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 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 Modern Minoan Paganism on our website: https://ariadnestribe.wordpress.com/. We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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Laura Perry

Laura Perry

Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She is the founder and head facilitator of Modern Minoan Paganism. When she's not busy drawing and writing, you can find her in the garden or giving living history demonstrations at local historic sites.
New-Old Minoan Deities: The Discovery of Joy

One of the more exciting aspects of revivalist spirituality is the discovery of new-to-us deities. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, we do a little happy dance!

In this case, a happy dance is especially appropriate. Allow me to introduce you to a new deity pair: Thumia and Kaulo.

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Modern Inspiration = Minoan Confusion

Minoan art is a constant inspiration: the colorful frescoes with people in naturalistic poses, an emphasis on the beauty of nature... but a lot of the "Minoan art" that circulates online is not Minoan at all, and definitely not ancient, even if it's inspired by the ancient originals.

Take the lovely image at the top of this post. It's a modern work that's a combination of this fresco from Akrotiri, ca. 1625 BCE:

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Enter the Mysteries with me!

The longest single event in the Modern Minoan Paganism sacred calendar is the Mysteries. This ten-day-long festival, running from September 1 to September 10, is our revival of what may have been the Minoan precursor or cousin of the Eleusinian Mysteries in mainland Greece.

A number of different groups have recreated some of the rituals from the festival in mainland Greece that lasted into classical times. But those recreations aren't based on Minoan mythology.

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Royal Purple: Minoan Sacred Wealth

The deep purple dye commonly known as Phoenician purple got its start centuries before the Phoenicians, with the Minoans and their expansive trading network. The dye, created from the excretions of several different species of sea snails, was one of the most expensive in the ancient world. And it's one of the ways the Minoans became so wealthy.

The Minoans were producing the murex dye on the island of Chrysi off the coast of Crete as early as 1600 BCE. That's the earliest confirmed date, anyway. It's likely there were other dyeworks around Crete that haven't been discovered yet, and some of them will probably date to earlier, given how extensive and developed the Chrysi dyeworks were.

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A Minoan Grocery List, Sort Of

I've written a couple of times about Minoan food and cooking. It's a perennially popular subject, since food is one of the human universals: everyone has to eat. And learning about a culture's foodways is one of the easiest ways to connect with them.

Over the years, I've gathered up bits and pieces of information from research about Bronze Age Mediterranean food. I shared some lists of typical Minoan foodstuffs in Labrys & Horns. But I've collected up far more than I have published. So today, I thought I'd offer what you might think of as a comprehensive Minoan shopping list of the foods that the best-stocked kitchen in Bronze Age Crete might have included.

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Minoan Marine Ware: Celebrating or Propitiating Grandmother Ocean?

Marine ware is one of the more striking styles of ceramics created by the Minoans of ancient Crete. Vessels such as the one above (image CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) evoke the motion and beauty of the many fascinating creatures that live in the Mediterranean Sea. Minoan potters made marine ware vessels in a variety of different shapes and sizes, featuring a handful of fascinating sea creatures.

The jug above shows argonauts, a.k.a. paper nautiluses, along with the coral-and-seaweed background that appears on most marin eware. The females of this fascinating type of deep-sea octopus secrete a papery egg case that looks very much like a nautilus shell. Interestingly, the better-known nautilus mollusk was named after the paper nautilus and not the other way around. Minoan sailors and traders must have encountered these fascinating creatures on their voyages around the Mediterranean.

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The Hagia Triada Swinger: Minoan Playtime or Ritual?

One of the tricky bits about basing a modern spiritual practice on an ancient culture is interpreting the artifacts that archaeologists have discovered.

Case in point: The Hagia Triada Swinger (image above).

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Laura; I'd never seen this piece before. To judge from Minoan art generally, the presence of the birds certainly suggest a
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Swinging is also a marvelous and fun method of trance induction. ;-)

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