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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Minoan Deities as Benefactors

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In Ariadne's Tribe, we associate various animals, plants, and objects with our deities: the griffin with Therasia, the staff with Korydallos, geese and white and yellow flowers with Antheia, for instance. These items help us identify the deities in Minoan art. In that sense, they're kind of like name tags or labels.

But there's another collection of attributes that we associate with our deities as well. Like the ones I just mentioned, these can also help us identify the deity or their domain in the art. But more importantly, they indicate a special type of relationship between the deity and the humans who work in certain occupations or who raise certain food crops.

In the Tribe, when we're talking about the deities in these types of roles, we refer to them as Benefactors. These deities provide aid and support for these food crops and occupations, helping the humans in their work and in their relationship with the inspirited world.

The people who perform these tasks can call on the appropriate Benefactor deity for aid in times of trouble and for support at all times to achieve success. It's also important to give offerings to the appropriate Benefactor to thank them for their presence and assistance. We're in relationship with the deities, so we want to make sure the energy flows both ways.

So, for instance, Dionysus is the Benefactor of the grape crop, wine, and wine-makers.

And although Therasia isn't the Benefactor of griffins -- though I haven't actually asked a griffin, so I could be wrong about that one ;-) -- she is the Benefactor of the date crop and the people who grow and harvest it, since date palms are her sacred trees.

Let's have a look at our family of deities and find out who's the Benefactor of what:

Rhea: Our Earth Mother Goddess the Benefactor of potters, those who create beautiful vessels and figurines from the Earth that is her body. She's also the Benefactor of farming, gardening, landscaping, forestry, and related activities and professions, as well as environmentalists and ecologists. If it's Earth-based, it's hers.

Therasia: The Sun-Mother is the Benefactor of the date crop and those who grow it, as I mentioned above. But metal is also sacred to her, so she's also the Benefactor of metal smiths and their trade. This includes precious metals.

Posidaeja: Grandmother Ocean is the Benefactor of sailors, boaters, and fishers - anyone who spends time in or on the water. Those activities are her domain. She and her sisters together are the Benefactors of ship-builders, Rhea joining in for wooden boats and Therasia for metal ones.

Ariadne: As the embodiment of the grain crop, Ariadne is the Benefactor of grain-growing. The Minoans had wheat, barley, and rye, but in the modern world we've expanded her responsibilities to include all the grains that we now grow and use.

Arachne: The Web-Weaver is the Benefactor of all the fiber arts: spinning, weaving, basket making, sewing, quilting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, and so on. Note that dyeing belongs to Potnia Chromaton, since colors are their own kind of magic.

Antheia: Her "thing" is finding beauty in the world, so she's the Benefactor of creativity in general. Not specific crafts or fine arts, but rather, the ability to find the beauty in life and transmit it in the form of your preferred mode of creativity -- music, writing, art, oral storytelling, flower arranging, dance, costume design, and so on -- whatever you do that expresses beauty. Perfume-making also falls under her purview.

Tauros Asterion: Though the Starry Bull has connections with the cosmos, we've discovered that he's also much more conversant with the material world than some other deities. In particular, he's very helpful in terms of physical activity in the embodied life. So he's our Benefactor of athletes and their sports. Also, due to his bovine nature, he's the Benefactor of leatherworkers.

Korydallos: This god is fond of word play and constantly reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously. So he's the Benefactor of humor in all its many forms -- as long as it doesn't punch down, of course. Although he loves to laugh, Korydallos is never cruel. So if you're a standup comedian, a comic artist, or a writer of humor, he's your Benefactor for those activities.  He's also the Benefactor of word play of all sorts, including poetry, puns, and riddles, particularly when that wordplay helps us understand ourselves and the world around us more deeply.

Dionysus: As you might expect, Dionysus is the Benefactor of grapes and grape-growing, fungal fermentation of all kinds, and wine-making in particular, but also mead-making and beer brewing. Although many of our deities are connected with various kinds of ecstatic and trance activities, Dionysus is the main Benefactor for ecstatic dance.

