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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ecstasy
Minoan Ecstatic Postures: Syncing with the divine

When I tell people that part of my spiritual practice involves ecstatic body postures, most of them look at me like I've grown a second head. The practice of assuming a specific pose and holding it while slipping into trance goes back millennia in many different cultures around the world, but it's a practice that isn't very well known in modern times. I'd like to change that.

Ecstasy isn't a word we hear very often in terms of Pagan spirituality, but I think humans are hard-wired for it. In fact, I think the modern world is ecstasy deprived and many of us are looking for that kind of experience, the numinous alive within and around us.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Epiphany: Come on Down!

Have any deities ever appeared to you? If the artwork is any indication, they seem to have put in a few appearances to the Minoans of ancient Crete. It's likely the Minoan clergy practiced ritual trance possession, and it's also possible the deities appeared to worshipers in visions during rituals.

The image up top is the Isopata ring, a gold seal ring from a Minoan-era tomb near Knossos. The scene shows four women, presumably priestesses, dancing ecstatically in a field of lilies. Interesting stuff floats around their heads: snake-like serpentine lines, a beehive, and... a small female figure.

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Minoan Ecstasy: Filling the empty spaces

What's missing in modern life (and most modern western religion) that sends people in search of everything from Peruvian ayahuasca rituals to Native American sweat lodges and peyote ceremonies? Ecstasy.

I don't mean the street drug, but the state of consciousness that takes us out of the ordinary and transports us closer to the numinous, the divine.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Years ago I took my mother to a Maundy Thursday service at her church. I could feel the energy rising and I looked forward to a m
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    That kind of experience is all too common, especially among the Protestant traditions, where 'a bunch of people sitting around in

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Let's Celebrate the Feast of Grapes

It's time for the grape harvest! In Ariadne's Tribe, the last day of August is the Feast of Grapes, the celebration of the grape harvest and the death of the vine-god Dionysus.

The Feast of Grapes is set on a particular calendar date for the convenience of modern Pagans. In ancient Crete, the harvest happened when the grapes were just the right ripeness for picking. Depending on the weather and other influences, the date might have varied by as much as a week or two from year to year.

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Are we ecstasy deprived?

There are many aspects of the ancient world that I’m happy to do without: the danger of infection in an era before antibiotics; the difficulty of communicating over long distances at anything other than a snail’s pace; the lack of sanitation and running water in many places (though the cities of ancient Crete did have well-planned sewer systems).

So yes, it’s good that we've left some things behind. But in our progress, we've also left behind something beneficial, something the human spirit needs: ecstasy.

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