A Sphericulist Manifesto


*** DISCLAIMER: The views presented here are mine alone. This means that I may use/define terms in ways outside of that commonly accepted/used in the greater poi community. I’m not trying to challenge, change, or redefine said concepts. It’s basically just my way of saying that I don’t want to argue, and that I may use terms in ways that other definitions might not accommodate. I’m doing this to help you understand how –I- see things, and through this alternate perspective enrich your own conceptualization. Whether or not you accept these definitions outside of this discussion doesn’t really matter. They reflect my current understanding, and may be altered at a later date. ***

I'm going to lock this thread so that I can keep my ideas neat and organized. That means you can go HERE (right click, open in a new window) to post comments. This is helpful I think in many ways. That being said,

A Spherculist Manifesto: Theory, Conjecture, and Folly by Rev

1- Degrees
2- Inswings
3- Introversions
4- Inversions

coming soon
5- Bf introversions
6- Bf inversions

eventually I'll get around to other topics like antispin and spun stalls


To begin, I would like to discuss the notion of degrees. I think this notion has been tossed around for a while and it gets misused or misinterpreted in many ways. First off, what is a degree? To put it simply, a degree is 180 degrees of twist. Naturally, this definition is quite vague. Twist of what you might ask? The answer to that depends on your perspective. Normally, we refer to the twist of the arms, but we can refer to it in other cases as well. For instance, we can refer to the amount of twist of the poi in a twist, tangle, or knot.

So, how do we apply degrees to patterns? This happens to be the point where I think most confusion comes in. degrees are not a static property of a pattern, instead they refer to positions within a pattern. Ultimately, they are used to talk about the position that one is in when they try to do x, y, z.

Let’s get a quick rundown of the degree positions:

zero degree- In this position, the arms are on their respective sides. Respective side of what, you might wonder? That I will discuss later, for now just consider it an axis. For example, a butterfly (or buzzsaw) in front of you would yield and axis where on the right half of the body is the right side and the left half of the body is the left side. If you consider a weave, then you must instead consider one of the side planes, and consider yourself facing that way (ie, facing the right side plane or facing the left side plane). Their respective side when your torso is thusly turned is the side that that shoulder is on. These are but simple examples, but it quickly gets more complicated. Think of a horizontal buzzsaw or a wallplane buzzsaw. Hopefully, you see how in these instances it is relative to which shoulder(arm) is higher in the horizontal case, or which shoulder (arm) is further out in the wallplane case. The take home point here is that in this position the arms are not crossed/twisted in any way.

first degree- in this position, you have moved 180 degrees of twist. This motion can go one of two ways. Either the right hand can over (CCW) to the left side (and left hand under) or the left hand can go over (CW) to the right side (and the right hand under). We say that it is 180 degrees of twist because the hands have gone from 3:00 to 9:00 (and vice versa) and have thus gone through 180 degrees of a circle.

second degree- In this position the hands have moved a full 360 degrees from their original position. This means that the right hand has gone from 3:00 -> 9:00 -> 3:00. Again, this can be either over (CCW) 3 -> 12 ->9 -> 6 -> 3 or under (CW) 3 -> 6 ->9 -> 12 -> 3. Notice that you cannot accomplish this by going from 3:00 -> 12:00 -> 9:00 -> 12:00 -> 3:00. degrees of twist are counted from the zero degree in one direction. If you reverse that direction, you are untwisting back to thezero degree position. Once you pass the zero degree position, you are now twisting in the other direction. degrees are neutral with respect to direction.

To expand on this idea, let me try to compare this with the concept it is meant to replace, the beat. Let us start with the simplest, yet complex example, the weave. The weave will help illustrate a number of key ideas. First, let’s look at the 3bt weave.

To illustrate this with beats, we might say that one does:

R_L_R <-> L_R_L

This notation shows what occurs on each side. The left poi does 2bts on the right side, and the right does 2 bts on the left side. We call it 3bt, because each side of the weave does 3 bts.

To illustrate this with degrees, we would say that one does:

-1_0_+1 <-> +1_0_-1

First let me say that the +/- does not connote +twist and –twist.. instead they confer a directionality. Remember when I said that you can either take the right hand OVER or the right hand UNDER. In this example, (-) would be right over (CCW), while (+) would be left over (CW). So what this notation reveals, is that on the left side we have 1 degree of CCW twist. We then untwist that to a zero degree position. We finally twist 1 degree of clockwise twist. The entire time we are ‘twisting’ in a CW direction. And so linearly, the numbers all move in the same direction. On the right side of the weave, we start with the 1 degree of CW twist. We then keep going in a CCW direction until we have untwisted it back to a zero and then further to 1 in the other direction.

