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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On Having a Sense of Humor in Spiritual Practice

Joy is sacred, too, you know.

Those of us who grew up surrounded by the fundamentalist Christian concept that humor, laughter, and fun are somehow inherently evil - that the only way it's possible to worship or show reverence is by being deadly serious - sometimes have trouble with the idea that it's OK to laugh as part of our spiritual practice.

Sure, there are times when we need to be serious, though I would argue that even at a memorial service, smiles and laughter at the joyous memory of someone we love are still sacred. What's more important is that we not take ourselves too seriously, or we risk losing our perspective.

We're not the center of the universe, and as one of my humor-prone great uncles used to remind me, nobody gets out of this alive.

See the image at the top of this blog post? It's a painting called Great and Small, by a marvelous artist named Francile Downs who passed away last year after a long life full of creativity and joy (and more than a little activism). Downs' painting is a delightful take on part of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam fresco from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the one where an old, bearded Christian God is reaching out and touching Adam's hand. To me, Downs' addition of the kitten is a reminder to find joy where we can and not take religion too seriously. Besides, any deity who delights in kittens is OK by me.

But when I chose Downs' painting as my Facebook profile image, a member of Ariadne's Tribe became offended and incensed, to the point of letting loose a tirade against me then leaving the group and unfriending me. Because apparently it's disrespectful to put a kitten in Adam's hand, with God reaching out to give it some scritches. I'm not sure what Michelangelo thought of cats, but if he was a decent sort, I suspect he would chuckle at Downs' version of his art. And so far, I haven't been struck by lightning.

I was inspired to write this post because of a bit of humor I recently shared in Ariadne's Tribe that offended someone (not the person who fled from the kitten-in-hands) even though most people seemed to enjoy it or, at worst, simply scroll past it. I encourage our members to occasionally post humor that's Minoan-themed or Minoan-adjacent, since laughter is sacred (as long as you're not punching down, of course). But apparently this is just too much:

Why do we call them olives and not Greece's pieces?

In case you're not familiar with American sweets, the joke is a play on words around the type of candy called Reese's Pieces. Which, much like olives, are tasty small round things you eat.

Yes, I laughed when I first read the post. Then I shared it in the group. I took it as an opportunity to add some humor (it is a fun bit of wordplay), point out the major role that olives played in Minoan culture, and remind everyone that the Minoans weren't Greek (a common misconception). And someone got offended because I wasn't being serious.

Yes, it's important to devote ourselves to whatever level of spiritual practice works for each of us. And that often amounts to some real hard work. But that doesn't mean we can't laugh along the way. If you're having trouble loosening up enough to have a sense of humor (life has been rough lately, I realize that) then you might want to meet up with Korydallos, a Minoan god with a sense of humor and a delight in the dance of life. One of his symbols is the lark (the bird), and he also loves a bit of a lark, if you see what I mean.

So take a few deep breaths and let yourself smile. And laugh. Because that's sacred, too.

I bid you joy.

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 head facilitator 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.

Comments

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 25 March 2021

    I like the picture with the kitten. Thank you for sharing.

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