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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in labyrinth
Walking the Labyrinth in Modern Minoan Paganism

The labyrinth. Everyone has heard of it. It's one of the first things people think of when I mention that my spiritual practice has a Minoan focus. They might think of the beautiful labyrinth set into the floor at Chartres cathedral, or the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, or modern projects like the Pulse Memorial in Orlando, Florida (USA).

It's interesting, then, that no one has ever found an actual labyrinth at a Minoan site. There are lots of almost-but-not-quite-labyrinth meander patterns in Minoan art. And the labyrinth does show up on Cretan coins, but not until many centuries after Minoan civilization was gone.

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Lady of the Labyrinth: A Chant

I was recently inspired to write a chant that's designed for labyrinth walking. It invokes the Lady of the Labyrinth, a goddess some people identify with Ariadne or with the Serpent Mother (snake goddess) from Minoan Crete. The name that works for me is Basilissa.

Please feel free to use this chant in your rituals and your labyrinth walking, and let me know how it goes.

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Looking Back Along the Minoan Path

I've been blogging here for three and a half years now, and I've just been looking back through all my blog posts as the year nears its end. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to discover that my five most popular posts aren't necessarily the ones I was hoping people would pick up and run with, and they're certainly not the ones I expected. But it is interesting to see what draws people, so maybe I can take the hint and provide more of what you lovely folks might like to read.

My most popular blog post? Tying a Sacred Knot - The various types of sacred knots are pretty well known, especially the tet of Isis, which appears to have a counterpart in Minoan Crete. But there's another object that Sir Arthur Evans conflated with this type of sacred knot, and this second object is obviously a piece of fabric, not a cord. I've written about this second object, which we've come to call the Sacral Scarf, in this blog post. It has its own place in Modern Minoan Paganism and was, as far as we can tell, unique in the ancient world.

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A Minoan by Any Other Name

If the ancient Minoans were such successful traders with so many other cultures, why don't we hear about them in the writings of those other cultures? Because in the ancient world, they weren't called Minoans.

The term "Minoans" is a 20th-century invention. Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist who unearthed the temple complex at Knossos, had been chasing a set of myths for years: King Minos, the Labyrinth, Ariadne and the Minotaur. Like Heinrich Schliemann, who wanted to prove the truth of the tales in Homer's epic works by digging up the real city of Troy, Evans wanted to prove the historicity of the myths about ancient Crete.

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  • Archer
    Archer says #
    I really enjoyed this and look forward to learning more about the "Minoans". I love the way you combine mystery, historicity and i
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Thank you! I try to make it clear where I'm speculating or working off gnosis (mine and/or that of others). But there's simply so

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Taking Myth Literally: How it trips us up

All my life, I've heard people complain about the Christians who take the stories in the Bible literally rather than as allegory or symbolic storytelling. A few days ago, I realized that Pagans sometimes do the same thing, and I think they probably have for centuries, right back into ancient times. Case in point: the Labyrinth.

The Greeks, who are ancient to us but who lived centuries later than Minoan civilization, figured that the Labyrinth must have been an actual physical structure of some sort. And they assumed that the Minoan inventor/smith god Daedalus, whom they viewed as a mortal man, had built it. The Greek historian Herodotus, who lived a solid millennium after the fall of Minoan civilization, wrote about a huge temple building in Egypt with hundreds of rooms and winding passageways, and he called it a labyrinth (yes, it's a real thing - archaeologists have found it). Then, when Sir Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of the Minoan temple complex at Knossos a century ago, he was sure he had found the original Labyrinth, the famed home/cage of the Minotaur, built by Daedalus.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely - we just worked that myth at Reclaiming's California Witchcamp -
Witchcamp 2017:  Dancing With Bulls

It is late afternoon and the slanting light is filtering through the redwoods.  I am barefoot feeling the redwood roots intertwined and alive under the trail.  We are laying a maze/labyrinth with rooms of challenge and healing for our community of witches of all genders to move though later this night as part of our evening ritual.  I move off the trail and begin building a altar of bee healing, using a low redwood stump.  There is honey to drizzle on skin with an invitation to feel its sticky goodness before licking it off, pieces of honeycomb to break off and roll around in their mouths, healing honey salve to work into rough skin, a lantern draped with a floral cloth illuminating this place since the ritual will be held after the sun sets in the west.

 

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On the grounds of Trout Lake Abbey, is a Labyrinth.  It is shared by White Mountain Druid Sanctuary and the Mt Adams Zen Temple.  Yes, there is a Buddhist Temple on site too.  It’s amazing how easily Buddhists and Druids get along, but that’s for another post.  The Labyrinth is a great example of this cooperation.  There is a small shrine to light incense at the beginning (and end) of the walk.

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