The +/- distinction is arbitrary in my opinion. I only use it to separate one direction from the other. Other people have tried to use the notation:

-1_0_+1 <-> -1_0_+1

Under this version, (+) means twisting, and (-) means untwisting. This captures the same idea in a slightly different way. The former way gives the direction of twist a static property. Thus going CW is always (+) while going CCW is always (-). In the later, the zero degree position becomes the static focus. The problem is that in this latter condition, butterfly stuff is difficult to classify. You can twist a bf in either direction, and focusing on whether you are twisting up or untwisting, doesn’t tell you much of anything. Moreover, antispin is equally difficult to classify and discuss. Neither of these are a problem for the version I presented first. In the case of a bf, the direction of twisting, lets you know which way you are threading. In the case of antispin, well we can simply write:

-1_0_+1 _0_-1

Here, we see that there is no side transition ( <-> ) thus, here on this one side we can follow the motion twist into anti-twist. It’s moving CW from -1 -> 0 -> +1. But its moving CCW on that same side when it goes from +1 -> 0 -> -1. Thus we can follow the pattern of twisting and then anti-twisting. This is something that cannot be captured in the other presentation method. Hopefully that last point about the notation didn’t throw any of you off. It’s one of those points that needs to be made.

Here’s a video to give you some visual aid. Right click, open in new window

In this video you will notice that I start out with a presentation of the positions. Starting with a zero degree position, I being twisting clockwise (I’m speaking from my perspective as the spinner, since that is the language I used above). I twist it 180 degrees. I am now in a first degree position. Notice the left hand is on my right side, and likewise the right is on the left side. We untwist by going the other way (CCW). We can keep twisting CCW and reach the other first degree position.

Now starting from a zero degree position again, I go through the same style of motions (ie. twisting all the way CW, then going all the way back CCW). Only this time, I go a full 360 in each direction. Thus, I twist up to a second degree position.

To add some context to these positions and to the notation I used in this post, I end the video showing you how 3bt weave, and 5bt weave incorporate these positions. The 3bt weave if you recall is:

-1_0_+1 <-> +1_0_-1

If you notice, this is exactly what happens. You go from into a first degree, crossover (still in that degree), and then untwist to zero then into one the other way. Again, hold that position as you crossover, and then untwist again. Lather rinse repeat.
The 5bt weave is pretty much the same thing only going the extra bit on each side. I will include the notation as a reference, but leave you to sort out the details.

-2_-1_0_+1_+2 <-> +2_+1_0_-1_-2

You are probably wondering why all this degree mess is important anyway. It doesn’t at first seem to be any more fruitful for discussion. But, degrees are a powerful technical tool for discussion. First, they apply across the board. We can discuss any pattern, whether bf, weave, link, wrap, etc. beats cannot capture this wide range of patterns. Second, it captures the richness of patterns that have multiple centers of spin. beats are limited to discussing poi circles. As patterns increase in complexity, the poi revolution to arm revolution, does not remain as correlated as before. For instance, flowers are a simple example. Antispin patterns are another example. Finally, inversions provide perhaps a tantamount example.
Though I could discuss the relative merits for quite some time, I think it is in everyone’s best interest if I move on. We will come back to this topic more when we get into the discussion of inversions.



Before I can get into inversions, I think I need to discuss a few key definitions. First, I want to discuss plane facings. There are two key facings: outside and inside. outside is what we spin most of the time. facing outside is how we refer to any pattern in which the poi spin outside the arms and body. facing inside refers by contrast to patterns that spin in-between the arms and the body. This is a critical point. (see video for a poi spinning outside and inside). Outside vs inside (Right click, open in new window) I know I have only briefly touched upon these topics, but I feel that the video will help make these plane facings more concrete, and thus excluding the need for a more in-depth explanation.

The next topic however, will need considerably more discussion. I want to distinguish between outswings and inswings. I know this will sound a bit strange but both outside and inside plane facings are spun using outswings. outswings are when the poi swings a full circle outside the arms. Notice that I said outside the arms and not outside the arms and body. Swings are based solely on the arms. (see the video above again for this point. Notice that in the above video the poi spins to the same side of –both- arms)

inswings contrast from outswings by passing in between the arms. This is an important point. Because they pass in between the arms, the do not pass on the same side of each arm. Typically, this means that they will be in the outside plane of one arm, and inside plane of the other arm—during the same circle. The concept of inswing is crucial to understanding many other concepts as we’ll will see in the coming discussion of inversions. Here is video that sows the two types of inswings. inswings (right click, open in new window) Notice that one goes outside the left arm and inside the right arm. The other one goes outside the right arm and inside the left. Direction here is irrelevant since you can go either direction in each of these positions. Also, I only show one hand because the other hand still only does these two positions.

For now, let’s take a break from theory for a bit and learn some patterns. I think these patterns will help drill the above concepts a bit more firmly. The first pattern that we are going to cover is a front wallplane weave. This pattern will help illustrate inside planes and how they relate to patterns that we already know. To do a front wallplane weave, we are going to start by making small changes to another pattern, the corkscrew. normally, the corkscrew will spin about a reflexive axis centered on our arms. In this case, the arms are pointing straight out. We are going to take this pattern, and continue looping(repeating) it over and over. While looping the pattern, we are going to slowly lean forward and point our arms down a little. For now, just try to point them at about a 45 degree angle from the ground. That is, instead of having your arms parallel to the ground, they should be pointing at the ground way out in front of you. Pretty simple, eh? It shouldn’t take much effort keeping the pattern going at this angle. Remember that your poi plane should be tilted so that the poi are spinning parallel to your arms, and not parallel to the ground like in a normal cork.

