This month's full moon altar honours the Minoan civilization which flourished about 4,000 years ago in Ancient Crete. It appears to have been a peaceful and prosperous Goddess-centred culture. Unfortunately, it was ultimately conquered and destroyed by its more warlike patriarchal neighbours.
The Minoan Snake Goddess is at the top of the altar, holding her snakes symbolizing wisdom, power and healing. A larger snake wriggles in front of the Minoan Labyrinth, another powerful spiritual symbol originating in Ancient Crete. An accompanying goddess (or perhaps a priestess) holds a Labrys in each hand, the double-headed axe which also honours the Divine Feminine.
I bought my Minoan Snake Goddess statue in Toronto many years ago. It is modelled on the statues excavated at the beginning of the 20th century from the ruins of the Palace of Knossos in Crete. Her dress emphasizes the sacred vulva which creates all life and her breasts are exposed, not to be sexually enticing to men which would be our culture's interpretation, but to attest that the Goddess sustains and nourishes all life as a mother does with her breastmilk.
The accompanying Labrys-wielding figurine is a modern statue obtained many years ago from Sacred Source. The Labrys is an immensely old fertility symbol designed to represent the vulva's butterfly-like double labia. It occupied a prominent place in Minoan religious rituals. Today the Labrys remains a powerful symbol of the Divine Feminine, as well as being a modern feminist and lesbian symbol.
I bought the Labyrinth art in Winnipeg about 30 years ago. A local artisan had laser-carved it onto a scrap piece of polished granite. This style of labyrinth which developed in Ancient Crete was (and remains) sacred to the Great Goddess, as evidenced by its circular shape (a central symbol of the Divine Feminine). The four rounded turns within the labyrinth are still known as "the breasts of the Goddess." May 1st is World Labyrinth Day so that's why I chose the Minoan/Cretan theme for this month's full moon altar.
An Edmonton friend who was a gifted painter, poet and writer devoted to the Divine Feminine gave me the stone snake about 20 years ago. Pagans considered snakes to be magical creatures evoking positive creative life-force energy, very similar to Asian characterization of dragons. It was Judeo-Christianity which demonized snakes as deceitful forces of evil in order to counter and denigrate pagan devotion to them.
This month's altar cloth is a hand towel which I cross-stitched in a floral motif about 30 years ago.
[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, May 2022]