, it would read “FC”. Many other locations in the Maze have a time associated with them. Abssyian vswatkin is primarily responsible for this insight.

I will simply list the times as far as I know, and discuss some of the support for this notion.

Path rooms:

1 - FA - morning outside. Text contains the wword sinister and sunlight comes from the left. We face South. There are a number of linkages between here and room 19. In both places the guests are described as children. We have an easel in both places. Here we have mention of the sun in the prologue and glaring at him in this room and the symbol for “Sun” can be found on the floor (the circle with the dot in the middle). In 19 the warm afternoon sun is mentioned and the large statue carries a “sun”. Outside in is Sunday morning 8 am. Or it could be Saturday. It is the Sabbath or seventh day in any case. A puzzle in 13 works best if it is Saturday, but still can work if it is Sunday. In room 22 the Pharisees could suggest a Saturday Sabbath, but the connection to the Sun in room 1 and 19 could suggest Sunday. It actually does not matter, however. All events in Maze take place in the same 24 hour day, an all that matters is that we get “day of rest/seventh day/and possibly SUN” for some riddles. The clock will normally move one click per room on the right path. And real time will move forward 1 hour.  

26 - FB

30 – FC – Here the hands indicate the correct exit, door 42. FC is 42 clicks after AA. The exit 42 is also clued another way in that room.

42 - FD

4 - FE (hey that's Iron) but GE on return trrrrriiip. It is noon outside. We stare South at an image of the noon-day sun.

29 - FF (a little like the 7s in the candles)

17 - FG

23 - GA (late afternoon outside), 4 pm Sunday.. (or Saturday – see room 1)

Room 19 is right outside and there are a number of linkages between room 1 and room 19. In both places the guests are described as children. We have an easel in both places. Here we have mention of the sun in the prologue and glaring at him in room #1 and the symbol for “Sun” can be found on the floor (the circle with the dot in the middle). And here in 19 the warm afternoon sun is mentioned and the large statue carries a “sun”. It is also interesting to note that in the tarot deck the sun card is number 19.

Then here in room 23 we are half way around the figure 8 that maps the correct path through the Maze. The word “Right” can be found in the room here and in the text and in adjoining room 19 the sun comes from the right. Half way through the figure 8 at room 4 (half of 8) the path crosses itself, and we have a picture of the sun. If we assume we are looking South in all 3 areas, then we have morning sun in room 1, a representation of the noon-day sun in room 4, and what is called “late afternoon” sun in room 19.

A weaker clue is “Eight” is such a big deal here. Yes it is the room exit, so this is part of the reason but also as we leave it says that this is the room they’d long been searching for. Yes, it is a false clue to 45, but also it means room 8 since this is the correct exit. So 8 is sort of “special”.

The scroll clues us to the time, as well as anagramming other clues. “The time is” (that’s simple). ”Everything Right” (the right letter in everything is “G”), “Nothing” (This is :00 or big hand straight up on “A”). So the time is G:00 or GA.

8 - GB

12 GC (rain/wind time outside) 6pm

39 GD

4 return – GE – and in theory it should be 8pm. We don’t see ourselves here, because we are only 8 clicks away from our last passage through, not 16 clicks although we do have a hint of the guests in 16 and of course that happens both times, and we see the cat both times but he is only relevant to the 2nd pass. Rather confusing.  

15 - GF

37 - GG 10 pm outside and we are lit with moooooonnnlight a fact that helps us pick up the dream catcher shadow in this room. Is the moon in the West? Or is this room turned around so that it is in the East? It does not matter that I’ve noticed so far. The door rattles when they leave the room. This is the guest entering room 10 on the other side of the door. The time moves to GH here as it moves to EH there, so it seems that every two cycles of the Maze clock events happen simultaneously.

20 GH Farthest forward in time of any room - it is the 24th “time zone” with EA being the first one. There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet and the last letter is Omega and there is a ring of them on the carpet. (vswatkins I think made this observation).

1 on return could be 'HA!"

28 – it looks like rain, but that is really a fake picture of the outside. Time = ? FH would be a guess. Or a step either way.

32 – can’t say. Within two steps of FH however seems likely.

5 – complete ?

2 – complete ?

Trap rooms - maybe timeless. But in room 22 it looks like the 8 sided clock and time is mentioned. The Trident could mark something on the bench. F/G A from Trident? Yes, it is there and part of an elaborate puzzle in that room. In marks rooms 19 and 23, time GA and the entrance way and 1, time FA.

In 6 we see a little light, and some rain. Note that would put both the sun and the rain straight up. Hard to do. But this has nothing to do with MAZE time, it is part of the identity of the guide puzzle in that room.

No idea on other Trap rooms. Although room 22 gives us information we need to confirm the scenes at the gat and in 19 take place on the Sabbath.

Loop rooms -

41 – FA – same time as room 1. The text notes the spent little time here. And the big puzzle of the room confirms it.

10 – EH – They hear themselves in room 37 when they enter, and rattle the door. Then they spend time here.

34 - EG

25 - EF

13 – EE – The clock on the wall if read as 6 in the evening is a false clue to room 18. The clock on the wall is positioned like the hands that would read “EA” This is the time for room 33. The skeletons on the clock also help tell us it is midnight outside time there, “witching” hour. But as room 3 shows, 33 upside down is EE, and that is the time here. So in some MAZE-logic way that makes it like a fake-noon, and we are supposed to find “noon” in this room as well, as part of the exit clue.