Our next step is to slowly lean forward a little more. By bending over forward, we are creating more room between our arms and our body. This makes the inside plane easier to reach because you don’t have to spin as perfect inking smiley. Now that we have leaned up even further, we should be able to point our arms straight down at the ground. At this point, there should be a perpendicular line from shoulder to ground via the arms. If you are still able to continue your cork pattern, then you will find that you are doing half of the weave in the outside front wallplane and the other half in the inside front wallplane. (for a visual, see video) cork to wallplane weave (right click, open in new window) I start with a cork, and slowly keep angling it more and more until I have it perpendicular to the ground. Voila, front wallplane weave.

I’ll let you play with that and all the little variations in your own time. You’ll find that insides are a lot like many other patterns that you do. The difference (apart from the plane) is that they tend to be tightened versions of these other patterns. Here, I simply mean that they will tightly hug the axis of your arms rather than using your whole body as a reflexive axis.

So now you have some idea of insides. I guess that means it’s time to learn some inswings. The best pattern to begin with in my opinion is the notcoleman3. For now, let’s say that a notcoleman3 is simply a 3bt weave with a single inswing done in-between the 2nd and 3rd beats. Now, technically, the inswing is a beat, however we talk about it being in-between beats because the full circle of the inswing starts and ends 0-180 degrees off the normal beat circle. The only point that matters is here is that the inswing occurs in some sense between the conventional beats. Because of the variance, we say in-between beats because it occurs in-between the start of one beat, and the start of the next beat.

So now that I’m done with yet –another- digression, we can get back to the task at hand. The notcoleman3 is a 3bt weave with a single inswing done in-between the 2nd and 3rd beats. It’s variant is a 3bt weave with a single inswing done in-between the 1rst and 2nd beats. Now that sounds nice and dandy, but what about the nitty-gritty? In the notcoleman3, the inswing is done with the same side hand. Thus on the right side, the right poi enters from under the right arm, and passes over the left arm and across. On the left side, the left poi enters from under the left arm and passes over the right arm and across. Thus one might say:

R_LvR <-> L_RvL v=inswing done by the hand immediately preceding it (enters from below)

(see video) 3bt weave w/ same side inswing (right click, open in new window)

The variant on the notcoleman3 is only marginally different. In the variant, the inswing is done by cross side poi. Thus, on the right side, the left poi will enter from the top after passing over the right arm, pass under the left arm, and push outside. On the left side, the right poi enters from the top after passing over the left arm, moves under the right arm, and pushes outside. In this case, we would say that:

R^L_R <-> L^R_L ^=inswing done by the hand immediately preceding it (enters from above)

(see video) 3bt weave with cross side inswing (right click, open in new window)

While you work on these patterns, I want to return briefly to a point made earlier about how the inswing occurs at different times relative the beat. If you notice, the notcoleman3 has the poi moving in time with the beat. The same side poi only makes one full rotation on its side and that (in addition to direction and what not) results in the harmonious timing of inswing and beat. The variant by contrast is off. The cross side poi does not make a full rotation when the inswing occurs. Thus the inswingbeat’ is 180 degrees offset from the normal beat circle. In other words, the cross side poi does half of a beat, an inswing, and then another half of a beat. If that confuses you, try to think of it this way. The cross side poi does 2 full circles, so I’m saying that its half a circle, full inswing circle, half of a circle (.5 + 1 + .5 = 2).

If you notice, this means that the inswings are technically happening at the same time. That is, they both happen on the second beat. This distinction is why earlier I said that we would define the notcoleman3 as…”for now.” I think that the other definition helps initially. It allows you to grasp the pattern bit. In particular, the diagram is a bit more intuitive that way. I think it’s easier to talk about some the technical details thereafter. I don’t know if that’s necessarily the best way to approach things, but it’s the direction I’m taking for now. (This is a learning experience for both of us) A more proper definition of each of these patterns would be:

notcoleman3 is a 3bt weave with a single inswing done by the same side poi (aka. a 3bt weave a same side inswing). The variant would be a 3bt weave with a single inswing done by the cross side poi (aka. a 3bt weave a cross side inswing).

That being said, one thing I do want to do now is show how degrees relate to this. If we parse things out, the notcoleman3 looks like this:

(-1)v(0)_(+1) <-> (+1)v(0)_(-1) v= inswing that enters from below and goes over
the other arm

The variant likewise looks like this:

(-1)^(0)_(+1) <-> (+1)^(0)_(-1) ^= inswing that enters from above

What does this help illuminate, you might wonder. First, it shows that the inswings start at the same time. If you notice the earlier diagram focused on the hand/poi that does a particular beat. Looking at it from this new perspective however, doesn’t have that limitation. Second, it demonstrates that the inswing is occurring between the first degree and zero degree position. This is important. Recall earlier that I said inswings are a full circle. This means that in a 3bt weave, if you inswing the same side poi, then that takes the whole beat for that poi. Why does that matter? Well… It means that half of the inswing occurs on either side of the zero degree position. If this doesn’t make sense, then hopefully this next bit will help. Recall earlier that I said that the cross side poi does 2 full circles. I also said that the inswing occurs in the middle (.5, inswing, .5). This means that the cross side poi also does half of its inswing on either side of zero degree position.

