The labrys-and-horns combination unites multiple layers of both masculine and feminine iconography in a way that reminds us of the egalitarian nature of Minoan religion and society: men and women, gods and goddesses as equals. It is also associated with our horned deities, as a horizon marker for making celestial observances, and with practices that have to do with uniting Above and Below.
We are a voluntary association of autonomous, self-governing local chapters and solitary practitioners who have freely chosen to pursue common goals together. We are a revivalist path that seeks to engage in a practice that is both aware of and relevant to the challenges and blessing of the situations we find ourselves in here and now. These goals include connecting with the Minoan gods and goddesses in the context of modern spiritual practice, as well as connecting with people from other traditions who have similar ideals and goals for fellowship and ritual.
We know that the term “Minoan” is not the name the ancient people of Crete used for themselves. It was coined by Sir Arthur Evans as he began the archeological exploration of Crete in the early 20th-Century. Though we greatly appreciate the contributions he made to our knowledge of the history and culture of Bronze Age Crete, we do not subscribe to his discredited opinion that the Minoans were Aryans, and you will not find “white identity” politics in our rituals, gatherings, or groups.
Modern Minoan Paganism is a welcoming path, happily open to people of any race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, ability level, disability, geographic location, language, education, or socio-economic status. Though you need to be over 18 years of age to join the tradition, children of members are welcome at rituals and events that both they and their parents are interested in.
We use the term “Minoan” because it has become the commonly-understood contemporary term for the people, culture and deities who inspired and are part of our spiritual path. We’re an independent spiritual tradition, not related to any other group or tradition that uses the term “Minoan.”
There is no requirement for ethnic heritage or blood ancestry from Crete in order to be part of Modern Minoan Paganism. As a group, we do not claim to originate from Crete or to be genetic descendants of the ancient Minoans. This path was started by 4 individuals who have spent most of their lives in North America. We came together because of a shared desire to make something meaningful where we are now.
Modern Minoan Paganism is a cultural activity, and cultures have always been flexible and able to reach across national and genetic boundaries to encompass those who felt called to join them. We are interested in creating a connection to deities and worldviews that were common over 4,000 years ago on the island of Crete, and before that in the places the people who lived there came from in what is often called Old Europe during the Neolithic period. Those people lived thousands of years before Greece (or any of the other currently-operating political entities) existed. It was not a time without tensions, but it was a time when people were grouped by what they did and which gods they worshiped more than by skin color or political boundaries.
It was also a time when the people of Minoan Crete were still using symbols in their religious practices that their ancestors had been using since the times when mammoths roamed and the people who hunted them painted the walls of caves. Such a long history suggests to us that these symbols connect those who use them to deep and meaningful experiences that have had tremendous value across the generations.
Through ongoing study and active practice with these same symbols, we seek to revive connections to the beauty and wonder that inspire us in what has come down to our time from Minoan times.