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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Modern Minoan Paganism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Reading Minoan Art: A How-To

I feel a little bit like an elementary school teacher: OK, everyone, we're going to learn to read Minoan art!

We're all a bit past elementary school, but learning to understand the iconography of any ancient culture is a big step toward understanding their religion and worldview. Iconography is the set of symbols (icons) that have meaning in religious art. They're pictures, but in a sense, we can "read" them and they'll tell us their story. Archaeologists and historians of religion have pieced together the basics, and we've fleshed it out just a bit more in MMP using dance ethnography and shared gnosis.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Mysteries: The cycle of being

You've probably heard the story of Persephone's abduction to the Underworld by Hades and her mother Demeter's frantic search for her. But what if the original story was a little different from that? Instead of the young goddess being taken against her will and needing to be rescued, what if she descended to the Underworld of her own free will, to aid and guard the spirits of the dead during the fallow season when she wasn't needed in the World Above? And what if her mother didn't frantically search to find her, but simply went to where she already knew her daughter was, in order to let her know it was time to ascend from the Underworld?

The Persephone-and-Demeter story was enshrined in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were so popular they survived from classical times several centuries into the Christian era. It's possible that the Eleusinian Mysteries began in the pre-Greek era, perhaps in Minoan Crete and/or mainland Greece among the people who lived there before the arrival of the Indo-European Mycenaeans (check out Karl Kerenyi's book Dionysos for some interesting theories along these lines).

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Honoring the Dead: Secondary Burial in Minoan Crete

[Content Warning: This post contains a photo of human skeletal remains.]

When we talk about funerals, many of us think of the deceased being either cremated or buried in a grave, and that's the end of the process. But for the ancient Minoans, it was only the beginning.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Mysteries of Minoan Writing

One of the reasons we call Modern Minoan Paganism a revivalist tradition instead of a reconstructionist one is that, unlike many reconstructionist Pagan traditions, we don't have any ancient texts to work from. Yes, the ancient Minoans were a literate society, but so far all of their scripts and writing systems are untranslated.

Take, for instance, the cup pictured at the top of this post. This is a photo from Sir Arthur Evans' monumental multi-volume work Palace of Minos, a record of his excavations at Knossos (now in the public domain). The artifact in the photo is a terracotta cup with writing on the interior in what may very well be squid ink. That writing is in the script rather unimaginatively known as Linear A, and it's still undeciphered.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The MMP Pantheon: Dionysus

This is one in a series about the deities in the pantheon of Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP). You can find the full list of posts in this series here.

Today we're focusing on a well-known god, Dionysus, and the places we can find him in Minoan art and artifacts. The ecstatic god that many people know from classical times (a millennium after the destruction of the Minoan cities) is actually a syncretic deity, a combination of the Minoan god (or at least, whatever remained of him after the Bronze Age collapse) with a similar ecstatic god from Phrygia.

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The MMP Pantheon: The Young God Korydallos

This is one in a series about the MMP pantheon. Find the other posts here.

In this post, we'll have a look at Korydallos, one of the gods who are the sons of our three Mother Goddesses. Korydallos (or The Lark, as we sometimes call him) is a new name for an old god. We discovered him via dance ethnography, Mediterranean folklore, and a close look at some of the interesting details of Minoan art and artifacts. In MMP, we consider him to be the son of our Sun goddess Therasia, though there is a sense in which all the son and daughter deities are children of all the Mothers - more about that in a bit.

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Combining Traditions: MMP at the Pagan Buffet

These days, we in the Pagan community have many choices in terms of traditions and paths to explore and practice. Most of the folx I know include more than one tradition in their regular spiritual practice.

How does that work, and what happens when you have traditions whose calendars don't fit with each other?

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