The Rambling Writer Returns to Crete, part 20: The Minoan Earth Goddess

Treasures in the Iraklion Museum of Archaeology illustrate the story of the ancient goddess of nature and fertility.

NOTE: Of course, Thor and I had to make another trip to Greece, as he’s fallen as much in love with the islands as I am. This time, in addition to other island-hopping, I wanted to return to Crete after 37 years. My first months-long trip was as a hippie backpacker, camping in the ruins and falling under the spell of the mysterious, vanished Minoan culture. This time, I got to introduce Thor to “glorious Kriti” and research more settings for my novel-in-progress, THE ARIADNE DISCONNECT. This new blog series started October 19, 2019, and will continue every Saturday.

As I’ve discussed in previous posts in this series, our sketchy understanding of Minoan (or Keftiu) history is mostly based on the physical remnants of artifacts and architecture. Historians and archaeologists are still putting the puzzle pieces together. However, from the evidence and correlations with known Earth Goddess worship (under various names) around the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt, and Middle East, it seems clear that the most important Minoan deity was the (unnamed) Goddess who was the personification of Nature. As we’ve seen in the frescoes and other art, these people seemed to take joy in the bountiful nature — plants, animals, sea — surrounding them. Images of the Minoan goddess are often associated with fruitful outdoor settings and animals. And because she is also associated with sacred serpents of underground mysteries and regeneration, she is also a chthonic (deep earth) goddess who represents elemental powers, such as the frequent earthquakes in this region. She is also frequently depicted as descending from the sky, so she really covered all the bases!

She is the very image of the near-future Ariadne in my novels, descended from a long line of Princess/Priestess Ariadnes on Crete — but more on that below….

Because our Book View Cafe website server at this point may not handle many photos, I’m posting my complete blog entries on my own author website at www.sarastamey.com, where you can finish this episode and enjoy all the accompanying photos. Please continue reading by clicking on the link below, then you can return here (use “go back” arrow above) to comment, ask questions, or join a conversation. We love your responses!

https://sarastamey.com/the-rambling-writer-returns-to-crete-part-20-the-minoan-earth-goddess/

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You will find The Rambling Writer’s blog posts here every Saturday. Sara’s latest novel from Book View Cafe is available in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection.  It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?”  The novel has received the Chanticleer Global Thriller Grand Prize and the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction. Sara has recently returned from another research trip in Greece and is back at work on the sequel, The Ariadne Disconnect. Sign up for her quarterly email newsletter at www.sarastamey.com

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The Rambling Writer Returns to Crete, part 20: The Minoan Earth Goddess — 4 Comments

  1. One of the things I appreciate about the later art are the hair styles. We can’t know how or when those evolved, but I wish we could trace the history of grace. Or what we perceive as grace. It’s there, in hints; the brief lines of animals on cave walls thousands of years ago.

    Yes, it seems very right to make Ariadne a dancer. In fact I can’t imagine those lovely places being without music. I imagine it echoing along walls and in valleys.

    • Thanks, Sherwood! Ah, Grace…. Dancing does seem to dwell in the hearts of Greeks, as we saw last week with the dancer/excavator at the Armeni cemetery site. And, yes, the Greek “hills are alive with the sound of music.”

  2. Boy I would love to see that bare breasted woman with the snakes crawling down her arms and those wild eyes in a dream sequence in a movie. That would be memorable!

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