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.

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Meet the Minoans: Zagreus

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today I’m going to explore the deity Zagreus. In Ariadne's Tribe, we consider him to be a face of our bull-god Tauros Asterion

He’s the bull who comes wreathed in flowers in the spring, specifically during the Blooming Time, the shortest of the Minoan seasons. A shamanic deity, his name means “the dismembered one,” a reminder that he’s also the sacrifice who goes willing. He is a dying-and-reborn god.

Just to be clear: Zagreus is not the same as the Hellenic god Zeus, even though their names look somewhat alike. In their effort to create an ancient ancestry for their deities, the Greeks made Zeus the son of the Minoan goddess Rhea and said he was born on Crete, but he is a Hellenic deity and not the same as Zagreus.

Zagreus appears prominently in the Orphic traditions of Hellenic Greece. But despite the presence of snakes in Orphism, there's no connection between those later Greek traditions and the earlier Minoan ones. Zagreus as we know him in Ariadne's Tribe is specifically a Minoan deity.

As the dismembered sacrifice, Zagreus is a regenerative deity; he dies and is reborn on a predetermined schedule. This is especially moving to me because the Blooming Time is a season of life-in-death and death-in-life, a liminal juxtaposition of the two.

It's springtime, when Crete is overwhelmingly covered in blooming wildflowers. But it's also the grain harvest time in the Mediterranean, the death of the crop and the end of the growing season, a time to commune with the ancestors and the spirits of the dead.

As a dying-and-reborn god, Zagreus is a psychopomp, guiding the souls of the dead to the safety of the Underworld. It's likely that bulls were sacrificed to him during Minoan times, just as he sacrifices himself to show us the way to the World Below.

So Zagreus reminds us that life and death are two sides of the same coin, both necessary, each beautiful in its own way.

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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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