A simpler version would be to think it is noon in room 4 where the time is FE and noon here where the time is EE – but everything does not quite sort out with that logic. The next tells us when Friday is mentioned that it is nearer the end of the week than they knew. In fact it is 4am Sunday morning, only 4 hours from the beginning of the week. (or it is Saturday 4am – see room 1)

18 - ED

9 – EC it is 2am in this room and 3am in the next and that fact is part of an exit clue to room 18.

3 – EB (see room for discussion, there are more clues involving EE and 33 to show it is midnight in room 33)

33 – EA (see room 13 above and 3) It is midnight here, and that forms part of the guide clue.

35 – EG – this room comes after 25 for reasons discussed below.

14 - ? probably stilllllllll EH if it matters.

19 - same time as 233333 which it is connected to.  GA

31 - same time as 8 wwwwwwhich it is connected to. About Storm time. GB.  5 pm.

21 -  about same time as 12 which it is connected to. GC probably. Maybe GB

44 – the time is GC and it is 6pm, this room gives us another lesson in time keeping at we have to know the time is 6 pm or there abouts to find the exit clue. 18:00 = room 18. The maze clock “winds up” when you walk through the door and pulls the door shut behind you. A pocket watch is represented by the puzzle there, and ithe MAZE clock in 30 is also a pocket watch.

16  - would seem to be xE since we see the cat/Poe run by in 4.

36 - It seems and Evening or at least daylighhhhhttt outside, like 19 where music can be heard, but that is singing in 19 not string music, so can’t say. GA seems a reasonable choice if it matters.

7 – complete ?

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.

The guide

Note White Raven found this first. I found it later with a tiny nudge from him. We may differ in our details. I found the poem first.

But first a note, there are a number of clues in the text that can lead us to the umbrella as a guide, and that we might need it for rain. And “rain umbrella” is an anagram of “I rare bull man” or “rare bull man, I”, but notice that on the cover there is a red herring and no umbrella, and then on the prologue page there is an umbrella but no fish. That is a clue that the umbrella is the biggest red herring in the book. There are many other ways to reason towards the Minotaur in the text as well, making him part of the biggest red herring too. But he is the Raven from Native American myth it seems.

In room 45 the text has “whoever lived here was a careless person to leave so many things around. They were wrong”. One thing this does is clue us that every item in Maze is important, sometimes in more ways than one. But also given that the Riddle is “In what house will some live?” we should start thinking about who lived here, that is, who is the guide? For reinforcement we can pick up a couple of items and easily get “Who am I?” (W + shoe = who). We can also get “Am I evil?” And “See who I am?” The test helps us know to look in many rooms for the answer with “you are” a form of “I am” (hidden throughout the Maze).

To find the answer we can follow a number of different trails of breadcrumbs from room to room. The trails go different places, but all lead to the same answer “Raven”. Let’s start with the trail to room 29, because that is where I picked up the trail of the “Riddle of the guide” and then back tracked it to here. I already had nearly all the Raven pieces, but that is where I figured out how to put them together. In 45 we have “They looked and looked” and “after one last look around”. Repeated things are almost always important in Maze. The looks have a function here, but only AFTER you know who the guide is. The eye on the wall looks like a bird’s eye. And the sign near it can be read as “LIVE”, and to escape the Trap and “Live” we need to look into the eye of Raven in room 6, and the “look”s here clue us to that.

But first, let’s follow “look, look” to room 29 where that is exactly what the blind man says. He also tells us that “here blindness is no disadvantage”, which is confusing in contest. But it is really the next link in the trail. We are supposed to follow it to another room. Obviously that room is 24. Here we have a little clue worked into the text as well, “Be careful where you step”. This links us to room 23. In 23 we have “Look at those two trees out there”, and this points us to room 44.

Here we can note the “statues” which play no direct part in the room solution other than “palms”. They are in the picture and in the text. Let’s look at the one full statue we can see. (The others seem to be a pilgrim and a Native American). The center statue is “Pallas Athena” and from the Raven poem we have that the bird perched on “a pallid bust of Pallas”. Many Native American tribes considered Raven a god of course, and crater of the world and mankind, so that fits in to the “Raven” clues as well. Room 44 directs us on to where we came in, room 1.

There are a number of linkages between room1 and room 19. In both places the guests are described as children. We have an easel in both places. We have mention of the sun in the prologue and glaring at him in room 1 and the symbol for “Sun” can be found on the floor (the circle with the dot in the middle and it is next to a star). In 19 the warm afternoon sun is mentioned and the large statue carries a “sun”. It is also interesting to note that in the tarot deck the sun card is number 19.

In Room 19 what is he painting? “Get out of the way!” he yells. He is painting us, out here, through the 4th wall. Combine this with our recent lesson in 23 that “pictures do not lie” and the reinforcement here by the guide who could not lie here, we have to conclude that a painting of the real world would mark a gateway into the real world. Just like we can "LIVE!" as trap room 11 instructs. The gateway it marks is the “looking into the eye” part of “looking into the eye of Raven”. Room 22 in the Trap also points us here to get his escape clue.

The “singing” directs us on yet again. We might think of the outdoor room with the chamber music, but that is strings only. There is something out here that could be singing, however, the bird in 21. The text says “they could not make out the words”, but maybe the guide, as a bird, could. I’m undecided, but the trail may be better routed to 36 here. There the text lets us know the guide was affected by the spectacle and we should take in what we learned in rooms 7 and 16.

