PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • 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
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in iconography

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Reading Minoan Art: A How-To

I feel a little bit like an elementary school teacher: OK, everyone, we're going to learn to read Minoan art!

We're all a bit past elementary school, but learning to understand the iconography of any ancient culture is a big step toward understanding their religion and worldview. Iconography is the set of symbols (icons) that have meaning in religious art. They're pictures, but in a sense, we can "read" them and they'll tell us their story. Archaeologists and historians of religion have pieced together the basics, and we've fleshed it out just a bit more in MMP using dance ethnography and shared gnosis.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The MMP Pantheon: Dionysus

This is one in a series about the deities in the pantheon of Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP). You can find the full list of posts in this series here.

Today we're focusing on a well-known god, Dionysus, and the places we can find him in Minoan art and artifacts. The ecstatic god that many people know from classical times (a millennium after the destruction of the Minoan cities) is actually a syncretic deity, a combination of the Minoan god (or at least, whatever remained of him after the Bronze Age collapse) with a similar ecstatic god from Phrygia.

...
Last modified on
The MMP Pantheon: The Young God Korydallos

This is one in a series about the MMP pantheon. Find the other posts here.

In this post, we'll have a look at Korydallos, one of the gods who are the sons of our three Mother Goddesses. Korydallos (or The Lark, as we sometimes call him) is a new name for an old god. We discovered him via dance ethnography, Mediterranean folklore, and a close look at some of the interesting details of Minoan art and artifacts. In MMP, we consider him to be the son of our Sun goddess Therasia, though there is a sense in which all the son and daughter deities are children of all the Mothers - more about that in a bit.

...
Last modified on
Two Blades: Minoan ritual labryses and practical tools

The labrys is one of the most iconic symbols of Minoan civilization. The two-bladed axe shape evokes ideas ranging from bloody human sacrifice to butterflies in a spiritual garden. I have my own ideas about what the labrys means to me, and may have meant to the Minoans as well.

One thing I've noticed, though, is that a lot of people use the term "double axe" to refer to these artifacts, conflating them with practical tools. But they're not the same thing.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Weight is an important part of a useful ax, not just for strength. A ceremonial ax would not need weight. I have never seen a bu
The Minoan Seal Ring Project: Sacred Art

In addition to being a writer, I'm also an artist, and I find myself inspired by the works of the ancient Minoans. One of the unique traditions the Minoans had was creating gold seal rings with ritual scenes on them. I've created my own modern art versions of these seal rings as a way of bringing the scenes alive.

Up top you can see my version of the gold seal ring found in the Isopata tomb at Knossos. Here's the original:

...
Last modified on
In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Reviews a Book on a (Gasp!) Non-Pagan Subject

This is Not the Resurrection You're Looking For

 

Resurrecting Easter would be a better book if it knew what it wanted to be. Art history? A husband-wife travelogue? A mystery novel à la Da Vinci Code?

Unfortunately, it never manages to decide.

In it, Jesus Seminar rockstar John Dominic Crossan and his wife Sarah travel (literally) to the ends of Christendom to tell the story of the emergence of the iconography of the Resurrection. He writes, she takes the pictures.

This important topic has received surprisingly little attention from art historians. Apart from Anna Kartsonis' magisterial 1988 Anastasis: The Making of an Image, there are virtually no monographs on the subject. The Phaidon Press series of anthologies on the art of Holy Week—Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Descent (i.e. deposition from the cross)—does not, surprisingly, devote a volume to the art of the Resurrection. Somehow, when it comes to art history, it's always Nativity, never Pascha.

So I praise the Crossans for perceiving this lack and attempting to address it. It's a pity they couldn't do so more successfully.

Oh, they do manage to chronicle the emergence and development of Christendom's two major visual representations of the Resurrection, with some attention to various dead ends and roads-not-taken along the way. Unfortunately, the art-historical material is interspersed almost randomly with pointless tales from their travels, including local-color details about what time they caught the cab and what T-shirt the driver was wearing. The quest—and narrative—are driven by forced cliff-hanger questions about the iconography (“What happens to the universal resurrection tradition in Eastern Christianity during that same fateful period?”) that are meant to seem urgent but mostly fall flat.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I can go onto Bing images and type in resurrection to get a whole bunch of pictures. If I haven't run out of ink in my printer I

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Beardman

Well, beards are back.

These days it seems like every third guy's sporting one.

Which brings me (of course) to the god of the witches.

Oh, it's a long and winding thread that I spin today, my friend. Take hold of the end and let's see where it leads us.

***

Last modified on

Additional information