The Labyrs, Sagarus, Halbryce, and Labyris are all names for symmetrical double-headed axe that was known to the Classical Greeks as “pelekus”, and whilst a version is still used in woodcutting and forestry today, the symbolism of the labyrs axe dates back to the early Goddess civilizations found around the Mediterranean.
In ancient Minoan, Thracian and Greek religion, mythology, and art, dating from the Middle Bronze Age (3,000 to 600 BCE) onwards, and surviving in the Byzantine Empire, the labyrs can be found, as well as in specific African religions, such as Shango, where it also contains an element of religious symbolism.
The term, and the symbol, is most closely associated in historical records with the Minoan civilization, which reached its peak in the 2nd millennium BCE, and specifically with the worship of a Goddess. Some Minoan labrys have been found which are taller than a human, over six metres tall, and have been thought to may have been used during sacrifices, that of bulls which were also considered to be sacred the Goddess.
The labrys symbol has been found widely in the Bronze Age aarchaeological recovery at the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. According to archaeological finds oh the island, this double-axe was used specifically by Minoan priestesses for ceremonial uses. Of all the Minoan religious symbols, the axe was the holiest. To find such an axe in the hands of a Minoan woman would suggest strongly that she held a powerful position within the Minoan culture.