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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Modern Minoan Paganism
Modern Minoan Paganism: Reconstruction vs. revival

I spend a lot of time telling people that Modern Minoan Paganism is not a reconstructionist tradition. But the issue is actually a little more complicated than that.

When I was at Mystic South this past summer, one of the other presenters, Joseph Beofeld, attended my workshop about Modern Minoan Paganism. What was his presenation about? Reconstructionism! He came up to me afterward and pointed out that even though I had said we aren't a reconstructionist tradition, we use reconstructionist methods extensively. And that's quite true.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    You have a group of fellow travelers to work with and support each other on your journey. I think that is wonderful. I've recent

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There's more than one Minoan goddess!

When I mention "Minoan," most people think of the famous Snake Goddess figurines. And many people think those figurines represent "the Minoan goddess," as if there were only one of them. But there are many Minoan goddesses, not just one.

In fact, there's a whole pantheon.

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Hands of Great Skill: A few "handy" Minoan deities

Modern Minoan Paganism's pantheon includes a variety of gods and goddesses with varying attributes. One group I haven't talked much about is the set of deities we call Hands of Great Skill: those whose purview is highly skilled handcrafts of various sorts.

Taking the raw materials of the Earth and transforming them, turning them into something new and different: that's a kind of magic. Rhea's gifts to us - clay and metal ore - are the body of the Earth Mother, offered up to those whose can make blades from rocks and vessels from mud using their hands and the equally magical power of fire.

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Calendar conundrums: harvest time in Modern Minoan Paganism

Over the past few days, my family and I have celebrated Lammas, a European harvest festival. But we don't include Lammas in the sacred calendar for Modern Minoan Paganism. Why not? First, there's the fact that the modern Neopagan eight-fold wheel of the year hadn't been invented yet back in the Bronze Age. But there's also the fact that in the Mediterranean, this isn't harvest time.

Many of us live in the northern temperate zone - the parts of North America and Eurasia that have four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Those seasons may be milder or more severe depending on the local climate, but they're still there.

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Modern Minoan Paganism Workshop at Mystic South

I had a marvelous time at Mystic South last weekend. I saw some old friends and met some new ones. I also gave a workshop about Modern Minoan Paganism. I never know what to expect when I'm doing public events, but I was happily surprised that so many people were interested - we had to rustle up extra chairs so everyone would have a place to sit (thank you to the Mystic South volunteers and organizers for being so helpful with this!).

Though there were a lot of attendees at the conference, there are also a lot of people who didn't get to come. With that in mind, we recorded the workshop to share online. A big thank you to my daughter, who patiently babysat the equipment while I gave the presentation.

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What can we compare Modern Minoan Paganism to?

When people hear about Modern Minoan Paganism, they often ask, "Oh, is that like Wicca but with labryses and that snake goddess?" Um, no.

Granted, a lot of my early Minoan rituals were very Wiccan in flavor, because like many modern Pagans, Wicca is where I started out. So my first book about Minoan spirituality, Ariadne's Thread, has rituals that follow a roughly Wiccan outline. But once we started developing Modern Minoan Paganism as its own thing, we moved away from that framework and to something more in keeping with the way the ancient Minoans probably worshiped. So the rituals in Labrys and Horns are definitely not Wiccan in flavor. (You'll find a discussion of the differences between the two books here.)

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    So, the process is something like: 1. Start with what you know. 2. Garner what you can from scholarship. 3. Adapt scholarship for
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Essentially, yes. Though in terms of personal gnosis, we do our best to rely only on widely shared gnosis rather than stand-alone
Incense for Ancient Minoans and Modern Pagans

Like so many other ancient cultures, the Minoans used incense in a sacred setting. Though we can't be certain of the exact uses, it appears that they burned incense as offerings and to purify sacred areas such as ritual rooms, altars, and shrines. These were common practices in the Bronze Age Mediterranean region.

They didn't have the incense sticks and cones that so many of us are familiar with; those are self-igniting due to their saltpeter content. Just hold a flame to the end and voila, incense smoke! What they did have was hot coals and chopped or powdered incense mixtures.

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