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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The Minoan Pantheon: Sun Goddess and Moon God

A lot of people show up in Ariadne's Tribe expecting to find a Minoan Moon goddess. Heck, I expected one when I first began incorporating the Minoan pantheon into my spiritual practice decades ago. Imagine my surprise when our research turned up a Minoan Sun goddess instead. (And a bunch of other goddesses, for that matter. There is no single "Minoan goddess" the way Sir Arthur Evans conceived of Minoan religion; like everyone else in the Bronze Age, the Minoans were polytheists.)

The trick to understanding why there's a Minoan Sun goddess and Moon god and not the other way around has to do with who the Minoans were and where they came from.

Many of us are familiar with cultures that had Sun gods and Moon goddesses - the Hellenic and Roman pantheons, for instance.

But those are Indo-European pantheons, and the Minoans were not Indo-European.

Their ancestors came down to the Aegean from Anatolia during the Neolithic era, around 10,000-9,000 BCE, during one of several major waves of migration south and west into Europe and the Mediterranean. They were part of Old Europe, before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, and are sometimes called paleo-Europeans. Please note that this does not mean they were "white" in any modern sense of the word; DNA evidence is clear that their skin was brown, as were their eyes. The red and chalky white skin tones in Minoan art are purely symbolic.

So the Minoans weren't Indo-European. The layer of population they came from belongs to the older stratum from across Eurasia, and that stratum had Sun goddesses and Moon gods. You can still see remnants of this pre-Indo-European layer in some pantheons, where older deities were incorporated in with the newer Indo-European ones. The Norse deities Sunna (Sun goddess) and Mani (Moon god) are examples of this. Of course, there are also Sun goddesses from places besides Europe (Mesopotamia, Japan, Egypt), but since the Minoans were a Europe-based culture, I'm focusing just on that region here.

So, like the other pre-Indo-European cultures in Europe, the Minoans had a Sun goddess and a Moon god. It's even likely that Artemis and Europa/Pasiphae were originally Sun goddesses. So again I'll recommend a couple of good books about Sun goddesses. And I'll remind you that change happens in living traditions, even if that's uncomfortable.

It's our obligation, as practicing Pagans, to do right by the deities to the best of our ability. That includes doing our research as well as listening to them when they communicate with us.

So blessings upon Therasia and Minos. May their light shine in your life and bring you all good things.

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.

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