Ariadne, Mistress of the Labyrinth

Ariadne is a Cretan goddess known as the “Lady of the Labyrinth”. She was famous for dancing her spiral dance of hers, while she weaved her magic thread. In the center of her maze awaits a monster, who is also her half-brother, the Minotaur. The daughter of King Minos, Ariadne was said to have also been the serpent goddess of Crete, again associating her with the spiral. It seems as if Ariadne is also a heavenly goddess, associated with the moon and stars. Her constellation, Corona Borealis, was actually a crown given to her by her husband Dionysus as a wedding gift. It was launched into the night sky to become the well-known constellation.

Since she was the king’s daughter, he put her in charge of the Labyrinth, which had the Minotaur at its center. The maze was made so difficult that the monster in the middle wouldn’t eat anyone. King Minos would sacrifice many people for the Minotaur, and the people got tired of this. The hero Theseus was sent to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, and Ariadne fell in love with him the moment she saw him. So, she decided to betray his family and help him find a way to kill the Minotaur. Ariadne gave Theseus a special thread so that she could unwind her way to the center and then find her way back. Theseus managed to kill the Minotaur and, in exchange for his help, promised to make Ariadne his wife. With this they set sail for Dia, where he abandoned the unknown Ariadne while she slept. Waking up from her, Dionysus found her, fell in love with her, and made her his wife.

Ariadne dances the spiral dance of the Labyrinth. She dances in a spiral towards the center where she waits for the monster. She represents that inner self that we all seek on our path to enlightenment. Coming to terms with our darkest selves and facing our inner “monsters” helps us heal.

Ariadne’s priestesses were said to have rituals with the Goddess with snakes and bare-chested clothing, indicating the acceptance of sexuality in Minoan Crete. On Naxos, Ariadne was seen as a lunar fertility Goddess, who represented the seasonal cycle. Again associating her with rebirth and the spiral of life. This Goddess was highly worshiped in Crete and was seen as a powerful Goddess in her time. It is said that she was also honored in Celtic Gaul, symbolizing the same things.

Call on Ariadne when you feel like you’re trapped in the maze of your own life and aren’t sure how to get out. She can help us heal our interior and symbolically be reborn. On your altar to Ariadne, have symbols of the serpent, a small labyrinth, some honey, the sacred labrys (or a symbol thereof), blue and gold colors. She was also associated with the bee, which was also a sacred animal in Crete.

“…For the Lady of the Labyrinth, a pot of honey…” Linear B Tablets, Knossos, 1500 BC

Enjoy working with this life-giving ancient Cretan goddess!

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