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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reconstruction
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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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
Modern Minoan Paganism: Reviving ancient spirituality

I've been in relationship with the Minoan gods and goddesses since I was a teenager, but it was only a few years ago that Modern Minoan Paganism began to take shape as a specific spiritual path. I've been walking that path with the lovely folks in Ariadne's Tribe, and together we're creating a tradition that works for us as Pagans in the modern world. The hardest part, believe it or not, is explaining what we do to other people.

The name Modern Minoan Paganism gives you a pretty good idea from the start: We're combining the bits and pieces we know about ancient Minoan religion and culture in a modern Pagan context. We can't really reconstruct ancient Minoan religious practice in detail. There are too many gaps in our knowledge, we don't live in the same kind of culture the Minoans did, and we probably don't want to go back to sacrificing bulls and goats (and possibly people) anyway.

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Is Modern Minoan Paganism true for its time?

Joseph Campbell said that all religions are true for their time. Of course, the religion the ancient Minoans practiced had meaning and value in Bronze Age Crete. But what about the spiritual path we're creating with Modern Minoan Paganism? How can we be sure it's true for our time?

First, I should point out that we're not trying to reconstruct ancient Minoan religion - really, we couldn't do a proper reconstruction even if we wanted to because we can't read what the Minoans wrote and we're missing a lot of the original mythology. And even if we did manage to reconstruct it all, it probably wouldn't fit well in our modern world: We have a different lifestyle, value set, and worldview than the Minoans did, even if we're Pagans.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Modern Minoan Paganism: A How-To

When I first discovered the Pagan community, I never dreamed I'd end up as the facilitator for a new spiritual path, but here we are. Modern Minoan Paganism is a thing and a lot of us are doing it. So what, exactly, are we doing?

Like many Pagan traditions, there are no rules about what you must believe. Some of us are hard polytheists; some of us approach the Minoan deities from a psychological or symbolic perspective. All that really matters is that the connection works, however you make it. The central focus is the Minoan pantheon, the gods and goddesses of ancient Crete who are still very much alive today.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In "Gods of the Runes" by Frank Joseph the author claims that each rune of the elder Futhark represents one of the Norse gods. Ha
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Linear B is not actually the Minoan alphabet. It's an adaptation of Linear A, which was the Minoan syllabary, used to write Mycena
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Yeah, 80 does sound like a bit much unless your talking about every mountain, river and island getting it's own deity. Have fun w
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Archaeologists continue to discover new Minoan sites all the time; there's some speculation that Crete was more heavily populated
Modern Minoan Paganism: What about the rules?

Different people approach spiritual practice in different ways. Some people like detailed rules for how to set up their altar, prepare for ritual, perform ritual, and clean up afterward. Others prefer a more open approach, following general guidelines but allowing their intuition to guide them for much of what they do.

Some spiritual traditions fall squarely in that first category as well, practices such as Hellenic and Roman Paganism, simply because we have extensive texts from those cultures telling us exactly how those people practiced their religion: What was allowed, what was required, what was forbidden. But for many ancient religions, we have few to no written sources to tell us how it was done. The religion practiced by the Minoans of Bronze Age Crete is one of those.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Imperfect Canes

As we learn—or relearn—our native paganisms, the lessons sure do come from some strange places.

After surgery, a friend needed a cane. He told me what he wanted and I went down to the store to get it for him.

It soon became clear to me that his dream cane didn't exist. Eventually I bought the one that was closest to what he wanted, on the principle that, when you need a cane, it's better to have an imperfect cane than not to have the perfect one.

Planning this year's Samhain, we needed a song to call the ancestors.

In a traditional society, of course, we would call the ancestors with the song that they themselves had handed down to us. We'd all know this song, and it would have the quality and the worthiness that centuries of honing can give.

Alas, that song—along with so much else—is now lost to us.

Instead, we have a new song which, frankly, isn't as good as I would like it to be: the dilemma of much modern paganism.

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Faking History: Minoan Spirituality on the Line

Figuring out ancient people's spiritual practices is hard. Even if we have written records that they've left us, they're not around any more to tell us how to interpret them. And in the case of the ancient Minoans, we can't read what they wrote, so all we have to go on is archaeological finds. And if those archaeological finds aren't genuine, then what we figure out about their spirituality may be wrong as well.

That beautiful ivory-and-gold snake goddess at the top of this post is probably a forgery. A century ago, when Sir Arthur Evans excavated the temple complex at Knossos, the world went "Minoan crazy." Museums clamored for items to display to bring in bigger and bigger crowds, and many unscrupulous folks were more than happy to oblige. This one's probably a forgery, too, based on carbon-14 dating:

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