Minoan gods and goddesses list
Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism by Laura PerryThe labrys and horns—powerful symbols of ancient Minoan spirituality— are every bit as relevant now as they were in Crete all those centuries ago. They speak to an inner need for balance that we all feel from time to time. But even more important, they call to us to remember a time not so long ago when women were valued as equals to men, when the Great Mother Goddess took care of all Her children, and when the sacred touched every person every day of their lives. Come with me as we journey to the magical land of Minoan Crete, whose gods and goddesses are still very much alive today. We’ll meet the Minotaur, who isn’t really a monster at all, and discover his secret at the center of Ariadne’s Labyrinth. We’ll dance with Dionysus at the grape harvest and make our offerings to the Ancestors at their tombs. Most of all, we’ll discover how these ancient symbols and deities are still full of power today. They are so very vital to our modern Pagan lives at this important time in history, when we’re moving forward out of the days of inequality and oppression. Let’s make our journey hand-in-hand with the gods and goddesses of ancient Crete. Let’s bring them alive again and let them touch our hearts.
The Minoan Pantheon: Deities A-Plenty
What ultimately gives a culture its character is its thought, and that - in a prehistoric context - is the most elusive characteristic of all. Nevertheless, the Minoans left thousands of clues to guide us. To begin with, a very large number of the objects recovered from archaeological sites had a ritual function, and many of the images carved on sealstones and painted on wall plaster and pottery show religious symbols, rituals, or mythic events. It is becoming clear now, from such studies as those of Nanno Marinatos at Akrotiri on Thera and of Mark Cameron at Knossos, that even some of the apparently purely decorative schemes on Minoan walls are actually religious in intention. What emerges from the archaeology is a culture steeped in religion. The Minoan belief-system was extremely complex and we can, in the absence of detailed, first-hand, documentary evidence, only make inferences about it. What is clear is that it evolved out of the neolithic Cretan religion and that the religion of the classical Greeks at least in part grew out of it.
The earliest goddess figurines found on Crete date from Neolithic times and thus from its first settlers, who supposedly came from Anatolia. These goddess-figurines were found together with figurines of birds and other animals, all typical of the whole Eurasian region since the Ice Age. The Labyris was as important, powerful and omnipresent a symbol to the Minoan religion as the Cross is to Christianity and the crescent to Islam. The symbol itself is very ancient. Representations of it dated to the Paleolithic have been found in caves at Niaux in south-west France, and the Neolithic Halaf culture in Iraq The labyris was characteristic of Neolithic cultures of the Tarn and Garonne.