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Crete and the Minoan

Given the parallel symbolism in Egypt, particularly with the sun disc, I could imagine these being symbolic cradles or resting places for the sun/moon or deities.

In Egypt, the carved headrests also remind me of offering plates. Or even a similar representation as Atlas so the brain would be equivalent to holding the entire earth or world while one slept. The use of lion symbols with Tut’s headrest signifies, to me, the need for one to be protected while they slept so that not only could they physically survive sleep but would also be protected from thieves and other evil beings in other dimensions.

Including these in tombs with the dead would also indicate that the deceased did not consider themselves in a final death but were only resting. Hence their need for a pillow and other worldly goods in the afterlife. They were asleep/dead in this dimension but quite alive in another.

In my book, The Goddess Aped, the Minotaur is the half-human young of the God Molloch and it was the embodiment of the goddess Aphrodite who had fallen in love with the Minotaur.  She believed him to be the embodiment of her husband, the god Aries. Many witnessed love between them blossom and then angered the jealous Queen Pasiphae. Although he was said to be her half-brother, Pasiphae ordered the craftsman, Daedalus to create a wooden bull for her so she could try to lure the Minotaur away from the goddess. If she was truly more beautiful than Aphrodite, he would not be able to resist her. Her efforts failed so she set on ruining him.

As the brother-in-law of King Minos, the Minotaur was always under suspicion of the royal house. Pasiphae set the king’s daughter, Ariadne (Roman-Libera/Libra), and her siblings upon tormenting their uncle. This made him increasingly more paranoid, angry and volatile. And Ariadne spent her waking moments convincing the Minotaur of her love for him. She would spend hours undermining his love for Aphrodite and talking about the life they could have-the parties, the friends, etc. He would not have to hide who he was and could be accepted. The Minotaur warmed to her. Finally, using enchantments and manipulation, Ariadne finally won the Minotaur. He rejected the embodiment of Aphrodite to be with the human princess.

For a great long time the Minotaur refused all word from Aphrodite. Her pleas for him to see what was truly happening and to feel her love for him went ignored. Ariadne convinced him that Aphrodite was simply playing games with him and would leave as soon as she had won him back.  At her mother’s urging, Ariadne told the Minotaur she wanted to keep him close to her but it was not safe for him to be in the castle. Claiming that they feared the wrath of Aphrodite, she had designed a labyrinth to be built for him and explained that it would confound intruders but also keep him busy. King Minos placed in a labyrinth below the castle windows so Ariadne could watch him. However by the time the Minotaur realized what was going on, it was too late. Aphrodite, rejected, had gone. And now, looking up, he saw Ariadne laughing at him. She now spent her days laughing at the Minotaur trying to escape the confines. For his purposes, Minos could be comforted in knowing that the Minotaur would pose no threat to his throne.

Now the Minotaur’s anger could not be contained.

After a loss in battle, King Aegeus agreed to send King Minos seven of the most beautiful Athenian boys and seven of the most beautiful girls to be sacrificed to sent to the Minotaur.  However, the Minotaur saw none of them. It was the wife of King Minos, Pasiphae, that would sacrifice the youth and bathe in their blood. She thought the blood of the children kept her young and beautiful and she was known to brag that she was more beautiful than the Aphrodite.

To protect their mother, the children of King Minos would make up horrific stories about the Minotaur and spread them among sailors taking port on the island. Those sailors would then spread word to all the people they encountered on the trade routes. On one occasion the sailors were talking about the handsome prince of King Aegeas and how he was seeking a triumph to honor his father. Ariadne had always dreamed of moving to another kingdom. In Athens, she would be among the most privileged of women and her own siblings would have to bow before her-perhaps even her own mother.

So when Ariadne heard of this, she created a story that the Minotaur sought her hand in marriage and wished to gain the throne of Crete. She had letters from him to prove his love of her and the sailors had seen some of them. Ariadne went on to say that the Minotaur told her they would then go to war with Athens. With such a formidable foe, certainly now Aegeas would fall, avenging her father, and the Minotaur would rule Athens as well.

These stories inspired the son of King Aegeus, Theseus, to come kill the Minotaur.

Unfortunately, for Ariadne, both she and her sister Phaedra fell in love with Theseus.To gain his favor, Ariadne told Theseus she would watch from her window to guide Theseus to wear the Minotaur was in the maze. She would also tie red yarn to the prince so that once the Minotaur was slain, she could guide Theseus out.

Most of us know the story from there.

However, it was the actions of the humans and none on the part of the gods that creates the ensuing tragedy.

After being abandoned by Theseus, Ariadne does go on to marry the god Dionysus. After telling him how she had planned the death of the Minotaur and humiliation of Aphrodite, Dionysus confesses he is greatly impressed by her cunning. He agrees to marry her if she will give him the secrets the Minotaur used to win over Aphrodite because he could not believe such a creature could entice the goddess. Ariadne agrees if Dionysus can make her a goddess and even more beautiful than Aphrodite. Both have their agendas as Dionysus wants to win back the love of Aphrodite and make her his wife. For her part, the princess wants to win back Theseus and ruin her sister’s life. Unfortunately for her,  Dionysus eventually confesses he cannot make her a goddess or even more beautiful than Aphrodite. When she asks why, instead of admitting that he does not have the power to, he tells her of his love for Aphrodite and loudly proclaims that the princess is not only far inferior to Aphrodite but she pales in beauty to all of the men and women he has ever lain with.

In a rage, she confesses that her uncle genuinely loved Aphrodite and that he was the embodiment of Aries-it was simply their true love.

Without thinking, Dionysus shatters the goblet in his hand and runs a thick glass shard across her throat.

His hand covered in the blood of both he and Ariadne, Dionysus points his fist to the sky and honors the names of Aries and Aphrodite.

And, with that, breaks the all of the curses placed on the gods by mortals.