OK on to room 7. Let’s try the room-level puzzle. A hoe-poe pull-toy and a lamp suggest a lamp pole or just “pole”. (Close to Poe). It is a Hoo-poe bird matching room 16, so that reinforces the “Poe” idea. We have more bear-crown stuff here. The guy on the left wears a bear-skin and bears a crown. If we look in the mirror we will bear a crown of horns. The bear skin leads next door to where there is a crown in the door. That room tells us the identity of the guide is Raven. And the clue trailing over here is a good sign we should think that over here as well. There are also clues related to Native American Raven. The “old man” occurs in Raven’s most famous story when he stole the sun. And the irresponsible childhood certainly fits here. So we have Raven so far.

The room ahead has a note of the door and we hear music. Maybe that is a “musical note” on the door. And we certainly have lots of art in this room. What unifies “Raven” with “Art and music” - Poetry. That gives us a trinity of Art, Music and Poetry, and perhaps another 3. And “poetry” is the word-value this room has in multi-room puzzles like the riddle of the guide, and in a pointer to the circular reading of the “Raven” around a series of rooms. 

So what is not a good likeness? Well the mirror would not be, since that would suggest the Minotaur and the guide is Raven. But it also mean the “bear/crown” guy. He does not look like bear crowned Raven. But then we have top-hat man over the mirror. In room 16 he represents the Maze guide Raven, but in 3 he represents the soul of Manson, and it seems these are the same. So that off center picture is a poor representation of Manson, as is the abstract art of the man with 2 suns. So we have two picture on Manson over 2 pictures of Raven, and all poor representations.

In connection with this room we have to consider room 16. This is a chamber. The text tells us that. Next door in the music room we have a small string performance. “Chamber music” is a small intimate string performance. The round object is a chamber pot.  

That figure straight ahead of us is through the door to room 4. The black cat in room 4 runs from here, room 16, to room 15, spelling “PO(E)”, since P and O are the 16th and 15th letters of the alphabet. Note in room 4 it says that the cat came from the right. And we have just come from the “Poe” room if we are on the right path, so the black cat we should think of is from Poe’s story, so this may be “Pluto” the cat. Note this is “P…o” the cat. For confirmation that we followed him we can look in room 15. We are told that we hear a bump and footsteps hurrying away, and then a door slams.

In room 4, the voices we hear are probably the guests themselves in room 16, since sometimes events in the Maze happen at the same time. See rooms 37 and 10 for example. Next, if we look at room 16, we are told, “A figure crossing the hall outside saw me and ran off”, and we see a figure in the archway to room 4. In room 4 we are told: “It was fortunate I was still standing with the rest of them or they might have noticed.” My translation: It is fortunate I (in 16) was still standing with the rest of them (in 16) or they (the guests in 4) might have noticed.

Another “PO” thing here is the chamber pot. This is also known as a “po”, maybe from French pot de chambre. And as noted the text also mentions the word “chamber”.

We should have Poe on our minds by now. The figure on the wall may be “Ursa” or at least is a bear man. He has bear feet. He bears a crown of Holly. Through the exit to 7 there is a bear skin, and here there is a crown. The Po also may bear a crown. What has a “bear crown” that connects with Poe? The Raven. From the poem: “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven ghastly grim and ancient Raven”.

    Are there other Raven hints here? Yes, “Chamber” of course. The text says the figure in the door may be a visitor. We see him through a chamber door. From Poe’s poem: “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping on my chamber door. Tis some visitor I muttered, tapping at my chamber door, only this and nothing more.

Soon after in the poem we have “the sad uncertain rustling of each purple CURTAIN”. The picture of the man hangs from a curtain rod, and it seems to be rustling. Finally when we put the hat on the chamber pot it looks like a Censor (thanks to Lewis), this also relates to the poem “perfumed by an unseen censor, swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. (Of course if it is supposed to spread the odor of the chamber pot, that is one nasty censor, lol). This corner of the room represents the Raven.

Note in room 17 (next page) – the MAZE is a “confusion machine”. Now here in room 36 that “motley” is meant to represent the fool. Numerous examples exist, but this one seems particularly apt:

Folly’s words usually held vital information for the teams, in the form of both clues and spells. Think of Richard’s team in series 1, who had to work out that Folly had given them a WELL spell amongst all his tricky riddling, and of Jamie’s team in series 2, who had to pick out a clue about stepping on the Jack of Spades when the time came to Pick a Card. Folly always helped the teams through his professional prattle, and they had to listen carefully to pick up on what he was really telling them: ”There’s more wisdom in foolish wit than ever you can imagine.” – Folly.

http:// interactive.knightmare.org.uk/component/legacy/page/display/lexicon?s=view&EID=folly

But let’s take him to mean the “fool” more generally. And a fool’s job can include generating confusion. Paired with the machine we have a “confusion machine” and as room 17 told us, this = MAZE.

Let’s put it all together now. Left to right, we have “MAZE, guide, Raven”.

Now let’s look at the bit about the stories full of lies and exaggerations that his old neighbor’s descendants are still telling about him. This is native American Raven. Note that when Raven appears as an animal guide, traditionally, his purpose is to help unlock the deeply hidden.

