Modern Minoan Paganism: Walking with Ariadne's Tribe

Walk the sacred labyrinth with Ariadne, the Minotaur, the Great Mothers, Dionysus, and the rest of the Minoan pantheon. Modern Minoan Paganism is an independent polytheist spiritual tradition that brings the gods and goddesses 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 Modern Minoan Paganism on our website: We're a welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

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The Story Behind Ariadne's Thread and Labrys & Horns

NOTE: As of July 2022, Ariadne's Thread first edition is out of print while I revise and update it for a second edition, which will be released May 15, 2023.


I'm often asked to explain the different between my two books about Minoan spirituality: Ariadne's Thread and Labrys & Horns. So often, in fact, that I figured a blog post about the subject would be a good idea.

Ariadne's Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives was released in 2013 but it was based on about 20 years of spiritual work I had done before then. Back in the 1990s, when I was working on my second degree in the Wiccan coven I belonged to at the time, I was given an assignment: Pick a pantheon and write a year's worth of seasonal rituals and a lifetime's worth of rites of passage using that pantheon. I'd like to say I picked the Minoan pantheon, but it's more like it picked me. I'm sure you know how that goes.

So I wrote the rituals and the group performed many of them over the following years. I tweaked the rites as I received feedback from both the human participants and the gods. Yes, the gods. We experienced quite a few odd occurrences during some of the rituals - I once had a sacred blade knocked out of my hand by an invisible force (in front of the entire group, no less), tables full of stuff tipped over when no one was near, people tripped over thin air, that sort of thing. So I listened and made changes, though at the time, the Minoan deities didn't seem to mind the overall Wiccan-ish structure of the rites (creating sacred space and calling the quarters, though they did make it known that I needed to change the orientation of the elements in the different directions). Over the years, I continued to lead rituals using the ones I had written for that project.

Some time later, after I had published my first two books (Ancient Spellcraft and The Wiccan Wellness Book), I found myself looking through the set of Minoan rituals. A little voice in the back of my head suggested that other people might like those rituals as well, people beyond my little circle of local friends. But not everyone knows a whole lot about the Minoans, so I put together a bunch of information about Minoan life and spirituality as well as a "tiny little encyclopedia" listing the Minoan deities and the major symbols of Minoan religion. That information, along with the Minoan rituals, makes up Ariadne's Thread.

I found myself wishing for a group where I could discuss and share information about the ancient Minoans, their life and spirituality. Since there wasn't one, at least not that I could find, I started Ariadne's Tribe on Facebook. I was gratified to discover that there are lots of other people out there who feel a connection to the Minoan deities and to ancient Minoan culture.

The lovely people in Ariadne's Tribe asked me a lot of questions, most of which I didn't know the answers to, so I started doing research. Lots and lots of research! I also began meditative and journeywork, which I shared with others who were doing the same thing. Together, we began building a rough approximation of what we believe to be the ancient Minoan sacred calendar.

We developed some spiritual practices based on what we know about Minoan religion from the archaeology, mythology, dance ethnology, and comparative religion. This included recognizing that while Wicca is a perfectly legitimate spiritual tradition (I'm a third degree Wiccan priestess), it is a modern tradition. So we looked back at what we know about Bronze Age religion and developed a set of practices that are in keeping with the way the Minoans probably experienced ritual and spirituality. We combined that information with shared gnosis to help us build a living spiritual tradition in the 21st century. So Modern Minoan Paganism was born.

The modern world is very different from the ancient, and not just because we have cell phones and pumpkin spice latte. Paganism no longer pervades western culture, so we have to figure out how to practice Minoan spirituality at home. As it happens, the lovely folks in Ariadne's Tribe began asking for a how-to book for Modern Minoan Paganism, a guide specifically for solitary practitioners, since that's what many of the group members are. So I listened and I did rituals and I wrote, and eventually I published Labrys & Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism.

In 2020 I revised and updated Labrys & Horns to include all the new information we've developed as a tradition since the publication of the first edition: an expanded pantheon and sacred calendar, standard ritual formats for both solitaries and groups, and our main symbol, the Malia bee pendant. The new second edition is half again as long as the first and can be relied on as a resource for the practice of Modern Minoan Paganism for the foreseeable future.

Here are the two books in a nutshell (in two nutshells?):

Ariadne's Thread has extensive information about ancient Minoan civilization, daily life, and religious practice, including information about the temples, cave shrines, and peak sanctuaries the Minoans used. It includes a mini-encyclopedia of Minoan deities and spiritual symbols. It has Wiccan-ish group rituals for the Wheel of the Year and a lifetime's worth of rites of passage.

Labrys & Horns is a how-to manual for Modern Minoan Paganism. It details the symbols and sacred calendar we use as well as the deities we honor. It includes our standard ritual format for both groups and solitaries as well as rites for dedicating an altar and connecting with the deities. It also includes a few Minoan-themed crafts; listings of the foods, stones, and herbs the Minoans used; and book and music resources.

With the introduction of the MMP standard ritual format in the second edition of Labrys & Horns, I also wrote up a guide to adapting the rituals in Ariadne's Thread to fit the new format.

So there you have it! I like to think the two books are complementary, but when I look at them, I also see the path of my spiritual practice as it has grown and changed over the years. I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoyed writing them.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

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Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She is the founder and Temple Mom of Modern Minoan Paganism. 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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