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: https://ariadnestribe.wordpress.com/. 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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No one owns the gods, but traditions have rules to follow

I'd like to point at the title above and say, "That's it; that's the post." But I know I'm going to have to explain.

No one owns the gods: That means that no one can tell you how to interact with them, how to experience them, what to believe about them. Your spiritual experience is your own, filtered through your psyche as a part of your personal life.

HOWEVER

If you choose to join a spiritual tradition, you are agreeing to practice your spirituality according to their guidelines. This does not contradict the statement, "No one owns the gods." You are free to choose not to join any particular tradition, or any tradition at all, for that matter.

But if you choose to join a tradition, then you have to follow their rules. You don't get to join a Wiccan coven and then say, "Casting a circle and calling the quarters just isn't my thing, so I'm not going to do that. And I don't believe in a masculine-feminine duality for deity." Because then, you're not doing Wicca; you're doing something else. Yes, that something else is perfectly legitimate as your personal spiritual practice, but it is not at all legitimate as Wicca, which is a formal tradition with defined practices, pantheon, and beliefs.

It's the same with Modern Minoan Paganism. Our pantheon is headed by a trio of mother goddesses, then filled out by their "children" who show up as gods, goddesses, horned animals, and more. We have a Sun goddess and a Moon god not because that's what we felt like doing, but because that's where our research led us, clearly and unequivocally. Our ritual format centers around processionals and offerings, the way Bronze Age religion was commonly practiced. So if you say, "I believe in a Minoan Moon goddess and I cast circles when I do ritual," then that's absolutely fine for your personal spiritual practice. But it's not Modern Minoan Paganism, and you don't get to claim that it is.

A lot of people discover the Pagan community after "escaping" from Christianity, often from forms of Christianity that are hyper-authoritarian, overbearing, and judgmental. It's understandable that someone who has gone through that kind of experience would feel a bit reactionary toward any sort of rules in spiritual practice.

But that doesn't mean you get to flout those rules.

Here's where you have to do some personal work. If you aren't ready to deal with "rules and regulations" in your spiritual practice, that's all right. There's no required timeline for any of this. But you have to recognize (and admit to yourself) that's where you're at and choose not to join a group or tradition you're going to chafe against.

If you've already joined a group and you find yourself rebelling against the way they do things, it's probably time to quietly take a step back and evaluate whether it's the right group for you, or whether you're ready for a formal tradition at all. And if you find it's not the right group for you, it's your responsibility to leave politely and graciously (you are an adult, yes?).

There is no one-size-fits all in these situations. I don't believe in people being more or less "evolved" about spirituality. You are who you are and where you are in life, and that's OK.

But it's never OK to inflict your inner conflicts on other people.

Some folx end up doing their own thing and being very happy with that. Others eventually find a group, path, or tradition that fulfills their needs.

Years ago, I studied Judaism with the possible aim of converting (I ended up in a different ancient Mediterranean religion instead!). When I was floundering, trying to figure out where my spiritual path ought to lead, a wise rabbi gave me some good advice. He said that when you find the path you're looking for, you don't convert to it. Instead, you realize that's what you've been all along.

In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.

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Laura Perry is an artist, writer, and the founder and facilitator of Modern Minoan Paganism. The Minoans of Bronze Age Crete have been a passion of hers since a fateful art history class introduced her to the frescoes of Knossos back in high school. Her first book was published in 2001; one of her most recent works is Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. She has also created a Minoan Tarot deck and a Minoan coloring book. 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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