What about the room reminded him of Native Americans and their stories of Raven flying out of smoke holes? Well, the hole in the floor could look like a smoke hole?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_hole#mediaviewer/File:Kirbuster_Farm_Museum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_508633.jpg

The cone could remind one of a teepee as well.

Then via the large stones we follow the trail to 32 from 36.

The bird is “perched above the door” as in the poem “perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door, perched and sat and nothing more”. Not that “Pallas” can also be found in the bird rooms in 44.

“Another one!” could also be a clue to the fact that the guide is a bird too. The text after that point is also a clue if it is parsed correctly. “People can be so arrogant” is an aside related to “Their attitude was really starting to annoy me”, and they are so arrogant that in the next clause they think he is talking about people. He is not. With the aside removed we have “I have come to think of all of the inhabitants of this House as members of my little kingdom. In a very real way, we are all of us animals, at least in part.” He is talking about himself and the other animals. He can come in human form or bird form. But there is more here. There is an animal hidden in that text. “In a very” or less “n a ver” = “Raven”.

Now for the statues. The room is supposed to be a cube and this is symmetric. Symmetry is also in the text. Look at the structure at the top, one pillar seems set back and the other forward. The text says “it must have taken a great deal of strength to pull the heavy stones out of position”. Somebody moved the pillars and things. The text says the guests thought someone had stolen the statue, the guide hints there might be a different answer. We right away think that a statue ran away. But that’s not it either. He broke OUT of the trap room (cluing us slightly that escape from the TRAP is possible). He is hiding from us in plain sight. He moved the columns around so he could look like part of the structure. (Maybe the over head guy is his helper too). And those “sea bags” look a lot more like money bags he is trying to get away with now. To reinforce this idea we have “thief” in the text. Also note that Daedalus – designer of the Greek maze is said to have made statues in the maze so realistic that they came to life. So what can we get from “thief”? Well Raven is a well know thief, of course.

OK – now we follow this trail of breadcrumb off to room 21. “I would not answer any more of their questions” is the link, along with the bird theme. Then in room 21 the text says “We know what the name is” and by following this trail and others, you do. It turns out we don’t care what type of bird that is. We just want to put its crest together with the crescent wrench to get “crest”. The topiary is “shorn” of course. “Shorn crest”. This relates to the raven poem.  “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, ghastly, grim and ancient Raven”. The text says “We know what the name is” and the guide gets huffy. From the poem – “Tell me what they lordly name is on the night’s Plutonian shore. Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”. This of course repeats many times in the poem and it seems the guests are getting a little tired of hearing the names of birds, or maybe one specifically.

The text then tells us to find our own way, since we know the name, and we go to where Raven’s shadow is on the ground - room 35 where a puzzle there invites us to find a message involving “not yet another one”.

The wooden thing in the middle of the room seems to be a mechanical railroad “stop” signal. The suit and the matches on the ground probably give us “matching” and the only exit is 33 with matching 3s. Or DO those 3s really match? Nope. What else might match then?  We have a “RR” stop signal and we also have “Right” twice in the text. That’s a clue. Part of what we need is in a different room. In 37 we have “Sometimes, important messages are couched in ambiguous terms”. The “couch” should make us think of here. And the important message? Well it is couched in “ambiguous terms”. In fact we want the word “terms”. Put the 2 clues together and we have “matching terms”. Also there is a 3 room mini-puzzle where 13 suggests “lights, camera, action, and the next room roles the film. The “stop” here gives us “cut”. “Cut matching terms”. Thus we are off on a hunt for matching words in the text of this page. Now there are some minor words so we could futz with the message a bit but the gist seems clear – “Right Signal to them: Not still “another one””.

“Tribal fetish” = Native American Raven. “A work of art” is the Raven poem, read around a loop of rooms that ends here. We are given “signal” twice in the text. A token from the poem can be a signal. “Leave no token” from the poem and “take thy form from off my door” may correspond to the blank poster on the back wall. And “take thy beak from out my heart” may match up with the glove on the end of the “beak”. It also matches up with “I tried to hide my smile” from the text. The poem asks and states the name many times of course “Nevermore”. And this is unquestionably the guide’s name. Or more to the point, he is Raven. A possibility – someone’s (apparent) basement could relate to someone’s foundation or soul, which would fit nicely with the poem.  “Still sitting” in the room may relate to the old broken couch”. “Alone in light and silence” = “leave my loneliness unbroken”. And the last line = “And the lamp light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted, nevermore. (And the shadow is Raven).

Here are the stanzas relevant to this room:

Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

The text in 35 highlights that there is only one way to go and this links to 6 which has: “We went down the only way open to us”.

We should be looking for identity clues here (from the note) we can notice some things. That hole way up above becomes the hole in the top of the Teepee. In a main story of Raven he steals the sun from the “old man” (yes I’ve noted there is an old man in room 7), and flies out the hole in the top with it. The sun and the small hole up there make us think of this story. Raven also steals water for the world and flies it out a smoke hole (that ties in with the rain coming down). But in the process of that theft they light fire under him and he gets “smoked”. That is why Raven is the color he is today. Before that he was a “White Raven”.

