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Minoan Deities

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:12 pm

Would it be acceptable for a modern Hellenist to add the Minoan Snake Goddess, or any other Minoan Deities, to their worship of the Greek Gods?
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Re: Minoan Deities

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:04 pm

Would it be acceptable for a modern Hellenist to add the Minoan Snake Goddess, or any other Minoan Deities, to their worship of the Greek Gods?

Forgive me, but I have to step in here as a scholar and academic and debunk some fallacies here.  

The 'Minoan snake goddess' is a hypothetical title given to a figurine found in a Cretan excavation. There is actually no particular evidence to indicate that it even represents a deity at all (although plenty of new-agers and occultists would like to believe it does). It could just as easily represent a woman performing a serpent-handling religious practice among the Eteocretan people (which is more probable), or perhaps even something else of which we haven't any knowledge at all, due to our almost total lack of certain knowledge about this culture.

Culturally and religiously, we really know virtually nothing at all whatsoever about the 'Minoans' with any certainty; almost all sociocultural descriptions of these people are based on marginally-evidenced conjectures. 

We do not know of any 'Minoan deities', so whether or not one should venerate them is sort of a moot point. They may not have even had a systematic religion at all for all we know. 

We're pretty sure we know the word 'total' or 'sum' in their language (although that is even debatable), we know they were good fishermen, good fresco artists, and good architects. We have a pretty good idea of what kind of clothing they probably wore, and what items they traded. We think they probably did some dance, ceremony or athletic event involving jumping over live bulls (although the actuality of this, as well as any meaning behind it, is total guesswork). Beyond that, these people are a complete mystery to us. 

I have to be plainly honest, whoever told you about 'Minoan deities' either made it up him/herself, or got it from somebody who did.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Minoan Deities

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:09 pm

I come here precisely to gain your scholarly opinion, friend. Thanks.
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Re: Minoan Deities

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:19 pm

You're very welcome.

If you're fond of Eteocretan artistry, however, there is certainly no reason you could not display it in your home.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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