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Ancient Crete Goddesses

The Cretan goat goddess who suckled the infant Zeus when Rhea was hiding him from Chronos. She may have also been wet-nurse to Pan.
Consort of Minos, who much like Persephone spent half the year in the Underworld
(Charmel, Carmenta) The goddess of Mount Ida, inventor of the alphabet, language and augery. Her name refers to kindness and charms (spells), and she was concerned with prophecy.
("good maiden") A youthful hunter, often depicted with arrows, suckling babes or holding snakes. Sometimes seen as a chthonic figure (associated with Hecate), she is a guardian of the dead who was sometimes seen by sailors as a mermaid. Like Hera, she was associated with the lily or lotus flower. Britomartis was also worshipped on Aegina and in Sparta under her titles, Aphaea and Laphria. The Spartans adored both her and Artemis as Ladies of the Lake.

The law-giving labrys Goddess of Crete and Mount Dicte, she is neither naked nor clad, and lines of force surround Her. Double axes, or labryses, represent her active Feminine Energy. Worshippers, in the original palace fresco, throw their arms up in amazement at her appearance. The labrys is also a symbol of the female community of Lesbos who worshipped only the Goddess in nature and in each other. The original "She who must be obeyed," Dictynna lived on top of Mount Dicta. Her powerful name lives on in our words "dictate" and "edict." Her sacred plant was dittany.

The White Mare. A Cretan horse goddess.

She Who Shines for All. A Cretan moon goddess.


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Text/Research by Dominic Marks. Editing/html page design by April Ingram