Example:

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Raven-Tlingit.html

The pole in the middle of the room also suggests a smoke hole

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_hole#mediaviewer/File:Kirbuster_Farm_Museum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_508633.jpg

Now the text about deceptions being played on his father – well Raven is a trickster and I don’t doubt tricks were played on his father, but in his most famous trick he plays it on his grandfather (at least in the version I read). He turns himself into a pine needle and the “old man”’s daughter swallows it. She gets pregnant and gives birth to Raven in human form. He then steals the sun from the old man.

The number 40, upside down, spells “Oh”. “Out” is in the text twice.  As mentioned “Look” is in the text twice. We have an eye. We have “notice”, which can mean “look”. We are admonished to not judge things by appearances. What if we judged that “I” by its sound instead? Then it is an “I”. That looks like a one. Wouldn’t that be nice. Hey – that note said “I’m not trap” right? If we stretch it maybe a little too far “Notice” is “cote in”. “Oh I’m not cote in trap”? Well…”I’m not trap” will do.

He is exasperated because of their timidity, perhaps because they would not look him in the eye. He knew he should not have said anything, but…when you look into Raven’s eye it is a gateway (between worlds). So remember that talk in the prologue about the walls dividing and half of it being Maze (and the other half being real world) as far as the “HUMAN EYE” can see?

If we put that all together and look into Ravens eye/I/1 – We get back to our world and the start.

So, the trail of rooms to get here runs 45, 29, 24, 23, 44, 1, 19, 36, 32, 21, 35, 6. Now let’s try associating words or phases with the rooms.

45: Who am I? Am I evil?

29: in (alternately hidden door)

24: dark

23: true

44: time

1: beginning

19: sun

21: name is

32: stole

35: Raven

6: eye/I (alternately room 6)

36 via 16: Maze guide

Put them together to get: “Who am I? Am I evil? True name is Maze guide Raven, in dark beginning time I stole sun”. With the alternates we might manage something about “hidden door, 6”.

OK – now back to room 45 to start another trail. Regarding the riddle of the Maze “Do you think it is written on the wall for all to see?” this clues us that the 2nd half of the riddle is indeed written on the wall, in room 40. The text says “what Maze teaches can be learned in every room” and this is a bit of a clue to decode room 40, since we need the “word value” for a number of Maze rooms to decode it.

The text in 40 mentions symbols for planets. There might be a symbol for Pluto, Roman god of the underworld. Pluto was still a planet when Manson wrote. Also, “Pluto” might be a small reference to the cat that runs through room 4, here in room 40. On the far right there is half of an “Earth” sign, which will be discussed below. The text mentions “hills” too, and I do believe there are “hills” there. The wind and water seem to be red herrings, and the guide does indicate he could read some of the symbols but not all.

The code on the wall can be read as follows: Count the number of pen strokes per symbol and then try to match this up to room numbers. Many rooms have an obvious word or phrase value associated with them, and in this way you can start building a message.

Look at the smallest grouping. We have 4 5 7. 7 seems to be a bit of a red herring, and it may just be a connection symbol to say that this wall here connects to 45.

Let’s move to the bottom of the big wall. We have 3 and 4 = 34, and that is a pretty clear “I”.

That circle with a line through it I take as 10. That room = “measure”.

Next we have “3”, and that is “man”.

The double headed arrow that crosses to the other wall took awhile, I could not make it work with room numbers, so I take it as a symbol. It clearly is relational and should be a preposition. I used “against” because it makes sense in the sentence and with the picture. “By” or “with” work about as well.

The letter “A” is just “A”.

The ballerina is a “soul” as in the room 10 puzzle and like the stick man in 3. Anchorperson noted we might have the ballerina here (and daughter Emily did shortly after, independently). I think we will need “soul” not “sole” in the final puzzle too.

Next we have a “T” and a “5”. T+root = troot = truth.

The square is some sort of bridge or equal sign. Room 4 “it” would not fit. I used the word “that” as a bridge.

Next we have “2 “big lines and “3” little.  “Truth” (in the pictures) is the key word I have.

Next the “P” and the other things near it are “hills” as the text suggested. We have a “V” nearby. V+hill = Vill which is “will” if you are doing a German accent. It is close enough for us to get the meaning clearly and/or you can grab another hill and make that “V” into a “W”.  

Next is “8”, room 8’s key word is “strike”. Next “3” is “man” again.

Then that can’t be another 8 since it would make no sense, but it can be a “6” with “2” hash marks = 26 = atlas. This is clearly “At last” in context, and if you want you can grab that arrow head for the “T”.

The star seems to be a “3” and the “R” a 4, and I get room 43, and it’s hopeful message of “Keep believing in yourself”.

Put it all together and you have “I measure man against a soul truth. That truth will strike man at last. Keep believing in yourself”. The second part of this is just a “keep at it” message. “That truth will strike “man” (as in “one”) at last”. Keep believing in yourself. The first part I think ties in with the answer to the riddle of the MAZE and the way out of the TRAP. The riddle tells us “Some will live in the world”. That is “Some souls will live in the world”. Then with the rest of the riddle here, we have: “I measure man by a soul truth, that some souls will live in the word. And this seems to me to be a general message that how you live your life is what is important. Perhaps as well that though who contribute to the world while here, live on in memory.

The final wall has a symbol meaning “earth”, then an “=” and then a “3”, and we know room 3 means “man”, but man is also the answer to the riddle in that room. Put this wall together and you have “Earth = answer to riddle”.