The Minotaur: Our beloved Minotaur is the Benefactor of cattle husbandry, with an emphasis on respect for the animals and their quality of life. This is the case for all the Horned Ones. We've been in relationship with these deities and their sacred animals for millennia. It behooves us to show the animals the same respect we accord the deities.

Europa: The Moon-Cow is the Benefactor of bovine dairying and all associated occupations having to do with cow's milk, including cheese-making and the production of other dairy products like yogurt and butter.

The Minocapros: This goat-y god is the Benefactor of goat herding. There's still a substantial goat-herding culture in the mountains of western Crete, but people in many places are now raising goats on their own small farms and homesteads. The Minocapros is the Benefactor for those activities.

Amalthea: Known for nursing the Divine Child Dionysus after Rhea gave birth to him in her sacred cave, Amalthea is the Benefactor of all the skills and occupations having to do with goat's milk, from making sure your goats produce plenty of milk to making cheese, yogurt, and butter.

The Minelathos: The deer is the wild animal of the Horned Ones, and the Minelathos is the Benefactor of those who study and protect wildlife, whether that's as biologists or park rangers or activists. (Note that general environmentalism falls under Rhea's purview.)

Britomartis: The Huntress is, of course, the Benefactor of hunters -- specifically those who respect the animals and their lifeways and don't waste the bodies of the animals that they hunt. Knowing when to choose not to hunt in order to safeguard the animal populations is an important aspect of this.

The Serpent Mother: Although language itself belongs to Therasia, the Serpent Mother is the Benefactor of communication, translators, and translations. Her enigmatic ways slither through the changes and shifts between languages, helping us to speak and understand each other. The process of speaking or writing is a very Serpent-y thing because you're taking an idea that's in your mind and converting it into words through which you hope to convey the idea to others. Secret codes and ciphers are also her thing, so take note, cryptographers and secret agents!

Thaena, Sydaili, and Eshuumna: This triplicity of deities has a focus on the metaphoric lenses through which we view the world. They are the Benefactors of justice -- not the legal system per se, which often has little to do with real justice -- but integrity, honesty, fair play, and the truth that lies behind all things.

Potnia Chromaton: This enigmatic goddess, whose name means Lady of the Colors, is the Benefactor of the color occupations: painters and other artists who work with color, and dyers (who work with fiber arts). I'll have more to share about her soon.

Zagreus: The Blooming Time Bull who comes wreathed in flowers during the season when life and death intertwine is the Benefactor of the professions that unite the living and the dead: coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, and similar occupations.

The Melissae: These lovely bee-spirit goddesses are the Benefactors of bees and beekeeping, an occupation that has been associated with the Beloved Dead since ancient times.

Minos: This Underworld God is the Benefactor of divination and diviners, both amateur and professional. This includes all divination methods, regardless of their connection (or lack thereof) with the Minoan world.

Eileithyia: Our midwife goddess, of course, is the Benefactor of midwives -- both those who welcome newborn babies into this world and those who help the dying make their transition to the Otherworld.

Hygeia and Asclepius: These two healer deities are predictably the Benefactors of those in the healing professions, both mainstream and complementary/alternative medicine. Herbalism figures large in Hygeia's domain, as does dream incubation in Asclepius's.

Daedalus: He's the Benefactor of all the skilled crafts and trades that use the hands but that aren't already covered by other deities. So that means mechanics, woodworkers, inventors, as well as those who tinker and build things as a hobby.

Thumia and Kaulo: This pair who embody the joyful aspects of physical existence are the Benefactors of all occupations that involve joyful use of the body as the primary focus, from dancers to sex workers.

Ourania: Our Starweaver is the Benefactor of astronomers and astrophysicists as well as astronauts.

We are grateful for the Benefactors who aid and support our work, both professional and amateur, and make our lives so much richer.

Together we are joy.




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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.


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