Now for some of you, light bulbs are going off. But, the rest of you shouldn’t worry. We are getting into some decently tech theory, and I’ll explain some the implications of this in my next section. I just want to give you something to think about for now.

Let’s take another break from theory and such. I want to show you a fun pattern I came up with years ago. I call it splitthreading (aka splitthreads). Sorry Matt. I know you hate the name. I came up with the name because it’s a threading pattern that is done with the poi split into opposite planes. splitthreads make use of inside planes, outside planes, and inswings. So I think it’s an appropriate pattern to end this section with.

I’m going to teach this pattern in 3 steps. All you need to know is how to 4bt ttn. If you can’t 4bt ttn then look at this post. (insert link to thread) [can't find it at the moment will add later]

The first thing you will want to do is learn how to add an inside beat to the 4bt ttn. Basically, as the right poi comes over the left arm bring it inside for one beat. Then push it outside, and bring the left hand around and over and inside. (see video) 4bt ttn with insides (right click, open in new window) Pretty much the same thing you were doing before, just with one minor change.

Now, let’s learn how to do a 4bt ttn with inswings. This time, we will start again with the right hand coming over and everything like a normal ttn. Instead of bringing the left arm –around- and over, do an inswing and over. Then push it out like normal. The right poi should likewiseinswing and over. Etc. (see video) 4bt ttn with inswings (right click, open in new window) Again, this is not much different from the 4bt ttn.

It is important that you pay attention to how these patterns differ from each other, as well as from the original pattern. By doing the same base pattern, the differences should emerge more clearly. This should give you a better understanding of what we mean by each.

Finally with that in mind, let’s combine it all. Begin by bringing the right poi over the left arm and inside. Then as the right poi pushes out, inswing the left poi, over, and inside. Then as the left poi pushes out, inswing the right poi, over, and inside. Lather, rinse, repeat. (see video) forward splitthreading (right click, open in new window)

The reverse version is a little bit backwards. Rather than going inswing, over, and inside, you will instead go inside, over, and inswing. (see video) reverse splitthreading (right click, open in new window)


Inswings are single swings of the poi. So, they can be thrown into patterns somewhat willy-nilly. So referring to the base pattern, and what type of inswing we are using (same side vs cross side), we can pretty effectively discuss patterns. Once we enter into more complex uses of inswings, we find a need for a new vocabulary. This may not be clear at the outset, but I trust things will make sufficient sense when we understand the unique properties of the subclasses.

The need for separate subclasses arise when we begin to talk about doing 2 inswings. One of those I call introversions. introvert- to turn inward on itself. This class of inswing patterns, as well will see, twist in on themselves. I define introversions as being two simultaneous inswings that enter from opposite points (ie. top and bottom). But what exactly does that mean?

Well, let’s start by going back to some of the discussion from earlier. I talked about the fact that in a 3bt weave, the cross side inswing and same side inswing happen at the same time. They both occur on the second beat. At that point, we were talking about patterns with a single inswing. So, the implication of that might not have been directly intuitive at that point. In actuality, you can combine these into the same pattern. If you do both of the inswings on the same side of the same of a 3bt weave, then you the result is a pair of simultaneous inswings. One poi will do its swing entering from the bottom, while the other enters from the top. Thus, not only are they simultaneous, but they enter from opposite sides. (this of course is only natural. I mean they are spinning splittime, so they if they enter at the same time[not in sametime], they have to enter from opposite points).

Before I go further, look at this video. zero degree introversion (right click, open in new window) It is a basic introversion. It is important that you see, and hopefully take some time to learn this pattern. Doing so will make the next part go a LOT smoother for you. In the video, you should see that I am just combining the two inswings that we learned in the previous section.

We are now going to be moving into bit deeper theory. The reason that I defined introversions by those features is because you get some pretty special qualities. The first of which is that introversions are VERY much like a weave. This just means that they thread (ie. twist and untwist). I want to keep this as basic as possible, so let’s just focus on the pattern from the above video. In the introversion, you probably noticed that the inswings continue the normal twisting and untwisting of the weave. Let’s pull up a diagram:

(-1)^v(0)_(+1) <-> (+1)^v(0)_(-1) ^=inswing from the top, and v= inswing from the bottom

Remember from our inswing discussion that because of the timing of the inswing half was occurring during before the zero degree position, and the other half was happening afterwards. This first half is the untwisting portion, and the other half is the retwist. Let’s look at another video that shows this in a bit more detail. (see video) zero degree introversion motions emphasized

See how it starts from the first degree position and ends at a first degree position. If you recall, each degree is 180 degrees. Also, recall that an inswing is a full circle. Therefore, inswings take you across 2 degree positions. This should become a bit clearer when you look back at the video. It does half from first degree to zero degree (180) and the other half is from zero degree to first degree (180).

This action is one reason why I refer to introversions by the degree that they revolve around. Thus, in the case of the pattern mentioned above (and in the videos), I would say it’s a zero degree introversion.

