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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Red and White: The clues in the colors of Minoan art

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

For a long time, I wondered what on Earth possessed the Minoans to paint women as white (not Caucasian-toned, but the color of a sheet of paper) and men as dark-dark red. After all, DNA evidence shows that, like their ancestors in Neolithic Anatolia, the Minoans all had skin in various shades of brown. So why the weirdness in the art, like the Bull Leaper fresco above?

Then I began to learn about Mediterranean folk dance. Dance ethnology isn't a field I ever really thought about much before, to be honest. Then a talented dance ethnologist who happens to be a member of the Ariadne's Tribe Board of Directors began to share her insights with us, and a lot of things began to make sense.

It turns out, folk dance does an amazing job of preserving symbolism for generations, centuries, ages. There's a lot of pressure to keep it the same, to avoid change. Dance ethnology traces a number of traditions and symbol sets back through classical times and even into the Bronze Age. One bit of symbolism that's preserved in Mediterranean folk dance is the color pairing of red and white. Gee, where have I seen that before?

This color pairing is associated with a pair of folkloric figures who, a long time ago, were deities: more specifically, a goddess and her divine son. The goddess is the Grain Mother, the provider of food from the beginning of agriculture onward. Her color is white, the color of the grain and the flour we make from it. In the Minoan pantheon, the Grain Mother is the goddess Rhea - who happens also to be the Earth Mother, the Earth from which the grain grows.

Her son is known as the Red Champion in the folkloric dances. In the Tribe, we know him as Korydallos. The color red comes from the clay, the body of the Earth Mother from whom he is born (alongside the grain). The "red" in his name is the color of red ochre and of copper, the sacred substances of the Mountain Mother, or as you might know her, Mother Earth.

So now we know why the Minoans painted women white and men red. It's an artistic convention that points to the Grain Mother and her son the Red Champion. It reminds us of their constant presence in our lives. But more than that, it reminds us that each and every one of us is a reflection of the divine on Earth. That's a good thing to remember when we're deciding how to treat each other, don't you think?

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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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Tuesday, 14 January 2020

    My copy of "The Ancient & Martial Dances" arrived in the mail today. It looks intriguing. Thank you for mentioning it.

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