The Minoan Tradition
Article ID: 3600
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,484
Times Read: 38,666
Author: Garan du
Posted: August 26th. 2001
Times Viewed: 38,666
(Written by Garan du)
Introduction & History:
The Minoan Tradition is a path of Witchcraft based primarily in an ancient Cretan context, with influences from Aegean and Ancient Near Eastern mythology. The Minoan Tradition has three branches: the Minoan Brotherhood, the Minoan Sisterhood, and the Cult of Rhea. The Minoan Brotherhood exclusively serves the male members of the Minoan Tradition, while the Minoan Sisterhood is devoted solely to the female members. The Cult of Rhea, also known as the Cult of the Double Axe, represents a meeting ground between the two same-sex branches of the Minoan Tradition. One must be a properly prepared Initiate of the Minoan Brotherhood or the Minoan Sisterhood in order to participate in the Cult of Rhea/Cult of the Double Axe, as it has no separate existence of its own. In classification, the Minoan Tradition is uniquely American in its construction and representative of its era of foundation, namely during the sexual revolution of the 1970s. The Minoan Tradition is not a branch of British Traditional Witchcraft (BTW) as its origins are clearly rooted in the United States and it cannot trace an uninterrupted lineage to a BTW path. The Minoan Tradition is also technically not a form of Traditional Witchcraft because it is distinctly geared towards same-sex worship, which is contrary to all known paths of Traditional Witchcraft, whether hereditary or BTW. Therefore, in classification the Minoan Tradition is best described as a BTW-influenced or BTW-derived initiatory mystery path.
Edmund M. "Eddie" Buczynski (Minos Gwydion-Hyakinthos) combined the knowledge garnered from his participation in various Witchcraft traditions and Pagan groups with his research on the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean in order to found the Minoan Brotherhood in 1977. The Minoan Brotherhood was conceived to celebrate the male mysteries and, in particular, to create a safe and sacred place for gay and bisexual men to work Witchcraft. Within months of the Brotherhood's founding, a small group of priestesses in the Wica Tradition began working with the materials devised by Eddie, Lady Rhea, and Lady Miw-Sekhmet to form the Minoan Sisterhood. With the creation of the Minoan Sisterhood, the Minoan Tradition came into being as a fully formed Tradition that embraces both men's and women's Mysteries.
While Eddie Buczynski passed into the Summerlands in 1989, the Tradition that he founded lives on. Since its birth in New York City, the Minoan Brotherhood has active groves throughout the U.S. and into Canada. The Minoan Sisterhood grew quickly from its founding, but has largely remained a phenomenon of the greater New York City area, where it remains active to this day.
We are an initiatory Mystery Tradition employing three degrees of Initiation and Elevation that serve to mark varying levels of advancement, responsibility, and involvement with the Mysteries. Our Covens or Groves are each run by a 3rd Degree member of the Tradition. Membership is by initiation, and we trace the lineage of each member back to Eddie Buczynski. After achieving the 3rd Degree, an individual is empowered to lead a new Coven/Grove if he or she so wishes. As with most Witchcraft Traditions, Minoan Covens/Groves tend to be non-proselytizing and selective about public involvement. As a Mystery Tradition, the Minoan Tradition maintains its Mysteries and Rites in secret.
Core Beliefs & Rituals:
The Minoan Tradition blends elements of pre-Doric Aegean mythology (primarily Minoan-Mycenaean) and the ancient Near East, within a BTW-influenced ritual framework. The core beliefs of the Minoan Tradition center on the worship of the ancient Cretan Snake Goddess (the Great Mother of the Aegean civilizations) and Her Divine Son (the Starry One or Bull of Heaven) . A strong current of queer spirituality runs through the practices of the Minoan Brotherhood. The Sisterhood, which started exclusively as a lesbian pathway, has since expanded to include heterosexual women. Each Coven/Grove is free to develop their own practices in addition to the framework established by our core materials.
We celebrate our rites at the thirteen Full Moons and eight Festivals of the Wheel. The Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood work separately at the Moons, which are dedicated to the working of magic and spiritual development. Our Festivals are rooted in Aegean cycles and myths, are largely celebratory in nature, and differ somewhat from the common Sabbat cycle associated with most Wiccan Traditions. The Sisterhood and Brotherhood may come together to celebrate at the Festivals under the auspices of the Cult of Rhea/Cult of the Double Axe. We work with other necessary rites of passage and rituals on an as-needed basis. Working tools and their uses are similar to British Traditional Witchcraft, but are also unique to our particular path.
Standards of Conduct:
There is no one absolute code of conduct that is common to the entire Minoan Tradition. The Laws of the Minoan Brotherhood and those of the Minoan Sisterhood provide the framework within which each of the two Branches operates. The most important of the Laws is the First, which enjoins the Minoan to practice "Love Unto All Beings" Minoan Initiates are, in most Covens/Groves, encouraged to develop a personal ethic based upon the Laws. While the Wiccan Rede is neither taught nor ascribed to as an absolute that must be adhered to, many Minoan Elders see it as good advice against which to measure one's actions. Each Coven/Grove is autonomous and self- sustaining within the Tradition.
Role of Clergy:
Only 3rd Degree Elders may function as Coven/Grove Leaders within our Tradition, though some Elders have adopted the practice of allowing 2nd Degrees to form Pagan Training Groves in preparation for Elevation to 3rd Degree. The role of the 3rd Degree High Priest or High Priestess is to lead the rituals, to Initiate, train, and Elevate students, and to counsel our people.
Reading and Other References:
No published information on the inner workings of the Minoan Tradition, apart from short informational works such as this one, is available to the public. As a Mystery Tradition we value our privacy and secrecy to preserve the sacredness and wonder of the spiritual quest. However, the following books are recommended readings, which may provide some limited insight into the Minoan Tradition.
Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol - Nanno Marinatos
The Goddess and the Warrior: The Naked Goddess and Mistress of the Animals in Early Greek Religion - Nanno Marinatos
The Minoans: Bronze Age Life in Early Crete - Rodney Castleden
Blossom of Bone - Randy P. Conner
Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth - Joseph A. Macgillivray
Myths of Crete and Pre-Hellenic Europe - Donald A. MacKenzie
Never Again the Burning Times: Paganism Revisited - Loretta Orion
The Bull from the Sea - Marie Renault
The King Must Die - Marie Renault
Pagan Rituals III - Herman Slater (based on the writings of Edmund Buczynski)
Location: Columbus, New York
Author's Profile: To learn more about Garan du - Click HERE
Bio: Garan du has been a practicing Third Degree High Priest in the Minoan Brotherhood since 2002, and is the biographer of the Minoan Tradition's founder, Eddie Buczynski.
Other Articles: Garan du has posted 6 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
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