The Poi Heresies: why 3-petal antispin flowers are not triquetras

What is a triquetra?

For most of the past year, triquetra has been synonymous with three-petal antispin flowers and in some cases the hybrids that can be created by combining them with other patterns. Nick Woolsey even posted this video, explaining the concept and the term and its significance to poi spinning in general. After doing the math, however, I've come to the conclusion that what we describe as triquetras don't actually match the visual or mathematical properties of triquetras at all and that a couple of the conclusions we've reached based upon this assumption are false.

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Vector graphics of poi patterns

As I've played around with my soft and hard transition ideas, I've found it helpful to move around the hand and poi paths of some popular moves in Illustrator and other graphics editing programs, but my technique for doing so has left a lot to be desired. Essentially, I've been putting the proper variables into an online spirograph program (located at and mirrored below), taking a screencapture of the result, and importing it into Illustrator using the livetrace function.

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Vesica Piscis charts

Whoops! I just rewatched my video on vesica piscis soft transitions and realized I'd promised to post the charts I'd used to work through these transitions and never did. Here they are, along with the original video--they depict a series of soft transitions from cateyes to triquetras and vice versa in which the overlap in hand paths between the triquetras resembles the vesica piscis pattern sometimes seen in sacred geometry. Enjoy!

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #364: One handed mercedes (triquetra vs extension)

This one's been a while in the works: trying to do a polyrhythm hybrid with only one hand! The trick here is to remember which poi is closer at which point in the shape so you can aim it accordingly. Cool looking trick but requires a lot of work and accuracy!


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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #283: Toroid hybrids

A few weeks ago, Alex Powell uploaded a great video of some interesting hybrids utilizing toroids in an atomic configuration. I started working on these same hybrids in other timing and direction combinations as well as some pendulum-based toroid hybrids after taking a pendulums class from Ronan in Tahoe. Here are the results.

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #271: 3 hand-switching throws

A grab-bag of hand-switching throws I've either been working on or have encountered in the past couple months. The first is a triquetra vs pendulum hand switch Noel came up with during the same spin jam where I started working on the triquetra vs pendulum throw from the last tech blog. The second is a hand-switch that comes out of a snake that I've had a hell of a time getting clean these past few months. The third is a hand-switch I spotted Matt Cullen using a lot during a spin session he did at PEX Summer Festival.

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #270: No-beat throws in triquetra vs pendulum

Here's a fun move that came out of a spin jam with Noel over the weekend at PEX Summer Festival: taking a no-beat throw and apply it to an antispin placement such that the top petal of triquetra vs pendulum winds up being a toss. This can be done either in front of the body or behind. I'm playing with my format a little bit a presenting the move both by narrating through it and showing it normal time and slowed down--let me know what you think of this format.

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #253: quarter-time from triquetra vs pendulum

This is one of those really obvious a ha moments I can't believe I didn't catch onto earlier: most of the transitions out of triquetra vs pendulum I've played with thus far have been at either the top, bottom, or side positions of the move. But if you attempt a transition at 45 degrees off of the top position, the poi heads are in the perfect position for a quarter-time transition! Here are three patterns that make use of this phenomenon.

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #249: Fishtail antibrids

Featuring Kate McCoy! Kate taught an awesome class on fishtails at FLAME Festival near Atlanta, GA and we had some really cool breakthroughs in the course of it. One of which was a combo that utilized triquetra vs pendulum wherein the pendulum is performed with a fishtail pendulum. This made me think of a pendulum vs CAP, which sets you up for an interesting passing move wherein you switch which hand is holding which part of the poi.

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Drex's Tech Poi Blog #248: Zan's diamond in polyrhythm hybrids

Last week as I was working out Zan's diamond with toroids, Kory San made a request for a video on Zan's diamond and its accompanying hybrids. I'm splitting this into two videos: this first one covers the basic algorithms of Zan's diamond as a third-order motion and the polyrhythm hybrids that are available as a result of thinking of each section of the shape as a discrete triquetra. Next week I'll cover some variants that are even-downbeat and thus timing and direction remain consistent throughout.

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