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

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Book Review: Lost Goddesses of Early Greece

Over in Ariadne's Tribe we have a list of recommended books about Minoan spirituality and related topics. One of the books from that list that I find myself pointing out frequently to anyone who is interested in Minoan spirituality (besides my own books, of course) is Charlene Spretnak's classic work Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths. Originally published in 1978, this amazing little volume is still in print, and with good reason.

Ms. Spretnak addresses herself to nine goddesses, eleven if you count the Moon Triad as three separate ones: Gaia, Pandora, Themis, Aphrodite, the Moon Triad (Artemis, Selene, Hecate), Hera, Athena, Demeter, and Persephone.

She offers some fascinating information about each one, detailing where they originated, what their early worship was probably like, and how the Hellenes and other later cultures "demoted" them from their original places of honor and power.

It's both enlightening and a little sad to discover how these goddesses were purposely tarnished over time. But this book helps to polish them back to their original glow.

Pandora, Artemis, and Demeter/Persephone are particularly interesting to me, since their stories trace back to Minoan times. Pandora, originally a positive goddess (her name means All-Giver) was an aspect of the Minoan mother goddess Rhea. Artemis is the cousin or sister-twin to the Minoan goddess Britomartis, also known as Diktynna. And the Eleusinian Mysteries, which enshrine the tale of Demeter and Persephone, probably began in Minoan Crete.

The information is interesting, but Spretnak's stories speak directly to the heart. Each goddess gets not only an explanation of her original, important place in myth, but also a beautiful, poetic version of her tale.

Spretnak made a ritual out of the writing of these moving pieces, going into meditation and asking each goddess to speak through her, and speak they do. The stories flow the way good ritual does, from thought to image to emotion and back again. In fact, many people use these tales in ritual to invoke these goddesses and honor them.

If you have an interest in pre-Greek mythology, or if you'd just like to hear these goddesses speak via their own voices, I recommend this book. I think you'll find it both enlightening and moving.

Last modified on
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.


Additional information