Dana came to Modern Minoan Paganism by a peculiarly complicated route: a combination of Wicca, art history, and fantasy.
She was initiated into the Mohsian Tradition, one of the so-called British Traditional lines, in the 1970s. At the time, and for about a decade afterward, there was a powerful Minoan connection in British Traditional Wicca. Doreen Valiente’s first book, Where Witchcraft lives, spoke of legends in Somerset that Witchcraft was brought to England by refugees from the fall of Atlantis, and the belief by many people that “Atlantis” meant Crete. Gerald Gardner, putative founder of modern Wicca, used a replica of the Minoan Snake Goddess on his altar as far back as the early 60s, perhaps earlier – we only know the date of the photo.
The several fantasies by Thomas Burnett Swan set in Minoan Crete ignited more interest, as did a freshman art history class in which everything in the section on Crete looked familiar – not in the sense of “I’ve seen this picture before” but in the sense of “yes, I know these images, these places.” She felt like she’d been there. Articles in the Pagan press, notably “The Green Egg,” spoke eloquently and quasi-scientifically of Crete, then narrowing the focus to its satellite city on Thera, as Atlantis. Today we know that’s probably not true, but it was part of the process.
Over the years other things intervened and her interest in Minoan Crete faded but remained in the background. In addition to the Craft, Dana also got involved in Druidry, and began writing more extensively. Then one day a few years ago, on a whim, she typed “Minoan” into the Facebook search window and found Ariadne’s Tribe, just in time for it to take off like mad. And here we are!
Dana, her husband, and their cat have lived for the last 16 years on an island in Puget Sound. The parallels to Crete are almost spooky.