Some of you may be wondering why? I mean if it twists and such, why not call it by the amount of twist? The answer to that can be found in the second quality of introversions. They only operate around one degree. What I mean by this is that they do half on either side of that degree. If we look at the previous example, that occurs on each side of the zero degree position. In this case, it does twist –and- untwist. However, when you look at another example it is quite different. Let’s look at a 5bt weave.


We can add an introversion around the first degree position. For example:

(-2)_(-1)_(0)^v(+1)_(+2) ^=inswing from the top, and v= inswing from the bottom

Here is where that full circle of the inswing and the fact that it ‘revolves around a degree’ come together to illustrate a key point. Let’s begin by isolating the section of the pattern where the inswings occur.


This is a full circle. However, this circle does not include twisting and untwisting as before. In this case, we only see a twisting motion. If we take a glance at the other half, we can see that it would likewise occur only in the untwisting phase.


Thus on each side, we can untwist and retwist.


One thing should quickly emerge here. Notice that we do not have room in this pattern to include its zero degree counterpart. Recall that the zero degree introversion starts from the first degree position. However, in order to start there, we would have to start in the middle of the inswings we are already doing. This is problematic.

To explore this problem, let’s start by looking at the different inswings. Assuming we take only one hand, the right hand, we have two potential inswings. we can enter over the right arm (from the top), or we can enter under the right arm (from the bottom). These are mutually exclusive. In other words, they can’t be combined without ‘switching’ patterns. To illustrate this point, look at this video. (see video) switching between inswings (right click, open in new window)

Notice that when I try to switch between inswings, I get a weave-like pattern. This is because the two halves of the inswings combine to form an outswing. So I have an inside circle and an outside circle. This means that if I were to try and break the inswing in the first degree introversion to try and flow into the zero degree introversion, I would essentially be doing a set of fakeys.

For the purposes of the theory here, this means that you can only connect even degree introversions together or odd degree introversions together. So you could connect second degree introversions with the zero degree introversions because they would use the same sets of inswings.

(-3)^v(-2)_(-1)^v(0)_(+1)^v(+2)_(+3) ^=inswing from the top, and v= inswing from the bottom

Notice that we can separate those out, and place them together in chunks.




Each set of circles can complete its phase without interruption or conflict with the next pattern. This should probably be placed in future thoughts for now. Though I can step-by-step work my way through the second degree introversion, I can’t spin it yet.

For now, I want to leave the theory (for the most part) and discuss the first degree introversion in a bit more detail. (see video) first degree introversion (right click, open in new window)

now, it resembles an sj. This is due to the fact that you are twisting the pattern inward on itself, so your arms are on the outside. Naturally, this will be a bit like an sj. The main difference is that an sj has your arms folded, while this pattern is twisting at the wrists. This seems like a subtle point, but aren’t they all?

If you look closely, you’ll see that after twisting in on itself, you cross to the other side. On this side, the untwist involves simultaneous inswings that go directly into the simultaneous inswings for the twisting part. In this way, you can grasp the sense of fluidity of the pattern. You should be able to more clearly see its relation to the weave. Like a weave, you can do this pattern with the wrists together. However, the main point is that it twists and untwists. This will be clearer when we compare them to the other subclass, inversions.

first degree introversion motions emphasized (right click, open in new window)

This video focuses in on how the pattern twists in on itself. I think this addition might help some people see what I mean, as well as learn the pattern.

Hopefully, this pattern should help give you some sense of how the second degree introversions would flow fluidly with the zero degree introversions. The main thing is that you notice how in the zero degree introversion uses one type of inswing (ie. the right poi spins inside the right arm and outside the left arm). The first degree introversion uses a different inswing (ie. the right poi swings outside the right arm and inside the left arm). The second degree introversion would uses the same inswings as the zero degree. If that doesn’t make sense now, I wouldn’t worry. It’s not terribly important.


Now we have the terminology in place to talk about the many complex facets of inversions. I’m going to run through a bit of the theoretical issues, and then later at the end go through some tutorials in a bit more detail. The first order of business is to define inversion. An inversion is a combination of two consecutive inswings that enter from the same plane and enter from the same point (ie. top or bottom). Now this definition will naturally require a bit more elucidation. The point about two consecutive inswings comes from our discussion of introversions. Recall that introversions are simultaneous. Therefore it is in some sense a doubled inswing. inversions on the other hand are one inswing followed by the other one. This seems trivial, but it helps define some of the key properties of the inversions. Before we get to those though, the other important features are that the inswings enter from the same plane AND same point. These requirements are jointly sufficient in separating inversions from anything else.

Let’s examine these last two requirements separately. By stating that they must enter from the same point (side), I mean simply that if the first poi enters from the bottom (coming up into the inversion) then the second poi likewise must enter from the bottom. If the first poi enters from the top, then the second poi must also enter from the top. This point is related to the second in that the poi must enter from the same plane. For example, if the first enters from outside right, then the second from outside right. Similarly, it applies to inside planes and so forth.

