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Cretan Origins
Crown of Thetis
Ginette Paris:  myth evolves
The Sacred Marriage

--one door closes, --another one opens

Ariadne:  keeper of the labyrinths
Ariadne’s story teaches us that things may not always happen the way we expect or hope they will, but sometimes these unexpected turns on our paths can lead us to wonderful new options that we hadn’t even considered.
Roman Bath Murals -Couple (Red) Art Print by Marco Carloni

Offspring Theoi scours the ancient text looking for any and all references. Here are others they found:

texts [1.1] THOAS (by Dionysos) (Quintus Smyrnaeus 4.385, Apollonius Rhodius 4.425)
(by Dionysos) (Apollodorus E1.9)
[1.3] OINOPION (by Dionysos) (Anacreon Frag 505e, Diodorus Siculus 5.79.1)
[1.4] OINOPION, STAPHYLOS (by Dionysos or Theseus) (Plutarch Theseus 20.1)
[2.1] PHLIASOS, EURYMEDON (by Dionysos)
(Hyginus Fabulae 14)

Sea Woman of the Islands From Crete

The mythical stories about Ariadne refer to places of her influence and her worshipping. Her cult spread from Crete over the islands Naxos, Delos, Cyprus, Chios, Lemnos to Athens and Peloponnes, specially Argos. Due to her influence over the islands she was sometimes named "the sea woman." The Ariadne's cult on Naxos was performed also with the orgiastic rites  together with lamentations and expressions of sorrow
In Amathus on Cyprus she was worshipped as Ariadne Aphrodite.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, is honored not only by making love, but by seeing and creating beauty and loving life.
In Pagan Meditations, Ginette Paris writes that "sex games have their place among interesting leisure-time activities. But what has happened to sexuality as an initiation into the realm of the sacred?"

The Sun, hearth of tenderness and life,
Pours burning love over the delighted earth,
And, when one lies down in the valley, one smells
How the earth is nubile and rich in blood;
How its huge breast, raised by a soul,
Is made of love, like God, and of flesh, like woman,
And how it contains, big with sap and rays of light,
The vast swarming of all embryos!
And everything grows, and everything rises!
--O Venus, O Goddess!
Rimbaud, Soleil et Chair

Dionysus, the god was linked in mythology with only one major female, Ariadne.
Ariadne's divine origins were submerged and she became known as the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who conquered Athens after his son was murdered there. The Athenians were required to
theseus-labyrinth.jpgsacrifice seven young men and seven maidens each year to the Minotaur. One year, the sacrificial party included Theseus, a young man who volunteered to come and kill the Minotaur.

Ariadne fell in love at the first sight of him, andDownload  helped him by giving him a magic sword and a ball of thread so that he could find his way out the Minotaur's labyrinth. She ran away with Theseus after he achieved his goal, and according to Homer was punished by Artemis with death, but in Hesiod and most others accounts, he left her sleeping on Naxos, and Dionysus wedded her.

The Sleeping Ariadne in Vatican Museum

Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, after helping Theseus to escape from the labyrinth, was carried by him to the island of Naxos and was left there asleep, while the ungrateful Theseus pursued his way home without her. Ariadne, on waking and finding herself deserted, abandoned herself to grief.

Aphrodite acts as matchmaker to the marriage of Ariadne & Dionysos

But Venus (Aphrodite) took pity on her, and consoled her with the promise that she should have an immortal lover, instead of the mortal one she had lost.  
The island where Ariadne was left was the favourite island of Bacchus, the same that he wished the Tyrrhenian mariners to carry him to, when they so treacherously attempted to make prize of him. As Ariadne sat lamenting her fate, Bacchus found her, consoled her, and made her his wife. As a marriage present he gave her a golden crown, enriched with gems, and when she died, he took her crown and threw it up into the sky. This golden crown was from Thetis, a work of Hephaestus. As it mounted the gems grew brighter and were turned into stars, and preserving its form Ariadne's crown remains fixed in the heavens as a constellation, between the kneeling Hercules and the man who holds the serpent.

Others have said that the crown was given to Ariadne by Theseus after having taken it from the depth of the sea. For when Theseus came to Crete with the youths there was a dispute between him and King Minos who, refusing to believe that Theseus was Poseidon's son, drew a gold ring from his finger and cast it into the sea, where it could be easily found by a son of Poseidon.

Theseus is awarded the crown of Thetis, Queen of the mermaids or  Nereids These 50 beautiful daughters of Nereus and Doris dwell in the
Mediterranean Sea and are friendly and helpful towards sailors fighting perilous storms. They are believed to be able to prophesize. They belong to the retinue of Poseidon

So Theseus cast himself into the sea and brought back, not only the ring of Minos but also the crown that the Nereid Thetis had received from Aphrodite as a wedding gift.  (Some say this was presented to him by Thetis or her sister Amphitrite.)  Theseus having proved both his lineage and courage he received the attentions of Ariadne who conspired to escape her small island for the excitement and allure of the big city of Athens.

