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 sharedl 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?

If you're interested in Modern Minoan Paganism, head on over to our online forum at Ariadne's Tribe on Facebook. We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings - all of them.

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The Modern Minoan Pantheon: Pairs and Triplets

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm eyeball-deep in the revisions and updates to Labrys & Horns. As I sift through the conversations we've had in Ariadne's Tribe and the notes I've taken over the past couple of years, the gods and goddesses are sorting themselves into pairs and trios - something I hadn't really expected.

When we began putting together a Minoan pantheon for modern Pagan spiritual practice, we were working with the garbled fragments that have come down via Greek mythology plus some useful information in the fields of archaeoastronomy, dance ethnography, and comparative mythology. We found lots of deities, but they didn't shake out into a human-style family tree the way so many other European pantheons did.

Now that I'm compiling all the work we've done since I first published Labrys & Horns, I'm discovering that many of the deities are falling into pairs and triplicities.

We began with the Three Mothers: Rhea, Therasia, and Posidaeja, who represent the three realms of land, sky, and sea. It turns out, they have children who sort into trios as well: three daughters and three sons.

You've probably heard of Ariadne, who is Rhea's daughter, and the fate goddess Arachne, who is Therasia's daughter in our pantheon. We've also discovered Antheia, the Minoan face of Aphrodite, who turns out to be Posidaeja's daughter.

Then we have the Young Gods: Tauros Asterion, who is Rhea's son and one of whose faces is the fabled Minotaur. We discovered Therasia's son Korydallos via some fascinating dance ethnography information. And of course, there's Dionysus, whom the Mycenaeans said was Rhea's son - but we think he belonged to Posidaeja before the Mycenaeans came, dolphins and all, the psychopomp for sailors who died in the wine-dark sea.

That's a lot of trios. In addition to these deities being children and mothers, we could think of the daughters and sons as each other's siblings, even though they come from different mothers. Yes, the pantheon starts to look like a carnival fun house full of mirrors after a while. But the gods aren't human, so we shouldn't expect them to conform to human-style individuation or relationships.

I mentioned pairs... we have a bunch of those in the form of the Horned Ones. The Minotaur has a female counterpart in Europa. The goat-god Minocapros is paired with Amalthea. And the deer-god Minelathos is the Hunted One while the goddess Britomartis is the Huntress. The Daktyls and Hekaterides pair with each other as well, our deities of skilled handcrafts and artisan work. Then there's Eileithyia, who is a midwife-goddess but who is also Therasia's Underworld counterpart, the Dark Sun torch-bearer in the Underworld among the spirits of the dead, whom she midwifes back up into the world as each new baby is born.

That's a lot of pairs and trios, and I'm sure I'll find more as I sort out our work of the past four years into the new edition of the book. With a little luck, a lot of hard work, and the gods' grace, it will be ready for release the first week of June - in plenty of time for me to bring copies to Mystic South in July, where I hope I'll see some of you again.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

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Laura Perry is an artist, writer, and the founder and facilitator of Modern Minoan Paganism. The Minoans of Bronze Age Crete have been a passion of hers since a fateful art history class introduced her to the frescoes of Knossos back in high school. Her first book was published in 2001; one of her most recent works is Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. She has also created a Minoan Tarot deck and a Minoan coloring book. 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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