Now, that we have the requirements in place, I want to explain in more detail how these features single out an inversion. First and foremost is the matter of entering from the same point. inswings are done with individual poi, and can be thrown in a few different places. The two consecutive rule allows us to limit the use of inswings to those that are back-to-back. The enter from the same point rule (in addition to the previous point) allows us to distinguish an inversion from an introversion pattern. (see videos)
introversion (right click, open in a new window)
inversion (right click, open in new window)

Notice that in the introversion video, one poi enters from above and one from below. Thus we describe it like:

(-1)^v(0)_(+1) ^=inswing from the top, and v= inswing from the bottom

Now, notice that in the inversion, they enter back-to-back from either above or below. (see video). So, we would describe it instead as

(-1)^^(0)_(+1) ^=inswing from the top

I use the above example because it more closely resembles the introversion in structure. I could have used one of the other 3 zero degree inversions, but I think this one is sufficient.

Regardless, these diagrams, along with the vids and descriptions, should help provide a little context for how these are different. So to rehash, introversions are simultaneous and enter from top and bottom. inversions are consecutive and enter from the same point (top or bottom).

There are a number of things that I could get into here, but I don’t want to muddy this issue too much. Suffice to say, these rules set a ‘narrow’ (I use that term loosely) definition that matches the term inversion without adding needless complications. Some may wish to press further on why these other things are not included. As I hope to show, inversions are by nature very complex, and this definition allows us to talk about a family of patterns that share specific properties. The other patterns that are left out share their own unique set of properties that allow us to discuss them meaningfully in their own right. The two groups however do not mesh. These rules are meant to act as guidelines for defining a member as part of one subclass or another, but at this point they are not hard and fast. The butterfly versions tend to get even messier than what we are about to cover. But let’s save that for when we get to it.

Earlier I said that inversions have a couple of special qualities. 1) They are repeatable. The same inversion can be done over and over again without exiting or doing another pattern. 2) They don’t change. Here, I’m referring to degrees. Whatever you enter the pattern with, is what you will exit with.

This last point is important because it helps to clarify one of the aspects of degrees. If you recall before I talked about degrees of twist. now I will talk about degree of crossover. One of the features of an inversion is that you can exit out either side. Though each inversion has a side it naturally exits to, it can be pulled back out the other side. An intriguing consequence of this is that you can have a different degree of crossover than the degree of twistused in the inversion. What do I mean here? Well, recall that degrees refer to a position that you are in a given time. In many patterns, the crossover/transition occurs when you have finished twisting. inversions don’t always follow this pattern. Since you can exit back out to the same side that you entered on, you can potentially twist up more. So for instance, say you enter an inversion from a first degree twist (like a 3bt weave) and push it back out the side you entered on. Because the inversion doesn’t change the amount of twist, you exit still in a first degree position. Now normally, you would be on the other side, and thus you would begin untwisting. But, since you are on the same side you are still twisting the same direction. Thus, you do a first degree inversion, but have a second (or higher) degree crossover.

I hope that’s not too confusing. I’ve included a video to illustrate the difference.
1-2 vs 1-1 (right click, open in a new window)

The first half shows a first degree inversion followed by a second degree crossover(1-2). Notice that the left poi leads left and the right poi leads right. The second shows the exact same pattern only with a first degree crossover (1-1). Notice the right poi leads left and the left poi leads right. Don’t worry about learning the patterns yet. They are just meant to be illustrative at the moment. Hopefully the video helps this make a bit of sense.

Before we get into the tuts, there are two more points that we need to cover. The first involves the 4 primary divisions. Each degree inversion has 4 main versions. To put it simply: left led over, left led under, right led over, and right led under. Sometimes you may see me refer to them as same side led inversions and cross side led inversions. It really depends on how you want to discuss them. The left led over and what not are pretty straight forward, but you have to distinguish the direction. If you don’t need to go into a great amount of detail, you can simply use same or cross side led and specify the direction. I tend to use the latter for things like tuts, where I show both sides, and reserve the former for technical discussions that require precision. Here is a list of how these relate to each other:

Right side right hand led over :: Same side fwd right
Right side left hand led under :: cross side fwd right
Left side right hand led under :: cross side fwd left
Left side left hand led over :: Same side fwd left
Right side right hand led under :: Same side rev right
Right side left hand led over :: cross side rev right
Left side right hand led over :: cross side rev left
Left side left hand led under :: Same side rev left

As you’ve probably noticed they equally get the job done, but the right column is significantly shorter. That’s why I prefer it, but both are useful. I sometimes find the left column to be a bit more helpful when it comes to butterfly inversions. But, let’s just take this one step at a time. One thing I should note here: when the lead hand goes over, it is a bottom led inversion, and vice versa. Over and under refer to how the hand passes relative the other arm, while top and bottom refer to the entrance to the inversion.

The last thing that I want to cover theoretically is the distinction between inversions that are done pre-crossover and post-crossover. Let’s take a look at a 5bt weave in terms of degrees:

(-2)_(-1)_(0)_(+1)_(+2) <-> (+2)_(+1)_(0)_(-1)_(-2)

Notice that there are 4 sets of first degree positions . There are two that are done in the twisting phase or pre-crossover:

(-2)_(-1)_(0)_(+1)_(+2) <-> (+2)_(+1)_(0)_(-1)_(-2)

There are also two sets that are done in the untwisting phase or post-crossover:

(-2)_(-1)_(0)_(+1)_(+2) <-> (+2)_(+1)_(0)_(-1)_(-2)

I think this is conceptually straight forward, even if you don’t fully understand right now. Normally we would have taken a break by now, but it’s really hard to introduce patterns without adequately covering the terms used to describe it. I know that not all the terms may be crystal clear to everyone, but it will act as a baseline from which we can jump into things.

