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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

What's missing from Minoan art?

What's missing from Minoan art?

Before you answer "The women's shirts," let me clarify that I mean here: What kind of animal is missing from Minoan art?

There are all kinds of animals in Minoan art, inhabiting the realms of land, sky, sea, and imagination. But there's one that doesn't show up until very late in the game, for very specific reasons.

And yes, I realize I've contradicted myself here, since this animal - the horse - isn't missing entirely from Minoan art. That's a fresco of a horse up top, drawing a chariot that carries two female figures, probably goddesses. It's painted on one end of the Hagia Triada sarcophagus, a small limestone coffin that dates to 1370-1320 BCE.  That's very late in the game, a full century after most of the Minoan cities were destroyed. Hang on, back up, let me give you a little context here.

The island of Crete was first settled permanently in the Neolithic, somewhere around 10,000-9,000 BCE, by Old European (non-Indo-European) people who migrated down to the Aegean from Anatolia. The island was continuously occupied after that. What we think of as Minoan civilization first becomes recognizable in around 3500 BCE with the beginning of the Bronze Age.

There were no horses on Crete during that time. Oxen and goats were used as draft animals, but no horses.

The Thera eruption occurred around 1600 BCE, and it did a lot of damage... but it didn't destroy the Minoans. They rebuilt. But they needed help, and their economy was irretrievably damaged.

Enter the Mycenaeans, who worked their way up from helping out to occupying Knossos and trying to take over the whole island. 

They brought horses.

The Mycenaeans, an Indo-European people, had horses and chariots as part of their culture. And they shipped them to Crete.

But before then, there were no horses on Crete... and none in the art.

So now you know.

In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.


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.


Additional information