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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Discovering More Minoan Deities: Between wisdom and joy lies the rainbow

Some of the deities we have relationships with in Ariadne’s Tribe were easy to find because they were still well known not just in classical times but all the way up to the present – Rhea, for instance, and Dionysus, and Eileithyia. Others were a bit harder to identify, but our research led them to us eventually. Therasia is one of those.

But some deities were even more hidden and took us longer to find. I want to talk about three of those today and introduce them to you.

We connected with these three deities via shared gnosis in collaboration with the Serpent Mother. As with the other mother goddesses in our pantheon, we knew the Serpent Mother must have children. We just had to find them.

Thaena, Sydaili, and Eshuumna are her children. Thaena and Sydaili are the Divine Twins, and Eshuumna stands between them. Together they form the Unseen Rainbow. Their names are pronounced Thaena [TYE-nah], Sydaili [sye-DAY-lee], and Eshuumna [eh-shoo-OOM-nah].

Each of the three can be approached separately, but the other two will always be present nearby.

We associate specific colors with them: blue with Thaena, red with Sydaili, and rainbow (the full color spectrum, not just stripes of separate, individual colors) with Eshuumna. We also connect them with the constellation Gemini. Thaena and Sydaili are the two stars known today as Alpha and Beta Geminorum, and Eshuumna can be found in the space between them.

All three of these deities heal due to their Serpent nature. The Serpent Mother and her children wend their way through facets of existence that aren’t easy for humans to access – or, often, to understand. Serpent nature is about connecting with the different realms of being and moving through them in ways that create change.

These three are also deities of perception. Thaena is about perceiving the world through the lens of wisdom. Sydaili is about perceiving the world through the lens of joy. And Eshuumna is about perceiving the world without a lens.

You need all three to perceive yourself and the world in a balanced way. When one is present, the others are as well. To know one of them deeply is to know the others, too.

Though human gender doesn’t really apply to deities, we can think of Thaena as a goddess, Sydaili as a god, and Eshuumna as a nonbinary or genderfluid deity.

Thaena’s gift of wisdom isn’t just the wisdom of the leader or the diplomat, but the innate wisdom that resides deep within each of us, directing us to live our lives in a sacred way. That includes the ordinary, everyday aspects of life as well as the parts that humans often label as “big” or important. Because what humans perceive as important isn’t always what’s truly important in the vast scheme of things.

Sydaili’s gift of joy isn’t necessarily a physical or sensual joy like we think of in connection with Thumia and Kaulo. Instead, it’s more “essence of joy” – joy for its own sake as a sacred aspect of life, where it bubbles up out of your very soul. He holds the container of safety so this kind of joy has a place to flourish.

And Eshuumna’s gift of perception without a lens, of lifting the veil of our own biases and desire for denial, isn’t so much about removing what isn’t really there. It’s more about seeing what is really there. And that’s a powerful gift.

These deities are experiential and Mystery, and words don’t quite get them across fully. Personal connection with them is the best choice for understanding them.

We find these three in Minoan art wherever we see three columns together (as in the triple-column figurine from Zakros shown above) or two columns with a space between them, as long as those columns don’t represent a building or another deity.

Bryan Hewitt, one of our board members, wrote this poem to help us understand and celebrate these deities:

When Two Becomes Three

A movement behind the mirror
The presence of one in red
The brightness of Wisdom’s song

A twin arriving softly
Appearance of one in blue
The beauty of Joy is here

A space between has come to be
Many colors can be found
Seeing has an ancient name 

When two becomes three
The Unseen Rainbow
Is what guides us home

A place in the dance
We already have
Now that we can feel

How we are alive
Between Wisdom and Joy,
There is The Rainbow

I’ll end this post with the words I began with in the title, the phrase we use to encapsulate the sense that these deities have in our spiritual practice and in our lives:

Between wisdom and joy lies the rainbow.

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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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