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 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.

But there are some whose names did not survive the LBA collapse. For instance, dance ethnology and comparative religion research demonstrate that, like other pre-Indo-European cultures across Eurasia, the Minoans had a Sun goddess. But with the coming of the Indo-Europeans, those goddesses disappeared or changed form so they were no longer recognizable, to make way for the Indo-European solar gods.

So we have no idea what the Minoans called their Sun goddess. But when we began seeking her out, the name that worked for us in terms of connecting with her turned out to be Therasia.

Likewise with our god Korydallos. We don't know what the Minoans called him, but when we use this name, he responds in a positive manner.

This is part of why we call MMP a revivalist tradition and not a reconstructionist one. There are some pieces of information that we'll probably never be able to retrieve, even if we eventually find enough Linear A tablets to do a proper decipherment of the script.

These deities continue to exist, even if their old names have been swallowed into the mists of time. We live in a different world than the Minoans did, with different mindsets and lifeways. But we can still connect with the Minoan deities, even if we don't know their original names.

I'm immensely grateful for that.

In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.

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Laura Perry is an artist, writer, and the founder and facilitator of Modern Minoan Paganism. The Minoans of Bronze Age Crete have been a passion of hers since a fateful art history class introduced her to the frescoes of Knossos back in high school. Her first book was published in 2001; one of her most recent works is Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. She has also created a Minoan Tarot deck and a Minoan coloring book. 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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