This message can be read a little differently if we count the symbol at top right to be room #2. There we have “true (room 2) will strike man at last. “Rights” is probably the best choice, and those are the values we gather from room 2. “Freedom from tyranny”, “respect for nature”, “unity of mankind”, plus whatever values we can infer by the fact that Manson put Kabbalah’s Tree of Life in MAZE. (See below).

Also the final wall can be read as “Man = answer” and in that case we have a message of “humanism” consistant with the values above.

Let’s also mention some minor supports here for Raven idea at this point. There is a dream catcher shadow in room 37. Part of the clue there is that once we understand time in the Maze we know it is 10pm there and that light is moon light. (See room 37). “Magpies” in 34 is a small clue as well, since Magpies are very smart birds and part of the Raven or crow family. Also “quickening” may be there in connection with all the eyes there to help clue the soul’s journey through the eye of Raven.

Finally, let’s look to the Raven poem itself.

In room 14, the guide clues us to exit 10 by saying “I knew they couldn’t afford to not listen to me entirely”. This gives us license to listen to only part of what he says. We get “To go out choose ten, ten I say”. But then he also says “I knew she would bear watching” about the “thoughtful one” (bear is also a slight clue to other Raven stuff since he is indicated by a “bear crown”). “I know” starts both of those sentences. This gives us the license to do the same with her speech, here and elsewhere. Here we get not “We have to go out”, but “We have to go around to prove something”.

In room 9, in response to “We might be going around in circles” she then says “I think we’re supposed to, that’s the trick”.

In 35 she is aware this is a “stop signal” and this is where the clue we are following will end.

In 30 “perhaps it has been done so we don’t choose this door”. It means not to choose 34, but not in this room. In room 25, we have to choose 35 not 34 to go around the loop.

Based on our timekeeping we have a loop with all the letters “A-G” (assuming 35 is time “EG”. The musical room is one of the rooms so we can think of notes on a musical scale. The sequence starting with A is “33, 3, 9, 18, 13, 25, 35”).

Just outside of this loop we have some starter rooms to tell us to look for the poem. “Bare crown” means the Raven. In room 16 we have the identity of the guide as Raven revealed to us. Then is 7 the word value of the room for multi-room puzzles is “poetry” or even “Raven poem”. Walking through those rooms we would get “raven”, “poetry” and then we would be at the room that starts the poem, 33.”

Then in room 40 we have a wall to read. Most of it has little to do with Raven directly. But if we put it together with the riddle of the MAZE we do get that a “Soul will live in the world” and that is a clue to Room 6 and a way out of the TRAP. There looking into the eye of Raven can transport a soul back to the real world where it will live. But the very first wall in 40 gives us rooms 7 and 45, and that can be put together as “Raven poem riddle” and might tell us that the below is something we are looking for.

The poem starts in the next room, the “Beethoven room” I call it. Those books are “volumes of forgotten lore” that we are over. One of the guests goes out to the middle over them. The dying embers wrought their ghost upon the “floor”, and look at the shadows the floor boards cast.  And the room number 33 upside down is EE as room 3 shows us. EE on the MAZE clock happens in room 13. The time there is a “fake noon” because this room 33 is at midnight, and by twisted maze logic an upside down 33 is then fake noon. The skeleton clock in 13 also helps show it to be midnight here. Its hands read as a clock in the “EA” position, and that is the time here. They indicate it is “witching hour” here. Also in room 3 (see that room) there are more clues relating to it being midnight here.

The drum above the door would make a tapping sound.

“With exaggerated caution” they go to the door in the text and notice the time it takes him to get to the door in the poem.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

This brings us to room 3. The last little bit seems to fit a little with room 3 but strongly with the next room, 9.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.

We have “all my soul with in me burning” = the stick man figure of “Manson” is over the radiator. And there is really a Christopher here! – (but maybe only his heart) We might now say “stop” is the heart of “Christopher”. “Let my heart be still” = Christopher’s heart is a “stop” sign.  We also have: ”and this mystery explore” = mystery or riddle of the sphinx. A subtle transition to the next room might be in “stepped” in the poem, and they went down a long flight of stairs.

In room 9 the lack of obeisance may mean the state the pictures are in. The angel would “flutter”. “Shorn” may be the cut off tails of the mice, and “shaven” may be the hidden beards of the “bearded men”. Plus in room 25 there is puzzle of the falling signs. It leads us to the idea that they represent “shutters” via “I measure camera stop time”.  So the big torn painting represents a shutter. This matches with “Open here I flung the shutter”. We have a “grave” in the floor matching with the “grave and stern” decorum of the Raven. The sun on the landscape could mean the “saintly days of yore” “Ghastly, grim” could fit our “Jack the ripper” determination above. “Ancient” could just be the stuff in this room.  “Night’s Plutonian shore” fits with it being 2 am here. “no living human being” also fits with death theme here. And we have:

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being…

Next we move on to room 18. “Eyes” is the answer to a half room puzzle there, and we have: “But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only, That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour”. Raven poured his soul out via his eyes, it seems, and we have yet another clue to look into the eye of Raven to escape the Trap in room 6.

Other features of this room that go with the poem – “Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore”, “Dirges” fits the music and feel of this room. “A cushioned seat, in front of bird and bust and door”. Well we have a set in front of 13. And then we have one in front of the fire, and if we take the huge face as a bust and the dragon above it as both “bird and beast”, we have a good match. “Whose fiery eyes now burn into my bosom’s core” – this is self explanatory.

Here is the whole section of the poem:

…For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being.

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

13 – Now we come to room 13, where there is only a short bit of poem, and one match. “Cushion with lamp light gloating o’er”, fits with a seat and a lamp in this room..

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

In the next section of the poem he goes from calm to wide and horrified. Look at room 25. He is gently resting on a cushion until this point.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Now in 35 – “Still sitting” in the room may relate to the old broken couch. “Tribal fetish” = Native American Raven. “A work of art” is the poem. “Alone in light and silence” = “leave my loneliness unbroken”. And the last line = “And the lamp light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted, nevermore. (And the shadow could be a Raven).

We are given “signal” twice in the text. A token from the poem can be a signal. “Leave no token” from the poem and “take thy form from off my door” may correspond to the blank poster on the back wall. And “take thy beak from out my heart” may match up with the glove on the end of the “beak”. It also matches up with “I tried to hide my smile” from the text.

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

The poem asks and states the name many times of course “Nevermore”. And this is unquestionably the guide’s name, or more to the point, he is Raven. By my rough count the poem is confirmed 5 times in room 33, 4 times in room 3, 8 times in room 9, 6 times in room 18, once in room 13, once in a very apt way in 25, and 7 times in room 35. This makes it about the most confirmed puzzle anywhere in the Maze I believe. This is in addition to the clues on all the other breadcrumb trails.

For example, the clues in the Trap guide one to room 22, and there the clues tell one there is HOPE in the entrance rooms and in 19/23. Then in 19 we find hints for Ravens ability to transport us between worlds when we look him in the eye. And this would finally lead us to room 6 where we can escape. (See the details of those rooms).

Some room level puzzles help clue us to Raven as well. Room 30 gives us an “I/eye door”. Room 9 has “Look at Jack of Spades”, the only one eyed black card.

We also have another mini-multi-room puzzle of the leaning signs. Here is the inventory: The mirror in 7 leans. And then we have: The signs for 34 and 35 in room 25, the tower in room 20, the snakes in 21, the “Z” in 45, the men in 28/12, the dancers in 10. 34 is “I”. 35 is “Raven/Guide”, the tower can represent “revelation”, the snakes are “the Tao/Way/Path”, The “Z” I take as “IN”, the men are men, and the dancers are souls. Leaving out “Raven/Guide” and the mirror, I get: “I reveal the path in men’s souls”. And I think both Raven and the mirror are supposed to do that when we look at them. It also serves to help us bring the pull-toy to the mirror in room 7 and is part of the room solution there. We get a lightbulb over our heads when we hold the bird to the mirror and see it’s one eye, and a message “Sight of true death and rebirth will strike man”.

 

A form of "children" is found in 5 places. Prologue, 19, 26, 7, and 16. 26 has a separate function I believe. And we are supposed to infer "children" in 14 I think. The others are very guide connected places. In the prologue they don't see who he is because of being impatient. The other places a places we should pause to look for the guide. And then we have the child's toy in 7 - which I believe we are supposed to connect to the guide.

Finally - the guide is not the umbrella. Nor is "I rare bull man" a clue to his real identity. But it might be symbolic of the guide in another way. In 10 we use in to block the "rain" and in 8 in one puzzle it gives shade. The umbrella keeps yin and yang in balance. (See 19,31,21,44,3,36 for examples of yin/yang and balance in Maze)

 

The map

The path part of the map looks like a figure 8. Various clues related to time keeping above help us with this. There is an hour glass with a figure 8 loop in room 29 too. There are two rooms in the middle, rooms 2 and 5, and if you draw it you get a pair of eyes looking left.

The Trap is a key shape, a fact confirmed in room 38.

The loop can also be drawn as an eye. Rooms 33, 3, 9, 18, 13, 25, 35 form a circle and room 27 can be placed inside. The extra connection between 3 and 18 should be drawn outside the circle. This is the circle the Raven poem is recited around.

A string of 3 rooms connect the eye to the eyes. This shows us in pictorial form that the key is for us to look into the eye of Raven. The 3 rooms in between have word values as follows: I measure one. Room 10 is where the room “measure” is, and it seems that if you take the wrong turn to 14, you measure pretty small.

I don’t know that the few extra rooms make any shapes. Maybe the outdoor rooms make a raised eyebrow over the right human eye, but that’s about my only guess.

Also, my map of the maze is linked here.

Manson has placed the Tree of Life from Kabbalah in the meta-map of Maze. The first reference I found to it was on the wall in 39 where the trinity of barrels beneath it helped identify it. Here is a description of the sephira and how they match up to their rooms. See “sheet 1” of the map above to see the map of the Tree of life.

1) This room is one of the sephira. It is the top or crown. It is called “Keter” and is associated with radiance and the sun, and references to the sun are abundant in this room. It is also the “initial spark” appropriate for room 1. These rooms are generally marked in some way, and the rooms on the center branch of the tree all feature language involving choices and decisions representing branches. These feature prominently here.

20) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. Many of these rooms are marked by living things as this one is. This sephira is called “Binah” or “understanding” particularly understanding gained through experience. The Tower represents “revelation” and fits well with this theme. And of course, since this is the last room of the path it can be assumed we have learned from experience here. “The wise old tortoise” helps with this idea as well.

