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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Modern Minoan Paganism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan 3D Offerings

The Minoans were big on offerings. They made all manner of offering stands, libation pitchers, and other paraphernalia for their altars and shrines. And they used these ritual vessels to hold items and substances such as bread, fruit, flowers, wine, honey, seeds, and even wool.

But there are some interesting ritual vessels from Palaikastro that come pre-filled with little ceramic offerings. Were these models of offerings meant to replace the real thing? To be a reinforcement of what was put in the offering dish? Or to be some other kind of symbol - a reference to the deity the offering was given to, for instance, or a depiction of what they wanted the deities to protect?

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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.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The trouble with Minoan deity names

You may have noted that in these blog posts I use phrases like "the god we call Korydallos" or "the goddess we call Therasia." That's because we have an interesting conundrum with some of the Minoan deities: we don't know what the Minoans called them.

Some deity names survived the Late Bronze Age collapse intact, eventually being subsumed into the Hellenic pantheon: Rhea, Eileithyia, and Dionysus are well-known examples. Others were "demoted" to human characters in myth and legend (Minos, for example, and Ariadne). But we still know their names - that part of them was not lost over time, even if their characteristics changed due to cultural pressure as the Greeks came to power and the Minoans disappeared from view.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
If it's fake, can it still be inspiring?

Forged artifacts are a fact of life in the archaeological community. How should we, as Pagans who rely on archaeology for our religion, relate to these objects?

I've written before about the problems with the large numbers of forged Minoan artifacts that are still in circulation, many of them in museums. Thankfully, the museums are now recognizing the lack of authenticity and provenance of many of these forgeries and sharing that information with the public.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Trickle-Down Archaeology

Sir Arthur Evans believed that the huge building at Knossos was the legendary King Minos' palace and the big buildings in the other Minoan cities were the palaces of Minos' brothers and rivals. A century later, the signs at most of the Minoan sites still identify these buildings as palaces despite the fact that Evans' theories have been discredited and archaeologists now agree that the structures were temple complexes, not palaces.

A few archaeologists are notorious for taking their students through museums and pointing out the inaccuracies on the placards that describe Minoan artifacts (museum curators are not usually archaeologists and don't always communicate with archaeologists about the artifacts on display). So people visit the museums and come away with some incorrect notions.

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Modern Minoan Paganism: Orthopraxy, not Orthodoxy

I recently wrote about the idea that no one owns the gods, but traditions have rules to follow. In other words, no one can tell you what to believe, but if you want to be a part of a named spiritual tradition, you have to practice according to their guidelines.

Practicing the outward, physical part of your spirituality according to a tradition's rules is called orthopraxy. The word roots literally mean "correct practice" or "correct action."

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Minoan Subcultures and the Sacred Calendar

We tend to think of ancient cultures as monolithic: the Minoans, the Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans. But there were subcultures and differing groups within those larger labels, just like there are now among, say, Americans or modern Greek people.

It can be difficult to tease out the identities of the subcultures, but it's important to do so. Why? Because choosing not to bother has the effect of erasing those people from history. I think they deserve better than that.

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