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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What is Big Man culture?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Smash the patriarchy! That's a common cry these days in our efforts to create a more compassionate, egalitarian, inclusive world.

In the Tribe, we've talked about "the patriarchy" for a long time. But eventually we decided that wasn't the most accurate term for the issues we face today.

One of our Board members, Bryan Hewitt, came up with another term, with a little help from the goddess Therasia: Big Man culture.

When he was writing his book Vikaro, he needed a term that meant more or less what we mean when we say "the patriarchy," but one that would be from a point of view outside of patriarchal society, in other words, from a different way of viewing and experiencing life and relationships.

Instead of focusing on the structure of society (patriarchy, matriarchy, etc.) the term Big Man focuses on individuals and relationships. It points up the idea of one person being larger / higher / greater than others, in an authoritarian hierarchy - separate from others and above them, rather than being one of them.

The term "Big Man culture" also points to the fact that the authoritarian dominator system is run by specific individuals: the Big Men. Not some nebulous structure (the patriarchy) but specific human beings who are perpetuating the system for their own benefit, to most everyone else's detriment.

You can't point your finger at the patriarchy. But you absolutely can point to Big Men and figure out how they came to power, identify the systemic structures that support them, and (hopefully) find a way to dismantle those power structures.

As you've no doubt realized, Big Men in the modern world aren't always men anymore, though the majority of them still are.

But they do always desire to have power and control over others rather than working with them. Power over instead of power with. Competition instead of cooperation. Indifference and tyranny rather than compassion and empathy. Selfishness rather than generosity.

You get the idea.

As Bryan puts it, "A Big Man grows a big body but not a big heart."

As I've described Big Men above, I've also described their counterparts: men (and people of all genders) who have that second set of characteristics and who use them to help others and make the world a better place.

So as we work to dismantle Big Man culture and replace it with something more humane, let's do our best to help everyone grow big hearts.

Last modified on
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.


  • Thesseli
    Thesseli Wednesday, 06 December 2023

    Great article!

  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry Sunday, 10 December 2023

    Thanks! I thought it was time to spread this phrase beyond our private groups.

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