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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Minoan

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Ancient Minoan Clothing and Fashion

One of the subjects I'm asked about most often is what daily life was like in ancient Crete. I've written about Minoan food and cooking here and here. And I posted about Minoan cosmetics here, including do-it-yourself recipes. But one thing I haven't really talked about much is the clothes the Minoans wore.

I did write up some information about why women in Minoan art are shown with bare breasts - that one turns out to be my most popular post ever, probably thanks to the word "topless" in the title. But there's more to Minoan clothing than open-front tops, like the ones shown in the fresco at the top of this post (the Ladies in Blue fresco from Knossos). In fact, the Minoans were surprisingly fashion-conscious.

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Minoans and history and untidy pigeonholes

When we learn history in school, we're given pictures of maps with clear lines drawn to separate the different empires, cultures, and nations. We're taught that one set of people lived within this little box on the map and another set of people lived within the next box over. But history isn't that neat and tidy.

Take the Minoans, for instance. Their culture centered on the island of Crete, just south of Greece, during the Bronze Age. They were a pre-Indo-European people (they weren't Greek) who became quite wealthy by importing raw materials and exporting fancy finished goods like bronze blades and dyed woolen cloth. But in order to do all that trading, they had to move around.

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Spring Equinox, Minoan harvest, and upside-down calendars

I live in the northern hemisphere, specifically in the southeastern US, and here it's Spring Equinox today. But in the southern hemisphere it's Autumn Equinox. And even more confusingly, in the Mediterranean, even though we still call it the Spring Equinox, it's harvest time, so in Modern Minoan Paganism we acknowledge the harvest festival on this day. Before you go reaching for the aspirin to quell your headache, allow me to explain...

The ancient Minoans lived on the island of Crete, just south of Greece in the eastern Mediterranean. That region has a unique climate that can be confusing for those of us who are used to spring-summer-autumn-winter. But it's important to understand the Mediterranean seasons so we can have a clue about how the Minoans experienced their world.

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Symbols, Opinions, and "Right Thinking" in Modern Minoan Paganism

What does any given symbol mean? Is it all right if you don't see it the same way as someone else does? Do you have to view it in a specific way in order to "qualify" as following a certain spiritual path? If you don't view that figurine up top the same way I do, can you still follow a path of Modern Minoan Paganism?

The short answers: 1) Something different to each person 2) Yes 3) No 4) Yes.  Now for the long answer.

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The Minoan Pantheon: Gods and Goddesses Galore!

A while back I wrote up a list of the Minoan gods and goddesses we focus on in Modern Minoan Paganism. But since this is a living, evolving spiritual tradition, it turns out I need to update that list. We've discovered (rediscovered?) a new deity or two and have changed some other details of our practice. So here's the pantheon as we're experiencing it these days. Please note that the Minoan deities don't fit neatly into a human-style family tree the way the Greek and Roman gods do.

First of all, in Modern Minoan Paganism we consider the threefold division of Land/Sea/Sky to be fundamentally important. This triplicity is represented by three goddesses:

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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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Modern Minoan Paganism: What about the rules?

Different people approach spiritual practice in different ways. Some people like detailed rules for how to set up their altar, prepare for ritual, perform ritual, and clean up afterward. Others prefer a more open approach, following general guidelines but allowing their intuition to guide them for much of what they do.

Some spiritual traditions fall squarely in that first category as well, practices such as Hellenic and Roman Paganism, simply because we have extensive texts from those cultures telling us exactly how those people practiced their religion: What was allowed, what was required, what was forbidden. But for many ancient religions, we have few to no written sources to tell us how it was done. The religion practiced by the Minoans of Bronze Age Crete is one of those.

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