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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ariadne
Walking the Labyrinth in Modern Minoan Paganism

The labyrinth. Everyone has heard of it. It's one of the first things people think of when I mention that my spiritual practice has a Minoan focus. They might think of the beautiful labyrinth set into the floor at Chartres cathedral, or the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, or modern projects like the Pulse Memorial in Orlando, Florida (USA).

It's interesting, then, that no one has ever found an actual labyrinth at a Minoan site. There are lots of almost-but-not-quite-labyrinth meander patterns in Minoan art. And the labyrinth does show up on Cretan coins, but not until many centuries after Minoan civilization was gone.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Labrys and Horns: Minoan Devotionals

Devotionals are common practice for many Pagans: short prayers or meditations to help us connect with the gods. In my book Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism I wrote devotionals for many of the gods and goddesses in the Minoan pantheon.

Now I've made a video with some of those devotionals, an easy way for you to listen and focus on some of the Minoan deities: Ariadne, Dionysus, Rhea, the Horned Ones, the Melissae, Ourania, and Posidaeja. Here you go:

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Lady of the Labyrinth: A Chant

I was recently inspired to write a chant that's designed for labyrinth walking. It invokes the Lady of the Labyrinth, a goddess some people identify with Ariadne or with the Serpent Mother (snake goddess) from Minoan Crete. The name that works for me is Basilissa.

Please feel free to use this chant in your rituals and your labyrinth walking, and let me know how it goes.

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The Story Behind Ariadne's Thread and Labrys & Horns

I'm often asked to explain the different between my two books about Minoan spirituality: Ariadne's Thread and Labrys & Horns. So often, in fact, that I figured a blog post about the subject would be a good idea.

Ariadne's Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives was released in 2013 but it was based on about 20 years of spiritual work I had done before then. Back in the 1990s, when I was working on my second degree in the Wiccan coven I belonged to at the time, I was given an assignment: Pick a pantheon and write a year's worth of seasonal rituals and a lifetime's worth of rites of passage using that pantheon. I'd like to say I picked the Minoan pantheon, but it's more like it picked me. I'm sure you know how that goes.

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Minoan Fate: Ariadne, Arachne, Ananke

I've been thinking a lot about Fate lately, what with all the crazy things going on in the Big World. Fate has always been a focal point for people's thoughts, and the Fate goddesses of the ancient pantheons have a lot to teach us. What I didn't realize until I had been in relationship with the Minoan deities for some time is that there is a Minoan Fate goddess. You may know her as Ariadne.

My first clue that Ariadne is a Fate goddess should, in retrospect, have been obvious: She has a thread. That's my picture of her up top, the Fate (Wheel of Fortune) card from my Minoan Tarot deck. In the Greek version of Ariadne's story, which dates to almost a millennium after Minoan times, Ariadne is just a girl who uses a ball of string to aid the strapping hero Theseus. But really, she's much more than that.

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Sacred Saffron: A bit of autumn magic

The lovely young lady in the image above is picking the stigmas of the saffron crocus, also called the autumn crocus, to give as an offering to the goddess. We see this whole scene play out in a series of frescoes from Akrotiri, the ancient Minoan-era town on the Mediterranean island of Santorini. Saffron crocus blooms float in mid-air across the backgrounds of these frescoes, reminding us where our focus should lie. Below, we see a girl pouring her gathered saffron into a large basket while a monkey presents some to the enthroned goddess.

 

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Call their names: the Minoan gods and goddesses

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Minoan deity names in Linear B, the script the Mycenaean Greeks used to write their language toward the end of Minoan civilization. We still can't read Linear A, the script the Minoans used to write their native language, but the Mycenaeans borrowed so much of Minoan religion and culture that their texts give us a lot of information, even if most of them are just inventory lists of donations to temples.

Last time, I mentioned Atana Potnia, the early precursor to Athena who was apparently worshiped at Knossos. But we have quite a few more names of gods and goddesses, some of whom are manifestly Minoan and some of whom look to be a part of the blended Minoan-Mycenaean culture that lasted for several centuries before the Late Bronze Age collapse of cultures around the Mediterranean.

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