Let’s get started with the basic zero degree inversions. There are 8, but I’m going to reduce that to 4 basic weave patterns.

pre same led zero degree inversion (right click, open in a new window)

In this video, the poi that leads into the inversion is the poi whose side we are one. The inversions are also taking place during the twist phase. So this would be a pre same led zero degree inversion. the point about it being pre will become clearer after the next video. For now, just focus on how the pattern spins. The same side poi is leading into the inversion from the top.

post same led zero degree inversion (right click, open in a new window)

This next video shows the post version of that pattern. Notice that this time it enters from the bottom. Unlike the higher degree patterns, the zeroes have very minor differences. But, they are still important from a technical standpoint. In this video, notice that the right begins going into the inversion as soon as it cross to the right side. This means that it never gets to untwist. Hence it being a post crossover inversion. Look again at the other video. In that one the right poi doesn’t start the inversion until it has already done half of a circle on that side. Since it only does one full circle, anything after the first half is done in the twisting phase. Hence the first video is a pre crossover inversion.

Now let’s look at the other two.

pre cross led zero degree inversion (right click, open in new window)

Notice that in this pattern, the right poi is leading into the inversion on the left side. So this is a cross side led pattern. It’s a pre pattern because the right poi has already done one of its two circles.

post cross led zero degree inversion (right click, open in new window)

In this one by contrast, notice that the right poi leads into the inversion after only doing half of its first circle. This one is done in the untwisting phase. So, it’s a post cross led zero degree inversion

Hopefully, you are beginning to see how inversions have many more features to them, then the other patterns we discussed. The vocabulary helps a lot to clearer up some of these facets. To further demonstrate this, let’s look at the 4 first degree inversions.

pre same led first degree inversion (right click, open in new window)

Here, you see the most common inversion. This one is same side led. It is also first degree because of the amount of twist that is held in the pattern. Finally, it is pre because it happens during the twisting phase. Notice on the right side, the right poi swings over the left arm (thus making the first degree and showing re-affirming the ‘twisting phase’) and enters the inversion from the bottom.

pre cross led first degree inversion with first degree crossover (right click, open in a new window)
motions for the above pre 1-1 inversion (right click, open in a new window)

I’m going to change things up here and show you the other pre pattern. This is the other commonly used inversion. If you recall, earlier I showed that this pattern can be done with either a first degree crossover (as a 1-1), or with a second degree crossover. The one above is the 1-1, here is the 1-2.

pre cross led first degree inversions with a second degree crossover (right click, open in a new window)
motions for the above pre 1-2 inversion (right click, open in a new window)

I’ve included the motions with these patterns because we are starting to get into some more complex patterns. These are not as directly intuitive as the ones before. Notice that in the 1-1, the left hand leads into the inversion from the top on the right side. After the inversion, the left poi pushes back out to the right for its second circle (of 2), while the right poi leads across to the left side. This way it captures the normal 3bt pattern.

The 1-2 by contrast, enters the same way (ie. the left hand leads form the top on the right side). However, this time, the left poi exits the inversion directly into the crossover. So, here the left poi leads across as in a 5bt pattern. This version gets the 5 outside circles (for the most part) before the inversion.

This should help show some of the differences. You can imagine from here what it would look like if instead of leading across upon exit, you continued to twist on the outside. Thus, you might spin a 7bt pattern (ie. a 1-3). But enough of that for now, let’s go back to learning patterns.

These next two patterns are demonstrated in a second degree pattern. I do this to help emphasize how there are different from their pre counterparts. If I would have used a first degree as above, it would have been a bit messier visually. Thought the overall pattern is second degree these are still only first degree inversions.

post cross led first degree inversion (right click, open in a new window)
motions for the above inversion (right click, open in a new window)

Hopefully it is immediately clear how this differs from the pre. Unlike the zero degree patterns, this one is clearly occurring before you have finished untwisting. If you look at the motions video, you will see that after you twist up your second degree, you will cross normally to the other side. Ie. the right leads to the right side. Once on the right side, the right poi will spin one circle. The left poi then leads into the inversion from the bottom. After exiting, you continue to untwist and retwist as normal.

post same led first degree inversion (right click, open in a new window)
motions for the above inversion (right click, open in a new window)

If by now you haven’t grasped the difference between pre and post then this vid should drill the point home. After twisting up to a second degree position, the right poi leads to the right side. On the right side, notice that the right poi begins the inversion 180 degrees into its circle. That means it enters from the top after half of a circle. This is important because that little bit of circle it spins allows it to untwist to a first degree position before entering the inversion. After it exits, it is plain as day how you continue untwisting and then re-twisting.

