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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Minoan
The  Minoan Menagerie Part 3: Animals of the Sea

This is the third in a series about animals in Minoan art. Part 1: Animals of the Land and Part 2: Animals of the Sky complete the exploration of the three realms, though we will still have a look at mythical critters in Part 4 (coming up next week).

Of the three realms of land, sky, and sea, the sea is perhaps the most prevalent in Minoan culture and art. Crete is, after all, an island, and the Minoans developed their great wealth as seafaring traders. So it's understandable that the waters of the Mediterranean, and the creatures that live in those waters, would feature in Minoan art in a major way.

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 2: Animals of the Sky

Last time, we looked at some of the land animals the Minoans depicted in their art: cattle, monkeys, lions, and so on. Today, we're going to explore the Minoans' images of animals of the sky, the domain of our Sun goddess Therasia - so, essentially, birds, though I think bees also count.

Sometimes it's easy to tell which type of bird is being shown. For instance, that's a swallow flying by some lilies in the image at the top, which is a segment of the Spring fresco from Akrotiri. Here's the whole thing, with quite a few swallows:

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 1: Animals of the Land

Minoan art is inspiring, full of movement and color. Minoan artists depicted the natural world just as often as they showed sacred or ritual scenes. And the art is full of animals, usually depicted with enough accuracy that we can identify the exact species. While some animals in Minoan art are associated with specific deities and act as part of their iconography, others have no sacred associations that we're aware of (yet). So here, we're just going to look at the animals themselves, without referencing the iconography. The art is inspiring enough as it is, if you ask me.

I'm going to organize our exploration of Minoan animals based on the threefold division of land, sea, and sky that prevails in Modern Minoan Paganism and that we think was important to the ancient Minoans. The three realms correspond to our three mother goddesses; the land is the domain of our Earth Mother goddess Rhea.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Linear A Conundrum

One of the reasons we don't call Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP) a reconstructionist tradition is that we don't have any texts from Minoan times that we can read to learn how the people of ancient Crete worshiped. Reference texts are a fundamental part of the reconstruction process in many traditions. Why don't we have that resource for MMP?

The Minoans were a literate people; we just can't read what they wrote.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Getting stuck in the MMP Pantheon series

I figured this would happen sooner or later. I guess I'm lucky I made it through so much of the Modern Minoan Paganism pantheon before it happened.

For nearly a year now I've been writing posts in the MMP Pantheon series, talking about where we can find our deities in Minoan art. Some of the connections are pretty obvious - the Serpent-Mother and the Snake Goddess figurines, for instance. But some aren't as easy to see.

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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.

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The MMP Pantheon: The goddess Ariadne

This is one in a series of blog posts about the MMP pantheon. Find the list of the whole series here.

Ariadne: most people have heard of her, with her ball of string, helping Theseus find his way out of the Labyrinth. If you've been reading this blog for long, you know the Theseus story is Greek, not Minoan, created centuries after the fall of Minoan civilization. Theseus was a Greek culture hero, not a part of the Minoan pantheon. Ariadne, though, is another story. She's a Minoan goddess. So where can we find her in the art of ancient Crete?

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