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 rhea

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Mysteries: The cycle of being

You've probably heard the story of Persephone's abduction to the Underworld by Hades and her mother Demeter's frantic search for her. But what if the original story was a little different from that? Instead of the young goddess being taken against her will and needing to be rescued, what if she descended to the Underworld of her own free will, to aid and guard the spirits of the dead during the fallow season when she wasn't needed in the World Above? And what if her mother didn't frantically search to find her, but simply went to where she already knew her daughter was, in order to let her know it was time to ascend from the Underworld?

The Persephone-and-Demeter story was enshrined in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were so popular they survived from classical times several centuries into the Christian era. It's possible that the Eleusinian Mysteries began in the pre-Greek era, perhaps in Minoan Crete and/or mainland Greece among the people who lived there before the arrival of the Indo-European Mycenaeans (check out Karl Kerenyi's book Dionysos for some interesting theories along these lines).

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The MMP Pantheon: The Mother Goddess Rhea

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

Last time, I shared the full pantheon that we've developed for Modern Minoan Paganism. Now it's time to explore the deities one at a time and discover where we can find their iconography in Minoan art.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
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.

...
Last modified on
The Minoan Threefold Goddess: The Great Mothers

The Triple Goddess is a major component of modern Paganism, but the Maiden-Mother-Crone triplicity doesn't appear in ancient Crete. The closest we can come to that kind of "life phases" division is a Younger and Elder Goddess, exemplified by Rhea (the Great Mother) and Ariadne (the daughter). This mother-daughter duo is the possible origin of the Eleusinian Mysteries, whose sacred pair of Demeter and Persephone are well known in the modern Pagan world (check out Charlene Spretnak's inspired book Lost Goddesses of Early Greece for more on this subject). I like to think of this twofold goddess as Maiden and Matriarch, the two stages of womanhood in a society in which women's ability to birth children for men wasn't their primary function in life.

But there is a Minoan triplicity associated with the Goddess. It doesn't have to do with the life stages and fertility functions of women, but with the world around us and how the Sacred Feminine manifests in it. It's the ancient threefold division of Land/Sea/Sky. This triplicity unfolds around each and every one of us every day of our lives.

...
Last modified on
More Than Meets the Eye: The Minoan Goddess Amalthea

When I talk about Minoan spirituality, people tend to recognize the names Ariadne and Dionysus, and maybe Rhea and Minos as well. But there's one that often leaves them shaking their heads: Amalthea. I actually had someone ask me one day if Amalthea was one of the characters from Game of Thrones. Um, no. LOL

Amalthea is a Minoan goddess who, like Ariadne and the others, was absorbed into later Greek myth as something less than divine (FYI the Minoans weren't Greek). But I promise you, she was originally a full-fledged goddess and not just a goat-herding foster mother of Zeus. In fact, you'll note that Zeus is a Greek god, not a Minoan one. Like the Romans, the Greeks enjoyed equating foreign deities with their own, both as a way to understand other pantheons and as a handy method for taking over those cultures and absorbing them. So when the Greeks say that Amalthea was the foster mother of "Cretan Zeus," they're talking about Dionysus, the Minoan god who is born in his mother Rhea's cave at the Winter Solstice. And Amalthea plays a role in that story.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I haven't heard of Liny Srinivasan before, but I see that he has a page on academia.edu where he has posted some of his papers, so
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm slowly making my way through "Crete to Egypt: Missing Links of the Rig Veda" by Dr. Liny Srinivasan. The author's premise is

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It's been a busy month for the Third Wave Witch. I've been adjusting to having more structure in my life than I've had in more than a decade. With the (exciting, wonderful) new job has come the need to adapt to an actual schedule -- with a wake up time, a "get to work" time, and a "quitting" time -- as well as to make the internal adjustments that go along with not being quite as much of a free agent as I've been for the last few years. I've been very used to having near-total control over my own time, to following my whims throughout the day, to doing what I feel like doing at any given moment. (Essentially, I've lived much like a large housecat, but with opposable thumbs and a bank account.) In some ways it's been a process of taming myself. It's a strange feeling. I enjoy my job (and the financial freedom and career advancement it will provide). I am doing work I believe in, on a campus that is incredibly supportive and diverse. I even get to read more, now that I have a train commute each day. And I've also chafed at times, trying to find the sweet spot between structure and freedom.

Freedom has always been one of my core desired feelings, to borrow a phrase from the wonderful Danielle LaPorte. This desire for freedom is what kept me self-employed (and under-employed) for much of the last decade, caught on the adjunct treadmill. My only real experience with full time corporate work had been so negative and scarring that I wasn't willing to go back there. But over the last year it became clear that while I had much control over my time, the poverty wages I was earning as an adjunct actively hindered my freedom. A long and heartfelt conversation with my partner encouraged me to rethink what it mean for me to have freedom, to be free. 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What's in a name?

One of the issues we face when reviving ancient spiritual practices is that we often don’t know exactly what the original people called their gods and goddesses. In the case of the Minoans, we don’t even know what language they spoke, and their deity names have come down to us only through the Greeks. Today I’m going to toss out some thoughts about some of the god and goddess names from ancient Crete. Maybe, if we put enough ideas into the pot, we can brew up some useful bits for modern Minoan Paganism. Let’s start with Rhea, the Minoan Earth Mother goddess.

First of all, there is no generally-accepted etymology for the name Rhea. It may be the Greek interpolation of the native Minoan name for their Earth Mother goddess. The Greeks often attempted to transliterate the names of foreign deities into their own language, but as so often happens in this kind of situation, the pronunciation changes to feel more comfortable to the speakers. Through this process we ended up with the Greek name  Isis for the Egyptian Aset and Greek Osiris for Egyptian Ausar. The Greeks said Rhea was the Mother Goddess of Crete; even among the Olympians, she was still considered Cretan. I’ve always felt that her name, however it was originally pronounced, was the word the Minoans used for the island of Crete, which was the embodiment of their goddess.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    I truly hope that someday Linear A will be translated.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I hope so, too. The biggest obstacle right now is that the amount of Linear A text we have is really too small to do any kind of d

Additional information