Araidne is the one who chooses Theseus, finding him attractive and falling in love with him. She also sees a way to escape from the house of her father King Minos. In exchange for her help in winning the fight against the Minotaur and the labyrinth she makes Theseus promise to take her to Athens. She wishes to control her destiny and realizes this will take initiative and planning and consults the builder of the labyrinth which holds the Minotaur, Daedalus. Together they craft a way out of the maze using a ball of thread. Theseus's type of courage is needed to kill the Minotaur but without the aid of the creative idea his brute strength alone would not have succeeded.

Ariadne sets sail  from Crete with her hero Theseus, but only goes so far. She falls asleep to avoid a path she no longer needs to follow to escape her hero husband whose next chapters will bring great grief to his political family who value power over love. Through sleep she is able to change her destiny.

Her next suitor, Dionysus, is divine but not so heroic.  He promises a trip to Olympus but he is a needy god who lives in his own labyrinth of emotions and sensations. Ariadne is the mistress of this labyrinth that will allow for a happy love affair.


Ariadne began as a Cretan fertility goddess and was transformed in patriarchal Greek myth to a mortal human but what is her role in understanding today's gender relationships
"And when, by the virgin Ariadne's help, the difficult entrance, which no former adventurer had ever reached again, was found by winding up theThe image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. thread, straightway the son of Aegeus, taking Minos' daughter, spread his sails for Dia; and on that shore he cruelly abandoned his companion." (Ovid, trans. Miller; book VIII, line 172-176)

'I will never love again, and therefore in some sense I will never live again', cries the deserted Ariadne in Richard Strauss' opera. At the moment of her deepest despair, Dionysos is heard singing off-stage. She hails him as the longed-for messenger of death. But when he appears before her, she recognized in him her true lover for whom, transformed throughThe image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. her pain, she is now ready

Feminist mythologist Ginette Paris spent many years questioning whether Ariadne play the archetypal dupe so oftened bestowed on the heroine my patriarchal leanings of the very long line of story tellers before her.
"Ariadne helps Theseus get his M.D. or Ph.D by doing
secretarial work, and when his career is in full swing, he asks for a divorce and leaves her...she looks like a trophy for Dionysos at the end of his voyage of conquest."

"If a myth could be outmoded it wouldn't be a myth any longer. It would no longer trigger the imaginative process, nor event even the irritation that is often a sign that the myth needs to be reinterpreted.... In this case the fact is that, when Ariadne wake up, the ship is setting sail. But what sort of fiction will one weave around that fact? One can say Ariadne misses the boat, or that she gets off that particular boat, or that she is abandoned. Same fact, but a different consciousness of it."
Ginette Paris Pagan Grace pg42

The Sacred Marriage
Soon after marrying  Ariadne gave birth to many famous children -- first of all to Staphylos, Thoas and Oinopion. The last two became the kings of the islands Lemnos and Chios. Staphylus,
is the son of Dionysus who accompanies Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. Also on this journey is Orpheus a priest of the cult of Dionysus who embodies a greater knowledge of Greek science of the soul. Both Dionysian and Orphic mysteries used the archetypal patterns of their stories to initiatate the soul into a spiritual reality.

People who just engage in sex as a fun game, as something exciting like that, don't realize what they're doing. Then you don't have the sacramentalization. And the whole reason marriage is a sacrament is that it lets you know what the hell is correct and what isn't, and what's going on here. A male and female coming together with the possibility of another life coming out of it - that's a big act. --Joseph Campbell--

 Ariadne, Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones 1863/1864
The Armand Hammer Collection
She remained faithful to Dionysus, but was later killed by Perseus at Argos.  Dionysos however descends into Hades and brings her and his mother Semele back. They then join the gods in Olympus.

A more adopted version has her crown become a star constellation in the heavens after her death and trip to Olympus

Minoan-Greek Fertility Goddess

Ariadne ("utterly pure," from a Cretan-Greek form for arihagne) was a fertility goddess of Crete. Her name is merely an epithet, for she was originally the "Mistress of the Labyrinth", both a prison with the dreaded Minotaur at its center and a winding dance-ground. She was especially worshipped on Naxos, Delos, Cyprus, and in Athens. (The Romans called their comparable goddess Libera and their poets associated her with Minoan-Greek Ariadne.)
Crete competes with Turkey's are ceramic Neolithic remains that date to approximately 7000 BC. Little is known of Europe's first great civilization which was likely destroyed in a great cataclysmic event, however Minoan sacred symbols include the bull and its horns of consecration, the labrys (double-headed axe), the pillar, the serpent, the sun-disk, and the tree
The women with whom Dionysus is most intimately associated reach a state of glory only by passing through deep sorrow


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