Ariadne's Tribe: Minoan Spirituality for the Modern World

Walk the sacred labyrinth with Ariadne, the Minotaur, the Great Mothers, Dionysus, and the rest of the Minoan family of deities. Ariadne's Tribe is an independent spiritual tradition that brings the deities of the ancient Minoans alive in the modern world. We're a revivalist tradition, not a reconstructionist one. We rely heavily on shared gnosis and the practical realities of Paganism in the modern world. Ariadne's thread reaches across the millennia to connect us with the divine. Will you follow where it leads?

Find out all about Ariadne's Tribe at We're an inclusive, welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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Meet the Minoans: The Serpent Mother

The Serpent Mother is an enigmatic yet ever-present figure in Minoan spirituality. She's a sort of "out of the corner of your eye" kind of character, difficult to define or pin down, yet most people intuitively understand her on some level.

Today I'm going to attempt, not to corral her into a concrete definition, but to describe the way we honor her in our spiritual practice in Ariadne's Tribe. I'll talk around her, and by that means, we can begin to see the outline of who and what she is.

If that feels roundabout, I can tell you, it's quite appropriate for the Serpent Mother, because that's the way she works: in the in-between spaces, in ways that can't be pinned down or easily defined, in squishy non-linear and non-logical ways, showing the shape of things by the shadows they cast.

Let's begin with the obvious: We connect her with snakes. We consider the famous Snake Goddess figurines, like the modern replica in the photo above, to represent her.

She's the Benefactor of communication, translators, translations, cryptographers, and codes. These are all slithery subjects that shift ideas through different modes of expression - very Serpent-y!

She's one of five mother goddesses in our family of deities. The other four are the Three Mothers Rhea, Therasia, and Posidaeja as well as our cosmic goddess Ourania. The Three Mothers are very present, very relatable: Their realms are visible and tangible to us. Ourania is more distant, vaster, harder to comprehend from a human viewpoint.

And the Serpent Mother is the most incomprehensible of all, at least from the point of view of mortal humans in physical bodies. We didn't give her a specific day when we connected the days of the week with the deities; the human calendar is too formal, too regimented for her.

She resides in the in-between places, the interplay between light and shadow, which the Minoans used to great effect in their religion, building whole walls made of doors that could be opened and closed to adjust the light and the darkness in their ritual spaces.

We see her in the night sky, among the stars - not all of them, but specifically the constellations that are currently called Ophiucus and Serpens.

And to us, she is the Labyrinth itself... the pathway through which we are born and reborn, the way to the other worlds, the path that we know deep down in our bones, in which we cannot get lost. The labyrinth images we create in this world to look at and to walk through are reminders of that other, greater Labyrinth that lies in the Serpent Mother's realm.

They're solid material labyrinths that are shadows of the true immaterial one.

If that feels backward to you, well, that's the way the Serpent Mother works. So look for her out of the corner of your eye and in the shifting shadows. Feel her presence beneath the surface, reflecting the world back to itself. Sense her movement through the many worlds that make up our universe.

Serpent Mother is with us!

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Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She's the founder and Temple Mom of Ariadne's Tribe, an inclusive Minoan spiritual tradition. When she's not busy drawing and writing, you can find her in the garden or giving living history demonstrations at local historic sites.


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