Laura Perry: Finding My Path

Apr 23rd, 2017 | By | Category: Articles, Pagan People

jhp5166f08f7c1dbIt’s been quite a roundabout path that has finally brought me to Modern Minoan Paganism. My first “Aha!” moment occurred during a high school art history class, when my teacher showed us a photo of the Bull Leaper fresco from Knossos. I remember getting goosebumps and having something “click” in the back of my mind. But those were the pre-Internet days, and for years all I could find about the Minoans in any context was the odd paragraph here or there in an encyclopedia or history text. I did have a recurring dream about a ritual involving the bull-god, but without any resources, I was left simply wondering at it.

Like many other Pagans, my first steps into the broader community involved Wiccan groups. I enjoyed the interaction with the pantheons those groups invoked: Celtic, Norse, the occasional bit of Egyptian or Hellenic Greek. But all that time, I kept feeling like I should be doing something else, something Minoan. Still, no obvious resources came my way. Then I was faced with completing a major project for my second degree in the group I belonged to at the time. The task involved writing a year’s worth of seasonal rituals and a lifetime’s worth of rites of passage focusing on the pantheon of my choice. I started the project several times with various familiar pantheons: Irish, Welsh, Norse. But I never got far, because each time, it was obvious I was going about it all wrong. Finally, I gave in to that ever-present little voice in the back of my mind and decided to base the project in the Minoan pantheon, even though I still had very little information about it. Amazingly, the whole set of rituals just flowed out of my pen like magic and the whole set was complete in a matter of weeks. Along in there somewhere, I found myself dedicated to a particular aspect of Ariadne, who has been an inspiration to me ever since. Then we set about enacting those rituals, paying attention to the “hints” the gods gave us that they might not be too pleased with the way we were doing this or that (blades knocked out of our hands by invisible forces, whole tables overturned, people tripping over thin air, you get the idea). Twenty years later, that set of well-worn (and hopefully well-polished) rituals became the “meat” of Ariadne’s Thread.

Right around the time I was creating that second degree project, the archaeological research on Crete picked up, providing a new set of information about the Minoans to complement the articles that were beginning to show up online. I was thrilled! Books, websites, journal articles… so much fodder for my spiritual practice. Still, I continued to practice in a roughly Wiccan format, with the occasional Norse blót thrown in for good measure, because that’s the format I was most familiar with.

b8f95e_f31df1778b1e405f94b6357f0e062711As the Internet grew and expanded, I went searching for a group that could help me learn more about the ancient Minoans and ways I could incorporate their pantheon into my modern spirituality. I never did find what I was looking for. Eventually, in frustration, I started a Facebook group and hoped against hope that there might be a few people out there who shared my interest, with whom I could forge a path, since there didn’t seem to be one already made. I was really surprised at the positive response I got—Ariadne’s Tribe now has over 700 members. Out of our discussions, we’ve developed a Minoan sacred calendar and a collection of ritual activities that work well for Pagans from a wide variety of backgrounds and that aren’t based on the Wiccan format, though some of them can be used within Wiccan ritual if desired. We’ve based our ideas on the scant information that’s available via archaeological remains, but we’ve also put a great deal of effort into connecting directly with the Minoan deities in the modern world: Rhea, Ariadne, Dionysus, Amalthea, and the others. There are a lot of blanks to fill in, and it makes sense to ask the gods themselves how they’d like us to do it, especially since we still can’t read the Linear A clay tablets the Minoans wrote almost 4000 years ago.

So now we have Modern Minoan Paganism, a spiritual path based on the pantheon of ancient Crete but tailored to those of us living in the modern world, connecting with the gods in the here and now. I’m thankful for that little voice that wouldn’t let up, that kept pointing me toward this path even when I thought there was nothing here. Because what’s here is golden and I’m continually grateful for it.

Ariadne’s Thread:

Buy the ebook – Amazon US Amazon UK Hive Indiebound

Buy the paperback –  Amazon US Amazon UK Hive Indiebound

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment