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 ariadnestribe.com. We're an inclusive, welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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How is Ariadne's Tribe different from the Minoan Brotherhood?

I gave a presentation about Ariadne's Tribe last weekend at WitchCon, and one of the attendees asked me the question:

How is Ariadne's Tribe different from the Minoan Brotherhood?

I feel like I didn't answer it very thoroughly, so I asked the Tribe to help me craft a more comprehensive response. Why would I need to ask them for help? Because not only am I (obviously) not qualified to join the Minoan Brotherhood, but I've never really investigated it.

More than a decade ago, when I had just published the first edition of Ariadne's Thread and was searching for a Minoan spiritual group to join, I found the Minoan Brotherhood and the Minoan Sisterhood briefly mentioned online. I quickly realized that both were unavailable to me as spiritual paths and moved on, figuring I would have to just do my own thing. "My own thing" ended up meaning that in 2014 I started the Facebook group Ariadne's Tribe, which has since grown into its own spiritual tradition of inclusive revivalist Minoan spirituality.

I asked our Tribe members to help me answer this question, since many of them are more knowledgeable about the Minoan Brotherhood than I am. Two of them have graciously allowed me to quote them here, each of them looking at the question from a different angle.

Tribe Board Member Dana Corby is a community elder who was around when the Minoan Brotherhood began in the 1970s. She offered the following, focusing on the background that created the underlying differences between the them and Ariadne's Tribe:

It seems to me that the most important difference is that of origin: the Minoan Brotherhood and Sisterhood are offshoots from Gardnerian Wicca, established when Gardnerian was about the only modern Wicca anyone had ever heard of but which didn't allow same-sex initiation or leadership. Ariadne's Tribe was created -- is in the process of creation -- from a mix of available historical evidence and current intuition. Its rituals and other information are wide open to any member, allowing leadership to mostly function ad hoc without rank, titles, or "third degree secrets."

The Brotherhood & Sisterhood preserve the coven structure and initiatory program of their parent tradition though they've been given other titles; Ariadne's Tribe has no covens or anything like them, and no mechanism for initiation or similar changes in status.

 And finally, while the Minoan Brotherhood and Sisterhood are with rare exceptions restricted to gay and lesbian adults, Ariadne's Tribe welcomes people of any sexual orientation.

Oracle Hekataios is a Minoan Brotherhood member who described the differences between the two groups in terms of current practice:

I'm in the Minoan Brotherhood. We have a substantial pantheon. I think the understanding of the pantheons are different, and the ritual structure is definitely more designed to people used to Wicca (even though it isn't Wicca).

The Minoan Brotherhood began specifically for gay and bisexual men, and our festivals are 8 like the Wheel of the Year (albeit with different foci). Our rituals center on the Great Mother and her Divine Son. The rites are also ecstatic in nature, whereas those of MMP are not necessarily.

So, in summary:

1. A different calendar.
2. A different set of rites.
3. A different pantheon focus.
4. A different set of who is included.

So, to be clear, Ariadne's Tribe is an animist, polytheist Minoan revivalist tradition. We are non-hierarchal, non-initiatory, and inclusive. As our Official Policies state, the Tribe is open to all people over the age of 18, of any race, ethnicity, caste, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ability level, disability, geographic location, language, education, or socio-economic status. Anyone who feels a connection with the Tribe family of deities, and wishes to develop a spiritual practice in relationship with them, is welcome.

I would also like to note here that Ariadne's Tribe allows children to attend in-person Tribe rituals and other events as long as they're accompanied by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s), so that's another difference that falls under the category of "who's included."

Our pantheon is headed by a trio of Great Mother goddesses and is based on the sacred realms of Land, Sky, and Sea. Our sacred calendar derives from the seasonal cycles of the three main subcultures of Bronze Age Crete (sailors, farmers, and herders), not the eightfold wheel of the year. Our ritual format is based on Bronze Age Mediterranean religious practice, not the Wiccan circle.

Ariadne's Tribe has grown organically as a community of equals from its beginnings in the Facebook group in 2014, a reflection of the egalitarianism and interdependence that were such valuable and vital aspects of Minoan society. I may be the founder and Temple Mom, but I'm standing in the temple courtyard on the same level as everyone else, shoulder-to-shoulder with them. It has taken the whole community to build this tradition, and we will move forward together, as a community.

Together we are joy!

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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.

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