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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Minoan
Modern Minoan Paganism: Resources for Inspiration

How do we practice Modern Minoan Paganism? What resources are available for people who are interested?

The most direct, comprehensive way to learn about MMP is via my two books Labrys & Horns and Ariadne's Thread. Labrys & Horns in particular is a how-to book for MMP. But if you don't feel like flipping through a book, there are other options for inspiration.

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Minoan Auguries: For the Birds?

Birds abound in Minoan art: swallows (shown above in a detail from the Spring fresco from Akrotiri), doves, partridges, hoopoes, and other birds whose exact species we can't identify. I've looked before at the variety of our feathered friends who appear in the frescoes, statuary, and other Minoan art.

In Modern Minoan Paganism, we associate swallows with Therasia, doves with Rhea, and larks with Korydallos. But how did the Minoans view birds, through the lens of their culture and beliefs?

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The Minoan Seal Ring Project: Minoan-Inspired Modern Art

Art from around the world and across time is one of the aspects of human existence that connects us all. Whether we're looking at mammoths on a cave wall or a framed painting in a museum, we innately understand the urge to express ourselves creatively. It has been a part of us for as long as we've been human.

Art from the ancient world does more than just help us understand the people who lived back then. It can also inspire us to creativity in our own modern lives.

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The  Minoan Menagerie Part 3: Animals of the Sea

This is the third in a series about animals in Minoan art. Part 1: Animals of the Land and Part 2: Animals of the Sky complete the exploration of the three realms, though we will still have a look at mythical critters in Part 4 (coming up next week).

Of the three realms of land, sky, and sea, the sea is perhaps the most prevalent in Minoan culture and art. Crete is, after all, an island, and the Minoans developed their great wealth as seafaring traders. So it's understandable that the waters of the Mediterranean, and the creatures that live in those waters, would feature in Minoan art in a major way.

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 2: Animals of the Sky

Last time, we looked at some of the land animals the Minoans depicted in their art: cattle, monkeys, lions, and so on. Today, we're going to explore the Minoans' images of animals of the sky, the domain of our Sun goddess Therasia - so, essentially, birds, though I think bees also count.

Sometimes it's easy to tell which type of bird is being shown. For instance, that's a swallow flying by some lilies in the image at the top, which is a segment of the Spring fresco from Akrotiri. Here's the whole thing, with quite a few swallows:

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 1: Animals of the Land

Minoan art is inspiring, full of movement and color. Minoan artists depicted the natural world just as often as they showed sacred or ritual scenes. And the art is full of animals, usually depicted with enough accuracy that we can identify the exact species. While some animals in Minoan art are associated with specific deities and act as part of their iconography, others have no sacred associations that we're aware of (yet). So here, we're just going to look at the animals themselves, without referencing the iconography. The art is inspiring enough as it is, if you ask me.

I'm going to organize our exploration of Minoan animals based on the threefold division of land, sea, and sky that prevails in Modern Minoan Paganism and that we think was important to the ancient Minoans. The three realms correspond to our three mother goddesses; the land is the domain of our Earth Mother goddess Rhea.

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The Linear A Conundrum

One of the reasons we don't call Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP) a reconstructionist tradition is that we don't have any texts from Minoan times that we can read to learn how the people of ancient Crete worshiped. Reference texts are a fundamental part of the reconstruction process in many traditions. Why don't we have that resource for MMP?

The Minoans were a literate people; we just can't read what they wrote.

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