30) This room is a sephira on the tree of Life. This one is known as “Hekhmah” or Wisdom and it is associated with the Male force. “NO EVE” fits well, and does the male symbol lying on the floor. It is associated with uncovering the hidden meaning in things. And the word “meant” appears 3 times in the text, and the word “significance” once. Many of the rooms are marked by living things. This one is marked by a (cut out) tree.

5) This room is one of the nodes or sephira on the Tree of life from mystical tradition. In fact this sephira is described as the Tree of Life itself. It is the point where the other 10 are united as one. Some sources describe the tree as having roots reaching upwards towards divinity, as these do here. And after noting this fact we have another exit indicator. The sign for 30 is the only one surrounded by the branches of the Tree of Life.

This room is on the central trunk of the tree have text relating to decisions and/or choices, that is – branches in the tree. The text here has that has “important decision” and “encouraged” just like room 11, another room on the central trunk of the tree. Room 1 also features the words “decisions” and “choices” as central to a room puzzle there. The sephira below here are sometimes called the Abyss. On a wiki page Aleister Crowley described the abyss: "This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions... Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions." No further comment needed…

42) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life and like many of those rooms in features a living (well stuffed) thing. This ones name is Hesed. It means loving kindness, and given the quote associated with this room, "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.", we have a good fit.

15) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. As many rooms on the tree this one is marked by a living thing. (The bunny). It’s name is Gevarah and it can be associated with letting in the divine radiance from above, which is appropriate here. It is also associated with fear and awe, and the image of firefighters can fit here. 

4) This room is one of the nodes or sephira on the Tree of Life from mystical and alchemical traditions. It is on the center trunk and rooms here make reference to choices or decisions in some way. Here the reference in more muted in the form of the flipping coins, but there is a connection to room 40 here, also a central node, where they choose at random. Tree of Life rooms tend to feature Trees or living animals, and here we have the black cat. Both here and in 11 the many doors (branches) are mentioned, and both rooms are on the center trunk of the tree.

This sephira is called Tiferet. In is, not surprisingly, associated with the sun. It occupies a central position in the Tree of Life much as the sun occupies a central position in the solar system (and in MAZE room 4 is in the middle of the figure 8). 

22) This room is a sephira on the Tree of Life. This one is called “Hod”, in means “splendor” and this gaudy room is appropriate. It is also associated with Thanksgiving and we can connect that with the Sabbath day found in this room.

43) This room is a sephira on the tree of life. This one is known as “Natzat”. It is associated with “inspiring confidence” and the message here to “Keep believing in yourself” seems to fit well.

40) Regarding the Tree of Life, room 40 is one of the nodes or “sephira” on the central branch. These rooms feature language relating to choices or decision. There is a somewhat muted reference here to choosing pretty much at random, which connects to room 4 which is also a center sephira. The choices can be seen as branches. This sephira is known as “Yesad” it means “foundation” and we can note that the text calls this the “foundation of the MAZE” it is also associated strongly associated with “truth” which is a word that appears on the wall a couple of times.

11) This room is one of the “nodes” or “sephira”. The rooms along the center stem generally emphasize decisions and/or choices (The many branches or paths that connect to the center stem). This room gives us “this is an important choice” and “trying to encourage them” which closely matches the language in room 5, which is also on the center stem of the tree. The many doors here echo the many doors in room 4, another room on the center stem of the tree. “Choices and decisions” also play a role in the main room 1 puzzle.

This sephir” is the lowest one, the farthest one from the emanations of God. It is associated with the lowest body parts, either feet of anus, where waste is removed, and I guess if we head into room 24 here, that might be what we are. It relates to the physical world of “earth” and again the next step down seems to be under earth then or the underworld. I have found it described as the negative node on an electric circuit, which recycles energy back to the upper nodes, and this fits with what we see here. “Lowliness” is used to describe this sephira as well, and that may fit with the small stature we have here. One source http://www.wisdomsdoor.com/tol/malkuth.shtml says that we may be stuck here for a while but eventually the archangel that watches this area will present one with some sort of “key” that will allow travel to other spheres. This fits well with the shape of the trap as a key, and the fact that our guide will allow us to escape here once we have learned enough.

Final Message

So the puzzle of the MAZE is “In what House will some live?”

The answer is “the World”. So “Some will live in the world”.

The wall 40 riddle says “I measure man by a soul truth”, and that is the truth of the MAZE riddle. Some souls will live in the world.

This helps with the escape from the MAZE trap. We can look into Ravens eye and be transported back to our world and out of the TRAP.

But if we put the guide’s whole message together we have “I measure man by the truth that some souls will live in the world”. And I take this as a simple message that how we live our lives in this world is what is important. Perhaps as well that those who contribute to the world while here, live on in memory. But then if we make a small final observation that the top-hatted man is 16 represents “Maze guide Raven” and that the top-hatted man in 3 represents “soul of Manson” we can draw an equivalence. Manson it seems has put his soul here in the form of the Maze guide Raven. And this it seems is one way in which “some souls will live in the world”.

But then rereading the second wall to include a reference to room 2 we get “true (room 2) will strike man at last” and from that we should infer values like “Freedom from tyranny”, “Respect for Nature”, “Unity of Mankind”. And we can red the final wall to say “Man = answer”, and from that infer a message of “humanism” and well as whatever we should gather from Kabbalah’s Tree of Life found in Maze.

The rooms

The walkthrough of the individual rooms is linked here.