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 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 Modern Minoan Paganism on our website: https://ariadnestribe.wordpress.com/. We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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A Micropantheon Does Not Contain Small Gods (with apologies to Terry Pratchett)

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

What is a micropantheon, you ask? (Of course you do, because you're the inquisitive type!)

Sorry, but it has nothing to do with small gods, of the Terry Pratchett variety or otherwise.

You're probably familiar with deities who have their own story sets that are separate from the larger mythos of their pantheon. Demeter and Persephone, for instance, with their tale of seasonal time in the Underworld. Or Thor and Loki's sojourn in Thrym's hall disguised as Freyja and her maidservant so they could get Thor's stolen hammer back. Or the sad tale of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Blodeuwedd, and Gronw.

All of these are micropantheons: smaller, self-contained story cycles within the larger pantheons to which their deities belong.

Guess what? There are Minoan micropantheons, too. I bet you saw that coming.

We have pieced some of these together from the garbled fragments of Minoan myth that survived the Bronze Age collapse. Others, we are working to develop via our direct experiences with the deities: the dreaded personal gnosis, though in our case, we only go forward if we have widely shared gnosis that many of our members can confirm.

All of these micropantheon story cycles reflect the way we believe the deities want us to interact with them in the modern world. There's no guarantee that any of these micropantheons look now the way they did back in Minoan times, though the first one I'll mention below is probably pretty close.

So first we have the Minoan version of the Eleusinian Mysteries tale, starring Rhea and Ariadne instead of Demeter and Persephone. Eileithyia, Dionysus (as Iacchus), the Melissae, and Minos also figure in this myth cycle.

Ariadne takes part in another micropantheon with the Minotaur, who is a god and not a monster, I promise. Together they guard and guide the souls of living spiritworkers and the spirits of the dead through the Labyrinth. Their story has nothing to do with the tale of Theseus, who is a Greek culture hero from many centuries after the end of Minoan civilization (the Minoans were not Greek).

Another micropantheon involves Dionysus, ever a favorite, the divine child born at Midwinter in the Mother's cave. Then at Midsummer, he and Ariadne join in the sacred marriage, which isn't a marriage at all, but something far more ancient.

There are other micropantheons we can identify based on the deities' relationships with each other, but for whom we don't yet have well-fleshed-out myths. For instance, all the mother-daughter goddess pairs probably have story cycles, so not just Rhea and Ariadne, but also Therasia/Arachne and Posidaeja/Antheia.

The Sons are all the younger halves of god-pairs that include a face of Minos as the elder half. Each of those pairs probably has its own myth cycle. We haven't clarified the names of the "three Minoses" yet, though we're pretty sure that names like Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon, from Greek myth, are incorrect.

There are probably also story cycles involving the Sons and their Mothers and myth cycles for each pair of Horned Ones, as well as micropantheon tales for Daedalus and Zagreus. And I suspect Thumia and Kaulo have a few racy tales of their own. We're not sure whether the Serpent Mother and Ourania have their own myth cycles, or whether they just weave throughout all the others. Time will tell.

In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.

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Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She is the founder and Temple Mom of Modern Minoan Paganism. 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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