Modern Minoan Paganism: Walking with Ariadne's Tribe

Walk the sacred labyrinth with Ariadne, the Minotaur, the Great Mothers, Dionysus, and the rest of the Minoan pantheon. Modern Minoan Paganism is an independent polytheist spiritual tradition that brings the gods and goddesses of the ancient Minoans alive in the modern world. We're a revivalist tradition, not a reconstructionist one; we rely heavily on sharedl 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?

If you're interested in Modern Minoan Paganism, head on over to our online forum at Ariadne's Tribe on Facebook. We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings - all of them.

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Laura Perry

Laura Perry

Laura Perry is an artist, writer, and the founder and facilitator of Modern Minoan Paganism. The Minoans of Bronze Age Crete have been a passion of hers since a fateful art history class introduced her to the frescoes of Knossos back in high school. Her first book was published in 2001; one of her most recent works is Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. She has also created a Minoan Tarot deck and a Minoan coloring book. 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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Modern Minoan Paganism: The Full Pantheon

Over the past six years, what began as a tiny collection of people in a FB group has evolved into a full-fledged pagan tradition: Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP). Yes, I'm as astounded as you are. One aspect of that evolution is that we've spent quite a lot of time researching and developing relationships with different deities, some of whom we didn't even realize existed until very recently. Today, I'm sharing with you the full pantheon. Beginning next week, I'll focus on one deity per week, sharing their iconography that we find in Minoan art.

MMP is a revivalist tradition. We're not attempting to reconstruct either the pantheon or the religious practices of the ancient Minoans - that's probably not possible anyway, since we can't read their writing in Linear A. But just be aware that this is the pantheon we use as modern Pagans. We honestly can't say whether or not this is how the Minoans interacted with the deities, but it's pretty clearly the way the gods and goddesses want us to interact with them now.

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In sickness and in health: Plague thinking in Minoan Crete

The coronavirus pandemic seems to weasel its way into every conversation these days. So I've been thinking about how the ancient Minoans might have dealt with something like this. Communicable disease was a big problem in the ancient world, partly because they didn't have the drugs and medical care that we do, and partly because they didn't always understand how disease spread.

The Minoans were apparently well known for their medical knowledge. The London Medical Papyrus, an Egyptian document, includes two Minoan incantations against disease. These would have been combined with herbal or other therapy, since illness was considered to have a magical or spiritual component as well as a physical one.

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Minoan Historical Fiction for Storytime

If you follow my Youtube channel, you'll know that one of my projects is a series of storytime videos - reading aloud from my own books and some of my longtime favorites by other authors. This time, I'm reading from my most recent novel, The Last Priestess of Malia, a work of historical fiction set in Minoan Crete.

The story centers around a young woman who dedicates herself to the temple and the gods in a time of great chaos and upheaval at the end of Minoan civilization. Though the later parts of the book get into some really heavy stuff that's also unfortunately relevant to our current world (sexism, racism, greed, conquest, xenophobia, colonialism), the earlier parts are largely about the main character's struggle to be "a real priestess" - whatever that means. If you've ever wondered when you're going to feel like you know what you're doing, you'll be able to relate. ;-)

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Meet the Minoan Deities: Korydallos

One of the tricky bits about revivalist Pagan religion is that lots of information gets lost over time, either because oral traditions die out or because written sources are destroyed - or both. That means there are deities we may not even realize exist until we stumble across them in our research. So today I'm introducing a new god who's also a very old god. This is the section I've written about him as I revise and update Labrys and Horns for the new second edition that will be released in June:

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This enigmatic god comes to us via the fascinating field of dance ethnography. The Red Champion still exists in folk dances around the Mediterranean today. A shamanic spirit warrior of a sort, he is the son of an ancient goddess figure. He may very well predate the Minoans, possibly going back as far as the beginning of farming in the Neolithic, given the content of the dances he appears in. But our experience with him in MMP links him with Therasia, so that’s how he fits into our pantheon: he is her son.

He’s one of the three Young Gods, each one a son of one of our mother goddesses. In that role, he acts as an intermediary between the people and the Mothers. Like his brothers, he’s forever young: youthful, energetic, exuberant. But of course, he’s also old, as old as the gods themselves. So he’s wise but also playful, which can be a nice change sometimes.

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The Modern Minoan Pantheon: Pairs and Triplets

I'm eyeball-deep in the revisions and updates to Labrys & Horns. As I sift through the conversations we've had in Ariadne's Tribe and the notes I've taken over the past couple of years, the gods and goddesses are sorting themselves into pairs and trios - something I hadn't really expected.

When we began putting together a Minoan pantheon for modern Pagan spiritual practice, we were working with the garbled fragments that have come down via Greek mythology plus some useful information in the fields of archaeoastronomy, dance ethnography, and comparative mythology. We found lots of deities, but they didn't shake out into a human-style family tree the way so many other European pantheons did.

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The Perils of Writing about Spirituality

I'm so very glad we have the internet as a venue for sharing about spirituality - the community grows as the web widens. But there are some pitfalls and obstacles that limit the extent to which we can really communicate about spirituality online, or on any other platform that involves writing. I grapple with these issues almost every time I write a blog post here.

The nature of blogging, or writing articles for Pagan magazines, or posting in spiritual groups on social media, or even writing books is that of words: we write down what we want to share, and other people read it.

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Labrys & Horns: A second go-round

At the beginning of this year I looked back over 2019 in Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP), musing about how far we've come over such a short time. Writing that post, of course, led me to look back over the years before that, and some things I need to update.

I started Ariadne's Tribe in 2014 because I was looking for other people who were interested in Minoan spirituality. By late 2015, to my utter astonishment, we had a sizable number of members, a pantheon, a sacred calendar, and a set of common practices. At that point, people started asking me to write it all down in a book so they would have a single resource to draw from.

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