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 Hagia Triada Swinger: Minoan Playtime or Ritual?

One of the tricky bits about basing a modern spiritual practice on an ancient culture is interpreting the artifacts that archaeologists have discovered.

Case in point: The Hagia Triada Swinger (image above).

This is a ceramic model from the Minoan villa of Hagia Triada, with a female figure swinging between two posts topped by birds. The cords that originally held her up have long since disintegrated, but the marks they made are still present.

Could this simply be a lovely little decorative piece that reminded its owner of a favorite leisure time activity? Yes.

Could it be a depiction of a ritual activity that used swinging to induce trance states? Also yes.

In the ancient world, the lines between spirituality and the mundane world were quite blurry by our modern standards. So unless an object is found on an altar or shrine shelf, it can be difficult to determine how it was used. The so-called "villas" in Minoan-era Crete were probably religious houses, similar to medieval European monasteries and abbeys - smaller than the temples but also largely self-supporting. They would have housed people dedicated to the deities, whose lives revolved around religion but who also had personal interests as well.

In this case, even though we can't know for certain the original intent of this figurine, we can take inspiration from it: Make an offering, then spend some time swinging while calling to your favorite Minoan deity, allowing the rocking motion of the swing to open you up to whatever the deity wants to share with you.

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

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Saturday, 21 August 2021

    Thanks, Laura; I'd never seen this piece before. To judge from Minoan art generally, the presence of the birds certainly suggest a spiritual application.
    In Latvia, it's traditional to swing in the Spring--in particular, at Easter--to make the crops grow tall.
    In Bengal, there's a Festival of swings when they bring little images of Radha and Krishna outside and people take turns pushing them in a little swing. When I asked the pujari what it meant, he told me that "Swinging is one of Krishna's favorite pastimes."
    Reading up on the subject later, I discovered that "swinging is analogous to intercourse."
    Aha!

  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry Thursday, 02 September 2021

    Swinging is also a marvelous and fun method of trance induction. ;-)

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