Before ending this section, I want to do two things. First, I want to say that I hope you have a clearer picture of how inversions can be complicated. Unlike the other inswing patterns, inversions have many complex features (which hand leads, which poi does it enter from, how much twist, etc.). If you look back at the other patterns, there isn’t the remote glimpse of this intricacy. inswings alone are just one poi, so all you have to say is where. introversions happen at the same time. So again, all you have to say is where. inversions are a sequence and therefore need a much richer vocabulary to describe.

The second thing I want to mention is that thus far we have only talked about same direction patterns. Things get a bit fuzzier when we enter into the bf domain. I’ll be posting up the bf equivalent to all of this stuff in a few more weeks. Those patterns have similar defining properties but aren’t as directly intuitive as you might think. For example, above we saw that a buzzsaw can be an inversion, later we will see that doesn’t necessarily hold for butterflies. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here is an excerpt from poi goes punk. I’ve not really changed much except a few terms. All of the descriptions here refer to pre crossover inversions.

In this section, I am going to go over outside led inversions and inside led inversions.. One of the things I have said numerous times is that it’s much easier to work out inside led inversions by refering to horiztontal inversions. And the clip in this section should demonstrate that quite well.. but before I jump too far ahead, let’s get started with our wallplane inversions.

I'm going to work with a clockwise spinning wallplane weave.. To make things easier, let’s just focus on one hand at a time.. let’s start with the right hand.. since we are spinning clockwise, the right hand should come under the left arm (like a rev first degree inversion).. let it exit on the inside.. let the left arm just spin there on the inside while the right arm comes around and enters again from underneath..

Here's our clip for this section.. it has watermill and corkscrew right hand led inversions.
Music: Ten foot pole- I dont mind
right hand led inversions (right click, open in a new window)

I filmed the watermill part (wallplane weave) sideplaned so that you can see all the crossovers and the planes a little clearer.. if you notice the corkscrew part at the end, you will see that the top part of the corkscrew is EXACTLY like the outside of the watermill.. and the bottom part of the corkscrew is EXACTLY like the inside of the watermill.. some people find the horizontal inversions to be harder.. I think the horizontal inversions help you keep track of where your poi need to be and where they are going.. EVEN IF YOU CANT DO IT... just being able to see where it should go horizontally, will let you know where it needs to go with the watermill part..

You can invert that to learn the windmill inversions... the top of the corkscrew is the back of the windmill and the bottom of the corkscrew is the front of the windmill.. think windmill points up, corkscrew points out, and watermill points down.. otherwise, they are exactly the same thing..

I've covered the right hand led inversions, now let me move to the left hand led inversions.. this one is a little harder because there are more beats that occur in between the sides.. (this is just because we are going clockwise, if we were going counter clock it would be just the opposite)

To start the left hand will lead from the outside like a fwd first degree inversion. The left hand will go over the right arm and come up in the buzzsaw.. remember to bring it across to the inside.. once on the inside things get a little tricky because the left poi has to lead the inversion from the right side of the right arm..

because I know that helps none at all.. here again is a nice helpful clip..
Music: Hi-Standard- Asian pride
left hand led inversions (right click, open in a new window)

The first part of the vid shows the watermill from the side.. and is even slowed down to clearly show the left poi leading over the right arm to the inside and then under and around the right arm to comes back to the outside..

the end of the clip shows the corkscrew version of the move..

So to recap thus far, we've learned how to do first degree inversions.. We've learned right hand and left hand led inversions, same side and cross side exits, and outside and inside entrances.. so what's left? rolling between them of course..

One of the most fun parts of inversions, imo, is the fact that you can move from one into the other.. I'm only going to cover the smooth flowing roll, but by the time you reach this point, you should be able to get the other jerky one if you wanted..

lets go back to spinning clockwise wallplaned.. start with a left hand led inversion but DONT take it inside, instead we are going to go straight from that inversion into a right hand led inversion...its going to feel like you are 'flipping' the spin.. anyone who has read some of my earlier talks on inversions will recall I refer to this as flipping the pole..

more video goodness..
Music: Dillinger 4- Farts are jazz to assholes
rolling between inversions (right click, open in a new window)

In this clip I use a reverse weave base. I start with a pre cross side first degree inversion and roll it into a pre same side first degree inversion across to the other side,and then repeat back.. I have also included some horizontal footage so that you can see this from a different angle, and so that you can get an idea of how this would roll for watermill and windmill stuff..

I didn’t really feel like re-filming and going back through all of this stuff again. I hope that this makes sense. I didn’t think it needed much in the way of changes. I mean, you already have an understanding of the patterns, this was mainly just to gloss over the horizontal versions, inside versions, and rolling between them.

From here, I trust that you can figure out how to do the horizontal and inside versions of the post crossover versions. I’ll probably edit this section and add them at a later date just to make it more comprehensive.

That being said, I’m going to end this section with a clip of rolling between ALL of the first degree inversions. Technically, you could add the zero degree ones in there two, but why? HAHA.

pre and post first degree inversion rolls (right click, open in a new window)

I feel that if after all the preceding discussion, you should be able to pick up on what is going on here. But as I said before, I will probably come back and edit this in the future to give a more complete/comprehensive explanation of all of these patterns. I know at the very least I’ll have to come back to include a description of the how degrees of twist and degree of crossover relate to the post crossover inversions.