Ariadne's Thread; Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in our Modern Lives is an incredible book that really brings to life the ancient Minoans in both a day to day aspect as well as in their spiritual lives. Written by Laura Perry this book includes information about their society, caste system, what they wore, how they made their living as well as their religious, spiritual and magical practices. There is great emphasis placed upon the positions religious officiants played in Minoan life.  This shows just how important religion and spirituality were to them as a people. At the end of the book Perry includes a bibliography full of resources which lends credibility to her historical and anthropological information. There is also an index at the end and a list of illustrations is included at the beginning.

Organized in three sections, Ariadne's Thread paints an informative picture about the ancient Minoans. The first section is more historical and anthropological; giving information about how they lived in general including a brief history of Crete and then goes into painting a picture of their society, which helps the reader understand the very important role religion played in the Minoan life.  Parts two and three give basic ritual outlines, the Wheel of the Year in part two and rites such as initiation, marriage and a new child blessing being in part three.  Some of the rituals included in part two are a new moon ritual, a spring ritual and an autumn harvest ritual.  It was nice to see that Perry didn't just shove these into the standard Wiccan Wheel of the Year. The rituals are actually quite lovely, showing the reader the basic framework for rituals for the Minoans but also allowing the individual to personalize it to their own tastes, practices and belief systems. 

While this book is mainly about the goddess Ariadne, chapter five includes great information about the Minoan pantheon in general where Perry does a wonderful job, as she does throughout the entire book, exploring and explaining the results of Greek influence. One thing I really liked about this chapter is that it's not just an encyclopedic list of deities.  Perry goes in to detail about the deities, their positions in the pantheon, symbols, the places the deities had in Minoan's daily lives and so forth. This added detail can really help the reader understand the Minoan's spirituality on a more complete level. 

There are also many illustrations throughout the book, at least the first six taken from historical sources, which really can help the reader visualize things. Throughout this entire book is it plainly obvious that Perry has worked very hard to keep this information as culturally and historically accurate as possible. There are sections where she ensures to state that historical finds are inconclusive but seem to point in a certain direction. She also ensures to point where other cultural influences have come in to play. This is wonderful and refreshing.

I highly recommend this book.

~review by: Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Laura Perry
Moon Books; 2013
pp. 212, $22.95

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