Modern Minoan Paganism: Walking with Ariadne's Tribe

Walk the sacred labyrinth with Ariadne, the Minotaur, the Great Mothers, Dionysus, and the rest of the Minoan pantheon. Modern Minoan Paganism is an independent polytheist spiritual tradition that brings the gods and goddesses 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 Modern Minoan Paganism on our website: https://ariadnestribe.wordpress.com/. We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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Laura Perry

Laura Perry

Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She is the founder and Temple Mom of Modern Minoan Paganism. 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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Individuation Is Problematic

Individuation is problematic. That's the unofficial Modern Minoan Paganism motto.

It's sort of a joke, a witty response to difficult questions about divinity. But it's also very serious.

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The Minoan Genius: Religion and Cultural Exchange

The Minoans were a seafaring, trading people who traveled all over the eastern Mediterranean and points beyond. During those travels, they encountered other cultures. They brought back objects from faraway places: cylinder seals from Mesopotamia, carved stone jars and jewelry from Egypt. They probably brought back spouses/partners from the places they traveled to.

They also brought deities back with them.

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Confluence: Flowing Together

For some time now, Ariadne's Tribe has been developing our own counterpart to the hieros gamos as it's known from ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, and Buddhist traditions and that's expressed in modern Paganism via acts such as the Wiccan Great Rite.

We wanted a concept and a practice that we could use in our rituals that would encompass the idea of communion with deity as well as connection with each other and with the non-human beings whose spirits also fill our world. And we wanted it to be inclusive, avoiding any kind of gender binary.

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This little piggy went to Knossos...

CW: animal sacrifice

Everyone knows the Minoans had cattle - the Minotaur is testament to that fact, as are the many bovine head rhytons and cattle figurines found at Minoan sites. Most people have heard that they had sheep and goats, and no one is surprised that they ate fish and shellfish, given that they lived on an island.

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Mysterious Minoan Tentacles

The Minoans were a seafaring people, so it's no surprise that their art is full of marine life, exhibiting their deep connection with the sea goddess Posidaeja. Most people are familiar with the dolphins and octopuses that appear on so many Minoan marine ware vessels and frescoes. But there's another sea creature that shows up in Minoan art, mostly on ceramic containers, a creature that was so odd, it took us a while to figure out its identity.

Have a look at the marine ware jug at the top of this post. The critter painted on it looks like an octopus that's holed up in a nautilus shell, sticking its tentacles out and waving them.

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Ancient Minoan Good Bois

The Minoans had dogs. I remember being a little surprised to learn that, some years ago. Somehow, I just never connected "Minoans" with "dogs" in my mind. Cats, sure, but dogs?

Yep, they had them - in fact, the breed the Minoans had still exists on Crete. It's called the Cretan Hound and is considered to be the oldest European dog breed. That's one of them in the image above, on a carved stone pyxis lid from Mochlos dating to about 2400 BCE. I can imagine the person who owned that pyxis (a lidded jewelry box) choosing it because their dog loved to lie in the same pose, stretched out in the shade of an olive tree.

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What else is missing from Minoan art?

CW: animal sacrifice, human sacrifice

When I shared last week's post about what's missing in Minoan art on social media, I got an interesting response from a fellow Pagan writer, who guessed (before reading the post) that what was missing was war and violence.

There's something to that, but it's not a simple subject.

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